Elan Atias

It took more than a decade for the artist known as Elan to release his debut album, Together As One. After all, the labels were courting this intuitive and dynamic singer-songwriter not long after the L.A. native had graduated from high school. Fate took him in another direction, however, and Elan comes to his Interscope debut with more experience and validation than many artists have following an entire career.
The album is executive produced by No Doubts Tony Kanal and features some of the most amazing musicians and producers in Jamaican reggae culture: Sly & Robbie, Fatis, Steve Lenky Marsden, Tony Kelly and DJ legend Cutty Ranks among them. The album was recorded between Jamaica, Miami and Kanal's Los Angeles studio.

But perhaps even more crucial than those impressive credentials is that for three and a half years--between 1997 and 1999--Elan was the lead singer for the legendary Wailers. Yes, thats right. Those Wailers. Night after night, in front of thousands, Elan sang the words that Bob Marley had written and popularized with--as those thousands and the Wailers themselves will testify--stunning authority and authenticity. At first, people frequently thought he was lip-synching to Marley's vocals; later, many, including people in Jamaica, assumed he was one of Marley's children. Even Carlos Santana once mistook his voice as being a tape recording of Marley.

Reggae certainly plays an important role on Elan's debut, which features a unique combination of the young singer-songwriter's musical influences -- heavy on the island sounds and rhythms, but also incorporating elements of classic American R&B and soul; Fela Kuti-inspired African rhythms; and even '80s new wave pop like Depeche Mode and The Cure. It also showcases the artist's philosophical duality, with songs that jump back and forth between strong spirituality or socio-political concerns as well as matters of the heart and libido, the difference between the sacred and the profane, so to speak. It's the difference between "I Wanna Yell," which he wrote about economic and other injustices he saw firsthand traveling the world, and "Feel My Pressure," which is all about getting freaky with the opposite sex. When Elan discusses the album's title track, he explains that being bound together as one is meant spiritually, politically and sexually.


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