The Moniker of Elonzo Wesley
by Emerald Butler
Elonzo Wesley is not who you first think he is or who they are. Rather than an actual person, Elonzo Wesley is more of an idea—no, that’s wrong. Elonzo Wesley was a person, a drummer, a husband, and a father personified by singer-songwriter and audio engineer Jeremy Davis in Carolina’s roots music scene.
“My dad’s name was Elonzo Wesley Davis,” Jeremy explains. “He passed away when I was eleven, and he always wanted to have a band.”
He grew up in a house full of records
by artists like The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and other folk and Americana music pioneers. Though he begged friends, Jeremy wasn’t very successful pulling a band together until after he graduated when he began an indie rock group with his sister and called it “Elonzo” in honor of his father.
However, Jeremy found that most of the bandmates he persuaded to play music with him didn’t share the same passion and goals. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in media arts, then moved to Atlanta to work at a recording studio.
“I liked being in the studio as an engineer, but I wanted to write songs and make my own music,” Jeremy realized. “I was trying to get a job at a much bigger studio…and I went to an interview with the studio manager, and she asked me what my goals were. I said I want to be an engineer and make records, but I’m a songwriter, and I want to do that too. She said, ‘well, you can’t do both.’ Now when I think back on it sounds so insane that somebody would say that because most people who produce records are also songwriters. That’s just how it works.”
While discouraging at the time, this interview helped Jeremy discover and define what he really wanted to do. Write, record, and perform his music.
The Elonzo Wesley group began shaping into the moniker that Jeremy envisioned. The group appeared as a trio and a solo acoustic act locally and nationally. Its music is genuine heartfelt folk
that sounds like a mixture of Bob Dylan and the Lumineers. With a fine collection of albums, singles, and EPs, Jeremy records his music himself thanks to today’s technology and his audio engineering experience. However, he shared that he would like to begin working with a producer to get an extra set of ears to help sculpt his next project.
“I want to work with some people to see how that affects the outcome of it. I know what I can do on my own in the studio, and it’s good. I’m proud of it. I’ve done a lot of records that way now, so I think it’s time to expand that. I do think that it would help me grow as an artist, in the studio especially, to work with some other people that can put their stamp on it and help me see things from a different perspective.”
Jeremy has written several songs throughout the pandemic to add to this new project. Although Jeremy doesn’t have a date yet for a release, the collection of songs is available on streaming platforms and the artist’s website. Elonzo Wesley already has a slew of show dates for this year throughout the Carolina’s and bordering states.