Q&A | Elohim takes the stage with her ‘shoulders back, head held high’
In preparation for the DUSK Music Festival, Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Elohim spoke with the Daily Wildcat about her new self-titled debut, creative processes and experiences with mental illness
Daily Wildcat: How long were you creating your debut album?
Elohim: I am always creating and those creations always somehow make it onto what I am creating in some way or another, so dare I say my whole life?
DW: What is your favorite song on your debut album and why?
E: “Insecure.” There is a special emotion within the song that is heart-wrenchingly inspiring. I had a feeling it would be a favorite for a few, and the night my record came out, most of the cuties online gravitated towards that song, sending pictures of themselves crying while listening to it — pretty remarkable to be able to share this part of me with my friends.
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DW: “Elohim” is Hebrew for masculine “gods” or “deities” but is biblically used as the name of the Hebrew God. Why call yourself “Elohim”?
E: I struggle with severe panic and anxiety disorder. When I started this project, I needed help, I needed lifting up and I needed strength. This word embodies strength, hope and light. To me, it is a positive affirmation and encouraging word everyday telling me to go out there and face my fears, shoulders back, head held high.
DW: When you first came into the limelight in 2015, you went to great lengths to protect your identity. Why was it so important to keep your identity and stage persona separate? Have your feelings on protecting your identity changed?
E: I feel the same but different. I am definitely much more open and outgoing, especially on stage. That being said, I feel like a different person when I am on stage, I feel like “Elohim.” She is unstoppable, she is the best version of me. I like to be able to get off tour and rest for a couple days in a “normal” life setting, be human and get re-grounded. Having my identity protected just makes every aspect of my life that much more rewarding and meaningful.
DW: Your song “Panic Attacks” feat. Yoshi Flower — can you tell me about the song, what it means to you and the musical and artistic choices you made when creating it?
E: Yoshi is one of my best friends in the entire world. He is like a brother to me. Creating with him is unlike creating with anyone else. He understands my mind, which is very rare. We let each other go all the way, go to the dark, go to the light and everywhere in between — no boundaries. Panic attacks are horrible and something I, unfortunately, have a lot of experience with. For me, it was nice to create a song that could bring comfort to others in a sense that they know someone else is dealing with the same issues they are. My listeners have become my best friends. They are the people I talk to when I am freaking out, because they know exactly what I am going through.
DW: Some of your songs like “Panic Attacks” and “Hallucinating” seem to suggest anxiety. What do you hope your audience learns from listening to these songs?
E: I hope my audience will realize they aren’t alone, and if they need help, it is 150 percent okay and are encouraged to get it. I want to be there for them like they are there for me. Anxiety, mental health, panic, depression, etc. is horrible. It is debilitating and feels like you’ll never be okay. And really, unless you have experienced it first hand, it is pretty hard to empathize. I had a tour manager watch me go through a severe panic attack in Vancouver — throwing up, lying on the floor unable to speak. It forever changed the way he views mental health. He had no idea it got that bad. I understand what my listeners and beyond are going through, and it is my gift and purpose to put it into song so they have somewhere safe to go when they need it.
DW: What is your creative process?
E: My process is different every time; it also depends on if I am alone or collaborating. I really enjoy creating weird sounds on my computer and going from there. Then other times, I will sit at a piano and write an entire song in an hour or be driving and voice-memo an entire idea.
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DW: I know you only released Elohim in April of this year, but do you have any big projects in the works for the next few years? What’s your next move?
E: It feels like I’ve lived a lifetime since April, so I am not mad at the question. I have a lot of new music that will be coming out in the near future. I plan on forever developing and growing and bringing love to people’s lives through this crazy thing called music — forever evolving and aiming to be the best I can be.
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