Ann Arbor to L.A.: An interview with Elephante

Sam Kilgard-

Growing up in the town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Tim Wu was a fan of Michigan Football, the Pistons and the Red Wings, just like most people who grew up in the area. Wu’s life may have started out just like any other, but unlike most people, he was destined for something greater than a normal life.

After graduating high school, Wu was accepted and later graduated from Harvard University where he majored in economics. “After graduating, I moved to L.A. and worked for a management consulting firm while making music on the side. Every day I dreamed about quitting and doing music full time,” said Wu. After making the choice to pursue music, Wu informed his friends and family. “I called my close friends and told them about my decision. They supported me and wished me luck, while my mom was worried I wouldn’t make it. I think everyone just wanted to make sure I didn’t end up homeless,” Wu added while lightly laughing.


Quitting his job was only the first step in Wu’s journey to becoming a music producer. His next step was choosing a name. Wu chose the name “Elephante” because he had always felt like the elephant in the room at his corporate job; it wasn’t until he followed music that he found his true calling. As for his music, he has established a “melodic dance music style,” as he called it, and has released an EP titled “I Am the Elephante,” which consists of nine songs showcasing the power of his unique electronic sound. Wu’s musical inspiration comes from his daily life. “I have hundreds of lyric snippets in my notebook that I’m constantly adding to. I take lots of voice memos too, sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a melody, I’ll record it and then listen to it in the morning.”

But the road to success was not easy. Wu said he had to release many tracks and had to endure rejection for two years before he found success. “You have to be arrogant enough to know that you have something that no one else has, but also insecure enough to always keep trying new things and pushing yourself to be better.” Wu’s tireless attitude toward becoming a better musician is one of the many reasons you will be hearing a lot more from Elephante in the future.

Elephante will be performing Tuesday, April 18 in the MSC Great Hall. Tickets are $1 for students and $5 for the general public.