- Words Notion Staff
Continuing her ascension into stardom with her new track “Higher”, Elle L chats to Notion about the new single, her eco-fashion endeavours, and what happiness means to her.
Singer, songwriter, environmentalist, and fashion ambassador are just a few of the titles Elle L can lay claim to. After enjoying great success from her dream-pop single, “Hoping”, which saw London-based Elle L land on noteworthy playlists from Spotify and Apple Music, Elle is back with her brand new single “Higher”.
Treading the line between dream-pop and dance-pop, Elle L’s delicate yet euphoric vocals uplift on “Higher”. Elaborating further on the track, Elle expands: ‘“Higher” explores the power of surrendering yourself to fearless love. I feel like we all need good energy more than ever, so I wanted to write a song that dares to be positive.’
Elle L hopes to dive deeper into the song’s themes through its music video. Collaborating with animator Jack Zhang, who has worked on the Dua Lipa x Elton John “Cold Cold Heart” video, the “Higher” visuals are set to be released soon.
Aside from music, Elle L has been championing a more eco-conscious future for the planet, making waves throughout the creative industry with her work uniting fashion and sustainability. As well as being appointed a Kindness Champion for UNESCO MGIEPS’s #KindnessMatters campaign, Elle L is a global ambassador for Fashion for Conversation and has showcased her music at the Frankfurt Fashion Summit.
Notion chats to the multitalented rising star about the creative process behind “Higher”, what inspired the visuals and what’s next for Elle L.
Your new single is about “surrendering yourself to fearless love”. Is this an experience you’ve gone through personally? Where did you draw inspiration from?
Absolutely. “Higher” is very much about the art of letting go and opening up to experience the heights of love. I personally fell in love with my neighbour just before lockdown, so being in the early days of a new romance certainly formed part of the inspiration for the lyrics and the feeling of euphoria within the track. Beyond that, I wanted to create a song that represents breaking down your walls to experience universal love for self, others, and the world around us.
What was the process of making the track like?
Writing gives me a natural high; lyrics and melodies come to me very organically. I’m constantly riffing ideas in my head, my phone’s voice notes or on my mac and microphone. “Higher” came to me one night during lockdown and it kept coming back to me in the days after, so I laid down an early draft at my Shoreditch apartment. At the time I was working on my debut single “Hoping” which was signed to Tileyard. My manager and the team there set up some writing collaborations at their studios. One of my first physical sessions post lockdown was where I brought the early workings of “Higher” to Takahide George and Courtney Sullivan, a production duo called ‘ARH’. They resonated with the idea and were amazing at bringing the track to life with me. The process of finishing the track was very representative of the digital revolution we are a part of that is integrating both physical and digital ways of creating both in session and remotely. I later signed “Higher” to a new indie label called LunaSky with my manager Lisa Wasserstein.
The song speaks on bravery and vulnerability. When was the last time you were brave and vulnerable?
Being brave and yet vulnerable definitely represents two sides of my personality. I have both those forces working within me creatively and I’m always trying to find balance and harmony. I am someone who feels fear, but I always try to make the bravest decision I can. I often find myself within these two extremes. I also believe that to be brave you first must allow yourself to feel truly vulnerable. The paradoxical nature of that notion is beautiful to me. I also experienced feelings of bravery and vulnerability quite intensely during lockdown. This time last year I had atypical Covid, which resulted in pneumonia, pleurisy, and an operation but I am happy to say that I am now fully recovered. It was an incredibly humbling moment right at the beginning of my musical career that has made me appreciate life deeper than ever before. Through that experience, I realised I wanted to write more uplifting tracks rather than just explore the emotional side of myself creatively because to me there’s a real power in celebrating life, love and hope.
You’ve teamed up with Jack Zhang for the music video. What drew you to work with him?
I am a new artist, who likes to dream big. I wanted to find a way to create a perfect other world. “Higher” is a feel-good song and the animation felt like an interesting way to explore the music and take it in a new and unexpected direction. I connected with Raman Djafari, the director of Elton John x Dua Lipa – Cold Heart music video, over Instagram. He was in LA at the time so unable to jump on this project but liked the song so connected me with some of his team that worked on the video with him. That’s how I met Jack Zhang and his assistant, Dylan Wilson. We had an initial call and jammed out all the thoughts in my head. They are super talented, and the energy felt right, so we hit the green light.
How did you come up with the concept for the visuals?
When I was young, I loved to listen to stories about my Great Grandmother, who was a muse and childhood friend of Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland. My debut body of work is very much centred around connecting to my inner child, so I had the idea of working with animation and flipping Lewis Carroll’s narrative of chasing a rabbit down the rabbit hole into that of a rabbit chasing me into space. The magic of the track is explored through my relationship with the rabbit and the impossible becoming tangible through moments like nature blooming in space. I guess you could say we created a glimpse into my own modern-day version of Wonderland.
Outside of music, you’re about spreading eco-fashion consciousness and sustainable messaging. How can musicians and others in the public eye be part of leading this change?
What does happiness mean to you?
Freedom to do what I love and share that with others is happiness to me. That and good health.
What’s your life mantra?
What’s your favourite song to dance to?
“I Fink U Freeky” by Die Antwoord. One of my favourite producers to work with is Dan Vinci and one of our pre-session rituals is to put on this track on and dance around the room like two teenage kids. I even learnt the rap at one point. It always gets our energy up, breaks the ice and makes us laugh seeing each other dancing so crazily. Often we end up working on something super emotional afterwards but it is still a total vibe to dance to this first.
What are you working on next?
I’m working with some incredible talent, continuing to explore themes of my inner child through writing and finishing a series of new material that will show quite a few different sides to my artistic personality. There will be a new track early next year and a quick succession of songs heading into a new-age style of album towards the end of next year. I can’t wait to share it with you!