For years, Ellise has been haunting our dreams and our playlists! With spooky (but oh-so-sweet) melodies and captivating lyrics, Ellise has everything it takes to send chills down our spine. Fresh off the release of her hauntingly delicious new single, ‘Pretty In The Dark,’ we talked to Ellise, who shed some light on her early career, inspirations, and the art of manifestation. Check it out!
Early in your career, you moved to Los Angeles at such a young age to pursue music. Looking back on that now, are there any words of wisdom you’d give 16-year-old you?
I would probably just give myself a big hug and tell myself that everything is going to be okay. I was so sad as a teenager, and I regret it. It’s such a special time of life that I took for granted a lot of the time. But I wouldn’t change anything. I think everything happens the way it does for a reason.
One of your earliest singles, ‘Love Made Me Do It,’ came out in 2018 and introduced us to your signature darker pop sound. What inspired you to take that edgier twist on pop music?
‘Love Made Me Do It’ was definitely what opened my eyes to loving the dark pop sound. I was already a fan of artists like Lana Del Rey and The Neighbourhood, so I was looking for ways to capture an essence of anger or sadness into my songs the way they did. I realized I loved using juxtapositions between dark lyrics and happier melodies, and vice versa.
How do you feel your songwriting has evolved since your earliest releases, and how do you continue to find inspiration?
It’s hard for me to listen to some of my older music now because I just cringe. But I think a lot of artists feel that way. My songwriting has definitely changed a lot since I started, as well as my vocals and musical tendencies. I always find inspiration through life, and going through the first half of my 20’s putting out music has kind of been like a time capsule for me. I can remember exactly what I was doing, what I was wearing, and how I was acting when I listen back to a song. Life happens, and sadness, happiness, or anger always inspires me to write more.
Several of your EPs have been released in October, with horror seeming to be a theme. We assume that makes you a huge Halloween fan. So, we have to ask, what is your go-to scary movie, and why?
The Shining, for sure. The whole aesthetic of that movie is so unique and inspiring, and Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite directors. It’s in the rotation of movies I put on in the background while cooking dinner or writing emails, so I’ve seen it countless times.
Speaking of spooky sounds, we’re still obsessed with the Chaotic live album! What was your favorite song to perform live during that project?
I’m so glad you liked it! The title track, ‘Chaotic,’ is definitely my favorite to perform. That song is so personal to me and is some of my most vulnerable songwriting, so singing and performing feels like reading a diary entry in a safe room. It makes me feel really at peace.
Following Chaotic, you released Letting The Wolf In, which is very heavily fairytale-themed. If you could spend the day with any fairytale character, who would it be and why?
100% Alice in Wonderland. She’s my favorite Disney character of all time. I would follow her right down that rabbit hole and have the time of my life in Wonderland. I actually recently wrote a song about falling into an upside-down universe, and it’s heavily Alice in Wonderland-themed.
You’ve done so many cool collaborations like ‘Soul Sucker, Pt. 2’ with Mothica and DeathbyRomy, as well as your latest single, ‘Pretty In The Dark,’ with Ashley Sienna. What is your favorite part of collaborating with other artists?
Collaboration is one of the best parts of music! Everyone has their own sensibilities and personal flares in music, so it’s amazing when different artists add their own identity to a song. I think it always adds an extra layer that makes a song feel deeper and fuller. I’ve been really lucky to work with amazing female artists like Romy, Mothica, and Ashley, and nothing makes me happier than getting to watch their processes and hear their uniqueness come out on a song.
The song ‘Pretty In The Dark’ is a manifestation anthem for love and beauty. What are some of your go-to manifestation techniques?
I’m big on writing things out and listing my goals and manifestations. As a typical Virgo, I have to write down EVERYTHING if I ever want to remember it. So, I usually create a list of manifestations, milestones I want to hit, goals I want to achieve, and so on. This helps me live in a reality where the goals I set are already on their way, which motivates me to achieve them.
Your music videos are always really aesthetic! What has been your favorite music video to film, and why?
Thank you! I love the visual world of music, and creating conceptual videos is something I always try to do. ‘Over Breakfast’ is probably my favorite music video of mine. It’s my least expensive video, and we made it with only myself, my long-time friend and collaborator Marc Heller, and my makeup artist, Teresa Ammons. We filmed it in my hometown, on random hills around the area. It was just such a fun day, it didn’t feel anything like a typical video shoot. It was very intimate and chill, and the actual visuals came out beautiful, simple, and serene. It was the perfect video to compliment a very special song for me.
One of our favorite songs of yours is ‘Zipperlips!’ which means we absolutely love secrets! Are there any secrets you can spill about what’s coming next?
All I’ll say is… Can’t wait for Halloween !!!!!
If you ask us, Halloween can’t come soon enough! We know we’re in for a treat come this October and are ready for whatever trick Ellise has up her sleeve next.
What’s your favorite thing about Ellise? Did you learn something new about our favorite dark pop princess? Let us know in the comments, or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @thehoneypop. Come connect with other music lovers and join The Honey POP Discord today!
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Executive Writer for The Honey Pop! Cat mom, poet, traveler, and aspiring professional concertgoer.