[INTERVIEW] Elohim Discusses Her Artistic Vision, Obstacles She Has Overcome, + More Prior to Suwannee Hulaween 2022
Not many artists in today's EDM world can match the passion and creativity that Elohim reflects in her music. Based in Los Angeles, Elohim was raised in a musical family, destined to begin playing the piano when she was only five and started singing at nine. Over the years, Elohim has cultivated her own distinct style that merges elements of the electronic and alternative subgenres.
Adding to her mesmerizing experimental sound design, Elohim showcases the her musical prowess and ability to connect deeply with fans in her live performances. Touring at some of the most extraordinary venues, Elohim has brought her infectious stage presence to the Brooklyn Mirage, Moonrise Festival, Coachella, and more. Her hypnotic tracks such as "Love Is Alive" and "Sleepy Eyes" have turned the heads of the biggest names in the dance industry, earning over 150 million streams on Spotify alone. As a gifted DJ/producer, singer-songwriter, and instrumentalist, iEDM could not resist the opportunity to inquire a prodigy like Elohim about her new single "Earth Magic, pivoting her artistic vision, and her performance at Suwanee Hulaween 2022.
Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Elohim below.
iEDM: How has music helped you overcome hardships throughout your life? In your opinion, which elements found in music have the strongest healing properties and why?
Elohim: Both listening to and creating music have played huge roles in my life when it comes to overcoming obstacles or hardships. On the creating front, I have had days where I wake up so debilitatingly anxious or sad and I’ll sit at the piano, start playing, and instantly feel a bit of relief. It is weirdly THAT miraculous. As far as listening to music I mean wow sometimes you need a good cry so you know the exact song that will do it. Or you're having a panic attack and the one thing giving you relief is the sound of some music you enjoy. Maybe I'm dissociating and the thing that brings me back to earth is music. There are countless ways music has helped me in my life.
iEDM: How has living in Los Angeles impacted your passion for music and altered your perception of the EDM community?
Elohim: I grew up in Los Angeles. I think most of my interest in music, my perception of it and the world surrounding it has been influenced by Los Angeles. Going to shows from a super young age was just a part of the culture here. My dad would play at clubs too so I would have to go with him sometimes. The sunshine here is different. Everything is different here and has played a role in influencing me. The passion and acceptance of arts and music are much more prevalent in a major city like Los Angeles. Opportunity seems to be more accessible especially when you grow up around it!
iEDM: What is the main aspect that each of the 'Journey to the Center of Myself' Volumes has in common? What separates this year’s Volume 4 from the previous complications and how did it allow you to share a part of your identity that your fans have not seen before?
Elohim: The one thing that all 4 pieces of 'Journey to the Center of Myself' have in common is ME! :) I put so much of my heart and soul into all of them. Some during such a weird time in all of our lives and some right before that. Volume 4 is most near and dear to my heart because I made that project in complete isolation with no intention of ever releasing it. I made every sound, melody, lyric, etc. by myself in my bedroom. I thought maybe I would release it secretly under a different name. But at the end of the day, it is part of me and I wanted to share what I was creating during that time when we all felt so alone.
iEDM: The edit compilation you released this summer pairs tracks that make amazing combinations together. What do you listen for in a song when choosing to make an edit or mashup of it? How do you effectively layer and mesh two tracks to form an organic transition?
Elohim: Becoming a DJ in the last year has been really interesting because I have discovered so much music I'd never heard before. I grew up playing classical piano, and over the last five years have done hundreds of shows as Elohim with my full live show. That was made up of two keyboards, two mics, 3 computers, 2 cameras... and a lot of gear. While on stage I would be playing keyboards sampling beats on drum pads singing, running around, and dancing. Although that seems like a lot it became so second nature to me! So diving into DJing actually had a lot of challenges for me! Anything I do I want to do the best I can so I really dove into it and wanted my transitions to feel seamless and my song selection to be inspiring and not what you would think it would be. Choosing songs is a feeling for me. How does it make me feel? If it makes me feel empowered or happy or blissful it is a contender. Fitting them together is a whole other puzzle in which I think my many years of training my ear and my knowledge of theory gave me an advantage.
iEDM: What techniques do you use to blend live sounds with electronic production in a way that feels natural and harmonious to the listener?
Elohim: I grew up playing classical piano so those melodies and textures and that organicness are forever ingrained in my brain. I have always been obsessed with the perfect harmonious pairing of live warm sounds and electronic ones. There is something so special about sitting at a piano and writing a song, but there is something even more special to me when I put that over a crazy electronic beat! That is almost always my little game with myself. Let’s make this organic and highly processed. One of my favorite ways to do this is running acoustic piano or guitar or vocal through effects! I have a really cool piece of gear from the 80’s called an eventide and when I’m working with my brother we run everything through that and it just adds so much inspiration to what we are playing!
iEDM: How do you draw inspiration from your personal experiences when working on a new project? In what ways has your ups and downs throughout life shaped your production style and signature sound?
Elohim: When I am creating which is pretty much every day of my life, I can only create what I am genuinely feeling in that moment in time. I can write about someone else's experience if it is a close friend. When I wrote “Nothing Good Comes Easy” a very close friend was going through a tumultuous time with her partner and I was definitely the sounding board and voice of reason through it. We were texting while I happened to be in a session and the words we were texting were quite literally fuel for my writing that day. There are certain universal feelings and emotions we all know and experience.
iEDM: Your new single with INZO, “Earth Magic”, is an incredible production that tells an emotional story to listeners through sound. What went into the process of creating your favorite melodies and sounds throughout the track? What was the highlight of working with INZO and how did you feed off each other’s creativity to produce “Earth Magic”?
Elohim: The thing I loved most about working with INZO was his dedication to his art. I am a very small part of this record but he made me feel so validated, welcomed and inspired. I love any artist that is endlessly passionate about what they do.
iEDM: What has been the most pivotal shift you’ve made in your artistic vision throughout your music career? What factors or events led to this transition and why do you think it was necessary to make it?
Elohim: My most pivotal and most valuable shift would definitely be gaining self-confidence. This came from hours and years of working incredibly hard. Falling and getting back up. Never giving up! Staying committed and working through the growing pains, anxiety, and panic. Our own personal self-doubt is probably the biggest thing that holds us back as humans, it is still a constant struggle for me but I have grown so much from the shy girl hiding behind her hair and it was so necessary for me to make this shift in order to believe in myself wholeheartedly.
iEDM: What is your favorite destination in the world and why?
Elohim: Palm Springs because of the feeling I get as soon as I pull in. It feels like home, it feels warm, it feels comforting. I feel ultimate peace and grounding when I am there and that is invaluable!
iEDM: What are you most looking forward to for your upcoming performance at Hulaween? Are there any Hulaween surprises you can hint at for your fans to get excited about?
Elohim: I am just really excited to be back! I was there in I think maybe 2017 and it was one of the coolest settings I've ever played a show in! The river is all lit up with reflections is unbelievable! My set is fun badass intense and beautiful! I actually have no idea what day or time Louis the Child plays but it would be cool to sneak in a little “Love Is Alive” performance!
iEDM: As an artist, what is something entirely new you would want to experience or learn in the future? What are your biggest personal and career goals that you want to achieve by the end of 2022?
Elohim: Something new but not entirely different would be being a therapist. I think that would be really fascinating. I only joke saying not entirely different because I am constantly in conversations with people online discussing mental health and our struggles. By the end of 2022 I hope to be healthy breathing and happy and making progress with my next project!
Photos courtesy of Elohim
Read more iEDM Exclusive Interviews HERE!
Gear up for Winter with iEDM apparel and accessories. Check out the latest rave wear arrivals HERE!