Taiwanese-American artist Elephante describes the dangerous cycle of addiction as well as mundane quarantine experiences on the electropop track “High Water.” It’s his first single of 2021 ahead of his sophomore album due this summer, and offers a promising taste of the project.
“It’s about my experience in my younger years withdrawing from opioids,” Tim Wu, who performs as Elephante, admits. “The darkest moment in addiction where your mind gets so twisted that all you can think about is getting back to that high. During the pandemic, I thought a lot about that time in my life and saw a lot of parallels with life in quarantine, where all I wanted was to get back to the way things were pre-COVID, no matter the cost.”
The song’s striking music video premiered with 88rising, the Asian-led media company known for their work with Joji and Chungha. Tim filmed the underwater scenes over the course of 12 hours without any special effects, oxygen tanks, or nose plugs, and he was sick for three days after the shoot.
One of the most striking qualities of Elephante’s music is his commitment to his art and truth. It was this honesty that led the Harvard graduate to leave his job as a consultant in Los Angeles to pursue music, his true passion. He strengthened his production skills by remixing artists like The Chainsmokers and Lorde before moving on to his own work, which let him experiment with different techniques and sounds.
“The thing that really saved me was leaning into the music I loved as a kid,” Tim shares. “Back to basics: singing, playing guitar, and writing songs, every day. I realized I wanted to bring more of those elements into my more recent electronic sound, and create something organic and grandiose and heartfelt that tells my personal story and connects my past and my present.”