Review Fix chats with Elsie and the Vibe!, who discusses her origin in music and goals for the future.
Review Fix: How’d you get involved in music?
Elsie: I grew up playing the piano which really provided the foundation of my musical understanding. I’ve also been writing songs since I was about 14 years old – it’s something I’ve always done as an emotional release. Creating and performing music is a huge part of who I am and I wouldn’t feel whole without it.
Review Fix: Who influences your sound the most?
Elsie: I’m really drawn towards female singers with powerful voices. When I was a teenager I discovered artists like Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys, and I used to listen to their albums on repeat and try to teach myself to sing in the same way that they were. Through those artists I found R&B music, and then soul music. I’d say I’m most influenced by the soul music that came out of the 1960s.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Elsie: There are two main ways that I’ll write a song – either out of emotional necessity, or because I’ll designate time to work on my music. If the music is written directly from an emotion that I am feeling in a given moment it could be on a train, or while I’m walking somewhere, or driving my car. I’ll usually just record the lyrics and melodies on my phone and then come back to it later. When I have designated time to work on my music, I’ll usually go back through my recordings, fine-tune my lyrics or try new arrangements.
For me, words and melodies are intimately linked. As soon as I have words I have a melody, and vice versa. I find that certain phrases should be sung in a particular way, and as soon as I change the lyrics, then I naturally change the melody too. When I’m writing I’ll usually just start singing words and melodies aloud, and as soon as I land on something I like I’ll sing through to the next line. I’ll end up singing something over and over until the song starts to take form.
Review Fix: What makes your new EP special?
Elsie: The EP was recorded over a number of years in Melbourne, Australia. I was extremely lucky to have worked with a number of extremely talented musicians, and two different producers who helped to shape the EP. I chose 5 songs that felt the most relevant for me at the time of recording, and they really reflect a particular period in my life.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you before?
Elsie: My music is a high energy yet intimate, passionate conversation between myself and the listener, spanning from Motown to RnB, gospel and pop music.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why should someone buy it?
Elsie: I like to think that my work is authentic and honest. I’ve also had the privilege to record and perform with amazing musicians that lifted my work to another level entirely.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Elsie: I’m releasing my EP July 7 and really looking forward to doing my EP launch show in Melbourne, Australia in August.
Review Fix: What do you feel you have to do to make your dreams in music come true?
Elsie: I feel like the answer to that question is constantly shifting and changing. I generally set myself another goal as soon as I’ve achieved the first one! In general, I’d love to be able to write music that makes a positive impact in some way and to be able to create a viable career playing and performing music.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Elsie: Playing more shows and recording more music!
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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