Defying the cultural norms
The music industry has grown into a diverse place where inclusivity is a natural practice. There are multiple genres represented by artists from different countries, ethnicities, and cultures. Elliott Douglas, aka M.A.G.S, is an artist pushing the boundaries of cultural norms and hoping to encourage supporters to do the same.
Douglas’s musical journey started at a young age as he learned how to play instruments at his parent’s church.
“I started playing music in my dad’s church, and a lot of my first experiences with music started in the church, and with my dad being the worship pastor, I was playing the instruments a lot,” Douglas said as he talked about his early years learning how to play instruments. “All of my siblings are musically inclined as well, so I was also spending a lot of time at home playing and listening to music with them while learning how to write music too.”
Douglas continued his musical journey into his teenage years as he started to develop his brand by branching out and listening to different kinds of music.
“Because of the sheltered nature of being raised as the pastor kid, there was a lot of music I wasn’t allowed to listen to, but at some point, I started to find my way and own music,” he said in describing the transition from gospel music to other genres. “It wasn’t until I was 17 or 18 that I learned how to play the guitar and started recording myself, so before I knew it, I was experimenting in the studio.”
Douglas focused on being an artist after learning about his distant relation to a world-famous musician.
“As I was watching the Jimmy Hendrix documentary, my mom informed me that my family are distant cousins with Jimmy Hendrix, and that’s when I realized this is in my blood, and I have to do something with it,” Douglas said. He also points out that in his 20s he was in various bands and decided it was time to go solo because he wanted to do his own thing and didn’t want to question other people’s commitment to their music.
“I wasn’t raised around Black people, so I wasn’t that familiar with what was going on in Black culture music-wise,” he said. “When I first listened to rock music, I felt every guitar string and drum hit in my soul, and I didn’t question whether this music was for me because I connected with it from the first listen.”
Douglas commented on certain “stigmas” surrounding Black culture’s lack of connection to rock and roll.
“It never really crossed my mind that Black people weren’t into rock music, and it wasn’t until I was older that I realized that there weren’t other people that looked like me when I would go to concerts.”
Douglas recognized this, and it actually helped him with his music as he dived into the hip-hop world and was able to incorporate some sounds into his own music, which has now helped him develop his new project “Destroyer,” which releases on Aug. 4 and wants people to take a chance and try his music even if they aren’t used to listening to rock.
Visit the link M.A.G.S. - Sins (orcd.co) to hear some of Douglas’ music.