The amazing ELKAE had a chat with MNÁSOME ahead of her performance at MNÁSOME LIVE on the 13th of September at the Workman’s Club, Dublin. ELKAE talks about her relationship with music and songwriting, what and who inspires her and her thoughts on highlighting women in music.
What drives you to write and perform?
Well music has always been around me since I was a kid, it’s always been a huge part of my life and I really can’t see myself doing anything else. To be honest I think it’s that I feel most alive when I’m creating music or performing. It kind of gives me a purpose and makes the mundane things seem that bit more exciting when you can turn them into something at the end of it all. It’s also such a release to write about experiences I go through and helps figure out how I feel. It’s like free therapy!
What other musicians, or forms of art, do you take inspiration from when you are writing?
I feel like I take inspiration from nearly everything I listen to that has any kind of effect on me or that I like. It’s not all the one genre, hence why I like producing, I can take all the best bits from different genres and produce them electronically. I definitely started off listening to Christina Aguilera when I was really young, her album ‘Stripped’ had so much soul and piano in it. I love old school stuff like Steely Dan but also love Lianne la Havas, Alt-J, Daft Punk, Bon Iver’s new stuff, Jones, Laura Izibor… there’s so many!
I also get quite inspired by poetry and writing, Beau Taplin is one of my favourites. If I ever feel like I’m struggling lyrically I tend to listen to music and read a lot of his poetry and writing. I also find the general ambiance of places give me ideas, when you get a certain vibe from a place or a person I get really inspired.
What women inspire you in your career?
To be honest I take a lot of inspiration from women who have had knock backs and continue to fight until they get where they want to be. It doesn’t really matter what profession. I watch this show called the Chef’s Table and I love it because it shows the struggle they go through to get where they are now.
My friends are also so inspiring. I have a really solid group of girls and they’re like my sisters and every single one of them is so strong, independent and hard working. They’re also the most amazing support system you could have. The interest and enthusiasm they show really pushes me to keep going, they’re at every single gig singing all the words, along with my family!
Do you think it’s important to put a focus on women in the industry? Why?
Yeah I definitely think it’s important. I feel women aren’t always properly represented in not only the music industry but in a lot of industries and it’s important we stick together, support each other and help each other out. I love when I see all women ran production teams or gigs like MNÁSOME and Beats ‘N Babes where they give women the spotlight, it creates a real supportive and positive atmosphere and I’ve made a lot of friends through gigs like that. Having said that I’ve great experiences working with guys also and love working with the guys in my band, they’re great and super supportive, but I definitely feel like there’s a special connection when you get a bunch of gals working together. It’s really empowering for women that may feel like they’re in a more male dominated work place.
What can we expect from your live show?
A lot of bad jokes and ‘tell all’ stories behind the songs and who they’re about! I tend to not rehearse what I’m going to say and just let it all come out in the moment and I always end up making a laugh of it. You can also see some awkward dance moves as I’ve taken a step away from the keyboard for some parts, which has been stuck to my hip for forever! Also all my new unreleased music which is exciting!!
When you start to miss her witty stage banter, you can catch her on the 28th of September in Achill playing Battle for the Lake music festival. In November you can catch her again with Oíche Events and make sure to keep an eye and an ear out for all of the new music she’ll be releasing this year! Her first single ‘Sold’ will be out this Autumn.
Photo by Meg Roze
Featured image by Karla Chubb