“We are a continuation of our mother, as a rose is a continuation of the rosebush. You are the continuation of your father and mother. If your mother is no longer alive, you can touch her in yourself, because she exists in every cell of your body and consciousness.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

Greetings love lights and R&B listeners, this is Jilly.fm. I’m back in the US of A and returning with another sweet edition of SOUL JUICE. Featuring the latest and greatest Future R&B jams and their makers. Today I am so proud to share the first SOUL JUICE music-artist interview that sheds light on a local multi-talented Denver musician/comedian/producer/dancer and dear friend of mine, Khalil Arcady (aka) Sur Ellz.

This week, Mellisonant Media released a live video performance of Ellz’s original version of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River”, showcased on ‘Live at the Lofts‘. I’ve always been impressed with Sur Ellz’s vocal abilities, range, timing, impeccable fashion sense and captivating performance style. With his skillful strength of layering vocal loops and harmonies, he’s taken his musicality to the next level of story-telling entirely. Sur Ellz has found his own dynamic way to express his deepest thoughts, feelings and the freedom to focus on his pure love for the sound of music.

Sur Ellz
Sur Ellz took the time to share his thoughts with me about his career, his past, and his future in the Denver music scene.

SJ: First and foremost, what would you like to express with all of us about yourself, your music, and the importance on never giving up?

SE: I am a man. I am a man who loves music, fashion and live art. I love to be bold. I love to be fearless.
I am bringing originality back to R&B.
I am re-defining what it means to be eclectic.

My passion for art began to grow stronger after I graduated from the Denver School of the Arts. I realized that it was not the end of the road, and that it was time for me to start building my own street lights. I’ve been performing around town for a couple of years now, and with each time I perform, I learn something new. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s still a lesson. Most people in my position would have given up a long time ago. Most people are seeking that ‘instant gratification’. Luckily, I’m not most people. I have stayed true to what I do, and humbly at that. Some people don’t take me serious…but, why let a few clouds get in the way of your sunshine?

SJ: Damn, I love that, and I agree with you. Never let a few clouds get in the way of your sunshine. Can you tell us a bit about your unique music style and where your sound originated from?

SE: My sound comes from various places. Growing up, I was exposed to a lot of amazing music. I enjoy everything from the legendary Teena Marie, to the legendary J Dilla. I can appreciate an artist that can compose their own music. My mother was a phenomenal vocalist and my father is a talented instrumentalist/MC. I fused my love for both aspects of music (thanks to the two of them).

SJ: How has music effected your life in a positive way? I understand your Mother is an incredible influence on you.

SE: The effect that music has had on my life is quite extensive…I remember the first time I sang (what is still my favorite song) “Feenin” by Jodeci..

SJ: I think my heart just exploded imagining you as baby Khalil just casually, yet, passionately belting out some Jodeci. YES. Continue…

SE: Haha and the reaction I got from my parents, they were both pleasantly surprised to say the least. I was only two years old, but I remember what it felt like to hear my own voice. It felt like I was not inside of my body. It felt as if I was sitting next to myself, listening to myself. My mother once told me when she was prego with ya boy, that she put headphones on her belly and prayed that I would receive the gift of music. For that, I do believe in the power of prayer.

SJ: Beautiful. Dream collaborations on your mind?

SE: I pray that one day I will receive the blessing of being able to work with my favorite artist of all time, Mr. Timbaland. He has such an original style and complicated ear for sounds. There are a select few human beings that have the gift of being able to ‘see the sounds’. I truly believe that I am one of them, which is why I create such enchanting and trance-like works of art. I have a deep love for harmonies as well. I remember the first time hearing a Floetry song and how blown away I was by the intoxicating harmonies that Marsha Ambrosius could create from her mouth. I would love to work with her some day as well.

SJ: Mmmm Mr. Timbaland and the lovely Marsha Ambrosius. Two legends and two excellent artists to cook up a collaboration with, that is excellent. What is the future look like for you, Sur Ellz? What’s on the horizon?

SE: I’m currently recording my first EP titled, “Magic”. You’ll get a taste of Timbaland, Pharrell, Ryan Leslie, Kaytranada (0’s soul and 2090’s soul). I represent a brand called Illstylz, founded by my Father. I’m all about synthesized galactic-soul, and so is Illstylz. I’ve been working with some amazing artists from Denver such as Kayla Marque, Kid Astronaut, Typhy, Julian Thomas, Been Stellar and a couple of other folks that are really making a name for themselves in the Denver music scene (shout out to Jilly.fm, I see you boo and I’m so proud of you!). I think Denver is under a certain type of spotlight, *cough cough* (no pun intended) and I certainly wish to share in that spotlight with the rest of the incredibly gifted artists, who some of which I can sincerely call my friends.

SJ: *cough cough* sharing IS caring. All of those cats you mentioned are certainly on the rise and I’m so proud of all of you. To wrap up this delicious discussion, illustrate how your music tastes as a metaphorical flavor of SOUL JUICE?

SE: My music is my juice. Filled with soul vitamins and proteins for the heart. The flavor of my juice is Jupiter kiwi with a hint of passion fruit. Something small with a big taste. Something futuristic. Something original. Something soulful.

SJ: Brilliantly yummy. Thank you, Sur Ellz. I look forward to sharing the news of your first EP drop in the near future. And I can’t wait to sit down with you and share our tunes and stories. But, most importantly, get our Vogue on at X Bar.

Listen to SOUL JUICE | The Sun Shines on Sur Ellz and Link up with Sur Ellz on Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Instagram @sincerelysurellz.

Stay tuned to your magic <3•
Jilly.fm | Instagram @jilly.fm | Twitter @ilovejilly.fm

We vow to keep your heart hydrated.
We promise to keep your mind refreshed.
We aim to quench your music thirst with everlasting SOUL JUICE.

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