New Video: Staten Island’s Elaine Kristal Teams up with Produkt and Herve Alexandre on an Earnest and Soulful New Bop

Elaine Kristal is an emerging Staten Island-born and-based singer/songwriter, who can trace the origins of her music career to her childhood: a young music-loving Elaine Kristal took part in school plays at her elementary school — and she sung in the hallways of her school, wearing a bandana and hoop earrings, inspired by Alicia Keys.

She started performing her own music with one of her best friends, Mikey Fuego at a local open mic. The young, Staten Island-born and-based singer/songwriter quickly began to realize that people were coming to see her perform — and were learning the lyrics to her songs. When the entire place started singing along, Kristal realized she needed to seriously pursue music. “It’s a high I will never forget, and one I want to have for the rest of my life,” she says.

Last year, R&B singer Tank launched the “Can We Talk Challenge” on Tik Tok. The challenge required participants to sing the hook to Tevin Campbell‘s 1993 hit single. Kristal, refused to sit on the sidelines, knowing she could contribute to the challenge while making one of her favorite vocalists proud. Her contribution quickly amassed over 40,000 views with the video being favorited over 400 times.

Naturally, the Staten Island-born and-based vocalist was ecstatic by the positive response she received. Then a Tik Tok user questioned the young, emerging artist’s talent and ability in the comments. She responded swiftly, singing the hook to “Can We Talk” a cappella while pounding her fist on a stage platform. “When I saw the comment my first reaction was “Oh word”, he really went there?” explained Elaine. “I take this VERY serious and my pride couldn’t let it go so I just walked over to this stage located in the studio complex I record in and just started pounding my fist while I sang a cappella.” Kristal continues, “Here I am with limited hours in a day trying to divide my time between recording new music, promoting recently released tracks, and preparing for the release of my new new single ‘Nasty In The Morning’ and now I’m replying to thousands of comments on my page.”

In the past year, the #CanWeTalkChallenge has become a viral sensation with thousands of entries across the world and over 20 million views of the hashtag. The Staten Island-based artist has 250,000 of those views, with over 3,000 comments, 48,000 likes — and has seen a 500% growth in followers on the platform. In fact, she’s in the Top 10 of the challenge, alongside X Factor USA season one winner Melanie Amaro and rapper Joyner Lucas while surpassing established artists like Lil Mama, Anthony Hamilton, 112‘s Q and Bobby Valentino. “2021 was hard for so many people including myself, but there were also many developments that made it tough to see last year end” Kristal says.

Elaine Kristal hopes to build upon the momentum of the #CanWeTalkChallenge. Her latest single “Love Over Living” is a slickly produced, radio and club friendly bop that features a soulful saxophone by Herve Alexandre, looping acoustic guitar and skittering, tweeter and woofer rocking trap beats. The Staten Island-based artist’s easy-going vocals effortlessly glide over a production that nods at Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys-like hip-hop soul, contemporary pop and trap. Interestingly, underneath the contemporary production is a sweet, old-school love song in which the narrator expresses the age old “us against the world, baby” sentiment. Local emcee and labelmate Produkt contributes a couple of lovestruck verses describes how he feels about his “round-the-way girl,” who keeps it real — and is ride or die. It’s honestly, the sort of earnest love song that you don’t hear that you don’t hear too often these days.

As the emerging artist explains the song offers a simple yet profound message of how the power of love can get us through the darkest moments of our lives.

The recently released video for “Love Over Living” portrays the young Staten Island artist as a down-to-earth, round the way girl. We follow the two artists as they drive around town in a gorgeous, turquoise speedster — notably on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the FDR Drive and the West Side Highway. We also see them stop by a neighborhood bodega.