Since her early start in the music industry, singer songwriter Elle has had tremendous success. She has had her music placed in films and TV – including on The Hills and CSI, to name just a few – has released several tracks, and written more than 1200 songs to date.
Elle has solidified her reputation in the industry and, below, she tells us more about what she has her sights set on next and why she feels that singing is a way to give a voice to those who don’t have one.
How did you make your start as a singer and songwriter?
I used to watch my parents sing karaoke and I loved it. I remember singing karaoke at restaurants and bars when I was around 8! Then my dad bought a piano when I was 10 and I started playing it by ear. By the time I was 11 years old I was writing fully structured songs. On a trip to Sam Ash with my dad to buy me a synthesizer when I was 12 years old, I was singing to myself and playing all the pianos there and one of the Sam Ash employees named Darrell took notice. He invited me to record at his buddy’s studio. From then on I’d be in the studio any chance I got. I attended a music convention in Chicago called Mobfest at the age of 14 and there was a listening panel with LA REID as one of the main guests. I played one of my songs for him and he personally offered me my first publishing deal which I signed at the age of 15 with his formed publishing company called HITCO Publishing. I signed my second publishing deal with Radar Music/BMG and was able to then move to Los Angeles. Once I got here I was constantly in sessions collaborating with such talented producers, songwriters, and artists. It took a while, but I built a reputation for myself and worked my way up the ladder. In the last two years I signed my third publishing deal with legendary Producer Rodney Jerkins. I am now also focusing on my own artist career as well and have had some success in the EDM music genre.
What’s your singing dream? Any major goals?
My goal is to give people just like me an outlet through music. I remember some of the worst points of my life that only music could have ever healed because the power of music is almighty. I feel blessed to have ‘a way with words’. Some people don’t know how to put their feelings down on paper or in a song and I want to do it for them. I want to give them that. Everyone needs that. There’s nothing like stumbling upon a song that makes you feel like all your emotions as a human being make sense. I’d love to travel the universe doing this. My ultimate dream is to somehow use my gifts with music to save suffering animals. I very much love animals, children, and anyone who struggles to have a voice. I’d like to share mine for them.
What are your upcoming releases?
I have 2 more songs coming out on Armada Records, a song coming out on Spinnin Records and a couple out on Universal.
Tell us about your songwriting process – is there a particular way you tackle the topline?
The way I write isn’t always the same. The majority of the time I’ll listen to the track or play some chords on the piano and hum melodies over the mic in gibberish. When I do this I always feel like an escaped sim from the video game The Sims! This allows me to have all the improvised melodies recorded (so I don’t forget them) and I can go through all of them to see if any stand out. I usually piece certain parts together if I find melodies I like and then I can get a feeling for what the song should be about based on the ‘mood’ of the melodies. The words usually just kind of come to me.
As a singer/songwriter what is your biggest success to date?
My biggest success to date was the track Paris Blohm track “Into Dust” that came out on Trap Nation & Lowley Palace. It surpassed 3 million views on YouTube, 800,000 Streams on SoundCloud and 1 Million plays on Spotify. It hit #1 on the Dance/EDM SoundCloud charts worldwide and held the spot for two whole days!
Who would you most like to work with, and why?
Chris Martin and Max Martin. The double Martin’s! Haha! Chris because, little does he know, he taught me almost everything I know. He showed me the emotional aspects of vocals, he gave me the ultimate outlet – putting my feelings on paper – even though we’ve never met. And his writing abilities are beyond impressive to me. I love how he asks questions in his lyrics, or says something poetic but vague enough to leave to the listener to interpret for themselves. I honed my craft in writing by studying his. Max Martin is the best pop song writer I’ve ever come across. He seems to be extremely articulate and can distinguish patterns in music in a way that most people can’t. It seems as though there is a mathematical equation to sound that he has solved. He is the guru of hit pop songs and I would love to study him in person.
Which artists do you find the most inspiring?
I can find inspiration in all artists. It takes a lot for anyone to get up on stage and entertain and to make it a lifestyle, but the artists I’m inspired by the most are the innovators and trendsetters such as Imogen Heap. She invents new things herself. She collects her own sounds. She writes. She is a true creator. Other artists like Sarah MchLachlan who stand for something bigger than themselves – in her case, animal rights. Those are very powerful kinds of artists.
What’s your home studio set up like?
Definitely have a home set up – life sucks without one. I have a very basic one that does the job. A pair of M-audio BX5a’s, some Seinheisser headphones, a Sterling Audio ST59 mic,presonus audiobox 44VSL and Studio One 3 as my designated DAW.
How did you find singing jobs before Vocalizr?
Word of mouth and networking. When topliners or producers around LA needed a female vocalist for hire they’d get a hold of me either through references or working with them directly.
Have you made new connections through Vocalizr? Has it opened any doors for you?
Yes actually I’ve made a ton of new connections on Vocalizr and have multiple songs with Armada in the works that originally stemmed from songs I did on Vocalizr. It’s a pretty dope website, I must say!
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what are 3 things you couldn’t live without?
My glasses (since I wouldn’t be able to see life without them), my dogs, and my asthma/allergy medication so I don’t die of an asthma attack at some point!