We caught up with Toronto-based artist Elina Filice for an interview following the release of her superb collaboration with Claudia Crampton, ‘Lying’. Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a writer, a nomad, a lover of ideas, art, and people. I enjoy long walks on the beach, gay bars, and catching flights as well as feelings.
What is your songwriting process?
It usually involves putting myself in a really painful situation, exasperatingly wondering how I got into this situation again, going to the pub and complaining to friends and/or strangers, going home and pouring everything out onto a page between the hours of 12 and 3 am. Sometimes it takes more than one pour.
You have teamed up with spoken word artist/rapper Claudia Crampton on your latest release ‘Lying’, what sparked the collaboration?
Claudia and I met at an open mic in Dublin. I was blown away by her ease of flow and lyrical style. While having the chats, I showed her a voice memo I had on my phone and shamelessly sang the hook overtop. I wanted Claudia to be my friend, so I asked her to collab so that she’d be forced to. She sent over an absolutely fire first verse, and I knew she was the secret ingredient I needed to make the song a bop.
‘Lying’ is a fusion of genres, was that intensional?
I think it’s something that’s always gonna happen naturally in my music. I was raised on jazz and blues and started seriously playing guitar in a jazz band. I’ve been writing poetry and spoken word since I was young, and am a sucker for a dirty beat. It’s all bound to shine through at some point.
You are the founder of the creative consultancy company Red Vine Music, tell us a bit about what you do?
I work with artists and small businesses on creative marketing, growth, and strategy. I help people tell their stories and get their creative ideas off the ground. My main goal is to encourage a mindset shift from ‘starving artist’ to ‘creative entrepreneur’.
Who are your musical influences?
Elina: Chance the Rapper. Noname. Frank Ocean. Daniel Ceasar.
Who are your non-musical influences?
Margaret Atwood. Naomi Klein. Alanis Morissette. Gord Downie.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
The first one that comes to mind is when I went up to Belfast for a gig. A few mates of mine hit the road, and the whole thing was a drunken adventure. The venue was intimate; the crowd was super attentive; I played a really personal song that I’ve only ever performed in public once. It was also Belfast Pride that weekend so just all around a really memorable experience.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
The talent, standards, and amount of music being released is growing exponentially. As a result, it’s getting harder to actually reach people and cut through the noise. I guess it feels like we’re all fighting for the same things.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
To keep telling my story and giving other people a platform to tell theirs. To hopefully get back on stage as it’s where I feel the most at home. I want to keep pushing myself musically; I also want to give back as much as I can and do good with all this art.
FV Music Blog October 2020
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