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Eli Fola: The Synthesis of Sound and Spirituality

Updated: Apr 3

In an era where the fusion of genres creates not just new music but new realms of experience, Eli Fola stands as a beacon of innovation and cultural synthesis. His unique blend, dubbed "Yoruba Tech Soul," showcases an artist who is not merely performing but revolutionizing the way music intersects with culture, emotion, and spirituality. Through his exploration of AfroHouse, techno, jazz, and classical music, Fola crafts a sonic landscape that transcends conventional boundaries, offering listeners a journey into the depths of sound and soul.


At the heart of Eli Fola's artistry is a profound connection to his heritage and an eagerness to innovate. This Nigerian-American sound artist, saxophonist, DJ, and producer has garnered attention for his ability to blend diverse musical elements into a cohesive and compelling narrative. Inspired by icons like Osunlade, Jeff Mills, and Fela Kuti, Fola's work is a testament to the power of music as a universal language capable of bridging disparate worlds.

A Glimpse into Eli Fola's World: An Exclusive Q&A

In a candid Q&A, Eli Fola delves into the inspirations, processes, and aspirations that define his musical journey. His responses, presented unaltered, offer a glimpse into the mind of a creator who is as thoughtful about his craft as he is passionate.

Q: "Yoruba Tech Soul" represents a groundbreaking fusion of AfroHouse, techno, jazz, and classical music. Can you share the inspiration behind creating this genre and how your cultural heritage influences your music?

A: "I see Yoruba Tech Soul more as a performance style than a genre. The inspiration came from my discovery of House and Techno music as a young Nigerian immigrant living in New York City. My first introduction to house music was through the music of Osunlade... The discovery of all this music inspired me to create my own unique style, which I call Yoruba Tech Soul, by incorporating the saxophone, traditional vocals from Nigeria on some of my records, and live drum percussion."

Q: Your performances and productions are known for their depth and emotional resonance. How do you approach the creative process, and what role does the saxophone play in your compositions?

A: "Music, to me, is all about the feeling and the ability for it to change your mood. My goal as a composer is to elevate the consciousness of the listeners of my music. The saxophone brings that emotional aspect into the music that I create, and it speaks to the audience in a very special way..."

Q: As a multi-disciplinary artist, you've successfully bridged music with visual arts. Can you discuss how these different forms of expression complement each other in your work?

A: "In this day and age, visuals play a unique role in how audiences receive music. Incorporating visuals into my work helps to convey the message I'm trying to spread through the music."

Q: The electronic music scene is continually evolving. What trends or innovations excite you the most, and how do you see yourself contributing to these developments?

A: "I really enjoy creating music that's fresh and original... I see myself contributing to the innovation in electronic music by incorporating live elements into my sets and productions."

Q: Looking ahead, are there any new projects, collaborations, or musical directions you're excited to explore?

A: "Last year I presented an audio visual project at the National Sawdust in New York titled Soundscapes... I'm looking forward to exploring the project and tour around with it across the world. I also have some exciting collaboration coming up with some amazing artists I look up to."

A Glimpse Beyond the Music

In addition to his musical prowess, Eli Fola shares three fun facts that paint a fuller picture of the man behind the saxophone: a self-taught musician, a late-blooming swimmer, and a master in marketing. These details underscore the multifaceted nature of an artist who continues to surprise, innovate, and inspire.

The Road Ahead

Eli Fola's journey is a vivid illustration of the transformative power of music. As he continues to explore, create, and innovate, his work remains a beacon for those who seek a deeper connection to sound and spirit. With exciting projects on the horizon and a relentless passion for pushing the boundaries of electronic music, Fola is not just shaping the future of his genre—he's inviting us all to listen, feel, and journey with him into uncharted sonic territories.


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