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Emerging Australian artist Elva talks music, life, and love

Caitlin Trude

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Musician Elva plans to release her debut album 'Ellia Blue' within the next few months. Credit: Frozen Instant Imagery.

Musician Elva plans to release her debut album ‘Ellia Blue’ within the next few months. Credit: Frozen Instant Imagery.

With her newly released single “When I’m Sleeping,” Australian musician Elva presents the world with a “warm fusion of gothic rock and the darker side of pop.”

Having recently worked on an EP project with Ashes of Eve, Elva is preparing to release her debut album “Ellia Blue” “a tribute to the loved and the unloved”, says Elva – within the next few months.  

Fans of the Dutch rock group Within Temptation, Evanescence,Nightwish, and similar artists will appreciate Elva’s beautifully haunting music set to the poetry written straight from her heart.

Elva’s two released singles “When I’m Sleeping” and “Moment” can be heard on her official website.

Foothill Dragon Press staff reporter Caitlin Trude carried out the following interview with Elva over email.

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Q:What was your life like growing up?

A: Though I was born in coastal New South Wales, I spent most of my childhood in south east Queensland, not far from the Gold Coast. It’s so beautiful there, all white sand and blue. I miss it, but try to get back to see my parents as often as I can. I feel so lucky that my parents were always so supportive of my early career choices – I owe them so much. Although my dad passed away when I was a teenager, my mother and step-dad are still so amazingly supportive and understanding of the choices (and sacrifices) that I’ve made whilst following my dreams. I feel really blessed to have such fantastic people behind me.

Q: How did your musical career get started?

A: Strangely enough, acting was my first love, and I was absolutely convinced I was going to be a wonderful actress some day. Fortunately, I came to my senses in my early teens and realized I really was rather terrible. I’d been writing music for several years before my change of heart and after putting acting aside, I finally had the time and inclination to put it all together and see what could come of it.

My parents funded the first productions of my original music – songs on cassette tape that my mum still keeps protectively locked away! I think she’s afraid that I’ll bin them if I find them! It’s funny, how awesome they seemed back then and how silly they sound now, when I hum the melody to myself.

Since those early days, I’ve been writing and recording and just having fun with my music. Writing is my outlet – my personal therapy, so to speak – and I’m certain I’d be a different person without it.

Q: What is the relationship between you and “Ashes of Eve”?

A:”Ashes of Evewas a project I worked on with producer Shannon Parkes on and off from 2008-2010. We had some moderate success with our self-titled EP, recorded in my spare bedroom on a second hand computer. Yep, it was gritty! But we put a lot of ourselves into those tracks and our fans seemed to respond to that. Due to the best kind of personal life “issues” (Shannon moved interstate, got married and now has a gorgeous wife), he was unable to continue full-time work on the album. I’ve taken a year off since then, just writing and living and writing about living; now back in the studio, recording my debut solo album.

Q: What can you tell me about your upcoming album “Ellia Blue”?

A: I think of Ellia Blue as a tribute to the loved and the unloved. It’s certainly a tribute to the great loves of my life and chronicles the rise and fall of the heart…oh, and then that big breath in again when you think it’s finally over but it turns out it isn’t. Huh, that sounds rather “poppy” but it’s so far from that. Writing for this album has been a really cathartic process for me, and the result feels so intensely personal.

Q: One of your released singles “When I’m Sleeping” seems to have garnered quite some success in Australia. What can you tell me about that particular song?

A: “When I’m Sleeping” is something I wrote on New Year’s Eve after a few too many glasses of champagne. Perhaps I wrote it as a dedication to a lost love, yet it was always meant to be a celebration of what was. When I was working with Ashes of Eve, Shannon was the first person to breathe life into the production of this track way back in 2008, and I’ll always be grateful for his beautiful interpretation of the song.

I decided to have “When I’m Sleeping” reproduced this year as the first release from my forthcoming solo album, Ellia Blue. It just seemed like the right thing to do, honoring my musical and emotional past, I guess. I worked with producer Tony Hunt of SonicBoy Studios to get this track ready for release and I’m really proud of how it’s come together and evolved into this entirely new expression of self.

Q: What inspired you to pursue this genre of music?

A: I’ve never been able to find a genre that really fits the music I’ve created… and although it’s not exactly unique, it’s a little different to what’s out there at the moment. Is it Gothic Rock? Not so much, and it’s certainly not pop, but whatever it is, it mashes up those genres and attempts to deliver something warm and touching. I hope I’ve succeeded. 

Q: Who are some of your musical inspirations?

A: Wow! I have so many. From the angelic voice of Darren Hayes to the sensual, gritty roar of The 69 Eyes, I could be here forever. Some of my favorites? Glorious female-fronted symphonic/gothic metal/rock musicians such as Nightwish and Within Temptation, the beautiful goddess that is Emilie Autumn. Pop-gothrockers such as Evanescence and legends such as Sisters of Mercy. I also absolutely adore classical and neo-classical music.

Q:Where do you draw the inspiration for your lyrics from?

A: I think this changes a little from song to song, yet like most songwriters I think, they’re based on my own experiences. I tend to think of each recording as a journal entry – a bookmark, I suppose – or a musical time-capsule. Every song captures a little part of my life and my heart.

Q: Which comes first – the music or lyrics?

A: Generally it all kinda pops in at once! Well, obviously the melodies and lyrics shape themselves more and more as the song nears completion, but in essence, it all just kinda happens together.

Q: Do you have any upcoming tours, collaborations, etc. planned in the future?

A: I’ll be working on getting my new album finished for at least the next couple of months, but absolutely looking to tour Australia and promote the new album when it’s released. An international tour is tentatively booked for mid-2012, though the details haven’t been finalized just yet! I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on the websites.

Q: I’ve noticed the question forum for your fans on Fan Bridge. What has your relationship with your fans been like thus far?

A: Incredible. I’m sure every artist feels the same, but I think I have the very best fans in the world. I feel so grateful that social networking and wonderful programs such as Fan Bridge exist. It makes keeping in touch with those that matter the most to me (my incredible friends and fans) so much easier, especially while I’m so busy with the album. The amount of love and support I’ve received has been overwhelming. I feel incredibly blessed.

Q: What’s a typical work day like in your shoes?

A: I absolutely love my job. It may not pay much, but I love every moment of it. It isn’t very interesting to hear about, though! At the moment, my work days are pretty regimented. All generally start with very slowly dragging my butt out of bed, eating something light and doing some gentle vocal exercises, before heading over to the studio. Generally, we sit down and go over the progress that the producer/engineers/session musicians have made on the tracks since I was last present and we’ll talk about what fits, what doesn’t, and what I think should change. If I’m recording vocals on that day, it’s into the vocal booth and if not, there’s a lot of sitting on the couch and being over-opinionated about the direction of the tracks we’re working on. A full day generally wraps up about 5 p.m. and I’ll head home usually clutching a USB stick with the day’s work on it.

Q: Overall, what are you hoping to accomplish through your music?

A: I’d like to inspire people to love with wild abandon… passionately and intensely… and to embrace whatever comes after. I’d like to reach people, maybe make someone feel as though they’re not alone. I may never make the world a better place, but I hope my music will have the power to show others a little spark of the beauty that I see already existing within each of us.

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Emerging Australian artist Elva talks music, life, and love