Hi ELSKA, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thank you for having me! It’s been a tough season (I imagine this is true for most of us), but spring is in the air and brighter days are ahead.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hummingbird”?
“Hummingbird” is the one unapologetically joyful song on the record. It shows the hopeful, playful, flirty side of falling in love. In its essence, in a world filled with choices and distractions, if only this one hummingbird could find this particular flower…. “Hummingbird” was part of a dual release prior to Valentine’s Day. The other song released that weekend was the flip side, “Still Standing Still”, a heartbroken account of grief the lingering feelings of love toward someone.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
With “Still Standing Still”, nothing inspires a breakup song like the real deal, let’s just say that. But this record is filled with emotionally and socially charged songs, and it needed a little fun. “Hummingbird” is the hope of spring, joy, love, all good things.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
To be honest, a little emotional. My world is music, and once in a while, I struggle with being on that side of the camera, especially when it feels so vulnerable. But heartbreak is real, moving through grief is healthy, and crying is just a part of life. We can all model that for each other.
The single comes off your new album On The Shoulders Of Giants – what’s the story behind the title?
In the fall of 2020, I had the privilege of being included on the #MeTooMPLS compilation record, with the song that became the title track to this record, “On the Shoulders of Giants”. In short, we are not self-made; each of us is pulled up by the generations that came before us, whether we’re discussing social justice, policy making, science, innovation, etc.
In this song, I’m specifically referring to the women who have relentlessly forged a path for the women and girls of today. I think of my own mother, and my grandmothers. Their work and sacrifice gave us our platforms, our voices, our strength, and the progress each of us may make, which our daughters will continue. It is an honor to carry their torch. It will be an honor to pass the torch.
How was the recording and writing process?
Challenging, emotional, fulfilling, exhausting, exhilarating… so many things. To hear these seedling ideas grow into these big, beautiful productions has been the most gratifying and humbling experience.
I am most grateful for my partner in music, Owen Sartori, who has seen this record through from its conception, starting with the writing process, moving through the entire production. This album would not exist without him.
What aspect of womanhood did you get to explore on this record?
Strength. The record begins with the firm foundation of sisterhood that built what we have today. There’s strength in self-advocacy and advocating for one another, in learning difficult lessons, in reclaiming power, in persisting. In fighting through very traumatic experiences and holding one another up, cheering each other along, and, sometimes, carrying one another. There’s also strength in rest, and in showing gratitude.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
The songs are a combination of my own experiences, and the social and political issues that are important to me. There are songs about mental health – in experience, and in the way we collectively talk about it – about climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and in the power we hold when we “Stand Together”.
What else is happening next in ELSKA’s world?
Getting this record out has been such a great experience, and there’s always so much to learn about the music industry (for example, I know more about metadata in music than I ever cared to know, but that’s a story for another time). Hopefully in the not-too-distant future, we’ll see the return of live shows and touring, but for now we need to keep each other safe. In the meantime, the best time to write the second album is while finishing up the first….
o Website — https://www.hielska.com/
o Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/hielska (@hielska)
o Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/hielska/ (@hielska)
o Twitter — https://twitter.com/hielska (@hielska)
o Bandcamp — https://hielska.bandcamp.com/releases