Uproxx Music 20: Elmiene Is A Simple Man Learning To Appreciate The Past So He Can Thrive In The Future

Elmiene (pronounced el-mean) is just a few months removed from completing the biggest year of his music career. In 2023, the 22-year-old British singer released two EPs, El-Mean in March and Marking My Time in October, before setting out on the road for a North American tour with stops in major cities like Toronto, New York City, and Los Angeles. In between all of that, Elmiene made his live performance debut beside Robert Glasper and Yasiin Bey for Louis Vuitton in Paris, made his debut at England’s legendary Glastonbury Festival, and collaborated with stars like Stormzy.

With all of that in mind, you can understand the concept behind Marking My Time. It was a moment for Elmiene to acknowledge and absorb his surroundings all before the whirlwind of building a successful music career yanked him away into a new reality. “When my life started speeding up massively,” he said after releasing the EP, “I had to learn how to keep an eye on both sides — appreciating the past in order to do the future the right way and do it justice.” And that future is looking extremely bright for Elmiene.

The British singer launched his 2024 campaign with his new single “Crystal Tears.” The record exquisitely grapples with loss, whether it be through death or the end of a relationship, and the regrets that follow their departure. Elmiene’s grief and pain seep through the 2000s R&B-inspired production as he pleads for a second chance, one that deep down he knows he’ll never get. With that, Elmiene is left to accept the new reality, something he captures with a pair of lines that show the strength of his pen. “Afraid to hold the glass I know I’ve broken,” he croons. “Take back all the notes I know I’ve chosen.”

Ahead of another tour that begins on April 4, Elmiene took a moment to speak with Uproxx to share his inspirations, interests in and outside of music, and how he hopes to be remembered.

See Previous UPROXX MUSIC 20 Interviews:

What is your earliest memory of music?

Listening to “7 Days” by Craig David on my cousin’s old music hard drive.

Who inspired you to take music seriously?

D’Angelo was definitely the first person that made me start listening to music more intently and seriously.

Do you know how to play an instrument? If so, which one? If not, which instrument do you want to learn how to play?

I’ve recently started to learn the keyboard and I’m completely obsessed, forever chasing Stevie Wonder.

What was your first job?

Making car breaks in a factory in Frankfurt. Old dark days.

What is your most prized possession?

The hundreds of voice notes on my phone of me working on music. I genuinely have nightmares of accidentally deleting them.

What is your biggest fear?

Being alone.

Who is on your R&B/rap/afrobeats Mt. Rushmore?

Joe, K-Ci from Jodeci, Dino from H-Town, and Usher.

You get 24 hours to yourself to do anything you want, with unlimited resources: What are you doing? And spare no details!

I would hunt monsters on Monster Hunter for 6 hours with breakfast then play keys for lunch at a restaurant that has a piano. Drink freeway peach ice tea by the river. Go home and play Street Fighter 6 ’til the end of the day for dinner.

What are your three most used emojis?


What’s a feature you need to secure before you die?


If you could appear in a future season of a current TV show, which one would it be and why?

One Piece live-action. I really, really wanna be Kuma.

Which celebrity do you admire or respect for their personality and why?

Katt Williams. He just doesn’t seem to let anything ever really bother him.

Share your opinion on something no one could ever change your mind about.

No one could convince me that Zangief isn’t the best character on Street Fighter.

What is the best song you’ve ever heard in your life and what do you love about it?

“Another Star” by Stevie Wonder is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s the rhythm the beautiful poetic lyrics and the energy that make that song what it is.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform, and what’s a city you’re excited to perform in for the first time?

New York City is my favorite to perform in, the energy there is infectious. I’d love to perform in Stockholm, D’Angelo did an amazing performance there.

You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of 5 artists that will perform with you and the location where it would be held.

For a festival lineup, it would have to be D’Angelo, The Roots, Lewis Taylor, Stevie Wonder, and Lauryn Hill and it would be in Falmouth.

What would you be doing now if it weren’t for music?

Pub security.

If you could see five years into the future or go five years into the past, which one would you pick and why?

100% go to the past, I’d rather really take in and refresh on everything that’s happened rather than skip and miss out on 5 years of my life.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

It’s okay to pick up the phone and call back.

It’s 2050. The world hasn’t ended, and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I’d like my music to be remembered as an honest diary of my life and character, like a really good time capsule of all the important chapters of my life.

Marking My Time is out now Polydor Records/Def Jam. Find out more information here.