Enigmatic producer Elyah gets low-key funky on “The Way You Make Me Feel” featuring Jonah4Lyfe on vocals.

Every generation gets the funk music it deserves. “Funky” is subjective, a feeling, hard to pin down and harder to define. Funk music from the ‘60s and ‘70s sounds like hard rock, at this point, all powerful basslines, razor-sharp guitar licks, and soulful horn stabs. ‘80s funk, by contrast, can sound like bad Hall & Oates b-sides, or rough demos for the Full House theme songs. Considering ‘funk music’ is meant to be mellow and seductive, frequently making bedroom playlists, we can’t help but determine that while every generation’s funk music is different, not all funk is created equal.



soundcloud Modern funk music reigns back the cheese and dials up the moodiness, incorporating futurist r&b and hip-hop production with just enough ‘80s neon-lit synth cheese to bring that poppy edge. Which the greatest funk/pop/rock has always done.

“The Way You Make Me Feel,” the debut single from enigmatic producer Elyah, shares a title with a popular Michael Jackson single, despite being an original creation. Elyah’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” has a similarly catchy, poppy hook to MJ, thanks to the silken smooth vocals of Jonah, aka Jonah4Lyfe. Elyah’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” updates MJ’s soul/funk/r&b/pop hybrid for modern times, however. “The Way You Make Me Feel” has a similar nocturnal glow to The Weeknd, all moody shadows and flittering light. Smooth sub-bass creates a bedrock for twinkling, chiming electronics and vocal flourishes, with an atmospheric background choir, like an afternoon in Alice In Wonderland’s flower garden.

Jonah4Lyfe vocals give the nightside beats a melodic catchiness, with a warm soulful warble, to balance out much of alt-R&B’s often dismal, sad sack vibes. “The Way You Make Me Feel” feels entirely au curant and of the moment, but Elyah’s debut single has a touch of the timeless, with a truly epic, soaring guitar solo in the outro that would do Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour proud.

Not a lot is known about Elyah yet, but we will be hearing more from this talented producer, and Jonah4Lyfe. You heard it here first, at We Are: The Guard.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.