Elliphant brings her summer vibe on first North American tour
Swedish performer to play the Sinclair in Cambridge on Sunday, May 1
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Ellinor Miranda Salome Olovsdotter — nicknamed Elli and known by her stage name of Elliphant — is breaking out in the music industry as a powerful solo artist.
Before she stepped into music, the 30-year-old singer-songwriter from Stockholm spent her time taking pictures, traveling, and drawing.
“I’ve never had a job or a career. I’ve always been jumping around, spending a lot of time traveling,” she said. “So when music came there was nothing in me that said, ‘No I think I’m gonna focus on the things I’m doing now.’ ”
This week she is focusing on her first North American tour. On Saturday, April 30, she is playing Webster Hall in New York, then playing the Sinclair in Cambridge, Mass., on Sunday, May 1.
Calling from her hotel room in New York on April 27, Elli talked about her musical journey into America.
“I always had a fear of a stage but in my heart I always had that little idea that I wanted to do music one day,” she said.
While writing her first album, Elli continued to work as a full-time waitress.
“I’m a proud waitress. That’s actually one of the best warm-ups that you can do,” she said. “If you take your job seriously as a waitress, it’s a good warm-up for being on stage.”
She compared her job as waitress to her job as a solo artist now.
“Whenever I worked a night shift, it was exactly the same feeling in my stomach, the same mission: I’m going to make these people have a great time tonight and they are gonna tip me and that tip will be the reward for my performance tonight,” she said. “It’s so similar actually. You gotta remember the lyrics, well, what’s today’s main course?”
Music took the biggest step into Elli’s life when she met a music producer after her sister’s birthday party in Paris.
“One thing led to another… a friend of a friend played a track and asked if I could him to write,” she said. “After I came back to Sweden, two months later from my traveling, I met up with him and we started making music. The song, ‘Tekkno Scene,’ which was my first release, was written for a girl who ended up not being interested in it. This vibe that we were doing-it was original and weird.”
“Tekkno Scene” was then sold to a major video game, FIFA 13. At this point, Elliphant was technically a group.
“They were really interested to have that and we didn’t know the constellation of our group yet,” she said. “It was me and the two boys who started Elliphant. We were thinking we would be a band but when the moment came to make a decision it was a friend who said ‘You should be Elliphant. Be Elliphant.’ ”
Elli told the story and laughed a little as she said where her stage name came from: “I wanted to be Elliman at first. My friend said, ‘Elliphant!’ and I just said ‘OK!’ ”
As a solo artist, Elli said she’s always been a solo person.
“I never really had relationships,” she said. “I traveled alone. School didn’t really work out for me — I never worked in groups. So this is my evolution as a person.”
Her recently released album, “Living Life Golden,” which came out on March 25, 2016, has hit her audience in Europe, and also in the United States. Elli is happy that her album was able to come out before spring.
“It’s very exciting. This album was made kind of a long time ago. I had to push it many times,” she said. “It’s a big relief to have it out there finally and it’s very refreshing to be able to sing the songs to people, it’s a summer vibe album.”
Due to “weird” touring and label information, Elli wasn’t able to put her album out sooner. In that meantime, she has been touring for 2 1/2 years in Europe for her past album that was released in Sweden.
“I’m just out here constantly… I’ve been doing headline tours over there [Europe] but this is my first one in America,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be a huge difference but it really is. It’s really cool”
Touring in different countries brings different experiences.
“You get a reality check and the it’s overwhelming — anything can happen,” she said. “One day you can play for 14 people in a little village somewhere and then you have a sold-out show”.
Before going on her headline tour, Elli has opened for known artists such as Charli XCX and Major Lazer.
“I’ve done opening acts for people I really respect,” she said. “I take it really seriously: I’m here to warm up the stage for them, for the next act.”
Humbly, she added, “There are more butterflies in your stomach when it’s your own.”
In general, Elli takes pride in her trueness to herself — “I’ve always been an open person” — and she has taken this incredible experience and made it her own.
She didn’t even take less than a moment to make her gratuity and respect known towards her team.
“I look as Elliphant as a family that everybody is involved in — even to make a video or art for a project,” she said. “Whatever you do in Elliphant, you get a lot of free hands. I put a lot of trust in them. For me, Elliphant is a family of a lot of beautiful people where everyone has a voice.”
To Elli, “music came organically and spontaneously”. As she tours the United States, take a moment to check out her new album “Living Life Golden.” With the warm weather coming along, everyone is in search of some summer vibes. Get yours from Elliphant!
–April 30, 2016–