R&B prodigy Elaine constructed her debut EP Elements alongside producers Elizée and Clxrity during her university days—with the luxury of zero preconceived industry notions. “I was so committed to the process that I don’t remember anything other than being super passionate and intentional about everything,” she tells Apple Music. Pouring everything she possibly could into this EP—emotionally, physically, and financially—Elaine obsessed over every detail of it so that it could stand as an autobiographical slice of her coming of age. “At the back of my head I just wanted to put this project out because I felt like I owed it to myself,” she says. “When people connect with the music, that’s the biggest reward of them all.” Here, Elaine talks us through the seven tracks that changed her life and helped her express the most honest parts of her introspective nature. Say It “This was actually a freestyle. I was chilling with Elizée in studio and he played me this beat and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is so beautiful. Can I do something on it?’ It’s a friendly reminder to myself to be open and honest even if you’re not comfortable, not only for the other person but for you too. You just need to say it, because it’s worse if you don’t say anything.” When We’re Alone “I’m very critical when it comes to beats; I spend hours and hours listening to them and dissecting them, asking the producer to change this and this—and as Elizée played me the beat for ‘When We’re Alone,’ I immediately thought about a song I’d written years ago that would fit perfectly. I wrote it at a time when I was very lonely in my life and the few people who were there for me were my friends. So it’s a love letter to say thank you for understanding me and being there for me, even if I’m not the best person to be around at a specific time.” I/You “Clxrity’s work is more technical, so it took forever for us to put the songs that he produced together, because we literally build the beat together from scratch. It sounds psycho, but I hear words in the beat, and I heard ‘I/You’ on the beat. It’s a song about a relationship and the things that happened around it, while highlighting my loyalty. I also thought it would be cute if a portion of the song was written from my perspective, and another from the lover’s perspective.” You’re the One “To this day it’s still shocking to me that people fell in love with this song. It’s my least-favorite song on the EP. I didn’t want it there at all because I didn’t think it was good enough, I just found it so cringey. It was written from a place of admiration for this beautiful person and the wonderful memories we had. It’s more spiritual than anything else, because I thought, ‘Even if we don’t make it, I’m still going to pray for you, I’m still going to wish the best for you and be by your side.’” Changes “This is me saying, ‘Let’s take each other as we are.’ With love comes compromise, and understanding that you can’t change people; they’re going to grow for the better or the worse. This is my favorite track off the project because it made me confident in who I am. After I released my debut single ‘Slip Away,’ a lot of people kept telling me to change what I was doing but I refused, so this is about accepting yourself and others for who they are.” I Just Wanna Know “This track is the quiet kid out of the lot; it doesn’t demand too much attention, but it’s still special, and I relate to that, because I won’t go out of my way to prove myself.” Risky “Being a sensitive person is not fun, because sometimes you’re confronted with the wrong emotion at the wrong time, and you need to learn how to respond accordingly. ‘Risky’ is about sometimes not having the right response. I was very confident in making this EP because in the past I’d been soft and accommodating and shared sweet sides of myself, but I wanted to show emotions as they come—anger, pain, hurt—because at the end of the day, everyone experiences that. It might be risky sharing this content, considering my age and my listenership, but at the same time I felt it was important to be honest again.”

Music Videos

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada