After delivering a host of warm and enticing offerings over the last few months, Brooklyn-based artist Elly Kace has returned once again to unveil her latest gem 'I'.
Lifted from her forthcoming concept record and teaming up with dancer Jasmine Mendoza for the video, 'I' showcases a wonderfully rich and vibrant aesthetic throughout. With its light and dreamy direction, humble textures, and her own ethereal voice layered from start to finish, this new effort is filled with a captivating atmosphere that so few manage to master.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has inspired her most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
I have always been the most drawn to singing, but I remember when I started showing an interest in music, my mom bought me this little table harp- I think I was maybe 5? The music would slide under the strings as a guide so you could play it. It always felt so magical to sit and hear the sounds from it. I was really into dragons and mystical things so it sort of fit with that.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
The first music I was obsessed was Ace of Base and this cassette tape of Meryl Streep singing lullabies. I had this little playmate tape player that I took everywhere. I could not sleep without it on- I literally snuggled the thing- and everyday after first grade the first thing I wanted to do was dance to Ace of Base in the living room.
What was the first album you remember owning?
I have super clear memories of my aunt giving me my first cd player and album for my 9th birthday- it felt like magic. It was Sarah MchLachlan’s Surfacing - I would just lay on my bed and listen on repeat, especially when I was sick. I remember feeling so powerful that I could listen to such beautiful things whenever I wanted. Pushing play felt like a sacred rite. It's sweet to remember how excited I was, how careful I was with the disc, the red lights on the cd player and the way the buttons felt- it's SO clear in my memory.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
There are so many wonderful songs- and I love each of them for such different reasons. Lately, I am obsessed with ‘four ethers’ by serpentwithfeet. The production and creativity in his expression of the feelings is profound and wholly original.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I meditate first. Even when I don’t want to- and often that meditation looks like me jittering to get to my writing. But the stillness, or attempted stillness, puts me in a place where I REALLY want to write. It becomes a need. I am a HUGE fan of taking things for a walk. I rarely evaluate while I am writing. I work to find my discernment in spaces other than my studio so I can really try to be objective.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
I know I already said it, but I really love serpentwithfeet lately. I am also a huge fan of FKA twigs, Bjork and the new Sufjan Stevens record.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
This is a fun game. I would love to open for FKA twigs. The innovative and original way they are presenting live performances is what I hope to eventually produce for NISMA and the thought of an audience that is interested in listening to what twigs is saying hearing my stuff is just- full of hope to me.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Connecting. The messages from friends about how the music is serving them. The open faces of the people while I sing to them. Feeling like someone might be able to understand my heart for a moment while they listen and like my life is offering something to someone. It's the closest thing I have found to proof that we aren’t alone, no matter how we feel. Someone can relate. And music is a vehicle to realize that.
And what is the most frustrating part?
Self judgement. The doubtful voices that come up when I start to tap into inconvenient truths. It can be hard to stay grounded in the faith that its not my business if people like me, or my music- its my business to express the best I can. I get really stuck sometimes in this ego space where I worry about how I will be received. Its an old wound, and I think its a common wound, but it's really frustrating to express and then feel self conscious and scared about it. Aries that I am- I tend to push the boundaries on purpose and release things anyway, but it is not without that fear first yet.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
I have been blessed with many incredible mentors. I think the most common advice I have received is ‘keep going’. No matter what, just keep listening, keep making, keep sharing. It seems simple but sometimes it's a really big challenge to believe in yourself and deeper impulses.
Elly Kace's new single 'I' is available to stream now. Check out the new video for it in the player below.