Eli Raybon grew up in Mississippi, Louisiana, and North Carolina, feeling at odds with society. Eli refused to accept the life chosen by his friends, of college, job, settling down and raising a family, and instead threw himself into his music, devouring and being inspired by artists such as Phoenix, The Killers, and The Smiths.
At 16 he began writing songs, and at 17 got into music recording, and production. Eli comes from a musical family, with his father in the business, and his father’s cousin, Marty Raybon, founder of the Grammy Award winning band, Shenandoah. With this heritage, it should come as no surprise that Eli is also a skilled guitarist.
From there it was a short step to recording his first album, and after more than 100 gigs to his name, Eli released ‘The Machine & My Dilemma’, dealing directly with his perception of being trapped in Small Town America. After a time at university in New York, where he studied a computer science/mathematics double major, Eli headed out to Los Angeles in September last year.
Still only 19, Eli recently released his new album, ‘Green’, named after a colour which he considers to make him feel “particularly creative or crafty”. It’s also a play on the fact of himself being green, and new to the music industry, and LA.
“It’s difficult to be brave enough to chase after what you really want,” he said. “Moving to LA marked my triumph over the fear and hesitation of pursuing my dreams.”
’30 Cents’, the latest track from ‘Green’, is accompanied by a very clever video – played in reverse, it takes the viewer from the end credits of a film, and shows us how Eli – playing “The Man In Green”, came to be involved with a group of spies. Shot in very subdued shades, which gives it a retro feel, the video is a perfect match to the song, which shows the strong influence of 80s artists such as The Smiths. Played on vintage synths, ’30 Cents’ is at once catchy and memorable, with the strong synth rhythms, and Eli’s fervent vocals pulling the listener in.