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Rising Stars: Meet Eldraco Price

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eldraco Price.

Hi Eldraco, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Like many musicians of color, my beginnings in the art of music start with the Church. I was reared at Lane Tabernacle C.M.E. Church, where my father (The Honorable Rev. Dr. James T. Morris) was the pastor. I was exposed to theatre, dance, and, most pertinently, music in this environment! Contrary to my current station, I was previously extremely averse to performance and public speaking, with the former giving me extreme anxiety attacks. I’d break out into hives if I were asked to sing, which, much to my chagrin, I was pretty often. I was recognized and praised for my natural talents and made to perform in my early years. However, as with many things, time and experience begot confidence and endearment to my gifts. Soon I was aching to perform at any given opportunity to share my talent because I saw how moving I could be in another person’s life. I was ravenous to absorb more knowledge about the arts and gain more experience, so I attended Carr Lane V.P.A. Middle School and began to specify my talents. It wasn’t long before I decided I wanted the arts to be my life’s pursuit. From there, I continued to hone my skills and specify my artistry through Metro high school and eventually at my Alma Mater, Webster University, where I came to a crossroads. At Webster, I realized that I needed to find specificity in my approach to art to gain clarity on my trajectory as an artist. I decided to make my primary discipline music! I worked hard and absorbed an expansive trove of information while at Webster. I began creating experiences for myself in that controlled environment to gain insight into elements of my practice that have served me in my professional pursuits to this day. In University, I started the foundations of my original band FreeNation, the core members of which are fellow alumni! In my junior year, I was hired by The LustreLights, now one of the top premiere event bands in the city. Even now, I am constantly striving to absorb new experiences that will assist in my growth as a creator and allow me to expand the scope of my career in music and arts.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The music industry and being a professional artist are tough; it’s an ever-shifting landscape. I have personally been challenged with countless rejections and setbacks in my journey. Ascertaining and Cultivating an engaged audience for my music and navigating marketing strategies via social media to interact is a constant challenge. Finding a way to cut into the music market that is highly saturated with content in the age of social media is tricky.

Surviving the pandemic as a musician/performing artist was a terrifying time that rocked me to my core. To be a professional artist, especially a musician, one must balance many demanding duties to find a modicum of success. At times management of bookings, social media/marketing, rehearsals, writing/composition, band management, and performance has been a lot for me to handle effectively, not to mention the financial costs. Navigating the extreme financial losses with the reality of the lack of viable business ventures made 2020 an enormous low point. In addition to balancing all that, remaining mentally and physically healthy was then and now is a constant struggle. My career path has undoubtedly taken its toll on my personal life. In other words, being “Eldraco” in a highly competitive market is challenging, but I wouldn’t /couldn’t choose any other line of work to be in. The joyous highs and sense of belonging I receive from my life in music will always outweigh the bad.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a multi-disciplinary composer, recording artist, singer-songwriter, and entertainer. I incorporate dance, theatre, and visual elements through the medium of music to create an experience all my own. Powerful live musical performances are at the center of my professional discipline, whether the material is self-written or otherwise.

As a recording artist/songwriter and composer, the expanse of my writing is vast and varied. Elements of Pop, Rock, Funk, and R&B are all genres employed in my writing. However, the ever-present underlining of Theatre and Jazz permeates my voice. I strive to create music that moves emotionally while having a musical sophistication in its construction. The visual elements of my work are equally as essential as the auditory, which in tandem with my vintage-futurist sensibility, sets my artistry apart from others. I am known for my electric powerhouse stage performances and eclectic glamorous style. Energetic choreography incorporated with decidedly decadent vocals and ostentatious fashion fuses to create my enthusiastic approach to music. I have what some would call a “throw-back” appeal while still retaining a unique approach to the work. A mixture of modern elements with classic/vintage qualities allows my work to defy singular categorization generally.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Many people presently and in the past supported and mentored me in my Artistic pursuits. Starting with family, I learned from my wonderful mother how to work hard even when life is problematic and how to bring vision into reality from the grand achievements of my father. The power of following through with intention from my steadfast Godmother. Most pertinently or perhaps most favorably, I learned the power of Glamour from my fabulous Nana. Upon embarking on my artistic journey. I’ve had many mentors who have been integral to my growth as a professional. My first would be Diane Davenport, who saw in me a spark and potential; she prepared me to cultivate it at University. At University, I was reared by mighty musical titans and artistic gurus that elevated my gifts exponentially. I learned how truly understand and use my voice from Debby Lennon. My musicianship flourished under the tutelage of Paul DeMarinis. I learned to trust and invest in my voice as a writer from Melissa Bishop, and Nick Schlueter taught me to be a genuinely bold musician.

In my pursuits as a professional, I am blessed to be inundated with the guidance of my mentor and friend Kara Baldus whose experience provides respite from the ills and pitfalls of the music industry. She also allowed me to hone my craft as a performer with real-life experience with the LustreLights. My mentor, friend, and collaborator/producer Dan Mehrmann (Jettison Bloom), whose genius elevates my work and helps me bring my musical visions to life with top-tier production. Last but certainly not least are the musicians and artists I have the great honor of working with. My original band FreeNation and my Lustre Light family. Both of which allow me to create music in the world to inspire.

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Image Credits
Josh Tyler Charlie Hoppe Elle Patterson Robert Scott

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