A man of many talents, Elias Ajuwa known as L.E.S., is a Nigerian born rapper, singer and businessman focusing on Afrobeat and Hip Hop. Recently, he released a 6 track EP titled “I Will Never Die” which depicts his legacy through his music.
Ajuwa’s stage name, L.E.S., is an acronym for “Lyrically Encompassed Singer,” but it is more than that. The name also stems from a Middle Eastern pronunciation of his name Elias, which sounds like the separated letters of his stage name. This childhood nickname later served as an easy transition for the name under which he creates music. “It really talks about my style of singing. Whenever I write, I try to be lyrical about it. Yes, I try to have a good rhythm and make music that is pleasing to the ear. However, lyrics are very important to me as a lyricist.”
Ajuwa accredits his work as a rapper to his self proclaimed addiction to Hip Hop. “I have been addicted to Hip Hop since I was 13 years old. I would listen to Hip Hop with my older brother and I loved it. Well… first I hated it and then I just got addicted to artists like NAS, DMX and artists like that. I also listened to artists like TLC and Cisco and more of the Hip Hop and R&B genres. Those artists are just so amazing to me.” He continued on to talk about his love of a collection of lyricists and rappers who he believes don’t get enough credit for the work that they do. These artists include the Jedi Mind Tricks, Onyx rappers, Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz.
Ajuwa’s EP “I Will Never Die” is a collection of tracks that both act as his legacy and explain how he wants to be remembered. “Basically, it is just saying that I have something to offer the world that is legendary and I want to put it out there without fear and without obstacles. That first song is me giving the vision of how I want to be perceived when I’m going out into the game. This is just the beginning. It’s the genesis with telling you about my revelation.”
Much of Ajuwa’s writing process stems from working to be the most original he can be. “A computer never constructs its own original inspiration, you know, it computes only what you put into it. If you’re trying to be original, you have to get as far away from the inspiration as possible. So, that’s how I come up with my music. Sometimes I come up with a melody first and fill in the beat to match.”
He described some of his work process on parts of the EP, explaining that the process for the song “I Think She Knows” as beginning with the lyrics and being partially true. “This iteration is half true because it describes the life experience of having somebody that you love when you feel like the person is jumping down from that pedestal that you’ve given them, so you’re giving them advice and saying that you really do care.” The other song he went into detail on was the EP’s title track, “I Will Never Die.” This song began with a beat and was followed by lyrics. The process for this track actually included a few classical musicians who came in and worked with Ajuwa as he put the finishing touches on it. These songs are just a few of the many that he has created and are all well worth taking a closer look into.