London-based rising pop powerhouse Elizza is one of the most promising acts emerging in the contemporary music sphere today. She recently unveiled her self-titled six-track-long debut EP, “ELIZZA,” on February 14, which navigates through an important decade of adulthood—the twenties.
Born and raised in Latvia, Elizza grew up dreaming about bringing the Latvian name into the world of music. Inspired by the likes of international icons like SIA, The Weeknd, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Frank Sinatra and Joss Stone, her edgy pop sound seamlessly incorporates recurring electronic elements, soaring rhythms, and emphatic vocals, all while delivering irresistibly infectious certified dance bops.
Her latest self-titled debut EP is a sonic gem combined with the singer’s raspy vocals, soul-stirring layers of lyrics, and electrifying pop rhythms embodying the intensity of a range of emotions interwoven with vulnerability and compassion. It exudes freshness and gives the modern pop music scene a new lease on life. Given how the overall vibe of the EP feels rebellious, embodying the messages of self-love, self-worth, spontaneity, breaking stereotypical norms and following your heart’s desires, it’s intriguing how Elizza evoked the understated ideologies of millennials and Gen Z. From the moment we pressed the play button, her ethereal vocals captivated us, and you can tell by our enthusiasm that she is our newest obsession at CelebMix.
Recently, we got the chance to chat with the Latvian singer-songwriter herself to get the lowdown on her latest record, cultural and musical influences, TikTok, fandom culture, self-love and empathy, and much more. We also deconstructed her songwriting process to get to know how she captures universal emotions and her ability to bring a bigger view through her personal stories that set her apart from the competition.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Congratulations on the release of your debut EP. It is praiseworthy how the record draws laboriously on emotions with well-crafted lyrics, fusing with contemporary soundscapes. Walk us through your creative and recording process for the record. How did you intend it to sound and convey a better understanding of your artistic vision?
Thank you for the kind words! My debut EP is a collection of songs written over the years since I moved to London to study and pursue music. It reflects the most important decade of adulthood – my 20s. Storytelling plays an important role all throughout the EP; each song is a chapter of my life with vivid memories and defining moments to reflect upon and cherish. For me, the last five years were all about learning about who I am as a person and an artist. I learned to love and to be loved, and the importance of self-worth, and I wanted this to reflect in my songs.
It’s exciting to look back at the recording process of the EP as each song has had its own journey. Some songs I have written independently and then collaborated with songwriters and producers to bring these records to life. Some were written in the studio. When I had all the songs written, I wanted to work with someone on the finishing touches for the EP, so I decided to work with producer Richard Wilkinson who mixed and co-produced the record. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in this project – Richard, Mafro, Ghostwater, Arthur Besna, Skyler Cocco, Tylr Rydr, and Patrick McManus.
Sonically, what was your approach to crafting “Love Me Like You Used To?” Who would you say served as your musical inspiration while conceptualising the song?
I did a songwriting session [on] one weekend with a good friend of mine – producer Ghostwater, and I wasn’t particularly inspired that day, as I was going through a rough patch in a relationship. We were playing tracks to get inspired, and we found a chord progression for “Love Me Like You Used To.” The words just began flowing, and we wrote the whole song fast. As most of my songs are about personal experiences on days when I feel the most, it’s easy to write.
Given the message you conveyed through this single, what would you tell someone going through a similar phase and feeling emotionally trapped that might help them overcome this feeling and be more optimistic?
I believe that communication is key when it comes to clearing the air after any conflict. You have to do uncomfortable work to avoid feeling suppressed or disappointed. To me – this song is a beautiful memory, and it teaches me to be open and to prioritise communication in every relationship, as well as self-love.
Before we move forward, I’m curious to know what inspired your love of music. Tell us about the journey that led you here and whom you owe a big thank you for inspiring you to grow as an artist.
From an early age, I loved spending time alone writing my diary and poems and learning songs from the radio while recording cassette tapes in my room. It felt like an escape and therapy. I started learning songs and finding my voice and style and discovering international artists I saw on TV. I also loved dancing and artists such as Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Christina Aguilera inspired me to dream big. Not to mention, my dad was a DJ, so he was a big inspiration for me to express my creativity through music. Later in my teen years, taking contemporary singing and dance classes felt like the right thing to do — simply couldn’t get enough of it, so I guess it was love at first sight.
In what ways has your heritage, native surroundings, and music that you grew up with inspired your sound palette, and how do you incorporate those influences into your own music?
I always felt inspired by international artists from an early age. I listened to Joss Stone, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Frank Sinatra, etc., and always dreamed about bringing my Latvian name into the world. My sound most definitely [has been] shaped further since I moved to London, started to explore different cultures, and learned about songwriting and paying more attention to storytelling. I express my raw emotions and vulnerabilities when I write; I treat my songwriting as my childhood diary.
I’ve been bopping along to your tracklist, and your reflective songwriting is impeccable. Where do you usually draw inspiration for your songs? Or do you extract ideas from bigger thoughts to appeal to the masses and younger audiences?
Thank you! Making music never really stops for me. I try to let ideas come to me and make a note of lyrics and melodies whenever I can. When I am in the studio with producers and other songwriters, it can begin anywhere. People, art, experiences, and deep conversations inspire me to think more, and usually, that’s a good start for a song. Most of my records tend to be very personal, but I guess, being surrounded by millennials and Gen Z, we go through similar experiences, so the music is more relatable.
How challenging is it for an artist to strip off and tap into their most vulnerable selves for such reflective songwriting? Have you found catharsis or felt any tangible results of “music healing”?
I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge, but more like a gift. I believe that most artists are naturally gifted with this “superpower” and that’s why we choose to pursue music or the arts. I truly don’t feel like myself when I can’t sing or express myself musically for a long time. It’s like I “breathe” music.
Which artists, in your opinion, are dominating the contemporary music scene? Are there any dream collaborators on your bucket list?
Currently, I’m loving Raye and her trajectory. And my dream collaboration would be artists like SIA, Russ, and The Weeknd.
Outside of your musicality, is there a hobby that you turn to in order to rejuvenate your creativity?
It’s hard to pick one. I love to read, go for long walks, dance and travel. It inspires me to connect with authentic and intelligent people, but I also need some time to rejuvenate.
I also saw that you launched a podcast ‘Music x WEB3’, discussing web3, metaverse, NFTs, blockchain technology and more. How did you hop on the WEB3 and NFTs bandwagon, and what fascinates you about its integration with music?
I am always exploring, so it has been fascinating to learn more about this space and talk to people who are immersed in music and Web3. I believe that Web3 for musicians will forge stronger and deeper connections between the fan community and the artist, like never before.
I have been working with Corite on my debut EP release, inviting fans to be a part of this project. Corite is a fan-powered platform bringing fans and artists closer together through Web3 and blockchain technology. It has been a great experience to work with them and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Fan culture is incredibly influential and fascinating in the age of social media, and I’m curious: what’s something about the power of fandoms that artists find endearing?
All in all, it’s sharing love and admiration. Without fandoms, there wouldn’t be shows, tours and top hits. I think it’s a beautiful expression.
You’d agree that TikTok has changed the game for artists and creators, and we are looking at an era where people listen to songs based on how viral it is and discover new material. What do you think of its longevity? Are there any trends or videos you’d like to see getting viral with your song?
TikTok is a great discovery tool that allows artists to showcase their personalities, connect with their audiences and be uniquely creative, so I love it. I see it more like a shortcut of an artist’s development stages, as if you have a viral moment, your music can really take off. At the same time, it can be frustrating if you’re not familiar with the platform, as it has become a huge focus for the music industry. I definitely think it will keep evolving. I’d love to see my music go viral on TikTok, especially if the trend was initiated by a fan.
And I’m looking forward to following those trends. So what should we expect next in terms of music?
I’m getting ready for my first headline show, so stay tuned for the announcement. My goals are to keep making music that makes others feel alive.
Be sure to add Elizza to your music playlist as soon as you can, or you’d be missing out on the next big pop sensation. Listen to “ELIZZA” below!
Which is your favourite single from the EP? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @CelebMix.