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Ejijah Blake’s angelical, uplifting voice has quickly become a household name in the music industry. But the beautiful falsetto rendered by the Dominican Republic native comes from a background of pain and a troubled upbringing.

“I want to come to the broken guy like myself who has been abused as a child,” he told HipHollywood. “The abuse as a child was also a way of discipline. I actually understand it. My father is an island guy.”

Blake even sings about being harshly disciplined by his father at a young age in a song called, “6/Fallen.” “Six years old and I lied about the school grades
I told my mama that my daddy already reprimanded me,” he sings. “And when my father found out he beat me with a belt of leather/¬†Until my arms bled open and it caused my back to bleed.”

Blake tells us that he was able to take the “tensions” and put it into music. “What I offer to the music industry is honesty and sincerity. Just transparency that I think a lot of men are afraid of because they think it represents weakness. Where as I actually think it’s a sign of strength,” he said.

Elijah has penned hits for some of the biggest names in music, including Mary J. Blige, Rihanna and Usher. But now, the “I just Wanna” singer is stepping back into the spotlight with his debut album, Shadows & Diamonds. “If U2 and Dilla and Prince were to have a baby, what would it look like? It would look like Shadows & Diamonds,” he said about the project out now. “It’s church, it’s soulful, it’s electronic, it’s hip hop. But at the end of the day it’s true to me. You’re getting my identity, my DNA.”

Shadows & Diamonds is available now.

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