South London singer and rapper Elheist is on a mission. Specifically, she says she is “currently in the prime of the rebirth of my desired me”. Her medium is an intriguing blend of all kinds of UK underground sounds- grime, garage, cutting edge experimental production- with their raw edges smoothed over by her honeyed vocals.
Born Elizabeth Osaguona, her musical passion was clear from an early age “I have a strong background and passion for underground music, I grew up learning instruments, singing and doing spoken word at open mics and music summer schools in my early teens”. However, at 16 she stopped performing in public, while continuing to write in private. This changed last year when she felt the urge to start recording and dropped her debut single ‘See You’, a socially charged track which highlights her effortless skill at shifting between razor sharp rapping and mellifluous singing.
Along with her vocal skills, Elheist keeps an ear open to wider sonic possibilities. As an ardent fan of beat-makers like Madlib and J Dilla, she considers herself “an instrumental nerd. Producers in my eyes are the real gatekeepers, it’s a crazy skill and I appreciate it highly”. After a fortuitous meeting at her local hairdressers she began working with rising new producer Haich. “We connected through hair but also location. He was living close by me”.
The two have been busy cooking up a long form project- “Both of us combined is completely crazy, free and experimental”. As a first taste, this week they dropped the single ‘Matter of Fact/Not That Easy’. An ode to her roots in garage and grime, the song ponders matters of the heart. And specifically, the emotional tit for tat between exes, “the current girl vs boy situation-ship and the mentality that it is so easy to pull a next one”.
Along with her work with Haich, Elheist is also working with producer Lafawndah. “She is completely magical and inspires me to keep being free”. As with all her music, the philosophy is “let’s have some fun”.