GET TO KNOW: ELLE EXXE
HEY GIRL catches up with the high energy electro pop star “Elle Exxe”
I wake up on wednesday morning, do the usual check instagram .. that mixed feeling of is social media really good for me. Oh I got a message…. oh cool an invite to a free gig on Friday at ‘The Great Escape festival’ … in my home town of brighton. No brainer eh … I didn’t have time to check out Elle’s music … I came off another shoot (busy time at the music festival) … its was still light out. Found the location, but I was late so the gig had already started … down the stairs and into the dark. Boom the atmosphere hits me!!! The room was dark with electric light flashing on stage and full of people and smoke machine on. Here’s Elle on stage commanding the room with her energy and talent of electric dance music, with a great connection with the crowd. I am feeling I really lucky to be invited … out the camera comes and I shoot away thinking these pics are going to look amazing with style and creativity of Elle… Yeahhhhhhhhhh… check them out.
We had a chance to have little chat with Elle …. enjoy..
What you doing at the moment?
I’m practicing one of my new songs on piano because I’m gonna be performing it tonight on BBC Radio London.
Was great to see you live on stage … thanks for the gig invite!!, so I wanted know about how you feel on stage .. whats it like?
Thanks for coming down. On stage I feel wild and free, like I can do anything and that I’m where I’m meant to be.
When did your love of music start?
I think it’s something I was born with. I was always drawn to sounds. Even when I was 6 I was trying to compose stories on the piano..it sounded terrible of course, but I loved it. I was obsessed with the charts every Friday and Sunday and would spend all my pennies buying tapes and CDs…again..I wasn’t buying the good stuff – Steps, Lil Bow Wow and Shaggy were some of my early purchases.
What influences your songs?
Lyrically I’m influenced by my experiences and high contrast emotions. Musically I’m influenced by the idea of innovation, bravery and passion, the idea of doing things a little new or different and making something striking and dynamic. I love producers and artists like Kanye, Gaga, Pharrell, Charli XCX, and even directors like John Waters and Nadia Lee. They can all make pop but they always manage to do it in a unique, stylish, fascinating way.
“I’m often described as quiet and introverted off stage… so new friends are shocked firstly to hear that I’m a performer.”
Do you have a different personality on stage?
I don’t consider it a different personality, but I’m certain a lot of others would describe it that way. I’m often described as quiet and introverted off stage so new friends are shocked firstly to hear that I’m a performer and secondly to then witness it when I get onstage and start throwing myself around, entertaining people and demanding attention. I think it confuses people, but I’m all about that. I want people to question their first-impressions – we all judge others far too quickly. We meet someone and think we know their life story and what type of person they are, sometimes even just by the clothes they’re wearing or the shape of their body – but it’s rare for those judgements to be worthwhile. For me I believe we’re all walking contradictions and my quiet reserved side and brash outgoing side are both parts of the same person.
Who been your musical idol?
Our next issue is called “spirit and adventure” … wheres been your best adventure?
I did a little tour in South Korea. I was hella nervous because I couldn’t speak a word of Korean the day I left and I was nervous about whether I’d be into the food and whether they’d be into my music..but it was my best adventure. I learnt a few phrases and had the crowds dancing and singing with me…except the night the show got shut down by the police cause I was too loud *oops*. I tried Korean BBQ and Kimchi and all that stuff, found my favourite new drink – Soju and tried everything else they had to offer. The jet-lag was crazy so my friends and I would stay up til 6am enjoying the nightlife – literally the whole town would stay open all night – the clubs closed at 10am in the morning, same with the arcades. The whole trip was a beautiful blur.
What does the word spirit mean to you?
It’s not something you can put your hands on or really describe in words. It’s someones true energy. It’s the part of them you miss the most when they’re gone.
“I wrote, produced, mixed, mastered, and filmed my song “Queen” with an all female crew to highlight this problem…”
How do you make yourself feel positive?
I try to stay grounded and grateful – I’ll go for a walk, or write down what I’m grateful for, or read a book and try and get myself back into the moment…I feel like the negativity comes when you’re looking back or forward. I try to remember the things I love doing, the amazing things I’ve done and the things I still want to do. I write down action plans for how I’m going to do the things I want to do. And when all else fails, I lie back and pretend I’m on my own imaginary island.
What advise would you have for your younger self?
Go out more…you don’t need to work 24 hours a day.
What needs to happen more in the world?
Compassion and a greater effort to understand each other – this’ll be a little easier once there is more diversity and equality in the top levels of the most powerful businesses and governments.
What 10 words describe yourself?
Bold, dreamer, open-minded, understanding, ambitious, crazy, creative, frustrated, fulfilled.
Have you even seen colours when you make music or sing?
Yes. When I was programming the lights for my show I programmed the colours I felt coincided with the music. Music is definitely colourful!
Do you find there’s any sexism in music?
Yes, it’s huge. Women only make up 17% of artists in the charts, and only 1 in 49 songs have a female producer. 98% of songs in the charts have either a male songwriter or producer..most have both and a male artist too. The stats are important because it’s easy to get it twisted and think it’s an even playing-field because there are a few very successful women that get a lot of press and media attention. But the spaces for women are limited and controlled in a way that they aren’t for men. 78% of women in the UK music industry claim to have experienced sexism…the story within the record labels is very similar, most boardrooms in the music business are overpopulated with straight white men. I wrote, produced, mixed, mastered, and filmed my song “Queen” with an all female crew to highlight this problem.
Whats your fav lyric?
I’ll give you my top 5.
“It’s always darkest before the dawn” – Florence and the Machine.
“You’re the shit and I’m knee deep in it” – Frightened Rabbit
“I need to think shallow thoughts so that I don’t fall too deep in water I can’t tame, cause that’s the only way I know how to stay breathing” – Carys Selvey
“Or for anyone who’s ever been through shit in they lives So they sit and they cry at night, wishin’ they’d die ‘Til they throw on a rap record and they sit and they vibe We’re nothin’ to you, but we’re the fuckin’ shit in they eyes” – Eminem
“Chasing after the dreams of my past, always missing that one thing I lack, it’s the best thing that i never had” – Elle Exxe.
Do you have a go to dance move?
Oh yes. I call it “the fit”. It’s basically manic flailing.
If you emoji yourself ..what would it be?
How many people do you high five today?
I don’t often high five but I actually high tenned my husband about an hour ago and hit him in the nose by accident. 😂 I should be banned.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I wanna have built my studio in my garden, have had a top ten album, have a sold-out world tour under my belt, have a couple of legendary kids, have some evidence that I’ve made people’s lives better, be employing creative people and paying them well, and for those around me to be healthy and happy and for me to be able to take them all away on holiday somewhere mad.
Any questions for HEY GIRL?
How many people do you high five a day?
Not enough 🙂
When will this come out?
Check out Elle’s music on spotify – Spotify.com
Pic’s Simon Clemenger