Elijah Blake may be most famous for having written Usher’s wrenching No. 1 hit “Climax,” but the young singer-songwriter is expanding his catalog all the time. He also wrote “No Love Allowed” on Rihanna’s latest album, but more recently he’s been stepping out as an artist in his own right.

Blake appeared alongside Rick Ross on God Forgives, I Don’t cut “Presidential” and contributed vocals to recent tracks by Game and Keyshia Cole. Last week, he dropped Bijoux 22,  his first EP since signing to Def Jam under the guidance of No I.D. The eight-song suite is being hailed as some of the best work of the year, earning comparisons to The Weeknd and Frank Ocean.

Although the compliments are appreciated, Blake is very much his own artist with a unique sound and vision—neither as debauched as The Weeknd nor quite as vulnerable as Frank Ocean. But listen to his supple falsetto singing sensual, thought-provoking songs like "Vicky's Secret" and "XOX," which premiered right here on Complex, and you'll know that Blake's a major talent that cannot be denied.

Now managed by Roc Nation, Blake seems perfectly positioned as the next to blow in a major way. Read on to find out how he built his buzz and where he plans to take it from here.

As told to Rob Kenner (@boomshots)

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