Written By Ashley Friedman
If you haven’t heard of Elijah Woods and Jamie Fine, we have no doubt you’ll be jamming to one of their songs soon. The Canadian duo has been hitting the sound waves since January of this year and hasn’t stopped since. After making their first television appearance on CTV’s The Launch, EWxJF have been climbing their way to the top of the charts with their show winning single, “Ain’t Easy” and recently released track, “Better Off.”
Elijah and Jamie met in 2014 at Algonquin College. “It’s a time I’ll never forget,” says Elijah, “I randomly heard her voice through a buddy of mines iPhone [on a Tuesday] and we actually linked up on Saturday.” From that point on, EWxJF were behind the scenes writing and producing in the studio for two years. Jamie tells us, “Elijah and I started off as writers… and then we met our manager JR. He’s the one that kind of asked us if we were sure we were doing the right thing and if we wanted to stay hidden behind the writing or if we wanted to put our own voices on these things that we were creating.” Initially, the band said no to the idea, they were strictly writers and that was it, but after talking about the benefits of taking that avenue with JR, the band decided that maybe it was the right time to branch out from behind the scenes.
Then came The Launch, a Canadian reality series that features five emerging musicians per show competing for a chance to have a debut single released commercially. EWxJF were featured on the second show and were crowned the winners with their stellar performance of, “Ain’t Easy.” Out of the six singles to be released commercially so far via The Launch, EWxJF’s “Ain’t Easy” is the only one to be certified platinum by Music Canada. Believe it or not, the show was actually the first time the band performed together. Going into the performance, Elijah comments on how EWxJF was feeling, “I think a certain level of excitement. We compliment each other really well [and] the relationship is very translucent into every avenue of our life.”
Before any live performance, EWxJF huddle up with their team backstage. Their drummer Darius leads the talk to get everyone pumped up about the show, gauging the excitement of the crowd and building their own in the process. “It really helps us to kind of focus on what we are about to do [and] it’s a really good routine for us before every show,” says Jamie.
Their favorite song/s to perform on stage are actually unreleased. “It’s just this high energy music and there’s one song [in particular] that’s very emotional and typically makes the crowd not know how to react,” says Jamie. “I’d say the music we love performing the most is definitely stuff that you have yet to find on the internet.”
When it comes to the evolution of their own music, Elijah tells us, “We’re evolving depending on what is going on in our lives… I [also] think it sort of helps shape the direction of the music [by] incorporating more live instrumentation and bringing a little bit more energy to some of the arrangements.” He continues, “We really try to just encompass as much energy and as much substance into our music as possible.”
A typical week for the band is both on and off. “What we’re finding is it’s a very hurry up and wait industry… It really depends on the week,” says Jamie. “There are some weeks where I have watched the entire Harry Potter series about three times, [then] there are other weeks where you’re really busy [and] you’re writing music.” She continues, “Elijah does all the production for everything we do which includes mixing. It’s a lot of work on his end, sitting in a studio and getting all the music ready.”
The band recently started vlogging as well. “We’re trying to find new ways to stay creative and keep us on our toes so that everyday we kind of wake up and we have something to do that explains a little bit more about our band,” says Jamie. The vlogs include reenacting legendary Harry Potter scenes, chasing geese a.k.a. “chickens” in Canada and riding in Elijah’s “Ferrari.” If you want to truly get to know just how personable this band really is, you have to watch their vlogs.
Like every up and coming musician, getting to the point of people knowing your name is a tedius challenge. Just over a year ago, EWxJF were in that position. When it comes to advice for the up and comers, Elijah says, “Just be yourself. Whether you’re writing music, or working in Starbucks, or working in a government job, as long as you know yourself, you know your own passion and your own work, then that’s going to translate into whatever you’re doing. Take the time to, as Jamie says, ‘fall madly in love with yourself’ and figure out what’s going on with you…”
Jamie couldn’t agree more and adds, “People say love yourself or learn how to love yourself before you love anybody else. I think that is what Elijah and I try to preach is that you shouldn’t use anything as a crutch. Music is, I think I can speak for both of us, arguably the biggest part of both of our lives and we’re lucky to be able to do that together.” She continues, “We’re independent people and we know who we are before music, without it, with it, whatever it may be and I think that’s one of the most important things [and is] an oversight when it comes to artists because they use that as a crutch. I think that can kind of get you in trouble in your career.”
The reality of just how popular EWxJF has become is still so surreal to the band. “I think Jamie and I don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Elijah. “We’ve always sort of seen this as a long-term goal… From day one, we’re two people that decided I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to do with my life. Being able to do music is just one of those things that not a lot of people get to do and we’re just very fortunate.” He continues, “So, I think very early on in this we decided holy like we made it because we don’t have to work another job and we can do music all the time.” But, collectively, their official “I made it” moment would be performing to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden. Jamie comments, “[It’s] pretty typical and I know that’s the anti-climatic answer.”
EWxJF is consistently striving to make something that is tangible, digestible, yet timeless. “We want to make people feel something,” says Elijah, “It’s the most rewarding thing in the world when you put out a song or you put out a piece of art and somebody can connect with it.”