Photo credit: Diego Andrade

CelebMix interview: Rising Pop Starlet Elise Eriksen talks “Smile” and “Less”, creating art, and more

Elise Eriksen basically just spent time in 2020 as a musician and she used the year to work hard. Elise had so much time due to the pandemic, which was kind of the silver lining of the situation, to work on her craft and practice and prepare herself for the release of her first single “Less” and the upcoming year.

That was probably one of the most exciting things of the year considering that it got such a good natural response. Elise had the song ready for a long time and she was really excited for people to hear it. The video turned out really well and it really reflects her personality, so it was definitely one of the highlights of her year and a milestone in her career.

“I’m feeling pretty good about this new year now that we have the first single out and people really seem to really like it,” Elise expresses to CelebMix. “This year, I want to keep doing what I love, keep experimenting with different writing styles and different genres, keep pursuing my craft, and hope that it continues to get the same good response.”

We’ve all kind of gotten used to living in the pandemic now. It was a little strange releasing a single during this time for Elise, but there really wasn’t much choice.

“I think it turned out to be a really good idea, though, as the song’s message speaks to an aspect of what’s happening and people are constantly now on their phones and at home and, you know, looking for an escape and new things.”

Elise Eriksen on living in the current climate

“The song relates to the pandemic because it’s talking about how you want to have less space between people and connect with people again,” Elise continues. “That’s what I think we’re all hoping for. I hope that putting out “Less” has brought some happiness to people in that situation.”

“Less” to is about a lot of different things in Elise’s life, one of them being living in two different places. For Elise, she spends half of her time in Norway and half in Los Angeles. Part of it also has to do with the pandemic, because you miss all the social things: you miss seeing your friends, you miss seeing the people closest to you, and that’s something that we’re not used to.

“I think that there’s a lot of different ways the song can be interpreted but, for me, I just miss being around people because I’ve always been an extrovert,” expresses about her song. “I’ve always wanted to meet as many new creative and cool people as I can which has been tough during these times.”

That aforementioned notion is definitely a big part of it for Elise, but it also let her reconnect with her closest friends for the video shoot which was really nice. It kind of brought that connected feeling to it and it touches on the less space aspect because you’re surrounded with the people you love and you’re not focused about the sad parts of what’s going on in the world.

What’s funny about “Less” is that it actually started out as more of a house song when Julia Michaels wrote it. It sounded great because a good song can sound good in almost any style, but Elise heard a version that was just the lyrics of her singing it and some chords and Elise was like “Oh, my gosh, this is really cool. This is something special.” From there, Elise worked on it and she ended up making a couple different versions, because it wasn’t an easy process to figure out what works best for her and for the song.

“We had a ballad version, a sad version, and then we made a kind of funky version which is what we have now,” Elise continues. “It’s kind of a funky, more chill version, I guess.”

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That was definitely the one that caught Elise’s attention. Elise was like, “this one’s definitely the one.” Even after Elise and her team had made, like, five different versions of the song, Elise immediately knew which one was meant to be. For Elise, personally, she has a lot of interest in R&B and jazz and indie music. So, Elise thinks that this version of the song kind of captured her love for all those genres.

“A little, but my love life hasn’t really been that interesting,” Elise tells CelebMix. “I’ve always found music and piano more interesting than boys, but musically I’ve always been the kind of person who doesn’t just listen to one genre or one artist and isn’t picky about what the style is.”

Elise has always just loved music. When she first heard the song, she was like, “this is great, but I definitely want to pull more genres into it.” Elise loves Queen, Elise loves Stevie Nicks, and Elise also loves R&B like Alicia Keys… In fact, Elise wanted to put as many of the great artists that she loves into one song and have the production be kid of inspired by that, which is what makes it special because that’s when it became Elise owns.

It became something that I personally can really stand for and its something I really loved doing, which is really the most important thing: that you love doing it.

Elise Eriksen on the release of her song

Elise wants people to listen to this song and be put in a better mood. “I want people to listen to it and leave feeling better or feeling connected to it in some way, no matter how they interpret the song,” she adds. “I feel like the words can really speak to a lot of people and be different for everybody. I want people to just feel uplifted, even if it’s only slightly. I feel like if you can impact even one person like that, then that’s really important.”

“I just finished shooting a music video for another one of my songs in my hometown in Trondheim,” Elise reveals on her 2021. “We put a piano on a frozen lake where the ice was completely clear and had someone ice skating.” The whole video really captures Norway’s beauty and Elise cannot want for people to know the part of her that’s from Norway, because Elise feels like that is a big part of her: “I’m very excited for that to be coming out soon,” Elise says.

“I have a body of work in the making, but I’d also love to perform more,” adds. “I’m also really excited to graduate high school. We actually dropped a quarter of the year so that we wouldn’t do a senior prank. Works for me!”

SMILE

While “Less” remains the primary focus of Elise’s song library, she does have a newer song out titled “‘Smile’, which is about putting on a façade and trying to seem happy even when you’re not. As a teenager, Elise really connected with the idea of feeling like you can’t always be completely yourself, which she thinks is something that a lot of people experience.

“I want to speak about things that are meaningful,” Elise says about the song. “It felt important to put out something that will leave people feeling more in touch with themselves but also more hopeful and uplifted, especially because it has been such a tough year.”

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