In her new single “Arms” Dallas based singer/songwriter Elyse Jewel embraces teenage love with all its hurdles and the heartbreaks of missing someone you are infatuated with. The 16 year old songstress not only wrote the song, but also delivers a beautiful vocal performance over a top notch instrumental pop production that makes the song sound like the next big radio hit!
Despite her young age, Elyse has already won the “Pop Song of the Year” Award in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her debut single “Thinking About You” and has performed gigs at the House of Blues.
We have had a chance to chat with Elyse about her single and her musical journey thus far. Read the interview below. You will be very inspired, I promise!
Elyse, congrats on the release of your single “Arms” which we can´t get out of our head. Tell us a bit about the song and its backstory and the circumstances under which you wrote it?
I wrote this song a little after having a huge crush. I had just missed the feeling of being in love and was really reminiscing on that feeling. However, the song has taken on a new meaning since having been in quarantine. I haven’t really been able to see my friends or family for a while and I had just wanted to see them in person. Although the song was originally about the feeling of having a crush on someone, I think it can really be interpreted as just missing someone and wanting to be with them in the moment. I really hope that through this song, people can take light of a bad situation and know that we’ve all gone through something similar.
Beautifully said! Tell us, do you prefer to write songs all by yourself or to co write with other writers?
I love being able to write by myself and just sing anything that comes out, but I would prefer writing with someone. Writing, for me, is like a therapy session. I tell the co-writer my ideas/story and then we create art from it. It’s really amazing to put ideas together and bounce off of each other’s creativity to create a song!
“Arms” sounds like it could be a radio hit. Who produced it and how was the recording process for you? Was there something you learned in the collaboration with your producer?
I wrote and produced this song with Drew Scott in LA. I had brought in a little piano melody and we went off of that. We started making a beat and then added different instruments on top of that. We started writing the song and the words came so easily. After we finished the demo we were just dancing around the studio singing the song. It was so so much fun! From that session, I learned that there are no bad ideas and that even the smallest piano melody could turn into a really great song!
That is so true! Labeling ideas as good and bad early on can be so misleading! Let’s talk songwriting a bit more. What made you start writing songs and what inspires you usually?
I started writing songs about four years ago and I honestly didn’t know if I would ever find a song I would fall in love with. I kept writing and writing and never found something I loved until I started writing to express myself. I realized that it was such a good outlet for me that I started writing about personal experiences and how I felt. Finally. I started making songs that I felt connected to and that made me excited!
Every writer has a different method and we´re always curious to hear what works for someone and what doesn´t. Tell us, how do you usually approach your songs? Do you enjoy writing over a beat or to a backing track, or do you just start playing chords on a guitar or piano or do you make up melodies from scratch in your mind?
I go about my songwriting in different ways. Sometimes I’ll just be doing homework and suddenly words or a melody pops into my head. From there, I usually sit down and try to elaborate on that idea with my piano or guitar.
I also like to start making chords first then experimenting with a melody and words. It really just depends on the moment but I always start off with a main idea or feeling, then slowly start figuring out where I want the story to go!
In a nutshell, what are three cornerstones of a good song?
I would say having a good or catchy topline, lyrics that people can relate to, and for it to be something that you are invested in and that you love!
Great answer! Who are some of your influences in music and why?
I grew up listening to Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and Broadway music. When I was about eight I started listening to Taylor Swift nonstop. I remember jumping on my bed singing to her music. Taylor swift tells such compelling stories in her songs that are so true to herself. She has been such a role model and inspiration to me since I was young. I’m also inspired by Julia Michaels. Julia has such amazing lyrics and a unique voice that I instantly fell in love with!
Elyse, you have an exquisite voice and great control over it! Where did you learn to sing and has this always come easy to you?
I have been in vocal lessons since I was about eight. It took a lot of practice and time until I started sounding good, but I eventually got to a place where I became more confident in my music! I remember begging my parents to put me in lessons and now I am working with Dean Shepherd from Morehouse Studios! Over the years I have discovered my voice and even though it took time, it’s been really worth it! I am excited to see where it goes from here.
Wow! That´s really impressive! What is one advice you would give to songwriters your age, that might encourage them?
I would say to always be genuine and true to yourself. Write from your heart and be honest, no matter who you think may judge you. You could make a song that you love that inspires someone! Writing can be scary and showing people can be scarier, but the song is your own at the end of the day. If you’re proud of it, chances are so many others will love it too!
Thank you so much for your time! Wishing you all the best and much success with your music!
Thank you so much! This was so fun to do 🙂
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