Back in the day I used to work at a cafe in Boston and was blessed to have the lovely, Elli Espi, come into my life. We always got along and when I heard her voice I was blown away. She let me know she was going to school for Music Therapy which I found so inspiring. Fast forward to today...she is now creating beautiful music and now we want YOU to hear it!
For the readers who have never heard you or your music describe yourself in 3 words!
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue music as a career?
I woke up like this. Haha… But seriously though, music is in my family - my great, great Uncle wrote and composed Silent Night in the 1800’s. Music careers run in my blood, so it’s all I’ve ever known.
What is the writing and recording process typically like for you?
It’s funny but my songs kind of write themselves, music and lyrics both - it just flows. If I feel like being more creative, I’ll improvise or rap with friends or start writing poetry, and those kind of turn into songs. I also use music as spiritual meditations,and those verses that come out also often turn into songs. Every now and then, I collaborate with friends and we communicate using music and lyrics, and those turn into songs as well. In the recording process, my producer Ari (R.E. Thuggz) and I just get a vibe going and capture that raw, natural, intimate energy. We move as effortlessly as possible and get into a flow. Most of the gear we’ve been using is vintage, so the sounds are very special. I also am fortunate enough to have Aaron Comess (from the Spin Doctors), Adam Deitch (from Lettuce and Pretty Lights), and Elliot Jacobson (from Ingrid Michaelson’s band) playing on the record, so that’s been really sweet. We are all about vibe.
Who are some of your major influences?
Stevie Nicks, Mazzy Star, any Hip Hop music, Jewel, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, and Lana Del Rey.
If you could put together your dream tour who else would be on it? Also, describe your dream tour bus!
My girl Kendra Morris (she’s amazing), or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (they seem super cosmic and fun), my girl’s band Wild Belle (They are amazing), and / or Jack Johnson (I love his Island vibe). I would love to tour with something Earth friendly, spacious enough to sprawl out and have friends come along and jam.
What is one song you heard this year you wish you wrote?
Aloe Blacc and Avicii “Wake Me Up”.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you about the music industry?
Learn as much as you can about how it works, and always be the smartest person in the room when it comes to your original music.
What is your favorite song to perform and why?
I love to cover Pete Seeger’s “If I Had A Hammer” because it’s an amazing song, and I do it on a Shruti Box (an indian instrument) so it’s really different than the original folk version; It gets this mystical feel to it and it just feels really good. Of my own songs, I love to do Lako, because it’s just my “it” song right now- I mean it’s a carefree song with beautiful associations and memories.
Tell us a bit about this song you wrote!
Lako comes from my experience in Hawaii where I stayed with two very special friends in this very special house (The Lahko House) overlooking an extraordinary, gorgeous Hawaiian bay from the top of a cliff. The word Lako is actually Hawaiian for “the way a thing is made or put together”. . .and the song is about just that - the way our friendship was put together; what it’s made up of. I love this song. It immortalizes these very important, beautiful friendships and gives the message of “Don’t worry about anything, and let me do whatever I can for you... Our friendship is built on this shared time, honesty,and a bit of reckless abandon. We’re always connected.” But at the same time, there’s an unresolved feeling to it, like it may or may not actually last. It’s just a moment captured in the middle of a giant bigger picture...
Do you have any hidden talents people wouldn’t expect?
I love playing chess. I also have a degree in music therapy, and have worked in pediatrics and the neonatal intensive care unit. That side of my music career sometimes overlaps with my artistry side, but sometimes people have no idea that I’ve actually worked in hospitals.
Any last words for your fans and all of the Buzznet readers?
Connect with me! Instagram and Twitter - @elliespi and Facebook!
I love collaborating, connecting, and sharing with people who love music as much as I do. Sending each and every reader nothin but love! <3
Frank Iero fans, we asked you to submit your questions for the former My Chemical Romance guitarist, and you did not disappoint, leaving us hundreds of inquiries for the musician. Before heading on tour with Taking Back Sunday and the Used, Frank popped into our HQ to sit down for a PV Fan Q&A.