We’re all smiles here at Beyond The Stage because we got the chance to talk with promising young artist, Elise Eriksen.
Coming off the release of her latest single, “Smile”, the singer-songwriter is quickly becoming one of the best new artists to watch. In her new track, Eriksen writes an emotional ballad telling the story of hiding her worries behind a smile. The track is already gaining steam with 111.8K streams on Spotify.
This song comes after the release of Eriksen’s debut single, “Less”. The funky hit made waves, gaining over 800K streams on Spotify and 362.1K views on YouTube — and they’re still growing!
In our fun interview with Eriksen, we get to learn more about the her inspirations and passions. Plus, she tells us the best thing for people to do in her home country of Norway.
BTS: Where did the inspiration for “Smile” come from?
Elise Eriksen: I think the inspiration for “Smile” came from being stuck alone in my house. I think that it’s hard to find a silver lining to being so alone and so claustrophobic, almost. So, you know, people tend to put on a happy face to not show others that they’re struggling. But I think that it’s a time when we should come together and recognize that not everyone is happy right now.
BTS: What does your songwriting process look like?
EE: I start by collecting random words or phrases throughout the day, you know, over a long period of time. And then I play some chords on my piano and see what I can do to create a melody and create something special out of the things that I put together. So, throughout my day, I’ll take random inspiration from little things and try to make it interesting and relatable. Play some chords, sing a random melody that fits with it, and then put the words into it after.
BTS: How did you articulate such strong emotions as the ones you mention in “Smile” when creating this song?
EE: I would say that the way that I convey lyrics while singing would be to just tap into my own experiences, and to have certain experiences on my mind, or be in a mindset that relates to the song. I kind of do that by sitting quietly a little bit before, and thinking to myself, and getting time to really channel what I want to say.
And just working hard to make sure the recording is saying what I want to say because I feel like a song is a lot more than just the lyrics, but I mean, conveying it in a way that’s real is super important.
BTS: What do you hope people will feel when they hear “Smile?”
EE: I hope people will feel listened to, and heard, and understood. Because I know that it’s a difficult time in the world, and that a lot of people are going through the same thing. It’s a common experience to feel alone or down now, but I want people to, after they’re done listening to the song, to feel a little better. If I touch at least one person, I’ll be happy about that.
BTS: How does your strong work ethic impact your growth as an artist?
EE: I think that hard work is the most important part about being an artist. Working hard, working on your craft, working on piano, singing and songwriting every single day is what really, you know, makes it happen. Because if you don’t put in the hours or expect everyone else around you to provide you with things, it’s never gonna work out.
I think that having a strong work ethic allows you to explore more because you’re able to come up with more ideas, and be more creative, and just get better at what you do.
BTS: If you could work with any one artist, alive or not, who would it be?
EE: Stevie Nicks. I think she’s wonderful and awesome. And one of the first, you know, household names as a woman in a rock band. I think that that is extremely admirable. So most certainly her.
BTS: Favorite song you’re listening to right now?
EE: I’ve really been loving the song “I Can’t Quit You Baby” by Led Zeppelin. That’s been what I’ve really been loving lately. That’s a super cool song. Or “Gold Dust Woman.”
BTS: Any movies/shows you’ve seen recently that’s keeping you inspired?
EE: I would say my two favorite movies are Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born. Those are two movies that show you can go from rags to riches, almost… It shows the journey of an artist. I think that watching success from people who, you know, come from all over the world is really inspiring, and really cool. So those two are movies that I’ve loved and have watched probably a hundred times.
BTS: What were some of the cultural differences you saw when you moved from Norway to the U.S.? Was it a difficult transition?
EE: I would say it was definitely a difficult transition. I mean, first we have the weather. On top of that, too, people are just so different. I feel like there’s pros and cons to both places. Norway is more quiet… It’s a down-to-earth and beautiful place with beautiful people. And LA and New York are just flooded with creativity and inspiration and motivation.
So I think that coming from both places, I’d say I’m super lucky, because I’ve gotten the best of both worlds. I mean, it hasn’t been easy moving because you have to adapt to different customs and the way people are, so it’s never easy to move. But I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to live in all those places, because I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it.
BTS: For anyone who hasn’t been to Norway, what would you tell them to do if they ever visit?
EE: Hmm… I would tell them to just walk around the cities and visit the fjords. I think the best way to get to know a country is to experience it and experience the people and the culture and kind of see it live.
BTS: What can we expect from you in the next couple of years?
EE: You can expect, hopefully, more live shows, albums, and EPs, and singles, and just hard work!
It’s safe to say that Elise Eriksen should stay on your radar if her current releases are any indication of the incredible career that lies ahead. Her ability to channel inspiration from the uniqueness of her life is evident through the signature style that wafts out of her music.
Additionally, be sure to follow Beyond the Stage to keep up with the latest music news.
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