We had the good fortune of connecting with Elthia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elthia, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks can be frightening, but equally as freeing. When I released my debut single, I changed my stage name, all of my social media handles, and deleted all my videos with millions of views so that I could showcase my new work with a clean slate. I worried beforehand that changing everything would relinquish the credibility that I made for myself online and make it increasingly difficult for my existing audience to find my future music. But, by doing so, I was able to find a new audience that really resonated with my new work, and I am so grateful for them. I felt that taking this step was necessary because, for me, creating art under a stage name felt more authentic to my music in a way that using my real name and identity didn’t. With a persona, I can have fun and be more experimental in my work. Taking this risk has been essential in my creative process, and also in the way that I relate to both my art and my audience.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have a lot of fun experimenting with my music, styles, and audience by weaving stories that can be interpreted in multiple ways. I love creating art that goes beyond what’s on the surface; for example, my debut single, “i love you but you make me cry”, went viral because it sounds like a breakup song, but it’s really about an onion. I am proud that this song just hit 300,000 streams, and I am so incredibly grateful to my fans from Tiktok for spreading the song and continuing to listen to it. The road leading up to the release of my single definitely wasn’t easy, as I struggled changing my niche, name, and coming to terms that I could lose everything I built in the last 5 years of showcasing my work online. Overcoming these challenges really meant that I would have to bite the bullet, try different things, and see where it would lead me, which has been the biggest lesson for me during this process. Trying new things and experimenting is crucial to grow as an artist and a person.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I moved to Los Angeles shortly before the rise of Covid-19 in the city, so unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to explore it as much as I would have liked to. I found a few spots that I really liked before quarantine started, including Zuma beach, the Hollywood Bowl, and La Brea Tar Pits. During quarantine, I discovered drive-in movies at Calabasas! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My debut single, “i love you but you make me cry”, was produced by LA-based artist and songwriter, Deza. She gave the song a whole new life that fit the sonic world that I was envisioning when writing this song, and I am so grateful to have worked with her. Deza’s incredible skill and artistry are clear in her most recent singles, “Pout” and “June”.
All photos by Charlie Sehres