E-Leven and Continental T, collectively known as ME, didn’t grow up together or in the same neighborhood. Amazingly they met from across the sea – one from Lyon, France; the other Houston, Texas. They met randomly via the internet, and now bring us the fruit of their collaboration; an inventive combination of their individual stories. On November 8, 2011, ME released their mixtape This Is ME, to be followed by a full-length album in Spring 2012, both via the France-based Atmosphériques label.
It was only a question of time for E-Leven, the Lyon-born young man was destined to live a musical life. With his albums of Stevie Wonder, Supertramp and Kanye West as sole teachers, he started to play the piano, then went on to bass, guitar and then drums. Moving to the Paris region to study sound engineering, he unknowingly embarked on a life of new experiences. One evening, he signed up for a contest by TalentHouse, a music competition initiated by American producer Ryan Leslie (Mary J. Blige, Rick Ross, Booba…). He landed in the final three and, although he didn’t win, he still came out on top. Across the pond, Continental T was already living the dream as a young writer/producer with a career on the verge of taking off. One evening as he was browsing through the Talent House finalists and E-Leven blew Continental T‘s mind. After exchanging emails, tracks, and chatting on Skype, the beginning of an artistic union was about to begin, and T was soon on a plane to Paris.
There was a connection and sparks flew. They had obvious chemistry, especially in the studio: E-Leven composed and played, Continental T thought of beat ideas, hummed and made his mark. Together they defined with a few chords the sound of ME. It consists in subtle guitar lines and unabashed piano parts, The Neptunes’ modern take on production and The Roots’ digital forays.
Behind the tranquil gaze of the two brothers lies a volcano of creativity, fueled by a desire to play around with a wide range of influences, resulting in music with high emotional impact. Apart from the record, the gigs and the friendship that has developed from this chance encounter, ME also tells the story of a genre that emerged in the streets of New York, digested 30 years later by two artists on either side of the Atlantic. Something has lived on, and that something is ME.