Rediscovering yourself can be challenging and yet exciting, especially when you find out that you’re really good at your new vocation. This is the story of East Coast Canadian singer-songwriter Elyse Aeryn. An engineer turned alt-pop artist who released her first self-produced single “SALT”. A blend of groovy drums, aerial riffs and melodic pop vocals that follows the vibes of a late 90’s track. We fell in love with the track immediately but we wanted to discover more about the artist so we sat down and had a chat together.
YMX: Can you tell us about yourself as an artist? Where are you now, how you started, and what are your goals
ELYSE: I received my first guitar at 16 as a gift and I played the heck out of it. But when the big life decisions came I went for an engineering degree and my guitar collected a lot of dust. Fast forward to my late twenties when I start to ask the tough questions like, “Is this all there is?”, I start playing again and yearning for a more creative pursuit. I bought a new guitar and uploaded my first (terrible) cover to YouTube and suddenly the fire was back. I continued to work on my craft and build a social following while releasing a few singles, then this past winter I moved back to the East Coast to give it all a fair shot. I am a self-taught guitarist and now producer and Salt is my first self-produced single, with a 5-track EP to follow this November. As for what’s next? I would love to co-produce my next project with an experienced engineer to improve my mixing skills, and one day see the world with a band, playing our songs every night for a crowd that loves the music as much as we do!
YMX: Some of our readers might not be familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound?
ELYSE: I have a variety of influences, but most heavily 2010s indie-pop, 90s, and classic rock. I think all of this comes together for the lyrically driven electro-pop vibe in the upcoming Shades of Blue EP. My vocals have been compared to Stevie Nicks and Natalie Merchant, and Salt has been described as ” serious 90s vibes”, yet I’m pulling inspiration from Maggie Rogers and Mallrat so it’s all organically coming together.
YMX: Who have been your biggest influences so far?
ELYSE: As an artist, Stevie Nicks is a huge influence for me. From the poetic way, she crafts her lyrics to her emotional delivery and stage persona. I am also a big Alanis Morissette fan and how she changed the alt-pop game in the 90s. I need a band so I can rock a little harder like that! More recently, Maggie Rogers has become a huge influence, especially around production style. I love how she can tell a big story with just a few words and make you feel it beyond the lyrics with driving beats and layered vocals.
YMX: You recently released “SALT”. Can you tell us how that project came about?
ELYSE: I released Salt, my first self-produced single on September 4th. I am primarily a guitar player but I was messing around with these three chords on the keyboard that hit just right. I transposed them to guitar and started to write about an old memory that wouldn’t leave me alone. I like to write outward from a specific feeling or trigger into the broader message, and in this case, it was the taste of Salt – saltwater, salted margarita rims – triggering a memory. When the lyrics and arrangement were finished, Salt was my first project in Logic Pro X. I told myself it would just be for YouTube and SoundCloud but as it was coming together I couldn’t imagine not sharing it in a bigger way. Salt is the first of my songs where I find who I am as an artist and I think it really shines through in the writing and production.
YMX: 2020 has been a hard year for everybody, but the music industry and arts, in general, took a heavy hit. How did you guys cope with that, musically speaking?
ELYSE: I used it to my advantage. I didn’t plan to be on the east coast as long as I was but the pandemic resulted in being stuck here for the majority of the year. I had been looking for the time to finally learn my way around Logic Pro X so I spent the lockdown months learning and producing my first works. I wrote songs, sang them on weekly live streams, and brought them to life from my east coast bedroom at my parents’ house. This year certainly did not come without its hardships but I’m just not wired on dwell on that!
YMX: Do you consider important working together in a team, or do you prefer working alone?
ELYSE: I enjoy both. I love spending time alone and letting my creativity blossom from the quiet. But I love feeding off other people’s energy, learning from them, and being part of a community. This summer I started playing with a band and it feels like flying! I also can’t wait to start co-producing my music so I can work smarter and faster. It’s amazing how ideas can be supercharged when two or more artists come together!
YMX: What are you looking for, in terms of promotion? What do you think could be helpful to promote your music around?
ELYSE: Facebook ads seem to be working wonders for the indie community. I’ve been dipping my toes but I’d love to get better at targeted ads. It would also be great to get into more Spotify playlists to help with algorithmic traction!
YMX: What does playing live represent for you? a way to make yourself known or a way to express yourself?
ELYSE: It is 100% for self-expression and enjoyment. There is no feeling like singing and playing my guitar with a full band behind me. I become a heightened version of myself. I just want to become known enough to keep doing this thing!
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)
ELYSE: I have the EP release in the works for November. I also plan to get a merch line going and play as much as possible with the band while I’m here on the east coast. I’ve deemed 2021 as the year I improve my guitar skills so I plan to purchase a Strat and get skilled enough to shred all over my next album which will hopefully be that co-production 😉
Just like a passionate summer love, the song has an ending but this can only mean more space for new loves and new music. We’ll be here waiting for new music from ELYSE AERYN and you should do too! FOLLOW HER NOW!