Record Label: Mello Music Group
Blessing in Disguise, the new album from the Guelph-bred producer Elaquent, merges the digital with the physical in a way that makes each seem new, and each seem very alive. It’s technically innovative music that reminds you, at every turn, that it’s been crafted by a living, breathing, upright human. It’s beat music informed by the past with an eye toward the future. And as its title implies, Blessing in Disguise also grapples with one of life’s central questions: how do you recover from your lowest moments to not only move forward, but to become stronger?
“Sometimes the best things in life to ever happen to you...are the things that don’t happen,” Elaquent says. Blessing in Disguise imagines its title not as a quick aphorism or a tired stock phrase, but as a reminder of the real, hard-earned wisdom that comes from navigating life’s roughest stretches. This is a record about resilience, born from false starts and dead ends that would stop some aspiring artists in their tracks. But this is a story of perseverance: the hardship informs the music, which in turn helps listeners navigate those difficult periods in their own lives. It also pushes you to find new roads around unfamiliar roadblocks. As the artist himself says: “Failure is often the greatest catalyst for growth and success.”
Blessing in Disguise was recorded largely during a trip to Jamaica––Elaquent’s first true vacation since he was a child. At first, the process moved slowly; he was mired in a creative funk that had dogged him in his regular life up north. But before long, the slower, idyllic setting opened up and inspired him to make the freest, most innovative record of his career. From the slinking “Valhalla” to the playful “Airplane Mode,” the jazz textures in “Moment of Weakness” to the inverted boom-bap of “Trapdoor,” Blessing in Disguise is the culmination of years of trial and error, failure and improvisation. It’s a testament to dedication and an indomitable will. And it cements Elaquent as one of his genre’s most vital voices.