Asian Beat: Elephante

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It’s not every day that I see neon elephants on a big screen in the Big Apple, but it’s not every day that I get to see Asian American DJ Elephante in New York City. The DJ ended his Diamond Days tour at Webster Hall on Saturday, Feb. 29, and I was lucky enough to be there. 

His music is essential for any dance or night drive playlist. Many of the melodies and vocals that Elephante mixes are very powerful at points, dreamlike at others and sometimes wistful, showing how purposeful he is when it comes to vocal collaborations in his work, besides his own. Elephante, born Tim Wu, knows a thing or two about dreams. He told NextShark in an interview that he always wanted to be a musician. He graduated from Harvard and was working at one of the top consulting firms in the country but the DJ was always thinking about creating music.  

“I really just spent all my free time on music, and it was the only thing I wanted to do. It felt like I was doing the bare minimum for everything else in my life and the rest of my time was focused on music,” he told NextShark.  

He quit his job to pursue that dream. The name Elephante comes from embracing “the elephant in the room” and defying the odds, he said. 

Elephante even had his parents hyped up about his music, although they don’t fully understand the genre, he said. His parents saw success, as most immigrant parents might find, in jobs that earn a large paycheck. For the DJ, he was determined to stick by his passion. By doing so, he has gained a lot of success, shared stages at large music venues such as Electric Daisy Carnival and as a resident DJ in Las Vegas, according to his Spotify bio.   

For the show itself, the light show was always visually engaging and fit the mood of each song in the set perfectly. One of my favorite songs that was played was “Diamond Days.” I was not expecting the DJ to play the guitar on stage and sing as well, but there he was, stepping out from behind his booth and doing both. The chorus itself was sung by everyone in the room along with Elephante, who has vocal talent and was not washed out by any other distracting audio.  

“I don’t wanna waste my time / Waiting on your reasons / I don’t wanna fall behind /Chasing all your seasons, no.”  

Another favorite was “The In Between” with visuals on screen to go along with the song and a beat drop that did not disappoint. Elephante never hid from the audience for too long, standing at the edge of the stage to give out high fives and even exchange kandi, small bracelets traded at music festivals.  

Many of the songs I listened to by Elephante were for the first time at his show live. They were engaging, and Elephante was constantly hyping up the crowd with mixes of other popular EDM songs laced within his own. Almost all the songs, especially the ones I mentioned, had a great slow lead-up to an intoxicating beat drop and party dance bass that made the almost two-and-a-half hour show never ending, in a good way.  

I’ll be awaiting new music in the future and am waiting for the opportunity to see this Asian American artist in Las Vegas for Electric Daisy Carnival where he will also be having a set. 

Three Songs For Your Playlist: 

  1. Dynasty 

  2. Diamond Days 

  3. The In Between 

Thumbnail photo in the public domain


Kimberly Nguyen is the associate digital editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.nguyen@uconn.edu.

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