Music has been the vehicle in which 19-year old Eli Raybon has been using to escape from his small town life growing up in the southern areas of Mississippi, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Bands like The Smiths, The Killers, and Phoenix, whom he listened to while growing up, would eventually attribute to his own sound.
Raybon grew up with a strong musical upbringing. His father is a musician, and his father’s cousin Marty Raybon, has many chart hits with his band, Shenandoah. At the age of 16, Raybon began to seriously write songs, and by the age of 17, he began to become well-grounded in the areas of music recording and production. A year later, Raybon had released his debut album, The Machine & My Dilemma, which consisted of songs that delved into the constraints he felt while living in his hometown. As far as education, the aspiring musician left for schooling, doubling in a computer/mathematics major at a New York university, but decided to continue on his course onward toward refreshing his musical career, making the move to LA his golden opportunity towards this progression.
“30 Cents” is a record of the momentous months in 2016 when Raybon had first drove alone cross-country to his new destination, found a place to stay with a couple of friends, and stayed up late most nights to experiment with his gear.
In the music video, Raybon is dressed all up in a lime suit, which like the green bandanna that he had donned in his “Unsymmetrical” video that was also featured here on Withguitars, is a banner that symbolizes the forthcoming release of his Green EP. Both tracks will also be on the upcoming EP.
The clever music video for “30 Cents” is very Coldplay-esques with the action happening in reverse. The reverberating guitars and vocals that also exhibit a bit of echoing quality from the mic elicits a new wave beat. The vintage sound and attire in the video helps contribute to the spy thriller and espionage storyline. With a great 80’s retro themed sound, the steady drumming rhythms and funk coming from this jam nurtures a riveting and dynamic stance.
Eli Raybon, who associates the color green with “feeling particularly creative or crafty” reflects on the instances when he has chased after his own dreams: “It’s difficult to be brave enough to chase after what you really want. Moving to LA marked my triumph over the fear and hesitation of pursing my dreams.” Though the color also serves to represent as a self-deprecating tag on his fresh-faced experience, coming to LA and being considered ‘green’ to the music industry, Raybon proudly waves the color as a profound metaphor in his music video. Green has shown up more than once in his music videos and it has since earned its place in our sub-conscious as an enlightening marker on a rising and aspiring musician’s creative timeline. Raybon has learned to embrace his ‘newness’ by letting his projects grow on him and producing an image that is done both in style and in a classy manner. 7.8/10
“30 Cents” will be on his forthcoming Green EP, which was released in April.