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Aeli shares innovative new single 'Apostrophes'

Apostrophes is out now everywhere!

Meet Aeli! He's an independent artist who is now based in Los Angeles and is pursuing his music career to the fullest. Aeli describes his sound has having a mixture of different influences that have been shaped by the different backgrounds and places that he's been to. At the heart of his music, he has hip-hop undertones and has a very unique sound.

His latest track, "Apostrophes" is a great introduction to Aeli's sound and style of music. The innovative beat combined with his powerful delivery truly makes the rising artist stand out amongst his peers. His sound is genre-defying and boundary crossing, meaning that Aeli is in his own lane when it comes to being creative.

Keep reading to learn more about him and his musical journey.

What city are you from/ Where are you based now?

I’m born and raised in Tunis, studied in Paris, launched my career in Dubai and just moved to LA to pursue my dream.

What is your artist name? What is your real name? How did you get your artist name?

My artist name is Aeli and my real name is Ali Aloulou. Aeli is simply spelling Ali letter by letter in French: A - EL - I. Its pronunciation mutated when I moved to Dubai and got “Englishified”.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music?

I am actually an architect and an interior designer, I was approaching music as a hobby that I’m passionate about. Until I reached a point, without forcing it, where music started to become a serious source of income then I thought: This is actually possible! So gradually, I shifted to part time so I can focus more into music and then did the necessary to move to LA and take my music career to the next level.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?

Of course it did! I had a beautiful childhood surrounded by loved ones, but most importantly, unlimited imagination and creativity were key factors. That mental state of pure freedom is what I try to reach through creating music. I produced a song for a French rapper that said in one of his songs: “Know that a kid who dreams a lot makes a man that doesn’t sleep well.” It truly resonates with me.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?

It’s a mixture of all my different influences, backgrounds and places I’ve been to. The heart of it is Hip-Hop. That’s the aesthetic. But I add to it some spices that relate to a specific culture I work around. It can be through a sample, a key or just the spirit.

What ultimately inspired you to dedicate yourself to a music career?

My hate for architecture office life haha! More seriously the lifestyle that goes with it, I had a taste of that when constantly touring, traveling, meeting interesting people, I get to do what I love the most, share it with people and get paid for it! It has a feeling of freedom that is beautiful.

What’s one reason you are passionate about music and what inspires you?

It’s the fact that it’s impossible for me to get bored of it. There’s always something new to learn, something different to experiment, more artists to collaborate with, more cities to discover through DJing, unlimited sounds and ways of doing things… The absence of routine in my perception of it is what makes me passionate about it. I get inspired by moods, movies, books, ideas, jokes, people, traditions… but also other music.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?

I box and do yoga. Quite opposite activities but I enjoy both. I love watching movies and reading even though I have less time for that now. I love learning about civilizations and history. I have some strange periodical phases where I dive deep in random subjects, it happened recently with space and nutrition. In a weird way all these activities are creative to me and help open my mind.

What are some of your music career goals for the future?

I want to collaborate with as many artists and producers as possible, make a name for myself in LA scene and progressively, USA and then the world. I want to work on my sound and have a signature that listeners can recognize the same way early 2000s producers had such a strong touch to their beats without having to put a voice tag. I want to keep experimenting and stay open minded with no genre restriction, like Diplo or Srillex. I want to represent my country Tunisia and my North African culture and give a voice to our people in the international culture.

Tell us about the project that you are promoting. What is it about? Is it a single or EP? Also, what is the name of the last project you released?

‘Apostrophes’ is the second release in my collaborative series with my favorite Middle East-based artists themed around the idea of ‘Good bye’. I embarked on this project after being inspired by this quote from David Lynch’s cult series Twin Peaks: “To beginnings... and endings, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Throughout the series, I give my handpicked artists the opportunity to wrap up unfinished business and say goodbye to a person, a behavior or an addiction.

A fierce farewell message to his rapping competitors as he leaves them behind, ‘Apostrophes’ sees Dubai-based SriLankan JustNishan showcase his lyrical ability to play with words, highlighting his competitive spirit. Although ‘Apostrophes’ can be seen as JustNishan lyrically showing off for the most part – “You can hold my beer while I show you m********kers how to do this” – the underlying message of the song emphasizes the hardship of farewells.

For the beat, I went for a Hardcore Trappy atmosphere to give more impact to JustNis- han’s words. Dark and solemn horns adds more majesty to the rapper’s ego trip and the complexity of the drum and bass highlights the rhythmic patterns of JustNishan’s flow.

An unexpected alternative perspective is delivered towards the end of the track when the singer Mars discreetly makes her debut, backing up Nishan’s chorus and adding an extra layer of female aggression.

‘Apostrophes’ follows hot on the heels of ‘Cry Me A Valley’ with Seki SuperVillain, which garnered press attention from the US to the UAE, and was featured on Spotify and Apple Music editorial playlists.

What has the response been like to that project?

It was unbelievable! I reached all time personal records in terms of numbers. Gained a new audience in South Africa. I still get messages from people from there sending me love and support. South Africa has the most amazing audience!

What are some projects you’ve done in the past that you are most proud of and why?

CPT because of the reasons mentioned above but also because it was such a smooth collaboration with unbelievably talented people. It was artistically and humanely meaningful.

The other one would be my last EP “Zoetrope” that is my most underrated work. It’s an autobiographical narration through music. I worked so hard to achieve that result, being sincere and spontaneous.

What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for? Include some dates if you have them.

I’m going to release the rest of the singles from the same series every month. After that I’m dropping an EP of instrumental music, it’s an OST for an Emirati movie called Forthcoming directed by my friend Aiham Al Subaihi. From that point I believe I’m going to focus on producing for other artists, I’m in touch with some and started working with some. You’ll know the names soon!

What message do you hope fans take away from your music?

From my music, I want them to share the feeling I’m expressing through specific projects, I want them to understand and relate to it.

From my story, I want them to keep having dreams and try as hard as they can to achieve them, at one’s own pace, depending on their reality.

For my Tunisian and North African people, I want them to have a voice through my art.

For the rest of the world, I want to introduce them to a foreign culture.

Where can we follow you on social media?

@aelimusic on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Listen to "Apostrophes" below!