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Marching to His Own Drum: Eli Best '17

Marching to His Own Drum: Eli Best '17

When Eli Best '17 started at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in the fifth grade, his opportunities to pursue new interests, hobbies and skills were endless. But it didn’t take him long to figure out that, while he was finding success with athletics and academics throughout Middle School, his true passion lay elsewhere: he wanted to pursue music.

“I started playing the piano at the age of five, but I was always extremely curious about percussion instruments as a child,” Mr. Best said. “In eighth grade, I started teaching myself how to play the drum set, and I got my first electric guitar when I was 14.”

As a HIES Upper School student, Mr. Best continued to succeed in his academic pursuits and played all four years on the varsity soccer team. He had planned to play college soccer, but music was taking up more and more of his headspace, and he eventually decided to conclude his athletic career.

“My passion for soccer was just never as strong as my passion for music, despite the athletic potential that a lot of my peers and mentors pointed out that I had. In athletics, I tended to be very inconsistent in my performance, because a lot of times when I played, my head was somewhere else.”

Throughout his college years, Mr. Best worked to build a fanbase via live performances and online outlets like YouTube. Now several years into his pursuit of music as a full-time career, he isn’t deterred by the daily grind required to “make it” in the entertainment industry – rather, it inspires him to keep on pushing. 

“There will be people who like your content, and people who don’t. You just really have to consume yourself with your art. The most important thing of all is to believe in yourself.”