It is no longer up for debate that Elias Barouche, formerly known as Solid Stone, is a staple amongst MTL’s underground finest producers & DJs. As an artist, he has an impressive CV of releases on monstruous labels such as Max Graham’s Re*Brand, Ferry Corsten’s Flashover, Ruben de Ronde’s Statement and Markus Schulz’s Coldhardbour, the latter on which he also released his first full-length artist album Introspection, in 2016. You might also know him as Diversion, an alias which led him to a streak of outstanding releases plus artist album, Connection, on equally outstanding Enhanced sub-label Colorize. His Refresh Radio podcast project stacked up a staggering 300 episodes over a period of 7 years, an amazing feat which ended 2 years ago with a 5-hour celebration journey through the realms of deep, dark, uplifting & floaty progressive sounds. As Phenomena’s label boss, he now proposes a self-released EP under his new alias Elias Erium. You can also hear him curate the finest in deep, progressive & melodic on his newest podcast venture: The Outer Experience.

Hello Elias, thanks for being with us today. First off, the big question. Why the change of name? How did it happen? What’s the process?

Hey thanks for having me! The name change idea originally came to me when I decided to create my label Phenomena a few years ago. With the transition to a new sound, I thought it would have been a good time to do it, but I just wasn’t ready to let go just yet. As time went on, I felt a sort of divide between my listeners, those who wanted the old me and those who liked the new sound. As much as I enjoyed working on this type of music in the past, every artist needs to evolve and find out and fine tune that which truly makes them flow musically. I finally decided, at the beginning of 2020, to create Elias Erium. After nearly two years of musical hiatus, I am excited to come back to fray with some exciting new music!

What can we expect from this new era, this 2.0 of yourself?

As always, I will try to continue delivering exciting and forward-thinking music where each track has its own story to tell. You will be able to hear quite a wide range of style, vibe and energy in between, which will keep things fresh.

You’ve quite recently released an amazing remix for Soul Button’s acclaimed label Steyoyoke, under that new moniker. How did that come to light? Care to tell us a bit more about that project?

I was approached by the original artist of Zenitude, Monarke, who is from Quebec City and a resident on Steyoyoke to remix one of the tracks from his newly released album. After the first listen of Zenitude, ideas started flowing. I knew I had to give this one the Elias Erium treatment!

In the past, you’ve cited playing Guy Laliberté’s PY1 project, as being one of your best gigs. Any other events, music-related or not, marked your career or your life in such a way?

Being invited to play for Armin’s A State Of Trance 750 in Toronto was a big highlight of my musical career. Such an impressive event and an honor to have been invited to be a part of it. Tell us a bit more about Phenomena, your label and what it stands for. Phenomena was intended to reflect the type of music I like to play in my sets and the sound I am going for. It also allows me the freedom to showcase music whenever I can.

Can you talk to us about our newest EP, on that same imprint?

Harvester is going to be a two track EP, filled with groovy hypnotic darkness and interesting soundscapes. This EP is the first of many on Phenomena for 2022! What is your biggest inspiration at the moment? That’s always a tough question for me. With every project I create I try to clear my mind of everything and let some fresh new thoughts and ideas take over, lead the way into the project.

Any other releases, collaborations or projects you can talk to us about?

Yes! Already planning something for mid spring! Will be planning a few original releases out this year and perhaps some remixes along the way!

Any gigs lined up for the future year that you can talk about?

There are a few things in the works. However, nothing is final, as the current situation with restrictions is making things a tad more complicated to plan. Hopefully soon! Working on a few things so…definitely stay tuned! Thank for your time Elias ! You can already purchase Elias Erium’s remix of Monarke’s Zenitude, out now on Steyoyoke. The Harvester EP will be out beginning of March, on his own imprint Phenomena.

Interview by Sebastien Kostello