Maxim Meyer-Horn

24 Jan

On Our Radar: Hyper Pop Princess Elphi Breaks Free On Her Debut Mixtape ‘Chains’

Are you still sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? We are because we want to introduce even more exciting acts in our beloved ‘On Our Radar’ series, in which we put upcoming artists in the spotlight. Our next act at the top of our playlist is the British hyper pop act Elphi. She recently released her debut mixtape ‘Chains’, which we can best describe as a mixture between Slayyyter and Oklou. Since the singer had to self-quarantine, she shot some pictures in her backyard and answered our questions to introduce herself.

How would you define Elphi? What do you want to be known for?

This era of Elphi is definitely glitter pop. Bright synths, sticky melodies, and longing lyrics. I want people to find my music more challenging than ‘classic pop’ but enjoy it just as much, which is a tricky line to walk.

What’s the meaning behind your artist name?

I dreamt of it.

If we had to describe your music, we would say it’s a mixture between Caroline Polacheck, Slayyyter, and Oklou. Who is currently at the top of your playlist?

My on-repeat playlist is currently one I made for the amazing women in pop. Currently, it’s CoCo and Clair Clair and Tei Shi, but in general, you could always find me listening to Erika de Casier or more recently CHlOBOCOP or Babyxsosa.

Who are your musical childhood heroes, and how does that reflect in your music?

AVRIL LAVIGNE. Always been obsessed. Her energy, voice, and aesthetic at the time blew me away. No one could compare to her older days, so I won’t even try, but if Elphi were colors, it would be black and pink.

What did you learn or discover about yourself last year?

My gut is, normally, right.

You already released a couple of songs before you released Chains. How have they helped you create this bigger work of art?

They have helped in terms of establishing the narrative for this season. There are definitely themes of longing and loss: when things feel like the end of the world but never are. Tracks like “cloud 9” set an almost childlike, naive scene, which then allowed me to mature on Chains.

Chains is your debut EP/Mixtape. What do you want to showcase with these nine songs?

That pop can evolve into something challenging. I want to ask my audience through exaggeration, distortion, and parody questions like; how do we keep track of ourselves in a world of impulse, distraction, and technology? What is the price we pay for our attention? Is the price too high? My aim is to create a space for Futuristic Pop, right now, in the mainstream.

You’re releasing music as an independent artist. What are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of being independent?

The biggest advantage is definitely the creative freedom: to be able to create and release music whenever. However, in today’s culture, where anyone can release music at any time, it is a full-time job trying to get playlists, etc. to hear your music. That’s when a label comes in and, in time, I hope to find the right one. So I am not opposed to it.

What’s your favorite thing about writing music?

Getting lost in the process. I definitely think I can be a bit obsessive, but sometimes, I’ll sit down to write and will blink and have been there for hours. Then I love just sitting back, plugging in, and listening to what I’ve created for the first time. It is like the music becomes something else when other people listen to it, so it is nice to just meditate on that moment before that happens.

Which artist is at top of your list to collab with? Is that something you want to do more often? 

Yes, I definitely love collaboration, I want to collaborate more with people that I can actually be in the same room as this year because that is so much fun. I think the top of the list has to be Charli XCX, PinkPantheress, and Yaeji. They have all done something new, and their sounds are so unique.

If you could fulfill one of your dreams this year, which one would it be?

To have one of my tracks hit 100k on Spotify.

Elphi’s debut mixtape ‘Chains’ is out now on all platforms

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