From high atop a building in Los Angeles, Elijah Blake is in the perfect position to keep an eye on all those “frenemies who love to hate.” The soulful singer, who has been a renowned force in the R&B world for more than a decade, dropped the video for “Frenemies” on Mar. 27, a fable for people to be extra careful when it comes to matters of the heart…or if you’re planning a heist with someone you thought had your back. Like modern-day Aesop, Elijah delivers his message, demonstrating the skillful songwriting that had made him one of the most in-demand songwriters in the game today.
After signing a major label deal when he was 16 years old, Elijah started turning heads and claiming gold. He won a Best R&B Performance Grammy for co-writing Usher’s 2012 hit “Climax.” He worked on Rihanna’s Unapologetic, and it wasn’t long before he found himself out of the writing room and in front of a mic. “Everyone’s like ‘Who the f-ck is Elijah Blake?’ Like, where did this guy come from? How is he with No I.D., and we haven’t heard a single song? How does Usher follow him? And how does Justin Bieber follow him?’ ” he told HighSnobiety in 2017, shortly after the release of his second sophomore studio album, Audiology.
“I love it. I love this album. I love the songs. I don’t care if one of them goes top five or not,” Elijah said at the time. “Maybe for the next project, I’ll do more of that. But for this project, I wanted y’all… I’ve had to give you guys everybody else’s interpretation of Elijah Blake for the last couple of years. This is who Elijah Blake is now.”
Since then, Elijah Blake has developed himself and his sound. He released three new projects – 2018’s Bijoux 23, 1990 Forever in 2019, and his trap-flavored Christmas collection, Holiday Love. He’s also built his songwriting reputation, writing countless smash records for some of the biggest names in music. Elijah has worked with Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Hudson, Trey Songz, Alicia Keys, J. Cole, Nas, Ciara, Dej Loaf, Rick Ross, The Game and Justin Bieber, just to name a few.
“It’s been exciting to watch the tides change and have everything going in a cycle. At one point in time, it felt like songwriters couldn’t be singers,” Elijah said when speaking to OkayPlayer. “In more recent times, it’s a thing to be an artist and write your own lyrics. Like we’ve seen with Drake, Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, and Cardi B. But, I love where we’re at right now. It shouldn’t be kept separate. It’s okay to be multidimensional.”