Livestream Washington, D.C.
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Material: Elijah Rosario is an R&B singer with the storytelling prowess of a rapper from the Dirty South. Every phase of his musical journey has been highlighted by stints in southern cities like Houston, TX and Charlotte, NC. His evolution as a storyteller began nearly a decade ago when he started writing song lyrics on his notepad during lunchbreaks, while working at a fast food restaurant in Kingsland, GA. But emotionally, the trials and tribulations that came with the passing of his mother, last December, have heightened his senses as a creator and fueled his passion for live music. With 10 years of experience under his belt, Rosario has emerged as a live performer who sings and raps. Songs like “Focus Poppin’” showcase that versatility well, while tracks like “My Side (Remix)” are reminiscent of R&B songs by recording artists such as Kirko Bangz in the early 2010’s.
Musicianship: Of all the cities where Rosario has lived, Houston has had the biggest impact on his live sound. Thus, when the 27-year-old performs R&B songs like “Hattie’s Boy Intro” and “Survive,” it often comes with an infusion of Southern hip-hop, trap and a gritty brand of lyricism that is native to Southeast Texas. Vocally, Elijah’s pitch rings out similarly to the sound made familiar by soul singer Bobby Valentino, while the rawness of his wordplay is comparable to the subject matter of the late Static Major.
Performance: Rosario performed six songs from his latest EP, Hattie’s Boy. Before the pandemic hit, most of his shows featured a live back-up band. But on this day, the artist presented the music all by his lonesome—over instrumental tracks. The young crooner paced back and forth on stage, with a wireless microphone in his hand as he sang his way from slow jams like “Aura” to a stripper anthem called “Vixen.” The most touching moment of this show came when he stopped the music and explained why he wrote a contemporary R&B/neo soul track called “Still” for his wife. He also articulated the way in which the song reminded him of his parents.
Summary: The musical journey of Elijah Rosario has endured several bumps in the road. None more powerful than the passing of his mother on Christmas Day 2019. Although these events have shaken his foundation, they’ve also emboldened this artist to sing about his experiences. In this livestream, that boldness was on full display.