We had a chance to talk to a beautiful, talented singer/songwriter based out of Los Angeles named Kristine Elezaj. The New York-born artist and model took a few minutes out of her day to chat with us about her latest music video, a bit about her songwriting process, as well as, pointing out the difference regarding the music industry between the the East and West coasts. It is fascinating and we hope you enjoy our chat with the brilliant Kristine Elezaj!
Lemonade Magazine: Hi, Kristine! Thank you so much! Since a good portion of our readers are just being introduced to you. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Kristine Elezaj: Hi! I’m Albanian/Italian decent born in New York. I’ve fell in love with the arts at a young age, I started ballet when I was 3. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, that gave me the drive to follow in their footsteps in my own lane through the music industry. Now living in Los Angeles, I started ZAJ Entertainment which is the home for all my music.
LM: You have been working with the legendary songwriting/producing duo, Ashford & Simpson. What is one of the biggest lessons or tips you have learned during your sessions?
KE: Nick [Ashford] and Valerie [Simpson] were actually the reason I started writing after high school. They mentored my writing after hearing me sing one night at their spot the Sugar Bar in NYC. This started me off on my professional path with music. The biggest lesson they taught me stretched even further than writing. When you start off as an artist you get pulled in so many different directions and what the right thing to do artistically is. From the beginning Nick and Valerie always pushed me to stay true to myself, my values and my vision.
LM: There is quote on your website that says, “Love is one of my favorite topics to write about.” What is so enticing about that particular emotion that inspires you?
KE: There’s so much depth to love. It’s the force that drives everything that we do. It’s pure passion behind our work, our interests and in our relationships, it’s
hard not to be inspired by it.
KE: Thank you so much! I think the setting fit the mood of the song perfectly. I felt that the visuals for the video needed to complement the feeling that was already being felt with the music. “Over & Over” is simply about love and how it can feel brand new when you’re with that special person. I didn’t want to overthink the music video. I wanted the setting to feel timeless and romantic.
LM: The single is sensual and vulnerable as well. How are you able to concentrate the depth emotions into your songwriting?
KE: I’ve been really trying hard with this new material to just be as free and open as I possibly can. Who I am as an artist is just an extension of who I am as a woman and what I’ve learned from life. It can be scary being that vulnerable but it’s so rewarding when I’m being that honest with my heart. The goal is that but you never know if that is how it will be perceived so hearing you say that makes me happy to know it’s felt!
LM: You were born in New York City, but moved to Los Angeles. What kind of differences do you notice in the music industry between the two cities?
KE: Both cities are pretty amazing, but over the years I feel that more of the music industry became based in Los Angeles. There are more writers and producers there. At one point, it was pretty even towards the beginning of my career but I think the vibe in LA attracts artists because of the weather. You still have the labels on the East coast but eventually the creatives started moving west so the music industry presence is felt more in Los Angeles to me now.
LM: Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us and congratulations on the success of the new video. Cannot wait to hear more!
KE: Thank you so much for chatting with me and giving me the opportunity to share the new single with you guys! I can’t wait to share more with you soon!
Check out the music video for “Over & Over” by Kristine Elezaj on YouTube below and do not forget to pick up the single on iTunes now!
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