Blocking out the rain

Cedar Shoals junior Elgin Chapman (Ejay) glides into the Full Moon studio with a look of concentration on his face. He adjusts his black fitted cap and hums quietly to himself. This is just one of the countless afternoons during the past year he’s spent expressing himself in the booth. 

MUSIC PRODUCER: Ejay Chapman is pictured above. Chapman records and produces his original music at the Full Moon studio. “Ejay is one of the best artists that I record, he has a whole lot of potential and he works hard,” studio engineer Hunter Guess said. Picture provided by Ejay Chapman.

For Ejay his music is not just a hobby, it’s a way of life. 

“I couldn’t go a day, or even an hour without music,” Chapman said. 

A musical journey began when Chapman was in second grade in the choir of St. Mary’s AME church. He continued singing as a freshman in the Cedar Shoals chorus. The following year he began creating his own music.

“Before I took chorus, going higher in my range was very difficult for me. I learned how to compress my sound so that it has a smooth tone.” Chapman said

Once he improved his skills, making music was all Chapman wanted to do. 

“I’m in the studio with Ejay about once a week or once every other week. He’s really focused and dedicated to his craft.” Studio engineer Hunter Guess said. 

“We’re not really like everyone else. Most people rap and sing about drugs, money, getting women and violent stuff. We kind of bring something new,” Ball said.

Chapman mentions that his friends are the inspiration for many of his lyrics. Often he finds himself writing about situations that they are faced with as if he were in their position.

“I try to write as if I were in the situation, and how I would feel and react to it,” Chapman said.

For instance in his song, Baby, Chapman’s lyrics were about a friend’s relationship before his breakup.

“At the time he was really happy and now he’s getting over his heartbreak.” Chapman said. 

Prior to writing lyrics he first listens to the beat and thinks about what message he wants to send with the song. 

“The beat has to speak to me, I can’t write to a beat if lyrics don’t automatically come to mind when I hear it,” Chapman said.

After the release of a few singles and joint projects Chapman released his first extended play (EP), Umbrella’s Intro onto Apple music, Spotify, Youtube, Amazon music and Deezer on March 16. 

“In the title I’m referring to myself as an umbrella because you hold up umbrellas to block out rain, the same way I use music to block out any bad things that may happen in my life,” Chapman said.

The EP included four songs: Remember, 10 out of 10, Baby, and Exhausted. 

“The first two songs are the way I felt during the time of my life when I was in a relationship. The last song explains my feelings afterwards,” Chapman said

Ejay and his friends used their instagram and tiktok platforms to promote his EP after the release. They shared posts displaying the EP cover and short clips of each song with links of where the songs could be streamed.

“His EP is fire man, there is no one in Athens doing it like him,” Ball said 

As Chapman takes strides towards his academic and career goals for the future he knows that his music will remain an important part of his life, even if he doesn’t make it in the industry. 

“I’ve been writing music since I was seven, no way I can stop now,” Chapman said 

NEWEST RELEASE: A screenshot from Apple music displays Ejay’s first EP, Umbrella’s Intro. The star shows which song has the highest amount of streams. “10 out of 10 is everyone’s favorite, it has around 3000 streams.” Chapman said.

Ikeoluwa Ojo

Junior Ikeoluwa Ojo is the Assistant News Editor for BluePrints Magazine. She plans on pursuing a career in social work, child psychology, or law. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, braiding hair, and creating mandala pen art designs. Ojo’s goals in journalism this year are to produce a variety of interesting news pieces. Her favorite part of journalism is the student-led aspect of the class, and she enjoys meeting news people and hearing their perspectives through interviews.