Eli 1000 '19 prefers to go by his stage name, but that's no surprise — he centers his music in his life. The artist, whose music can be found on MP3, radio and streaming platforms, closed out 2019 with an impressive set of data from Spotify alone. Over 351,900 streams broke down into 118,800 users from 78 countries spending about 12,000 hours listening to his songs. Eli's time at Temple University in the Media Studies and Production Department helped him hone his skills and understand more about creating great tracks and media theory, which has impacted his point of view about his music and himself.

A native of New Jersey who started making beats and rapping in his childhood, Eli initially started college at Coastal Carolina University where he was a finance major, then transferred to Seton Hall University and discovered his interest in studying communication. He found that Temple was the right fit for him after visiting the school several times to meet up with friends. By the time he made it to Klein College of Media and Communication, he was prepared to put his music at the forefront of his academic focus, and used all of the resources available to him at the school to make his work as meaningful as he could.

One of his favorite aspects of the Media Studies and Production Program was learning about communication and media theory, which helped him examine the messages media put out, the messages he conveyed to others in his life and the way he communicated with himself. 

"It just gave me a different outlook on how I view things in the media, messages being portrayed," he says. "It kind of translated into me and my music because not only did I analyze things that are going on around me but I analyzed things that are going on internally."

This awareness supplemented Eli's proficiency in using the tools Temple makes available for students. He found his home on-campus at the university's TECH Center, where he took advantage of the access to Adobe Creative Suite, audio programs like Audacity and perhaps most frugally, booked time to use the multimedia studio, which is free for registered Temple students.

Scott Gratson, director of the Communication Studies Program, realized just how much Eli loves music when the artist was a student in his class. Although it was not a media studies and production course, Gratson admired how Eli consistently drew in other students with his persona and musical ability.

"I find his talent, his energy, his engagement, and just his overall demeanor just to be an absolute shining star of a gem — and he's disgustingly talented," Gratson says.

Keeping at his craft is what has gotten Eli this far in his career, which he pursues full-time. Live performances and rigorous social media marketing have helped him form his fan base, but he wants to take it further. He sees his music as globally-appealing, and makes an effort to reach out to people who express how much they enjoy his work, knowing that such interactions build a strong foundation for a broad audience. His overall aim is to connect with listeners experientially, much like hip-hop and rap artist Travis Scott, who is known for his elaborate concerts and auditorium-worthy production. 

That is why Eli is stepping into a new phase of his artistic development. He hopes to release a new album with a more studied take on life than he says he has expressed in some of his previous work. This inner reflection comes with the territory and he has realized that "as you make music everyday, your music evolves with you."

"I'm just trying to be the best I can be, really," he says. "The reason that I'm pushing my music like this is because I want enough people to hear it and I want it to resonate."

To hear Eli 1000's music, visit Spotify or the music platform of your choice.