Eloïse Interview: “There is a massive misunderstanding of female vulnerability in the music industry”

Eloïse is the deep, richly voiced British vocalist flagged by Clash as “a prodigal pop talent” and The Telegraph as a “need-to-know emerging artist”. Despite only being 18, the charming Eloïse’s debut EP “Marie Antoinette” is a brooding, unique blend of genuinely dark pop and witty, sharply characteristic lyrics; “Will you marry me? / Marie Antoinette me? / As long as the cake is rich, of course” she smirks on the EP’s title track. It’s rare yet refreshing to hear an artist so confident in her sound from the get-go.

I spoke with the burgeoning British pop queen about her influences and her sound (Eloïse is a big fan of Lana Del Rey, as you’ll hear both personally and artistically from her) plus the future of the industry and a scathing comment for anybody attacking ‘vulnerable’ female artists.

Sum up your sound using one fruit, one color and one season.

Grapefruit – colorful, but pretty bitter on the inside! Dark purple. Autumn.

What subjects have you been studying for your A Levels?

English, Philosophy, Classics.

Do people at school think you’re cool now that your music video was premiered by Clash?

Haha, you’d have to ask them! It was definitely great to have such a good response to me living out my mad retro, cow print hat fantasy.

You have been heralded by Clash as “a prodigal pop talent” – what thoughts and feelings does this brew within you?

I am honored to ever be given that kind of title; I’d be chuffed if my mum called me that, let alone a magazine I love! Mainly I am always very happy to be taken seriously. A lot of people take pop music at face value, so I am ecstatic people are seeing what lies beyond the surface in what I do.

Aged just 18, what impact do you think your young age has on your music?

I think being young makes my music very adaptable; I am always seeking out new music, books, films and art in weird genres I haven’t delved into before and I think this reflects in the broad spectrum of sounds and topics in my music.

Which female musicians influence your sound?

I am massively influenced by Kate Bush. I don’t have the dances down but her bravery and madness lyrically is a massive inspiration. Other than that Lady Gaga, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds and more are my big influences – strong, female, art pop musicians.

What triggered the tongue in cheek lyrics of “Marie Antoinette”?

I have quite a bitter, cynical sense of humor anyway so this song came pretty naturally to me! More specifically I, like many people my age, spend a lot of time on Tumblr and I remember seeing a picture of one of those ridiculous dressing gowns with feathers, and a caption about wine and marble floors, and I knew I had to write this kind of song taking the mick out of that kind of ideal (even though I really want one of those ridiculous dressing gowns).

“Marie Antoinette” lampoons fictional depictions of women in love. What are your views on the representation of women in music?

I think there is a massive misunderstanding of female vulnerability in the music industry. Most mainstream female pop these days seems to focus on female power and being hyper-confident, and female artists that portray anything insecure are attacked for being anti-feminist or too miserable. I think there is room in the industry for women to be able to engage with the emotional spectrum of confidence and vulnerability in the same way as male artists – without being criticized for either extreme.

What do you think the future of the music industry is, in regards to female musicians?

I really think female artists have dominated so far this year and I can’t wait to see how that progresses in general. What I have found really exciting is how female experience is being more openly discussed in music; I was particularly struck by the new albums from Lorde and SZA and how raw they were on that front – I am very optimistic.

Any tips for girls your age who want to make music?

I would say it is important to listen to anything and everything, my music blossomed like mad when I took myself out of my comfort zone with what I was listening to and delved into new genres and decades. For girls in particular, I have to say looking at the key female players in each decade is a big thing to try [so you can] know where you sit in the bigger picture – Madonna is an obvious must.

What’s next for Eloïse?

I have my debut headline gig at Paper Dress Vintage on the 23rd of August. Beyond that, new music in September and beyond with new producers and new things to talk about!

Stream Eloïse’s Marie Antoinette EP here.

 

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