We had a few minutes to sit down with singer/songwriter, Elline, to chat about her new EP, Stained Glass, and quite a few other things! So let’s get right to it! Here is Elline!
Lemonade Magazine: Thanks for spending a few minutes with us. So tell us a bit about yourself.
Elline: I’m an LA-based independent singer-songwriter, and my music, influenced by R&B, electronic and pop, aims to provide a refreshing sound and empowering messages. I want to bring something meaningful to this world by challenging listeners’ perspectives and encouraging them to a reflective journey.
LM: I enjoy music with a story. Stained Glass is such a polished EP. You have an updated R&B sounds that is so classy. How did you come to find this as your signature sound?
Elline: My childhood consisted of a lot of VH1 and extensive Motown, pop, electronic and R&B records from the US and the UK, and in my college years I further explored these genres along with their foundations like jazz, blues and soul. I’ve always been drawn to lyrics with meaning and stories laced with edgy, fresh and bold production, and so marrying the soulful past with the innovative electronic nudge, turned out to be a natural fusion for me.
To achieve this sound for this EP, I decided to work with three fantastic producers: Felipe Mejia Saldarriaga, SUR, and Mateo Lewis, all of whom are also my good friends from college and highly sought-after professionals now. I believe it’s our shared tastes in music, friendship, my vision for Stained Glass and my writing style that brought us all together under one roof, and made the EP sound polished and distinctive.
LM: You graduated Berklee College of Music in Boston. What was it like going to school there and how did it shaped you as a musician and influence your style?
Elline: Berklee was a tremendous experience for me because every minute spent there felt worthwhile and rewarding. Being surrounded by musicians from all over the world, working with Grammy award nominees and winners, as well as prominent engineers, business people and artists in the industry, shaped me in many ways as a person and as an artist. The exposure to new music everyday has made me a more versatile performer and songwriter, while the density of talent and the school’s curriculum forced me to be creative and to build my own identity and a cohesive team around my sound and vision. My business degree also added to my confidence as an indie artist, by preparing me to be a business manager in my career and by offering me a realistic perspective of the music industry in America, and not only.
LM: That sounds like a fantastic experience! How was your experience making the music video for “Smoke + Mirrors”?
Elline: Fantastic! Since the song talks about a woman who’s lost her true self because she let herself be trapped by society’s definition of beauty, my vision for this video was to recreate a fashion model’s reel, but with a slightly dark, distant and disturbing twist. Director and fashion photographer from LA, Yves Huy Truong, caught this vision perfectly, and his talented crew made the video shoot so seamless that we wrapped everything in a few hours. It was a very rewarding experience for me as an artist to build a brief for makeup, styling and the overall concept of the video, and then see the video come to life with the help of true professionals.
LM: What artists inspire and influence you?
Elline: So many artists, old and new, inspire me, and I think that’s also why my music is so hard to pin down or box into a genre.
Sade has been by far the biggest catalyst and model for my music career. Her luscious, affirming and soothing voice, her refined look, her evident lack of interest in fame and her strong belief in the vision of her music (a midst current trends at the time and popular opinion) have encased her music as timeless, and her career continues to be my model.
I also credit Kimbra for my recent growth for sure. She inspired in me a need to push my comfort zones, my inhibition, and to explore sides of my writing that I have never done previously. Her incredible hands-on approach also motivates me to try and be even more involved in the production side of my music in the future.
LM: Do you plan on doing a tour to support Stained Glass?
Elline: Yes! I’m planning a Californian tour for 2016. All the details will be on my Facebook page or on my website.
LM: Speaking of touring, whom would your dream tour include?
Elline: Right now, I’d be over the moon opening for/playing with Disclosure or Kimbra. I could listen to their songs for hours.
Stained Glass by Elline is now available on iTunes!
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