Interview & Photos: Elias Khouri

Interview & Photos by Rachel Lim

How did you get into/start playing music?

EK: Well, I got a guitar when I was about 13, and I just started learning, then I started going out to places to play. Eventually people started asking me to play, and as I went along, I got band members, and that’s how I’m doing today.


How did you decide to become serious about music? Is it something you’re trying to do for a career?

EK: It became fun. I really want to pursue music, but at the same time, I want to put on events/music festivals and things like that. I really want to start my own event business and book bands. Management and stuff.


So you want to own an event venue or company?

EK: Yeah. A venue would be pretty cool.


What are the musical influences for the songs you write?

EK: Carlos Santana, Jimmy Hendrix, Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, and Albin Lee

How would you describe your music? EK: I would definitely say funk, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll.


Do you play any other instruments now?

EK: Yeah, I play classical piano, bass, and drums.


When did you do your first live show and what was it like?

EK: My first live show was at the Polish Hill Arts Festival, and that was definitely a terrifying experience and a liberating experience too. It was awesome to be able to express myself through musical notes and rhythms.


How old were you at that time? EK: Thirteen

What is your songwriting process like?

EK: I get it from experiences and random thoughts that I come across, usually when I’m in the mood to write or, you know, when you have a rhythm going with thoughts in your mind.


Do you start with the rhythm or the lyrics first?

EK: Definitely the lyrics. Kind of like poetry. Not that my music would be poetry, but you know what I mean. Like a movie script. You write script before you do the other stuff.


What defines a quality song to you, and what do you want your audience to walk away with?

EK: Definitely with a “wow” factor and to say “oh man, that was really cool. A really energetic performance to be remembered, not just standing there kind of going through the motions.


You’re only seventeen. What are your shorter term goals?

EK: Um, graduating high school, and then I’m going to be attending Point Park University for sports, arts, and entertainment management to really get the information I need to pursue putting on events and going further with music. I’ll see where it goes from there. I’m definitely planning a tour for next summer. I want to hit places I’ve already hit like New York, DC, Maryland, Vermont, then make my way over to the west coast and do, like, Montana, Utah, California, Arizona.


Elias will be playing other events this summer, Make sure you check him out!

Kayafest – May 26th

Blues in the Square – June 8th

South Park Amphitheater – June 28th

WYEP Summer Music Festival – June 29th


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