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Top Ten Underground Artists.
"10. Elevaters - This time last year, the six talented members of Los Angeles’ soul-funk band Elevaters would have never thought they would be headlining at infamous venues like The Viper Room and Avalon. Let’s get real, without this year’s success, the release of their debut album early next year would not be possible."

Original URL:

- HipHopRnBsoul.com staff

"Santa Monica Daily Press"

Not your parent’s Elevater music.
"Feelin’ soulful: Elevaters promote positivity and an overall good time with their jams

Infectious energy flows from Elevaters’ diverse sound encompassing hip-hop, rock and funk genres harnessed into a style they simply call “soul.”

Diversity is not only found in their sound, Elevaters music stems from a desire to promote positivity, tolerance and self-acceptance. With songs like “Let’s Get Real” and “Follow Me,” the lyrics tackle topics such as attaining self-empowerment and building relationships on trust.

“There is a lot of intention put into the context of where the song came from,” explained bassist Itai Shapira. “A lot of these guys were theater students ... so they understand the power of words. As lyricists, they put a lot of intention into the lyrics … Our band is very ethnically diverse so we try to express that in the music.

“It’s really, uplifting music.”

The creative collective known as Elevaters met primarily through a UCLA theater class. The lull between classes in the sculpture garden outside the theater building became an opportunity for four of the band’s current members to begin jamming together.

Vocalist and beatboxer Ben Hall said the incidental courtyard meetings resulted in a musical relationship that was special from the start.

“Sam (Golzari), our keyboard player, and MC and David (Noily) and Miles (Gregley) and I would just be hanging out, and we would just start making music together,” he recounted. “I would start beatboxing and they would start singing and rapping. We just started making music together when we had free time because it was fun.

“I always felt, with these guys, I was talking about things I really cared about,” said Hall. “I found myself being very honest with them and that was something special.”

That something special was put on hold while the group split to explore the post-grad world, but the Los Angeles area beckoned. After three years, they decided it was the right time to focus on the musical chemistry they felt in college. As they harnessed in on the new vision, Shapira joined as the fifth member, adding depth to the former vocal and guitar sound.

Drummer Andre Morton, the newest member, joined up with Elevaters after seeing their live show at The Mint in February.

“I walked in and the guys were performing without a drummer and Ben was doing the beatbox, and they were just so entertaining,” said Morton. “So I just stayed after the show… and said ‘You guys are holding this thing down, but if you had a drummer you’d really be able to blow up.’”

With the current Elevaters incarnation, the sextet has made a name for itself in the Santa Monica area, regularly headlining shows at local spots such as Temple Bar and 14 Below. With a strong theater background, Elevaters are far from shy on stage and bring a frenetic brand of energy to their performances.

“We are very comfortable on stage,” said Golzari. “When I go see a performance, I want to get a connection, get a sense of who they are, so I just take the things that I love in shows that I’ve seen and I really try to make sure that we keep that kind of energy in our shows — just a positive, happy experience on stage, and hopefully, that translates to the audience.”

While every band has dreams of being signed to a major record label and to have the means to distribute their music on a larger scale, the group is loyal to its Santa Monica roots.

“Here, we got that beach, Westside mentality. We also have that open-mindedness, and people who like a variety of music — classic rock and hippie rock mixed with hip-hop,” said guitarist Noily. “The people are here. There are people of all ages at our shows. Santa Monica is represented at an Elevaters show for sure.”

Santa Monicans can get Elevated on Saturday at 14 Below, as Elevaters headline a show featuring Libra Project and Emily Moultrie, with doors opening at 8 p.m. and Elevaters rocking the stage around 11 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door and in advance. Call (310) 451-5040 for more information."

By Lori Bartlett

- Lori Bartlett

"UCLA Daily Bruin"

Substantive hip-hop fueled by diversity.
"Be it by a conventional critic or your father who yearns for the good ol’ days, many assume that to have a good time listening to current popular music is to enjoy without thinking critically.

However, fun music and intellectual enlightenment are not always mutually exclusive. Through a distinctive fusion of hip-hop, rock, R&B and funk, Elevaters, a band composed of mainly UCLA theater alumni, demonstrates that producing a sound simultaneously inspiring and enjoyable is possible. The group will play at the Key Club on Saturday, opening for hip-hop legends De La Soul and KRS-One.

The band has proven through its very lineup that a variety of people can come together. The six members of Elevaters belong to a wide range of nationalities and religions. In addition to race and religion, the members of the band do not share a uniform taste in music.

'We never tried to be different or have a unique sound, but we are an eclectic group coming together making music,' said Sam Golzari, who handles keyboards and vocals for the group. 'But when we come together, we like the music we make.'

Their accessible yet commercially underrepresented sound has the potential to appeal to people with differing preferences and, therefore, the ability to bring all types of people together.

'Contemporary music has (its) demographic and it drives people apart. The music that we make is unclassifiable,' said David Noily, a guitarist and vocalist for Elevaters. 'We don’t have a target market. Our music is for people of all social strata. Music is meant to bring people together, not bring them apart.'

Though Elevaters draws from a range of genres, hip-hop is an important form of expression for the band because of its universal applicability.

'We are hip-hop. You are hip-hop. I have heard hip-hop in Thai, in Russian, and so many other languages,' Noily said. 'It is absolutely international and communicates to everyone. Hip-hop has the potential to make you move and think.'

While hip-hop is an appropriate means for the band to communicate, the members of Elevaters are aware that their education at UCLA has much to do with their ability to appropriately convey messages.

The class in which many of the members met – Peter Sellars’ world arts and cultures course “Art as Social Action” – has had a lasting effect on the songwriters’ goals.

'(In the class, I learned that) when you create something, imagine that you’re creating it for your great-great- great-grandchildren,' Golzari said. 'You’re hoping that your children’s children can be inspired.'

In addition, simply living in Los Angeles has been a great catalyst for the public’s embrace of the band’s diverse sound.

'Los Angeles is great because the people have a very eclectic taste in music and our musical influences are very diverse and all over the place,' said Elevaters’ bassist Itai Shapira. 'Los Angeles is a hotbed for a lot of creativity and great music.'

In Elevaters’ quest to bring different types of people together, the band’s lyricists maintain a specific approach to writing verses.

'My philosophy has always been to find the simplest way to tell the story' Golzari said.

'One thing I always try to do with my writing is to get people to connect with what I am saying. We all have our life experiences but I hope the connections people make (with our music) are of positivity and joy.'

The subjects of their songs range from battling inner demons and addictions to living a better life. In addition, the band sings about relationships, though their love songs are not akin to, say, Akon’s “I Wanna Love You.”

'Our love songs are about creating equality between the sexes, egalitarianism' Noily said. 'It is about understanding where the inequalities lie and trying to reconcile things.'

Despite the presence of serious issues in their songs, the band’s other main desire is to entertain and make sure everyone is comfortably having a good time.

'I’m an actor, but when I’m on stage with my boys there is nowhere else I’m more confident,' Golzari said. 'We come together and have a blast making the music and performing it.'

With their diverse sound, lyrics leaning toward issues of substance, desire to have a good time, and respect for the roots of hip-hop, it is wholly appropriate that Elevaters will be opening for KRS-One and De La Soul.

'De La Soul brought hip-hop back to its original roots about community. We want to represent the same vision of social commentary with a lot of fun,' Noily said. 'KRS-One and De La Soul are the founding fathers of progressive hip-hop and we are the new kids trying to carry on the torch.'

True to its moniker, the band hopes to help its audience aim for a higher standard, appreciation and quality of life.

'With our music, we elevate people’s minds and hearts,' Shapira said. 'That is what the live show is about. Our name is synonymous with what we try to do.'"

* Published: Friday, April 6, 2007

Check out the Elevaters at www.myspace.com/elevaters - Mindy Poder

"Nods: Elevaters @ El Rey"

Being fashionably late at last Friday night's Chris Pierce show at the El Rey was majorly unhip; just before Pierce's stellar set (details in this Spring's print issue!), Elevaters made the satin indoor the most happening place, and all before 10 p.m. The hip-hop/rock sextet planted, among good vibes and an all-too-quick set, nods to live show vets The Time and Earth, Wind and Fire by melting tunes together and reminding us that it ain't going to stop until it actually stops. A live must-see. -Hugo Gomez

Published on Tue, 27 Jan 2009 03:22:45 - The Deli LA Magazine

"NPR's Day to Day"

'Rising' Up with The Elevaters.
Taken from transcript: "Outside the mainstream are the elevaters- you know right away that this is their passion. Their debut album, Rising, is focused on breaking down stereotypes. The Elevaters cover all territories using a combination of live, loops, beat-boxing, singing and rap- dipping into different musical genres; funk, rock, soul and alternative. There is a very real energy here, something that cannot be manufactured. And if there's one thing that unites every track, it's heart and soul- and isn't that enough for everyone?"

-Cameron Rath

Original URL:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16094603 - National Public Radio


Message in the Music.
"At first glance, they look like a group of 21st century Rainbow Coalition poster children- Substantive lyrics and shake your ass Funk are not mutually exclusive. Listen to any Elevaters song for proof. Their debut LP Rising is a collection of thought provoking verses, and make you sweat Soul-ed out tracks- I've seen Elevaters in concert three times in less than six months. I defy anyone to see them only once. With Elevaters, once will never be enough. Just ask their loyal fan base- The fact that Elevaters started out as an acoustical unit molded them to create infectious, visceral melodies and lyrics without relying on posturing and senseless antics. Their music is genuine because they're genuine. As a group, they are special because they remain true to their diversity- No matter what their individual backgrounds and musical tastes, when these gentlemen take the stage as Elevaters they groove as one symbiotic, synergistic unit. Their musical journey will take you through the land of Soul, Hip-Hop, Funk, Rock, and Pop - with each stop feeling authentic. These guys are simply being true to who they are along the way as they seek to empower, enrich, and reflect matters of the soul that we've all experienced in one way or another. Their beautiful melodies wrap themselves around your head like halos, and their funky grooves are so deep you could drive a truck through them. Their tunes are reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, Sly & The Family Stone, Hall & Oats, and The Doobie Brothers in an accessible Pop/Hip-Hop format for the ‘heads'. Their first full-length ‘Rising' (May 2007) is a refreshing fusion of these influences that is guaranteed to keep your head noddin', and your heart pumpin'." - Cazembe Abena


Licenced Tracks:
1. HBO. Dane Cook's Tourgasm. "Let's Get Real"
2. NBC. Quarterlife. "Patience" and "The One"
3. WB. Sorority Forever. "Someday"
4. Sundance. Crenshaw Nights. "Grandma's Hands"

Elevaters - Rising:
1. Intro
2. Walken
3. Let's Get Real
4. The One
5. Ladylove
6. Patience
7. L.A. Zoo
8. Interlude
9. Someday
10. Row Your Boat
11. Ivory Intro
12. Ivory Tower
13. Track 13
14. Don't Sleep
15. Dangerous
16. Follow Me
17. Grandma's Hands
18. From Silence

Elevaters - EP:
1. Let's Get Real
2. Lady Love
3. Follow Me
4. Dangerous
5. L.A. Zoo



California genre-bending band Elevaters is the new hope for people craving unconventional hip-hop. The racially diverse group pushes their musical experiment to new heights without sacrificing a populist appeal. Their sound is as original as it is intoxicating. Sam Golzari, Miles Gregley, and Ben Hall front the band with fresh verses, uplifting melodies, musicianship and a healthy dash of humor. Andre Morton, David Noily and Itai Shapira, drums, guitar, and bass respectively, explore the avenues where funk, rock, pop, and hip-hop intersect. The music’s lyrics confront our world’s challenges discovering the hope and positivity in all of us.

Elevaters’ diversity, black and white, Persian and Israeli, make up what could be the poster children for America’s great melting pot. Equally varied are the individual band members’ musical influences, a laundry list that combines hip-hop (Outkast, Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest), rock (Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills Nash & Young), soul (Earth Wind & Fire, Prince, Bill Withers, Jamiroquai, The Time, Sly & the Family Stone, Bell Biv Devoe), and artists whose music has transcended borders (Bob Marley, Bjork, Paul Simon, and Caetano Veloso). This is the product of a truly collaborative process. ”When we sit down and workshop a song- nothing moves forward until every individual in the group is satisfied,” says Shapira. “Everyone in the group is very honest and direct. We all listen to each other and respect the collective process.”

Hall recounts, “One night, as our weeks-long search for our name deteriorated into absurd, stream-of-consciousness, three of us guys walked into an elevator,” explained Hall. The name, its implied meaning, and the mission the group had committed to had all aligned. “This group blesses a lot of people, helps them lighten up, get loose and feel better. But I'd be full of sh*t and terribly one-dimensional to say it’s all positive. Elevaters get up and get down. And I'm okay with that, because one way or another we're gonna move you.” Most of the inspiration in their music is spawned from the band’s ability to feed off of each other’s energy, and then give that synergy to a live audience. Every note is infused with this contagion, whether a lilting understatement, a soaring crescendo, or a beat to move with.

Elevaters first came together as students at UCLA, studying theater and music. One class, Art as Social Action, taught by renowned American theater director Peter Sellars, catalyzed the members to use their generation’s most potent artistic medium, popular music, to empower and uplift. The rhythm section of Morton and Shapira moved the group from university coffeehouses to at-capacity clubs and venues. After several years of enticing fans in Los Angeles’ dark-lit clubs and dives the band’s live performance has evolved and been acclaimed as everything from “inventive”, “energetic” and “cosmic”, to even a “spiritual experience” by some avid fans. It’s these energetic, charismatic, touching and comedic stage performances that have transformed Elevaters from a local favorite to leading voice of a new urban music movement. While on tour this year the band was met by enthusiastic fans across the western United States.

Elevaters have graced stages alongside hip-hop luminaries such as The Roots, KRS-1, De La Soul, Everlast, and LA’s native Queen of hip-hop Medusa. They were featured on National Public Radio's Day to Day, rated among the top ten underground hip-hop and soul artists by hiphoprnbsoul.com, and have had their music licensed by HBO, NBC, WB, and Sundance. The group won best music video for “Grandma’s Hands” at the coincidentally named Elevate Film Fesival in 2007. Elevaters’ debut album Rising weighs in with any hip-hop classic. The group led the album’s production, combining the breadth of their influences while maintaining a strong and cohesive voice of its own. The seventeen tracks are laden with soul-rendering rhymes, lush urban ballads, and hard-hitting funk anthems. Rising showcases Elevaters’ tight-pocketed grooves most clearly on its first single “The One” which Daft Punk fans will surely appreciate. The song was conceived at a house party when Ben spontaneously shouted out the hook. “It’s a song about unity and the feelings we all reach for our entire lives- those of completeness, purpose, destiny, and empowerment,” recounted Noily. Rising also has soulful ballads of hope and redemption like “Someday” harkening to Stevie Wonder’s best. “Ladylove” is a minimalist down-tempo song that showcases lyrical straightforwardness, stripped of any excess to highlight a story about love, loneliness, and having to let go of someone you can’t hold onto in the first place. The true hip-hop heads can get their fix from lyricist Gregley’s prowess on tracks like “Grandma’s Hands”, a song about honoring ancestors while making a better way for future generations:

“Don’t ever tell me that I’m wrong ‘cuz you ain’t doin’ it/