- Words Notion Staff
Wither her latest single, 'Therapy', Elliphant is the artist asking us to confront our deepest, ugliest emotions.
Since dropping her debut single ‘Tekkno Scene’ in 2012, Elliphant has found space in the music landscape to express herself with complete freedom. Whether she’s sharing her innermost thoughts or experimenting with a wide range of sounds, the Swedish singer and rapper is all about expression. With three albums already out in the world and another on the way in 2024, hers is a rich musical world we’re all free to dive into.
Latest track ‘Therapy’ epitomises her ethos as an artist. With deeply personal lyrics that also challenge our society as a whole, it’s as disruptive as it is relatable. Channeling rage and intensity with trap synths and a pounding beat, it’s sound matches the pure emotion in her message.
With upcoming album ‘TROLL’ set to show Elliphant at her most raw and uncompromising, we caught up with the artist to check in on her journey so far and what this new era will entail.
Hi Elliphant! Congrats on new track ‘THERAPY’. As your first release of the year, what statement are you making with this track?
I think I want to flag how important it is to check in to your self sometimes and take a moment to look away from your device and seek that inner place of peace instead of constantly feeding this external face of perfection, ’cause it’s really just throwing pearls to insatiable demons. I find it so easy to get swept out to deep waters where I lose grip of who I really am and more importantly what I need to be OK. I think we are living in a narcissistic era where we are reaching some type of climax when it comes to celebrated egos and boosted individuality. But I believe that humans have always been and always will be creatures of solidarity at the core. But we can get desperate when looking for love and affirmation. This fragility makes us beautiful but also very vulnerable to dark powers that want to control us.
What initially inspired you to write it and set the song in motion?
I wanted to encourage people to look for and bring to the surface those ugly and complicated emotions. They are the feelings that are often left in the dark but are actually the ones desperately seeking and needing the light.
Can you explain what the lyrics mean to you and how you were feeling at the time?
I wasn’t thinking so much when wrote it, but it was more the energy of the song that meant something there and then. Words can be overrated, I felt like I needed to feel something strong when I was in the studio and it came naturally . It was therapy. This is the first tune of a new era for Elliphant where I am just trying to be true and vulnerable.
You’ve always been honest and outspoken as an artist – why is this important to you?
I think most things in life are hard. Stuff that seem pretty easy for most people are hard for me. But to question the world and be outspoken and vulnerable has always come very naturally for me. I have a very rich emotional capital. And I love to share it. I will put myself out there. I can’t lie! I’ve had to learn certain things, like how to say I am sorry, I was wrong. I have a tendency to take things to far and sometimes because of that, I have had hurt people’s feelings. I love to be right but I also live to be wrong so I can grow from my mistakes and become the best version of my self in time…
Who else do you admire for speaking their mind in their music?
I love to feel a real person in the artist and a real emotion behind the music. There are so manny of those true forces! But artists like Billie holiday, Antony and Johnsons, Sinead O’Connor, Leonard Cohen…. And Aphex Twin! Moby, Édith Piaf, Jeff Buckley, Queen Omega. I am all over the place… I like real.
The video for ‘THERAPY’ imagines who sides of our inner demons – how did you come up with the visuals and how do they compliment the story?
I thought it might start some good conversation and shine some light over the fact that women always feel pressured by unrealistic beauty standards. In the video I am embodying one extreme version of a face we are seeing everywhere right now. It’s the face of a generation in a way. It was interesting to see how little changes I needed to look like that.
What else is on your visual mood board for new music at the moment?
I am inspired by the meeting between the urban world and the forest… Human and nature. What is our nature? I hope to bring in more art to the project for sure.
How important are visuals to you when telling a story?
It can be really important! But the music needs to be free for the listener to paint sometimes too. Visuals are like framing the song and making it complete in only one way. Some songs need to just be songs with no borders.
This track is dropping in the lead-up to your fourth album next year, which mixes electronic punk and hip-hop amongst other sounds. What new sounds are you experimenting with on this project?
I really don’t know what type of sound am working on, but I know I am pleasing the little troll on my shoulder through my music at the moment. It’s like a small exorcism happening in the studio right now.
How important is it to you to play with different genres?
It means freedom.
How else have you evolved as an artist since your last project?
I had a baby since then. But absolutely everything in my life is now different. Except my cat. So of course that will reflect on me as an artist. I’ve always lived and still live a very real life, with very real challenges and responsibilitys that I bring to my songs. I do feel as though I am in a safe place finally, but I am still dealing with the little troll sitting on my shoulder whispering spells in my ear.
Looking ahead, what do you hope to achieve in this next chapter of your career?
I’ve been away from the studio for a while so I am still warming up. But I want to develop myself and be more productive. I want to pore some gasoline on my creativity, bring energy, joy and be positive but still go poking these sore subjects.
What do you want to be known for above all else?
Just that I made them feel something.