We had the good fortune of connecting with Elymie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elymie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think taking risks are a necessary part of life and my career. If you play it safe and follow everyone else than it’s hard to grow and find your own unique voice. For me, taking risks in music did just that. I knew that not everyone would be into my music but putting myself out there in a vulnerable state gives me an opportunity to share my perspective for people who do like it and do get it. They can experience something that’s uniquely mine and they’re able to relate to it in their own way. Another risk that I’ve taken recently in my music is being sort of my own producer. I used to only write the melody and lyrics but leave the rest of the creative direction to someone else. Now I’m exercising my producer chops each time I work on a new song and try out new ideas. Sometimes they work and sometimes it goes so horribly wrong. Honestly, that’s the fun part though. Just coming up with different sounds and giving different instruments their own vibe within the song and working as hard on that as the melody and lyrics.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
In all honesty it’s taken me awhile to get to a point where I was excited or proud of my art. In the beginning, I think I had solid ideas and songs but didn’t fully let them develop. Now I have a feel for what my style is like without limiting myself or holding back. I’m proud that I’ve taken more charge over my music now. I don’t just let someone else figure out the fine details anymore. I get involved and invested in the song with the little things as well as the big picture. What I learned on the way is to just create. Just create even if it’s not exactly what you imagined it was going to sound like… just keep going. The more you create the better and more defined you’ll become. The less you worry about “will someone like this?” and say “well, I like this” then the chances are someone else out there will like it too. I’m not saying I don’t ever regress or get caught up in people’s opinions because sometimes I do but with the help of my support system, I’m reminded I do this for myself first. I create music because I love doing it and I want to share it with other people. Right now I’m really proud and excited for my upcoming release on Friday, January 29th. During the beginning of quarantine my husband and I decided to work on a Doris Day cover called “Send Me No Flowers.” It’s written by Burt Bacharach & David Hal from the movie namesake in 1964. With the help of some talented musician friends, Osmar Okuma (bass) and Zac Burgenbauch (guitar) we put our own modern spin to this very upbeat ’60s song. This song means so much to me especially now because it’s about wanting to be with someone rather than receiving gifts. This meaning takes on something new in pandemic times. We just want to be able to see and hold our loved ones. I’ve never worked on or released a cover so I’m excited to present my version of it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There’s so much great food in LA and so many different cuisines. Emphasis on the “so many.” It’s so hard to choose! If I had to pick here are a few places to eat: Canter’s, Ohana Superette, Kyochon Chicken, Boo’s Philly Cheesesteak, The Original Hoy-Ka Thai Noodle, Crispy Pork Gang, Oi Fusion, Prime Pizza, Jon & Vinny’s, and Sugarfish to name a few. I also love to get coffee so I would take them to Dinosaur Coffee or La Colombe. I also love bubble tea and DingTea is my favorite boba spot. Outside of food, there are also a lot of great places to hang out in the city. Clearly a lot of these things are shut down but if they weren’t, I suggest taking them to Cinespia, which is an outdoor movie event that takes place at the Hollywood Forever cemetery during the summer. Vista Theatre in Los Feliz hosts a thing called Secret Movie Club for midnight showings of classic movies in 35mm film, which looks really cool. Besides those places I would take them to Hermosa or Manhattan beach or hiking at Elysian Park. I would also take them to have a picnic at Echo Park or a tour of The Broad Museum in Downtown LA. Lastly, I love flea markets and my favorites are the Silverlake Flea and Melrose Trading Post!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The person that deserves the most credit and recognition is my husband, DanMichael Reyes who is also a very talented musician. He’s been with me from the start and is one of my biggest cheerleaders. Besides his unimaginable support, he is also a talented songwriter and producer as well and is always there to bounce ideas off of and help me execute them. He sets up Pro Tools, microphones, and the instruments. He’s running the session, laying down his parts and mine, and mixing everything. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to bring any of my songs and ideas to life.