Thanks so much for talking with me! I’ve been great- super happy to be doing this interview.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Few Words”?
Absolutely! In terms of style and mood, “Few Words” joins together aspects of Contemporary R&B, Soul, and Pop. It’s a lot of fun to sing because the vocal melody varies throughout the song and lets me cover a range, from the richness of my lower register to bright falsetto-there’s a lot of room to “play,” and as a lyricist/vocalist that’s always so much fun! In terms of subject, it’s written from the perspective of someone weighing the sustainability of a long-distance relationship, and whether loving someone in the best way means holding on, or letting go for growth, hoping it’s not a forever-goodbye. The lyrics eventually end with this back-and-forth process; searching for the consistency of this person and connection, and at the end of the day knowing you’re going to stay on their team no matter what that looks like along the way.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
100%. Long distance has played a pretty significant role in my life. The lyrics reflect the thoughts in my own head before solidifying a decision with my SO before a move. It’s tricky because when you love someone on a level that is bigger than yourself, you want to support them in the way that’s best for them. I try to be the best person I can be, and I truly believe that good people attract good people, which can make it difficult when everything else is on-point but circumstance and timing are out of your control. So what’s the right decision- do you let go, or hold on tighter? That’s the crux of the song. I’ve learned there’s no real “right” or “wrong” way to go about it, as long as there is respect, understanding and selfless love. At the end of the day I think it comes back to one of my favorite quotes by John Steinbeck: ‘If it’s right, it happens- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.’
Any plans to release a video for the single?
There won’t be a video for this single, but there will definitely be one coming down the pipeline with my EP release later this year! We are, however, using the cover art for “Few Words” as a starting point for theme and design in the future video (cover art credit to the crazy-talented Raul A Marez Art!).
How was the recording and writing process?
I’ve known my producer on this song for over 10 years now, so the process was very free-flowing and collaborative between the two of us. We recorded and produced “Few Words” solely in his studio, Auraltech Sound Lab. Craig sent me four bars or so (which can be heard at the very beginning of the song) on loop, and I loved the initial mood so much I began writing lyrics immediately! The next time I was in the studio I laid down vocals, and we built up the rest of the song together around the structure that the lyrics created. I’m very proud to write all my own lyrics, because it’s very personal to me, and I feel so lucky to have someone so talented to collaborate with on the music/composition side of things-He’s the best!
What role does Texas play in your music?
Dallas has always been home base for my immediate family. I spent a lot of time in the film industry in Los Angeles growing up, but Dallas will always be my “day one.” It’s where my best high school memories were made, where I went to college, where I figured out adult life for the first time, and also where I had most of my music “firsts.” All of those experiences directly influence the lyrics I write and decisions I make in the studio. Also, Auraltech (my fave/where we produced “Few Words”) is in Texas, so if we’re talking in literal terms, there’s that location influence too! Haha
How do you go on blending the Soul with the R&B?
In a way it’s unintentional; I love creating music that I can “feel” on a deeper level-anything that moves me. I’ve always gravitated toward the bass and rhythm sections in more classic R&B tracks, as well as the “floaty”/ethereal quality of more contemporary R&B styles. And I honestly can’t get away from the Soul, even if I wanted to! I think that will always be interwoven in my music because of my full lower register and the natural tonality of my voice. My favorite responses to my music are when people tell me it gave them chills, or describe my voice as ‘sultry’- that’s the best.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes! I’ve got another single mastered and ready for release, and I’m excited to be in the studio consistently this upcoming summer, working to finish my EP!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
My goal is to release another single later this spring, followed by an EP this fall. I have a couple favorite tracks already titled, but I won’t spill yet.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m excited about the opportunity to play single shows in and around Los Angeles and Dallas this year. Once I’m getting my EP off the ground this fall I’ll look more seriously into expanding on those opportunities as well.
What else is happening next in Elise’s world?
I’m always writing for and collaborating with other artists on their projects (I love writing for others!), and am continuing to audition for film roles in Los Angeles. I’m also on-court at Staples Center for almost every Clippers’ home game, as part of the Clippers Hoop Troop team! It’s an absolute blast- come say hi if you have a chance!