Elton Aura specializes in hyper-smooth hip-hop that will stick in your head
Singer and producer Elton Aura is part of a network of Chicago artists who have changed hip-hop by incorporating the ingrained vibe and melody of old-school R&B into its DNA. For nearly a decade now, one of Aura’s frequent artistic partners has been producer Phoelix, who has brought a sweet sensibility to collaborations with three of the Midwest’s top new MCs of the past decade: Smino, Saba and Noname. Aura is also working solo, and he should soon be mentioned in the same breath as those big names, especially if he can stick to the course he set with his new EP, Green(EGO). Aura builds its tracks on crisp hip-hop percussion arranged in rattling patterns, which can capture your attention even with gradual changes. Its oscillating rhythmic foundation sharpens the impact of all other musical elements. He opens “Slow” with layered ghostly vocals that seem to invoke the wet horns and snaking guitar line that enter next; these voices reappear throughout the song, as if haunting her. Aura is a flexible vocalist, able to shake bars like dominating an open-mic freestyle battle, then transition into soft, tender vocals in no time. Green(EGO) excels because of its fluidity, and when it decides to go big with a pop number – like “Meantime”, with its house thump, honeyed vocal hook, and supple funk touches – it’s likely to take a long lease in your directing.
Elton Aura Green(Ego) is available on its website.