Edward Burnett talks to New York singer Elle Sera about her roots, methods for song writing and upcoming projects
RnRR: Hiya, here we are and nice to meet you. Would you mind introducing yourself to the Rock n Roll Reports readers?
ELLE SERA: Hey y’all! I’m an indie-alternative singer-songwriter from Connecticut/New York. I like to span a few genres and float between acoustic and full productions.
RnRR: What made you first want to become a singer? And why did you settle on the indie-alternative genre instead of any other?
ELLE SERA: I was bitten by the bug at about 4 years old after seeing a local child’s production of Alice in Wonderland. I wanted to “do that” I exclaimed. The singer-songwriter in me took a stronger hold last my year of college. I’ve always played with styles and fusing my influences led me to writing that way. I enjoy exploration and expression in my music so I let the song lead me. I don’t fit in any one box so alternative/indie feels like a happy way to include all I do.
RnRR: Yes, the ‘jack of all trades’ musical attitude is evident in many of your songs. In particular, your single “Come On Down”, seems to both embody numerous styles including almost a country-esque vibe, as well as strong and powerful vocals. Tell us more about the song, what was behind the lyrics?
ELLE SERA: I had the bones of the song laid out and months later found myself in a mood on a plane and wrote it. First and only tune I’ve written on a plane so far. The song reaches into depression and not letting it consume you. Similarly with my next single “You” I had the outline of the tune and the mood struck me to go ahead and finish it. I didn’t know what it would be about, but I lived in the moment with the first line as the sun was peeking out from some clouds and then it came together quite easily.
RnRR: So when it comes to song writing, would you describe your policy as being spur of the moment?
ELLE SERA: I tend to be spur of the moment, yeah, I guess I could say that. I can have ramblings and strums that get catalogued for a future tune to come out of it. So there’s quite a list of voice memos in my phone!
RnRR: What are the benefits of doing it this way, do you feel it is this that helps to create that sense of true originality that is evidently present in your songs?
ELLE SERA: The benefit is that I have the ideas to return to and decide if I actually like the idea I started with. Being original is too complicated to figure out, but I try to write honestly, no matter the topic or tune and just write it. I don’t decide if it’s great or not; an original idea or not. I keep it easy and creative and connected to my heart and usually that connects with listeners. Thank you for thinking I’m original!
RnRR: That’s great to hear and to many, how music should be done. So tell us more about where you are from and where you live now and how that, if so, has inspired your music?
ELLE SERA: I grew up between Connecticut and NYC, having started to work professionally at about 8 yrs old in theatre, tv, film, radio, etc. NYC is a second home to me and having spent most of my life living there I’m a New Yorker at this point. However, I officially moved back to Connecticut a few years ago and love the change of pace. I partially did it for my last dog to have better quality of life when she was older. I feel being around nature more has inspired me differently than the city vibe and I’m loving it. The woods and the beach are huge for me to retreat to and I feel I connect deeper here right now.
RnRR: So let’s talk about the future then, both distant and close. For starters, there’s a new single entitled ‘You’ coming out soon. Tell us all about it and when we can expect to listen to it and what to expect?
ELLE SERA: Thank you and I love taking about what’s fresh and on the horizon. “You” will be out August 16th. It’s a fun summertime tune about opening up to love again. A bit more in my traditional singer-songwriter vein with hints of country in there. It’s off the upcoming EP: “Once Was”, all sponsored by Warm Audio. “You” has a video along with it also with Warm Audio’s support and filmed by Midtown Motion. I recorded it in Nashville with some excellent players and people. The full EP will be out this fall so stay tuned for more on that. It has 5 songs, one of which has already been released, “Beautiful Girl”.
RnRR: Exciting times indeed and along with this EP, can we expect a tour and some live gigs?
ELLE SERA: Working on it, fingers crossed! I’d likely hit Nashville, LA and northeast first. But I’m open to recommendations from listeners. Europe is always on my radar as well so I include it all in these big dreams. In the meantime I’m working on setting up some online shows to be sure I can share the acoustic flavor in a more immediate sense. The idea is to work in some afternoon as well as evening performances to get on everyone’s schedule.
RnRR: Well there you have it, a new EP and a tour in the works! It’s been a pleasure getting an insight into your song writing technique and geographical inspirations. All the best in your future ventures!
You can find out more about Elle, as well as information on upcoming shows via her website: http://www.elleseramusic.com