Anastasia Elliot recently released the music video for “The Boy Who Cried Love,” a song blending her pop and classical sensibilities.
Previously signed with Warner Brothers, when circumstances at the label changed, Elliot opted out under amicable terms, taking her music with her. She decided to go her own way, releasing her music on her own terms because, for the most part, labels concentrate on reinventing past hits and avoid innovative gambles.
“The Boy Who Cried Love” is the perfect example. A melodically austere breakup song of manifold auras, passionate and penetrating, it’s not the type of vanilla music labels embrace.
I talked with Anastasia Elliot about her influences and her particular awareness of the music and how it directs the lyrics.
How would you describe yourself?
A purple-haired Greek-Italian Texan sitting at a piano with one foot in classical music, the other in rock and roll, and a spatula and mixing bowl in my hands.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
If you know how to execute a plan and cover your tracks you don’t get into trouble.
What’s your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
An Italian opera aria or “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol.
Who is your favorite music artist?
Just one? That’s not fair! But if I had to pick just one, Coldplay.
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
I started classical piano training at a very young age and opera shortly thereafter. My grandfather was Chairman of the Board of the Houston Grand Opera and I started going to productions as soon as I could sit still and loved them. I never had a question that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Music has always been where I safely land.
What musicians influenced you the most?
-Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, and the classical composers with whom I have spent many hours.
How, if at all, do your musical influences shape and impact your music?
All of these great artists and more shaped my love for music. I don’t listen to much new music now, so that my own writing is not influenced by others. I like to try to stay as authentic and original as possible.
Once upon a time, you were signed to a major label. What motivated you to dump it?
We had a very amicable split during the label regime change and company restructure. I had complete creative control over my project and loved my team there, but many of them were let go. I decided to move on, shake things up, and release my project a little differently.
Your new single, “The Boy Who Cried Love,” is wonderful. What was the inspiration for this song?
When I am writing, the music always comes first and informs the lyrical content. I sink into a mood, feeling, or visual idea and write from there. This song started with the monotonous lonely piano melody that conjured up a sense of loss and the story simply unfolded. We actually shot the video using the demo recording and then went back in and recorded the final version of the song after the video was finished, so we could score it to the visual.
The video for “The Boy Who Cried Love” juxtaposes light and dark images. Where did the idea for the video come from?
My director, Ryan Hamblin, had the idea for this video after his first listen. The lightness and loneliness of the track mixed with its heavy feeling and subject matter gave him the idea to create the black and white feel of the video. My character in the box, dressed in white represents vulnerability and naivety that can be easily hurt. My murderous siren character grows out of the box to preserve and protect the innocence.
Most artists like to believe their music is evolving. Is yours? If so, in what way?
I think my music evolves every time I write because I am not the same person as the last time I wrote. I am always looking for new sounds, stories, experiences, and ideas to push things to new places.
What’s next for you musically? An EP, an album, or more singles?
There will be lots more coming in 2019. More music, more videos, live shows, and adventures. More more more.
Will you be doing any touring?
There will be live shows in 2019. Make sure to follow me on socials for announcements.