Elliphant: The Elephant in the Room

When you’re searching through iTunes to find some good music to listen to, what draws you to a particular song? Is it the name of the song that causes you to add it to your playlist? Or maybe, like me, you decide to search for some new music to listen to based on a particular artist. An artist’s music can tell you a lot about them, including their ideas and values, and sometimes even about their personal lives. The clues are usually hidden throughout their songs, but then, you have someone like Elliphant, a Swedish pop singer who speaks her mind whenever and wherever she wants. In an interview with Totally Stockholm, a Swedish cultural website that focuses on Stockholm’s entertainment, Elliphant said, “There are too many perfect ladies like Rihanna and Beyonce in the music industry. I want to change that. I love dark music and dirty words. Sometimes, when I’m writing lyrics I think, ‘Is this even ok to say?’ But that’s me. I’m a filthy girl.” Her main reason for making music is to change the way we think and change the way we perceive the world.

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Ellinor Miranda Salome Olovsdotter is Elliphant’s real name, but it probably wouldn’t stick in the music industry. As a joke, one of her friends said that she should go by the name of Elliphant. It seemed kind of silly at that time, but after a few months, she realized that the name stuck, and she decided to go with it. It also helped that the name was a homophone for the huge and sensitive animal that she thought her music is similar to. Elliphant had been interested in music ever since she was young and traveling with her family, but actually thinking of it as something more than to listen to hadn’t come across her mind until recently.

Elliphant had always thought of photography as her life, but when she came upon music, she switched gears and fell in love with the sound. Before she thought about music, she was immersed in the world of photography. Taking pictures were her life. She began taking pictures back in Stockholm before moving to Los Angeles, mainly because of the numerous things that she thought were amazing and she didn’t want to forget any of them. The day she started music was when she made a Facebook page claiming to be a musician, and when her friends called her out, she told them that she was indeed so. Ever since then, Elliphant realized that once you put your mind to do something, then it becomes that much easier to accomplish.

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In an interview with Tara Aquino, a creative writer for Pigeons and Planes, an entertainment website that began in 2008, Elliphant said, “The music industry is in need for some reality. Instead of artists going to an awards show here and there, they should talk more about what’s going on because the music industry is all over the world. Not even politicians or presidents can make that change that music can make. It’s sad that so many artists don’t seem to understand that. They don’t use their powers in the right way, just more money and more gold. Money and gold is the last thing that I want in the world. I want to make a change and I know everyone wants that. That’s the thing. It’s in our system. We want to give. As long as you take and take, you’re going to get sad and bitter in your soul.”

It’s pretty simple; our music industry needs Elliphant. She understands that musicians are influential characters and that a lot of people throughout the world view them as idols. Musicians, and artists overall, are looked up to by kids and adults alike. For this reason, artists should use their art to change the world, or at the very least, use their art to display the issues that plague our world.

Elliphant’s music is a fusion of 90s pop, reggae and dubstep that hits hard and meshes together flawlessly into a hip-hop/rap song. In the few years that her music has been on the scene, she has made her music into a combination that is really worthwhile. Her voice, that’s coupled with a great percussionist, impresses us again and again. In her latest songs, she continues to use that combo that has earned her a lot of recognition over the years.

In her extended playlist, One More, she collaborates with a well-known Scandinavian singer, MØ, to portray the experience of getting drunk with your best friend. The lead single, “One More,” is a little bit of a “rave song,” and it stands out from the rest of the pack. Intense songs about partying and going wild aren’t exactly her cup of tea, but every once in awhile, Elliphant will produce a song that seems to differ from her usual.

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In an interview with Suze Olbrich, a writer for Noisey, music by Vice, Elliphant said, “Ever since I met MØ I always wanted us to do something together. We share a lot of fans, and we really like each other.” She goes on to explain how they met through a talent agent and became very close friends after making the song, “One More,” together.

The style of Elliphant’s music definitely gives us a glimpse into her own life. Since the artist likes to express herself freely through her music, we get the whole experience of her life in and out. In an interview with Sergio Kletnoy, a writer from the French magazine, Elle, asked how she would describe herself, to which she replied, “Naked – Like in a spiritual way. Change. I’m going to be constantly making mistakes and changing myself; I think change is a good thing. And nature.” The way she produces her music captures us through her sound and her lyrics.

-Te’Ron Adams