Elan Lea clearly recalls the day he was told by the manager of a major record label that he should quit the music industry and find another job.
“He told me to get back to whatever my day job would be, because I wasn’t as talented as what I was when he found me. I remember this as clear as anything.”
Lea was just a young boy when he was given the devastating news that he was not good enough to succeed in the music industry.
But instead of drowning in disappointment, the former King David student from Joburg used the experience as an opportunity to work even harder to achieve his dream of becoming a singer.
Today, Lea is a successful singer, with a record deal under his belt, a Sama nomination, and several of his songs have played on radio stations.
This week the Joburg singer’s career was given a major boost when he found out that one of the world’s best DJs, Dutch maestro Tiesto, would be using one of Lea’s songs on the his new album, A Town Called Paradise.
Lea said he was ecstatic at the news as he was a huge fan of DJ Tiesto. Lea co-wrote the song Calling On Angels and is a feature artist on the album.
“It feels like a great achievement, simply because of the scale of it all,” said Lea. “Also, in some ways it feels like a weight off my shoulders. You see, the hardest thing to do in this terrible industry is getting through the door. Once you are through the door you can just do what you do. Now I’m using this opportunity to kick that damn door down.
“Being on a Tiesto album is awesome. Just saying that is ridiculous. He’s global, the album is global, his fans are dedicated, he is one of the biggest DJs in the world if not the biggest, so it feels like an honour for me to have co-written a song that is on the album and even more so because I am the feature artist on the track as well.
“Simply put, this is the thing that musicians work for. Or anyone really looking for that one big break. And in terms of a break, this is definitely my greatest achievement and platform to greet the world.
“I’ve had a career sprinkled with some crowning moments in between the rest and I also had the privilege of working with my late mentor Mr Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees whom I thank always for inspiring me and helping me unlock the true depth of my writing capabilities.”
Lea spent time with the DJ in Las Vegas.
“Not a bad place to spend time with someone like Tiesto – that truly is rockstar treatment. You’ve never seen anything like it in your life.”
Lea, who lives in Los Angeles, grew up in Joburg but spent time in Cape Town as a boy.
He said he was thoroughly enjoying LA life.
“I love it. I’m lucky. I’ve got real friends here, it’s a place of endless opportunity and possibility. I think it’s simply the playing level here. Everyone is good, everyone is talented in all their fields.”
- Saturday Star