It’s that moment every producer dreams of: the big break. Graeme Knapp, who produces inventive, dynamic Trance under the name Elated, is experiencing the break in real-time right now, and it’s safe to say his alias has never been more relevant.
A few months after a shot-in-the-dark submission to Paul van Dyk‘s VANDIT Records, Graeme now sees his alias printed in flatteringly-large letters right below PVD’s legendary name on their new collaborative single, ‘Parallel Dimensions.’
The single is a gorgeous tribute to the energy and passion that define this sacred genre. Of course, listeners would expect no less of Paul van Dyk. But, what would they expect of Elated?
Well, nothing, of course. Who is he? The reason this single is truly life-changing for Graeme is the very same reason that Trance’s future is shakey: these chances don’t come along often enough.
The chance to pique the brain of a fresh artist is always worth taking; this is a view that we at Trance Farm seem to have in common with PVD. But, as Graeme’s experience in the industry thus far demonstrates, not everyone feels that way.
“So, how do you like Paul Van Dyk?” seems as good a place as any to begin. The question is loaded, and Graeme catches on quick. “He and his team are amazing. They’re legends,” he says. But he is quick to point out that VANDIT et al. seem to be the exceptions in the industry.
“There’s a kind of Trance glass ceiling that isn’t found in other genres,” Graeme explains. “In EDM, there are all these personalities and they have their label prodigies who they hand-pick to go on tour and build their fanbase with. That just grows the label, bringing in more money. But in Trance, you have those guys who went underground for years and were probably making next to nothing. So, with the resurgence of Trance, you have the legends who have been around since the beginning, but because these guys had to go through what they went through, I don’t see them being willing to share the pot like we see in EDM. With the rise of festival culture, everyone brings their homies with them, just like how Deadmau5 created Rezz. You don’t see that so much in Trance. Big Trance leaders aren’t getting those bookings or embarking on massive tours, and propelling those smaller artists’ careers.”
In this context, Graeme’s “big break” is indeed a rarity. Because of this dynamic between David and Goliath, there are “a lot of artists jumping ship and going straight to Techno,” he observes. While Graeme is one of the lucky few, he knows that he can’t rely on Goliath to keep him relevant. He knows that he needs to adapt.
The next stage of evolution? Live performances. While this idea isn’t completely novel (we recently covered SISKIN, who are perfecting the live performance for their new project), it is far from evident for Trance. “I’ll be incorporating live acts soon,” Graeme says. “I’m calling it the Elated LIVE Fusion show. It’ll be a combination of playing the keyboard and DJ’ing at the same time. I plan to add other instruments or vocalists whenever I can.”
While this may sound like a nightmare for sound techs at a typical nightclub, Graeme says it’s not impossible. In fact, he did a test-run at Vancouver PRIDE with a vocalist, and it went off without a hitch. “I have a track with a violinist who does D’n’B that I know would sound amazing live,” he says.
Any performer knows that there is nothing more vital than timing when you are presenting your craft. Graeme’s life, as performance, has reached a new peak: peak interest, peak excitement for the future, peak creativity. Which makes this the perfect time to branch out into something new, he says. No one can build his career for him.
That’s why he’s hard at work in the studio, most recently with an unnamed female vocalist who has featured on multiple Ferry Corsten records, and has worked with the likes of Menno De Jong, & Delerium. “It’s my strongest song for my Elated Live Show,” he says, “as far as the emotion of the lyrics and piano melody go.”
Elated has no shortage of vocal tracks as he’s also preparing to release a new single called “Breathe,” done in collaboration with American singer/songwriter Brooke Tomlinson. The song is about “believing in your inner strength and tapping into that power to get through anything.”
“Breathe” is available to pre-save now and releases worldwide on December 13, 2019, under Raz Nitzan Music. This track is sure to melt hearts with the gorgeous vocals and inspiring lyrics.
“Has this been a whirlwind for you?” I ask him, feeling in a whirlwind myself just hearing about this journey. “Or has it been a long time coming?” “If I’m being totally honest, it’s felt like nothing, nothing nothing nothing, but now it’s been a few weeks since the release of ‘Parallel Dimensions‘, and it’s just so fast,” he replies. “It’s impossible to keep up.” He’s handling the emotions like any great artist would: he is creating. In fact, he plans to enroll in ICON Collective in LA this Summer to continue working on his craft.
While some of his future is beginning to take shape, most of it remains an out-of-focus blur. But, for the boy from Canada who has been given the chance of a lifetime, that’s the way he likes it. It is up to Graeme to bring his future into focus, and from the sidelines, the image is looking beautiful thus far.