Elijah Woods On His 2024 Asia Tour And Falling In Love With Music (2024)

For artists like Elijah Woods, social media, especially TikTok, has served not only as a platform for musicians to get their music out there to a wider audience but, subsequently, also for countless listeners to discover their next favorite artists.

With more than 1.5 million followers (and counting) on TikTok alone at the time of writing, the up-and-coming Canadian singer-songwriter is clearly one of those artists. Creatively utilizing and showcasing his music on the platform, you might have heard of his songs or even seen one of his videos helping you count the years, months, seconds, minutes, and hours. Yes, he’s that guy; the one behind the viral, heartfelt, earworm of a track “24/7, 365”. For Woods, TikTok has not just been simply a tool to shine a spotlight on what he is passionate about. More than that, it has become an ally to aid him in connecting and resonating with so many people across the globe; inspiring him to keep doing music with the hope that his songs can make people “feel human”.

In the spirit of connecting and resonating, Billboard Philippines sat down last February with Elijah Woods ahead of his first ever Manila show this May to chat about family and his beginnings in music, hectic schedules leading to better creative outputs, the ice-cold realm that is Canada, and, of course, his upcoming, at the time of writing, nearly sold out Asia tour.

Get to know more about Elijah Woods through Billboard Philippines‘ conversation with him below.

Billboard Philippines: Hi Elijah! How’s your year so far?

Elijah Woods: It’s going well! Honestly, going super super well. I’m in freezing-cold Canada. It’s not that hot. I’m excited to come into the heat in Southeast Asia. I can’t wait to get out of this cold, arctic tundra that I’m currently in (laughs).

Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you know you wanted to do music? Was there a particular moment or person that inspired you to pursue music as a career?

So I grew up in a really musical family. My dad played in bands my whole life and he always played guitar… and he taught me how to play guitar when I was really young. But I never wanted to pursue music. I had no interest in being a musician; I didn’t want to sing, I didn’t want to write songs.

Then when I turned about 14, I got a little DJ controller and I started DJ-ing and mixing songs together and I thought that was so much fun and so cool… All my friends would come over and we’d have big parties, I would play music, and I started DJ-ing our local high school dance. That got really fun and then I was like, “Oh, I could make money doing this”. So, I started getting into music production and, like, learning how make my own remixes and that sort of thing… That led me to produce dance music and I did that for a little while.

That went really, really well and I was like, “Crazy. This is wild. I can’t believe this is working out for me.”

Then I went to my mom and I was like, “Hey, I’m gonna drop out of school and be a musician.” She was like, “What? No. That’s not cool.” And I was like, “No, trust me. It’s gonna be good.” So, I dropped out and I ended up going to a college program later on, actually, for music and I studied how to record music and mic a guitar and mic a drum kit and that sort of thing. It was only through that that I realized that I actually really loved songwriting; I really loved, actually, music production and crafting songs. That kinda took me down a journey of being in a band and then I was writing songs for a number of years for other artists…

Then, I wrote a song called “lights” a couple of years ago… It was the first song I’d written and I was like, “Oh, that’s me. That’s my story.” So, I was like, “Hell, I’ll sing it.” (I) taught myself how to sing and I sang it and it came out and it did really really well in Canada. It kinda just gave me the inspiration to be like, “Oh, I’ll figure this out. I’ll give it a try.”

And then, COVID happened and I just stayed inside for like, 2 years and worked on my singing…, went on TikTok, and made music. It ultimately just like, led me down this path of self-expression and excitement about music… I absolutely love the process of just like, making things and that happens to be songs.

What does your mom think now, if we may ask?

(Laughs) She’s very proud. She’s very, very proud. I wanna fly her to some of the shows in Southeast Asia but I just don’t know. I think the routing might be pretty tough on her because we’re in one city in one night and then another city the next night. So, it might be a lot and I won’t really get to spend any time with her which would suck.

So, I would love to bring her out to some of the shows but she’s very, very proud… I’m really lucky. My parents have always been really supportive. But she was a bit hesitant…like, “You’re gonna drop out of school and be a musician?”… I was like, “Yeah. It’s crazy.” (laughs).

That’s nice to hear that she’s come around!

Yeah, absolutely! She’s very happy.

Most recently, you released bright orange everglow. Tell us more about the story behind the EP and how it came together.

So, bright orange everglow is really cool for me. I hadn’t planned on putting any more music out last year… Then, I put a clip of “24/7, 365” up on TikTok and it just absolutely blew up… I was like, “Cool, that’s really really fun.”

I was in the process of moving so I was really struggling to… like, I have a home studio. I don’t know if I can show you this. I don’t know. Maybe? (moves camera around to show contents of studio). I got like, a little studio here, there’s you there (points camera to laptop)… I got my monitors, I got my mics, I got everything… all my synths and stuff.

So, I make everything at home and I was in the process of moving and… my studio was all torn apart and I had finished “24/7, 365” and I was like, “Yo, this song is gonna come out. It’s gonna do really well ’cause all (of) the internet was going crazy over it. Awesome!”

The day after I packed up my studio, I was like, “Damn, I have another song I wanna write.” It was the song called “if you want love” and I had nowhere to go and I was like, “Okay, whatever. I’m just gonna sit down with a guitar and play this part. I sat down, played the part, (and) I was like, “Oh my God, this is incredible.” So, I had to set up my studio again in my living room; all my stuff; sh*t was in boxes. It was terrible (smiles) and then I had to pull it all out, reset it up. The moving guys were coming in like, four days. So, I was like, “Okay, I gotta finish this one song.” And then that one song led to two and that led to three. And then I found this demo that I was… I’d been in LA a couple of weeks prior and I wrote it on my phone. I had a little voice note… I was like, “Oh my God, this is incredible,” and that song turned into “last girl”.

So then, I had five songs and I was like, “Oh, this all feels sonically perfect and incredible and like, really perfect for this moment.” And I was going through this huge phase of listening to country music so I was like, “Cool, let’s just make, like, a country music EP.” So, I recorded all the guitars, recorded all the drums in my apartment. The day we were set to move, I put all the stuff back in my boxes and moved it here. And then, we moved to this place; I unpacked everything, I mixed it, and then it came out two weeks later.

So, it was crazy. I had never made anything that fast in my life. It was… I think, (the) total was, from the first writing of the song to the end of the mastering process, which I also did, was the full month of June (2023). So the whole thing was done in one month; from starting songs to finishing them and sending them off to the universe. So, it was so wild to watch them come out and it was so cool to see, like, “Oh, there’s a chapter in my life and then I can like, close that chapter and move on to the next thing…” I got to put it out and we filmed these like, sunset sessions for it and it was so much fun… It was such a… the title really summed up my experience with it: it was so bright, and so orange, and so vibrant, and so “me”, and so warm. It just made me feel really… like, I accomplished that kind of chapter which is so cool.

Elijah Woods On His 2024 Asia Tour And Falling In Love With Music (1)

We can see that it was a very hectic songwriting schedule (laughs).

It was chaos. It was absolute chaos (smiles).

Do you think that contributed positively to how the EP came out?

Absolutely! I consistently do this to myself and my fiancé always makes fun of me in like, a loving way. ‘Cause she’s like, “You take on a lot of stuff!,” and I’m like, “Yeah, but it makes me like move and do things.” ‘Cause I like… If I don’t have things in my calendar or if I’m not busy I kinda go a little crazy. Like, I’m always gonna be learning something or doing something or traveling or writing songs or whatever it is. So, I take on a lot but out of that chaos, I think, comes the best of me.

Elijah Woods On His 2024 Asia Tour And Falling In Love With Music (2)

The EP features your latest viral hit ‘24/7, 365’. What do you think it is about the song that really resonated with listeners, especially with your Southeast Asian fans? Did you expect the song to do that well?

I mean, no matter how good I feel about that song, I never expected it to do anything. I’m always like… I have a song I wrote. I finished it like three days ago and I think it’s like the coolest thing ever. And then I posted a clip of it on the internet and it got like 1,200 views. And I’m like, “That’s still like a lot of people,” but it’s not millions… It’s not like [how] “24/7” did.

No matter how you feel about a song, it’s really easy to get distracted and be like, “Oh, this is gonna take off because the last one did…” And “24/7” was just that. I think it’s great. I think it’s really catchy. I think like, the visual treatment of the whole thing was really smart… but you just never know.

We wrote that song…10:30 AM, so I was in my boxers still. I was at the piano. I recorded it and just recorded a demo of it and I was like, “This is catchy as hell.” Went and showered, filmed a video, posted it up 1 PM that day and by 4 PM it had like a million views. So I was like, “Oh, that’s crazy. That seems just, nuts…”

With that, I got the feeling that it was resonating in a way that I hadn’t seen [with] the songs I wrote before. And then, I looked at who it was resonating with and… one of my friends told me something. She was just in Indonesia… three months ago or something like that and she said, “I turned on the radio and it was all guys singing love songs,” and she was like, “It’s interesting because your song is doing so well there and you are also a man singing love songs,” and I was like, “Maybe? Maybe there’s some sort of similarity there…”

I haven’t been there to experience that in person yet so I don’t know what that sort of climate is like. But from my limited experience with, I mean, Southeast Asian people in general, everyone just loves love. Like, everyone’s so stoked and vibrant. Like, you come to North America and everyone’s cold and like, “yeah I’m too cool.” But like, everybody I’ve talked to, on, like, virtual or I’ve met here in person, everyone’s just like smiling and happy and lovely and incredible.

Maybe that’s why? ‘Cause like, that’s how I felt when I was writing the songs. Maybe that’s resonating with the lovely, amazing people in Southeast Asia.

Based on that, I can see that you’re stoked to be on your Asia tour this summer. Is there anything that you are looking forward to the most?

I’m so excited for this. Like, this is the most excited I’ve ever been for any shows ever. Like, I’ve never been, A, to Southeast Asia and B, never played any shows in that area of the world. So, yeah. Have to emphasize: this is very, very cool for me. I think it’s insane. I expected when we post this tour and then it’d be like, one ticket sold. It’d be like, my mom bought a ticket to fly out but the fact that it’s sold out is just nuts.

Specifically, I’m really excited for the food. I cannot wait. I’m a huge foodie… food nerd? And yeah, I’m really excited for that. I’m excited for the heat which is kinda crazy because I feel like everyone there’s like, “yo, it gets really hot, so cool your jets” (laughs). I’m excited to sing these songs with the people who it’s been resonating the most with. I think that’s like, that’s the main thing. I can’t wait to experience that piece of it.

Elijah Woods On His 2024 Asia Tour And Falling In Love With Music (3)

What are some goals you have for the year? Anything you want to particularly achieve in 2024?

So, it’s funny. I set out a bunch of goals in January and now it’s February… I set out a bunch of goals; some Spotify, Apple Music streaming goals. Then I set out some touring goals and one of those was to sell out a headline tour in non-North America and that is happening right now which is just so cool to me (smiles) and it’s all thanks to everybody listening right now. It’s all thanks to that. And it’s just… I think that’s beyond me.

My other goal, which is the most insane thing ever that I just found out this week was to open up for Niall Horan. And that just happened two days ago. I’m opening for Niall Horan in Jakarta which I’m… I physically have it written in a journal that is like 10 feet away from me and it’s just so insane… I think the universe is crazy and I think that is really really wild.

But beyond that, I do have a goal of releasing, I’m not gonna say how many songs; but a lot of songs this year. The year is still early and I have a lot of music. (Looks at whiteboard with handwriting in the background) I don’t know. I think the board is blurry but that is some of them. I don’t want to leak them yet (laughs). I’m not sure on the titles but we’ll see. But that board has been filled and wiped away 4 times now so, there’s a lot of music; releasing lots and lots of music.

Personally, I’m getting married. So I wanna enjoy that, I wanna go on a really nice honeymoon with my loved one (smiles).

Finally, what do you hope to impart on your listeners through your music?

I hope that they can feel close to how excited I was when I made the music. I hope that they can feel the passion and excitement… It’s cliché but I think what’s so cool about music is that it’s just it’s whatever you want it to be. Like, you can listen to a sad song and it can make you really really happy. You can listen to a happy song and it can make you really really sad for many different reasons.

And I hope that my music means enough to somebody that it means something, if that makes any sense; that it makes you feel some sort of emotion. That would be my goal: to make you feel human.

Elijah Woods is set to release a new single entitled “losing a friend” this March 8 and will be holding his ever Manila show this coming May 20.

To prepare for the release of “losing a friend” and his Manila concert, listen to Elijah Woods’ hit track “24/7, 365” and the rest of bright orange everglow below.

Elijah Woods On His 2024 Asia Tour And Falling In Love With Music (2024)
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