Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Elisa. Let’s start with the music you grow up with and how it informed your attitudes to life? Which bands/musicians remain the most important to you?
I grew up listening to a lot of 60s and 70s rock and folk music. When I was a child, I used to listen to my mums records. She owned a small vinyl collection with lots of classics from the likes of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Dire Straits etc.
The band I discovered later in my twenties that still definitely remain very important to me is Radiohead. For me, it’s the best band of all time. Thom Yorke is a genius.
Can you talk us through how you produced your new single: Black Dolls? Any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you always use?
I remember producing Black Dolls in my home studio in Brussels back in October 2019. The main synth I used is a Prophet V3 from Arturia which made me fall in love with that sound and pushed me to buy a real analogue Prophet VI later that year. I used Massive for the bass and recorded the vocals in a studio.
The Microkorg is not my favourite piece of hardware but, for some reason I end up using it quite a lot. For software, I tend to quite often use Arturia’s V Collection, Native Instruments Massive and Wave Alchemy’s Revolution.
Do you feel the human voice has as much to say in Dance/ Electronic music anymore? What inspires you to write the words you do? (I was particularly struck by your intonation on the jazzy/ blues of Dying Stars from the new album.)
I think it depends on the song and the artist.
Dying Stars is a song I wrote many years ago on the piano. It belongs to a phase where I was mostly listening to jazz and blues. I still don’t know how the lyrics of that song came through. When I compose, I tend to let myself be inspired by the energy of the moment. The lyrics I write are very similar to those kind of dreams where you can hardly find a logic in the narrative, but if you go deeper and you try to analyse them, you may find lots of hidden meanings.
What do you hope will change after Covid-19 for club culture and live performance?
First of all, what I hope the most is that all venues and clubs forced to close their doors will be able to reopen. But I doubt this will be the case if we think about the very poor financial support they have received from governments. I think it will take a long time for the industry to recover from this crisis.
How do you see music’s future in terms of how artists generate money? Tell us about the decision to self-release your own music?
With the constant changes in the ways people listen to music, the future of the industry, and what artists stand to gain, is unclear. As we all know, musicians have always made the bulk of their money from live performances and touring. For the future, I hope they could also benefit from greater sources of revenue coming from streaming platforms. I think, there’s a urgent need for a more transparent and equitable model of streaming royalty distribution.
With regard to my music, I decided to self-release this album because I wanted to have a complete control over the creative process. I was afraid a label would have prompted me for a particular sound, selecting which songs should or should not be released.
What is your favorite instrument? Do you own one?
I’m in love with analogue and vintage synthesizers. As said before, I’ve recently bought a Prophet VI. I particularly like how it sounds.
Your new album: Unknown territories is a blend of styles, moods and atmospheres. What do you seek to convey most through your music?
I think it depends on the song. Sometimes I seek to convey an idea, sometimes an emotion, sometimes just nothing at all. Writing this album has been a sort of stream of consciousness, a therapeutic and cathartic act. I’ve just followed the flow.
Outside of music who/ what inspires you (in terms of any painters, writers, poets etc)?
Among the philosophers: Karl Jung, James Hilman, Noam Chomsky, Immanuel Kant, Alexander Lowen.
Among the painters: Gerhard Richter, Jackson Pollock.
And finally. What are you looking forward to most for the remainder of 2021?
I look forward to writing more music and working on a live set which will probably include part of the songs from the album.