Prodigies are rare. To be young and gifted can be exciting, frustrating and challenging all at the same time. When Elliott Didur realized that he might have some of that passion, he was young and recognized it was an opportunity to explore an instrument that was thrilling to him Now, at the age of 19, Didur has already spent more than half of his life performing on stages ranging from local clubs to 15,000 seat venues.
“I realized early on that I could learn techniques and songs quickly,” Didur explains. “Learning some of my favorite songs on guitar was initially what made it fun when I first started out. Playing lots of guitar based music got me familiar with scales and how to maneuver on a fret board. Once I had a guitar and understood some of the basics from lessons, I would practice all day and eventually could teach more and more to myself. It definitely is a skill though that I sharpened over time (and continue to do so) through a lot of practice.” He adds
Didur’s talents not only as a guitarist, but also as a songwriter, producer and singer, are showcased on his project, BATTLE CRY. This new 10 song LP, recorded and produced by Grammy nominated producer, engineer and composer, Scotty Wilbanks (Need to Breathe, Third Day) at The Rockporium in Atlanta, GA and The Bakery in Nashville, TN, takes the listener on the gritty journey inspired and deeply seeded in Didur’s upbringing in Youngstown, OH.
Poised to follow in the footsteps of artists such as Ryan Tedder of One Republic or producer/artist Butch Walker Didur produces, writes and performs and his modern pop music is an original balance of rock in the vein of groups like 30 Seconds to Mars, Fall Out Boy, and Imagine Dragons yet with the pop sensibility of Maroon Five, Lifehouse, and One Republic.
Adding to the team of talented artists on the album, Josh Reedy (Bass) and Chris Kimmerer (Drums) came on loan courtesy of the 2015 CMA Best New Country Artist nominee Thomas Rhett. Players also included DecemberRadio’s Brian Bunn (electric guitars) and Chad Russel (acoustic guitars). In addition to Vocals, Background Vocals, Elliott played Guitar, Sitar, and did editing.
The album was mixed by Jon Kaplan (Gavin DeGraw, Parachute, Sara Bareilles, Augustana, Mellissa Ethridge), and mastered by Richard Dodd (Kings of Leon, Moon Taxi, Keb ‘Mo’, Bob Seeger, Roy Orbison, Jason Aldean, MUTEMATH,)
“During the recording process there were a lot of different things that turned out better than I could have planned,” Didur explains. “Things such as tracking lap steel with candle jars and recording sitars on “Let Go”, playing banjo through high gain amps on “Not Afraid”, using vintage guitars through handheld battery powered amplifiers on “High Horizon”... Things that may not be totally normal... But if it sounds good then it IS good,” he says.
Interestingly, although Didur’s record falls into the pop/rock vein, many of the people who worked on the album are primarily country musicians. “Having them work on this record definitely brought a lot of different ideas and influences to the table in a good way,” Didur adds.
The making of BATTLE CRY was a lot like going to school for Didur. “Leading up to the production, I had to really develop my songwriting, start working with a vocal coach. By the end I was producing, learning engineering, recording, and mixing techniques and ended up doing editing on various songs on my record. The whole process opened my eyes to what it takes to make a record and to how I approach making music in general. It was more than making just a record. It was a leap towards becoming a better musician in all areas,” he adds.
Playing guitar since the age of 7, Didur began adding singing to his repertoire shortly thereafter, and by age 12 he was impressing audiences in local Ohio clubs using a violin bow to flawlessly recreate Jimmy Page’s classic ‘Dazed and Confused.’ Early influences such as Bob Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, Kid Rock, and Blink 182 helped shape the type of artist Didur wished to be.
It’s hard to remove the influence of Didur’s Youngstown, Ohio upbringing from his music. Didur’s lyrics and music convey a deep sense of love for life and this region that he calls home. These elements are perhaps what give Didur’s music a simultaneous sense of sorrow and hope combined with a gritty truth and rawness that brings an honesty to every note he plays and sings.
When it comes to songwriting, he’s inspired by his life experiences. “It can start from something I heard somebody say or even a phrase that came to mind in the moment,” he explains. “For example, one of my songs “Wishing Well” is one that I came up with the chorus one day while doing vocal exercises. The melody came to mind and the lyrics happened quickly. I didn’t analyze it. It just felt right. It’s great to go with your first gut instinct during the creative process, because a lot of the times the best ideas happen when you’re trying to not over- think things. In that song, the verse lyrics say “We walk on tight ropes when the wind blows, just to feel the air that some don’t. And sometimes it’s alright to look down and open your eyes.” To me, the song is about taking chances, always going after what you believe in, and never giving up,” he adds.
The album also spurred the creation of a four-song Music Video Anthology, by writer/director Michael Birkland, that can best be described as a short film. http://smarturl.it/theanthology It spans four of the album’s songs and unfolds over 4 episodic music videos. It tells the story of a young girl in crisis and the consequences of the choices she will make. A battle ensues for her future that will require traveling back into her past. The videos star Elliott Didur, Anna Rose Van Matre (NEXT Models Los Angeles) and Emmy nominated Actor Melissa Reeves (Days of Our Lives) and Scott Reeves actor -Days of Our Lives General Hospital,Nashville) and who is an artist and hit-songwriter . The video is fashioned in such a way as to thematically showcase the power and strength of Didur’s lyrics and musical abilities as an artist.
Didur is always learning. He recently relocated to Nashville to be near a team of professionals headed up by industry veteran and innovator Loren Johnson. “We are focused on creating a solid foundation and a platform around my career as an artist, producer and songwriter.” “Now, more than ever, I realize how much it matters to be a consistent player on recordings and to grow and learn as much about the business side as well. The better the performance is going in, the better it will be coming out. I’ve heard people say that in the past, but now I truly understand how important it is.”
For more information on Elliot Didur and BATTLE CRY, visit, www.ELLIOTTDIDUR.com or contact Loren Johnson C.E.O. (877) 837-2954