L'ART Magazine

L'ART Magazine

INTERVIEW: Elijah Shaw Gives Back

November 10, 2015 | D&L

Meet, Elijah Shaw, the gentleman known as being the ‘bodyguard to the stars’, due to his executive protection and private investigation services.

People from around the world fly to the US to work with him and he has successfully taken clients in and out of some of the most dangerous places on the planet, including Palestine, Angola and Ferguson during the riots.

Having grown up in a notorious Chicago inner city housing project, Elijah continues to succeed and help others at the same time, as the Security Consulting Firm (ICON Global) he started not only benefits his clients, but has also led to inner city youth and victims of domestic violence aiding from his help too.

So what does the man himself think about being labelled ‘bodyguard to the stars’?

“Most of the time when I hear that term, it’s meant as a compliment, so I take it as a compliment,” Elijah said. “In our profession, we work a lot behind the scenes. The fact that I’ve been able to make some brand penetration, with myself and my work, that’s good.” Particularly when 90% of your work is maintained by referrals; his company is definitely valued highly by his clients wouldn’t you say?

It’s because of this why we wanted to know, what attributes does the man himself personally think makes a great security guard…

“The people that do well in my industry are people that have quite a bit of pace,” he explained. “Once you learn the skill and the craft, the big piece is trying to make sure you can anticipate the client’s needs. When something happens you have to react. That pace and being able to stay focused and remember why you’re there…they’re some really good attributes.”

Since starting his own business back in 1998, Elijah started at the bottom and worked his way up in a working environment where being unique and outstanding at your job really matters. The safety of others is in your hands after all.

Making a mark with celebrities soon became Elijah’s niche and has seen him act as former head of security for the likes of Usher, Chaka Khan, Prince, 50 Cent, Diddy, Justin Bieber and more to date.

Although undoubtedly it’s created some great working memories and confidential relationships, it hasn’t always been about working with celebrities for Elijah, as there are still calls he gets from time to time from people who can’t afford his services. This saw the birth of a security net service in 1996, that provides a free service for victims of domestic violence.

“Just because they can’t afford the service, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a need,” he explained. Giving back and volunteering his time led to an overwhelming response and today Elijah and members of his staff provide support services for people with challenging needs through their work with the use of local shelters.

A passion for doing his work and helping others is what led Elijah to the role he’s in today and as he started learning and maturing in the business, it was then that he played towards his strengths in having experience with the entertainment industry and learnt a lot about himself too.

“Having that connection and being able to relate to potential clients, it’s worked out for me.

“Since I’ve began in the business, I think I’ve become more aware of cause and effect. The big part of what we do is prevention,” so for anyone out there wanting to get into the field, remember “identify, prevent and nip it in the bud”.

Being able to travel with his job led Elijah to discover a passion for photography, in particular nature and architecture, whilst capturing the best attributes of the places he was visiting.

“I put them up on a website (www.lifeupthere.com). I thought if the pictures were made to sell, I could take the proceeds to benefit somebody else,” and although self taught, the proceeds go towards purchasing cameras for inner city youths to equip them with a means to a creative outlet. Now that’s a great way to enjoy a hobby and allow others to benefit at the same time!

A passion for keeping people safe, clients & victims of domestic violence included, plus giving back to the young generation; is there no end to his talents? Check out Elijah’s photography skills on site and when you next think of your favourite celebrity, who knows, Elijah and his team may just be on hand to protect…

Connect with Elijah;




Photo Credit: Dwayne Franklin