Focus: Eli Hermit & Neocia | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
EH: My name is Eli Hermit and I’m vocalist/producer from Glasgow, currently based in Berlin.
N: I am Neocia and I am a musician and producer based in Wallsend. I grew up in Hartlepool

What is it you do?
EH: I perform rap-inspired spoken word and produce dreamy alternative style hip-hop beats.
N: Sometimes I make instrumental hip hop and sometimes I collaborate with vocalists. I record all the instruments myself and chop them up then kinda rearrange them like a collage. My instrumentals aren’t normally as hard-hitting as this track with Eli. 

How long have you been doing it?
EH: I started producing Hip/Hop as a means of being able to perform solo without relying on a band. Originally I started as a guitarist in a metal band, while also performing spoken word at open mic nights. Eli Hermit was a means to bring my passion for poetry and music together, all in one package. This project started in 2016 and I have released music online and performed across Europe consistently since.
N: Neocia was born during lockdown. I’ve been doing stuff since then but before that I was in bands. We met at a Northern Electric event a while back and instantly vibed with each other over our love of weird rap and wonky beats. Eli had released some tapes on Win Big Records and I am a big fan of that label. 

What inspires you?
EH: Lyrically I am inspired by day-to-day life. Little rhymes that people say by mistake, interesting turns of phrase and mistranslations often find themselves in my work. Each track generally reflects a very specific time frame in my life when writing happens. For this track, I cover a lot of thoughts on family, drug use, and legacy, which have all been topics at the forefront of my mind while writing.
N: I get inspired by meeting other musicians and learning about what gets them going. I like to hear something and think “I wonder how they made that sound”. Eli’s music is full of that.

Tell us about your music.
EH: My music has previously been described as “Halfway between a podcast and a rap album” – I can’t think of a better description than that. I’d say my music is for fans of Billy Woods, The Streets, Why? or any other of the Anticon cohort.
N: I like to blur the line between organic and electronic. All of my songs contain elements that are performed on “real instruments” alongside sounds that you could never make without some sort of electronic machine or software. I like to play with syncopation and create really loose sounding beats that feel like they might fall apart at any minute. I try to evoke stank-face. 

What have you got coming up in the future?
EH: With the release of our first collaboration Skulls, myself and Neocia have plans for further collaborations in the future. Otherwise, I am currently working on a full-length solo album with a focus on collaborating with more producers.
N: We’ll probably do an EP together! I have made an album with Faithful Johannes which will be coming out later this year, and a few singles with some other vocalists too. 

Where can people find out more about you?
EH: All my new music is up on Bandcamp and all major streaming platforms. My handle is eli_hermit on all social media.
N: You can follow me on Instagram at @neocia__ . You can stream my music on all those platforms but I’d rather you find me on Bandcamp too! 

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