“If all we have are dreams, then dream big,” spits Elliot Wright, frontman and philosopher for the five-piece, California Beat Rock troubadours, Eliquate, on their latest EP, Who The F*ck is Eliquate? Packing an arsenal of rhymes that range from satirical social commentary and inner-soul searching to all-out, shake-your-ass-‘til-the floor-is-wet jams, Eliquate’s music has been charging parties up and down the West Coast since 2009. In that time span, they’ve graced the stage with underground royalty such as Murs, Del the Funky Homosapien, Zion-I and RJD2, just to name a few. But, who the f*ck is Eliquate anyway?
Unlike most MCs, Wright didn’t start writing until later in his life. His love for words pushed him to jot down more than just lyrics but meaningful messages for Wright’s peers to think about and connect with. The next piece of the puzzle would fall into place when a friend told him about a guy who was making beats that he might want to connect with. Wright met beat-maker and soon-to-be Eliquate guitarist, Jamie Schnetzler, one day as Schnetzler was eating some questionable-looking Chinese food. As Wright tells it, “I asked him if it was any good, he said, ‘yes.’ I tried it, it was, and I’ve trusted him ever since.”
The dream would continue to grow over the next year with the addition of bass-slappin’ sounds by Cosmo Stevens, the pounding beats of Dan Wells and Tanner Christiansen’s blend of samples and keyboard. In 2010 Eliquate released their first album, Arch Rhythm, perfecting their sound by tapping into a social consciousness greater than any of their individual selves. “We wanted it to be party music with a purpose,” claims Schnetzler.
Drawing influence from all musical styles, the creative quintet build an energetic, live performance that is second to none. On any given night, Eliquate will break from convention and bust into an improvised jam with Wright free-styling on the mic to every audience’s amusement. That’s where Eliquate’s real power lies: they’ll hook anyone on the dance floor with their passionate melodies and create fans with their ingenuity and insightful lyrics.
So, who the f*ck is Eliquate? Well, now you know. They are a powerful mix of music and message currently rocking down doors on their Northwest Tour. But the final question remains: what does the future hold for our gang of intellectual deviants? Two words: dream big.
- Mat Weir