Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Eli champions queer representation, challenging industry norms while emphasizing the power of identity in music. Dive into his inspiring journey and message of reclamation.
Table of Contents
In an intimate conversation, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Eli shared his thoughts on music, identity, and the importance of reclaiming space for queer individuals.
Music Beyond Escapism
“I want my music to stretch beyond escapism and into reclamation,” Jeffrey begins.
It is no secret that many environments within and outside the entertainment industry have historically been hostile to queer identities.
“Many environments ask for queer people to shrink themselves,” Eli emphasizes the importance of breaking these chains and setting a precedent for future generations.
“My goal is to be part of the movement dismantling that,” he asserts.
Nurturing Curiosity and Creativity
Jeffrey’s journey into music was fueled by an innate “curiosity and a yearning to create.” He believes in nurturing a “stay and play” attitude in his daily life, a philosophy that allows him to find joy and inspiration in his art. “That is a space that making music allows for,” he explains.
Challenges Faced in the Industry
Like many artists trying to find their unique voice in the industry, Jeffrey was not immune to external pressures. Recalling his early days, he reveals, “I felt much pressure to be hyper-masculine when I was starting. I was often told that I sing, look, and act too much like a woman.” However, rather than viewing these comments as criticisms, Jeffrey chose to see them as a testament to the fluidity of his gender expression. “I never understood why that was bad,” he remarks. His experiences inspired him to pen a song titled ‘Gay Man,’ shedding light on his pansexuality and his journey with gender.
Jeffrey’s ambition is clear: he refuses to be confined by labels. Through songwriting, he continues exploring and understanding various facets of his identity. “As I write more songs, I discover more pieces about me and my queerness,” he shares. Jeffrey believes that every individual, artist or not, contains multitudes. He proudly states, “The multitudes I contain are endless, and the same goes for any artist and human.”
With artists like Jeffrey Eli leading the charge, the music industry is undeniably moving towards a more inclusive and accepting future.
His determination to dismantle stereotypes and reclaim space for the queer community inspires his fans and sets the stage for upcoming artists to express themselves fearlessly.