Enter The Visionary House Of EL

If I had to define the word ‘tranquil’ with a song, the first choice would be ‘Slow Down’ by emerging musical genius House Of EL, who just dropped his new project, ‘When it Rains It Pours,’ as a compilation of sonic entries on the human experience in the middle of calamity.

Kieron McIntosh, as House Of EL, treats creativity with respect and, most of all, humility. With the newly instated agenda of letting life take its course, McIntosh taps into his inner child energy of limitless flow of vivid imagination and wide-eyed self-expression.

His musicianship stems from his days as a jazz trumpeter and an improvising talent that extended into House Of EL’s phase into producing and songwriting. McIntosh has been creatively involved with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Mary J Blige, Sam Smith, Janelle Monae, Emili Sandé, and more. In our conversation, he highlights his studio sessions with Plan B.

Stepping out as a solo musician, House Of EL has entered the chat and coined his signature sound. With only a few years on the scene, House Of EL has shared two career-sharping projects that speak loudly about his creative tendencies and conceptual inspirations.

On the debut project, ‘BOOK OF EL,‘ he attacks subjects headstrong with inputs on identity, love, and inequality. Moving forward and upward, House Of EL flows into the forefront of authentic songwriting with a new EP ‘When It Rains It Pours.’ This 4-track take-on on the current human experience, where chaos and adversity play a significant role in global part-taking.

House Of EL moves with grace, and respect, cherishing each moment, patiently looking out for muses. ‘When It Rains It Pours’ showcases his genius musicality and truthful portrayal of his recent life discoveries.

Breathe, take everything in, and be present; House Of EL sits down with Noctis, uncovering childhood inspirations, life mantras, and plans that may or may not involve a visual short film.

What does your routine look like, if you have one? 

I like to wake up nice and early, have a little coffee then read then a little run or workout then I get to writing or taking calls or whatever I have on. Like I said before though I’m trying to leave space in my schedule to just live life, if you don’t let things flow a bit you can start to loose the juice that helps with creativity so I’m spending a lot of time doing nothing.

Were you musical as a child? 

I was very musical, banging on pots and pans (as basic as it sounds) I was always creating something, I actually loved making up comic strips and cartoon characters – always a vivid imagination. I think as a creative you’re always trying to tap into your inner child….so thanks for the reminder!

What music did you gravitate towards the most growing up? 

Like I said, I think I just loved creating things. I didn’t really care what it was, but slowly music took over. I had a little broken bomtempti organ you know the old ones with the preset rhythms inside it….hours of jamming! Then after getting lessons and switching to trumpet I took a bit more seriously. I remember making a drum kit out of my dinosaur toys, I was always making something. I think you can always get a good gauge for what you’ll be good at when you think about the things you liked as a kid.

As a producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, how do you approach a studio writing sessions for someone else compared to writing for yourself? 

So I write for others as well as myself, I think the journey in confidence to create from a true place with humility is the through line. I think I look for more similarities than differences, the fans can always tell if you write a crap lyric or if you’re lying so telling the truth is the key! Other than that, usually when writing for someone else they might have a specific idea and often you want to make sure you execute so you generally will finish a song in a day whereas when it’s for me I have so many unfinished bits that I need to come back to!…. thanks for the reminder on that one too! Let me get back to finishing these tunes….

You’ve worked alongside some of the biggest names in the industry, could you mention some of the most memorable moments? 

Yes, I think working in and around Plan B aka Ben Drew was such a rewarding time. He’s a real intense worker and creative we would start sessions at 1pm and not leave until 9am and then come straight back…it was intense but I learned a lot in those sessions. Many of the songs will probably never see the light of day but like I said, creating from a true place is the key… you have to do this thing as a creative with humility knowing that some songs may never come out but they still have their own special place in time.

What does your stage name House of EL stand for? 

It stands for light! I want to try to tell truth and follow what feels right creatively, so it’s also representative of a collective approach of creation in a way. I have so many incredible collaborators working with me from artwork, other vocalists to mixers and more. The House of EL moniker really encapsulates that feeling and my desire to work with a group vision over time

How does your 2022 EP ‘Book of EL’ compare to your 2023 project ‘When It Rains It Pours’? 

Interesting question.. I think Book Of EL was a project where I really wanted to go in on topics like identity, love and song’s like ‘Ocean Drops’ that really touched on my thoughts around war and inequality. ‘When It Rains it Pours’ really is sonically more intentionally up tempo throughout and the songs really relate to the wonder of being a human in the middle of calamity… I think there’s always a sonic through line with my music though so hopefully everything I do sits together and is relatable to different people.

Conceptually, what are you touching upon in ‘When It Rains It Pours’? 

‘When it Rains it Pours’ EP is really talking about the wonder of the world in the middle of calamity and the reality that often when things get bad they often get worse. Like in relationships sometimes things deteriorate so much that you think they can’t get worse, then they do but somehow you find a way through. Like the song ‘Say What You Want to Me’ is really about that kind of breakdown in relationship when you have got to the point where you don’t care, apathy is worse than hatred in my opinion…. like if you don’t care you’ve lost the ability to feel, at least hate is an emotion! But then ‘Slow Down’ touches on getting away from the pace of the world.

What were the main things you took away from getting through the global pandemic? 

I guess we saw the best and worse of what humans can do, you know ..at the beginning of the pandemic we were all together as people under the same circumstances sharing sugar, clapping, trying to make the best of things but then things turned and it became really difficult – especially  the pandemic also highlighted racism and inequality that is inbuilt in our system. I think all in all it’s really hopeful, you have to have hope, and the positives Outweigh the unfortunate negatives.

What helped you get through such isolating times? 

I think I got through it with the music really, just being creative everyday and trying to make something of each day became the objective. It ended up being a nice flow and almost difficult to getting back to going back to normal, I remember feeling a bit strange interacting with people again! But definitely then music helped and much of this music now came from that time, I really was triangulating around a sound that I feel is really beginning to come together now.

What is in store for you this year

This year, I keep saying it I’m staying open to the muses and I want to live life and try and reflect that through the things I create. I’ve got loads of music I want to release to get out there and we’re gonna do more shows in the near future with the band, I really want to make a visual short film around some music so I’m playing with that at the minute too!…

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Words: Karolina Kramplova