Thank you so much for having me. I’ve been great. So far, 2016 has been a phenomenal year of writing, hibernating, and planning for the road ahead. Being a musician has been a lifelong passion, so to start to feel the ground moving under my feet is pretty incredible. I’m excited and I’m ready for what’s ahead.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Be Okay”?
Absolutely. The craft of songwriting can really put you through the ringer. 90% of the time I spend working on songs feels like I’m trying to pull something intangible out of thin air with my bare hands. But on some magical occasions, a song will just fall out of nowhere and into my lap like a gift. “Be Okay” unfolded like that – I followed a feeling that wanted to be heard, and in just two hours the song was complete.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
“Be Okay” came from multiple places. I’m fascinated by self-actualization and how life conspires to make us the people we become. When I was 11 my parents divorced, and only three years later my father passed away. The years that followed were full of a lot of sadness and self-destruction, depression, and internal loneliness, but I came out of it all standing on my own two feet and feeling grateful to be alive.
Our families, our surroundings, our heartbreaks, our choices – so many things play into the recipe that somehow makes us who we are at any given moment. Writing “Be Okay” was very much about my gratitude for the things and people that have shaped me, and a tribute to the hope that sometimes keeps us alive.
Any plans to release a video to go along with the song?
Yes! It’s in its pre-infancy stages, but I’m looking forward to working on that as well.
How was the recording and writing process?
As I said, the writing process was miraculous and a huge catharsis for me. I think you can feel that catharsis in the song itself.
I produced and recorded this song with a friend I met through one of my favorite artist resources, The Artist’s Circle by Wendy Parr. It’s a community + event series that has been crucial for me to grow as an artist and meet other musicians. That’s where I met writer/producer Travis Fitzsimmons, and we brought everything to life at his studio in Brooklyn. I also got to work with a live cellist, and play with Travis’ cats every day. It was perfect.
This is your first single as a solo artist – what would you say are the differences between this new work and your previous material?
The songs I had made 5 or 6 years ago were written from such a different place in my life; I was less sure, less open, and had less vision for myself artistically. But I knew that I wanted to make it work, so I kept going forward somewhat blindly in the dark, and ended up coming across the right people at the right times. “Be Okay” is part of an EP’s worth of new songs that are more vulnerable and organic, exploring things I hadn’t realized I could express in music before. And this single sort of addresses that exact experience of having life work out in an incredible way, despite (or maybe because of) the detours.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?
I’m looking into creating my first EP this year. But there’s no date set, so that’s just between you and me and 120,000 Twitter followers.
Any plans to hit the road?
Absolutely, and I can’t wait! While dates are still being finalized, I’m looking forward to getting out along the East Coast and inland down South in 2016. There are so many amazing places to play and people to meet.
What else is happening next in Angela Elia’s world?
After my release show on March 3 at Sidewalk Cafe in NYC, I’m looking forward to diving in head first to a busy performing schedule here in the city. Lots of writing sessions, both solo and some cool collaborations. Plus as much volunteer work and community connection as I can get my hands on. I really want to use music to give back to the world, and I’m learning that it starts right here at home.