The first of 6 live performance videos is released!Read More
How was your year? Twenty-seventeen was a crazy daze for me. The year started with me receiving news that I could be supporting P!nk at V Festival, resulting in me postponing my wedding in hope of one of the best gigs of my life. Thankfully it pulled off! #KeepTheFaith
That wasn't the only dream come true this year though:
What I ticked off the bucket list:
✓ Play an official SXSW show
✓ Ride a mechanical bull
✓ Play an arena show
✓ Go on a UK Tour
✓ Play V Festival
I got to eat amazing food...yes that's a donut salad..and yes I still got my abs 😜
I performed on some of the worlds hottest stages. Seriously, it was close to 40°C at Untold in Romania and the stage had a fire-breathing dragon surrounding it, and in Austin it was so hot at one of the shows I dived into a pool during the last cymbal crash of my set.☀️ 💦
I travelled to 5 amazing places I'd never been before Groningen in the Netherlands, Moscow in Russia, Budapest in Hungary, Isle of Wight in the UK and Cluj Napoca in Romania.
I got to do it all of this with the best people. It's super clichéd and cheesy..but genuinely, working with people who are not only super talented and creative but seriously nice is the biggest blessing. Let's face it, this year I figured out in 2017 I'm the boss and you're fired if you ain't open minded or are a dickhead. Buh-bye!
WHAT I FAILED AT IN 2017
At Sziget I smashed my face with my own mic during the finale.
2018..will be the year I nail a death drop on stage. Watch this space.
I love a New Year. You can restart at any time of course, but it's never easier than the start of a year. I'm that b*tch that makes a New Years Resolution and sticks to it. I've got that belief in myself and I hope you do too. You can do whatever you set your mind to, it all starts with a single intention and a little bit of focus.
I dedicate this one to the ExXterminators who are done with "fake love". When we say we love each other, we mean it, we care and we back each other to the end.
Love to everyone supporting my new music, playing it loud and proud. I see sparks when you're tweeting and showing me your Instagram/Snapchat stories - let's keep lighting it up so we can get a fire blazing under this song.
HEY! <- CAN YOU TELL I'M EXCITED BY MY USE OF ALL-CAPS?
My new single "Catapult" is out THIS FRIDAY (10th November 2017). You can pre-order it now for the absolute bargain price of 99p 😲 I'll need quite a lot of you to buy it to cover the costs of making it though 😂 If you save up 33p a day for the next 3 days, you'll be able to afford the absolute tune of the year come Friday! But if you're already a G' rollin' in pennies then head over to smarturl.it/LXcatapult to pre-order it right now. While you're on your mega spending spree, why not take a gander at my shop and buy a hat to keep your head warm and make a statement on what a badass you are, or a T-shirt to show you're "lovin' the crew".
Over and out,
So the time has come to say goodbye. Love Fuelled Hate's one year anniversary is officially over! I'll be moving onto Chapter 2 and releasing some brand new music on 10th November 2017 (pre-order it by clicking here).
Grab your limited edition copy of my Love Fuelled Hate CD here:
Feisty and fabulous electro-clash heroine Elle Exxe has unleashed her much-anticipated debut album "Love Fuelled Hate". You can buy a signed physical copy right here including an 8-page booklet with lyrics, credits and exclusive photographs.
Here's a recap of all the blog posts I wrote to celebrate the Love Fuelled Hate anniversary.
Thanks for tuning in.
People always ask me "how do you write your songs?". I think anyone can write a song, but it's difficult to describe how because every song is different..but here's an example.
I wrote "WTF" (Track 11 on Love Fuelled Hate) with my friend Charlie Elwess. I came into his mini-studio with a completely ridiculous riff idea and sang it to him. A lot of songwriting is just having the guts to throw something out there. You know you're gelling with someone when they're able to take whatever madness you give and repeat it back to you with music - that's exactly what Charlie did. Here's the original voice memo and the final result mixed into one audio clip:
I always like starting with the instrumental when I'm collaborating because it instantly brings a vibe and energy to the room and gets everyone onto the same page. Once you've got a beat and a key it's so much easier to write a melody. Usually I hum ideas over the top, here's a clip of Charlie and I in our writing session doodling with some melodies:
In the final version we ended up very close to the voice memo I'd recorded the previous da, listen here:
Often when I'm jamming melodies out, words and emotions pop into my head. This song was inspired by a nasty experience I'd had a few days before...
I was in my hometown, Edinburgh, celebrating Hogmanay (New Years eve). I was watching a couple of my favourite bands on a pop up stage in the town-centre; Young Fathers and Twin Atlantic. The street was rammed and my friends, family and I were front row. In crowds like that you get a bit of pushing and pulling and I'm cool with that..however, there's always one dickhead that's intent on ruining it for everyone. There was a guy properly shoving people around - and considering this was a family show where I was stood next to someone in a wheelchair, loads of small young female tourists and my dad who was using a walking stick to balance - the shover was being a real pain in the ass and someone was gonna get hurt. This nasty guy was getting into fights with everyone but when he got close to me I held my ground and told him to be careful. To which he spat "GO BACK TO YOUR OWN FUCKING COUNTRY" at me in his best Glaswegian accent.
I'd only ever heard those words on TV, in fact I'd never witnessed xenophobia in real life EVER. I was in total shock. It was ironic considering I was in my hometown and he wasn't..but that's not the point. We're all one race, we all share the same planet and we should treat each other with love and care no matter where we're from.
It's always possible to create a positive out of a negative. For me this prick inspired a song that allows me to unify crowds all over the world. What could be greater than that?
On stage I ask
"If you find racism more offensive than the word 'fuck', sing with me. When I say 'who the' you say 'fuck'"
So far I've watched and listened to thousands of people of all ages from all over the world yelling "FUCK" at the top of their lungs in protest to xenophobia and as a mark of love for each other. It's my favourite moment of every show.
"I Understand" was the final song I wrote for my album and the only one that was 100% written, produced and (mostly mixed) by me. It nearly didn't make it onto the album because I didn't believe in myself enough as a producer. I didn't think my work was good enough to stand up next to the songs that "real producers" had worked on (even though I produced 95% of Shoot and co-produced everything else). But in the end the song felt too important to leave out. It sums up everything on the album for me almost bringing it full-circle to love again.
People do awful things. Sometimes it can be so difficult to get your head around why someone would hurt another human-being. Sometimes the scars someone leaves can be so deep that they seem unforgivable. But spending energy on emotions like hatred just kills you from the inside out, and filling a heart with an obsession for revenge means losing precious time to help yourself and others. I've seen so many people destroyed by hate and their unwillingness to let it go.
"I Understand" goes out to all those people who've been hurt and are still waiting for an apology they're never going to get. It's time to move on with your life.
Writing I Understand
I started writing "I Understand" on the piano:
I didn't want a piano ballad on the album. I wanted to experiment and see if I could make something that was electronic but still emotive. I recorded a "guide" vocal in my home-made vocal booth (out of plastic tubes and moving-rugs), then I cut it up and sampled it with my AKAI MPK mini keyboard. I did it all on my laptop for a couple of days..even with it precariously balanced while I was in the bath at one point...girl's gotta work, but girl's gotta smell good too!
I found some old clips of "White Lies" from during the recording process!
The first recording is the demo I recorded at home, it was just a rough outline of the song on keys with a few backing vocals:
I knew Ross would be able to do something amazing with the song so I took it to him to work on the production. This is a recording I found from the mid-way point:
The song was so hypnotic to work on. My favourite moments are the ebowed guitars. Here's some video clips from the final session I had with Ross:
I invited my friends over to my house to record vocals in a make-shift vocal-booth but couldn't find any footage 😢 I'll add it if I find some. xx
The "Sick" lyric video was a work-of-art I commissioned from my long-term collaborator Pedro at Polidélico Studios. With a 5 hour time-difference and 4000+ miles between us we had to work via email. Normally I hate working via email as it can be roo easy for things to get lost in translation, but Pedro is incredible and has such stunning creativity and artistic talent I always know I can trust him to make something amazing.
Check this vintage-footage of the first mockup for the video he made:
Making videos can be really expensive. I would have loved to create a fully filmed music-video for "Sick" but the money wasn't and still isn't in the bank. If you'd like to help me raise funds for new music videos please buy my merch from the shop.
The original concept I had for my “Home With You” music video was all about body confidence, self-acceptance and the celebration of others. It sometimes feels like judging each other has become modern-societies biggest form of entertainment and too often it’s based on the way we look, what size we are, what clothes we wear, what shaped nose we have etc. Some of my wisest most intelligent friends have fallen victim to those pressures, they’re desperate to reach a completely unattainable beauty standard and feel like they’re an ugly failure when they’re not able to “fix” themselves despite spending endless amounts of cash on treatments and other extreme methods. You can’t blame people for starting to feel body-conscious when every day there’s a magazine or news article passing comment on things like celebrities beach-bodies, cellulite or spotty skin.
The video concept (in it’s most basic form) was to have people of all shapes, sizes, races, ages, physical anomalies etc to get naked and celebrate each other on screen. In essence to say they’re at home with every part of themselves and they’re at home with everyone else too. To symbolically boldly choose to accept and love themselves and accept and love everyone else as well and be fully comfortable. But finding nude volunteers to be in a low-budget pop video (albeit a fun challenge) was freakin difficult. I managed to get around 3 people to agree but they were all the same race, body-shape and age, and with the key to this video being diversity having 3 similar people wasn’t going to be effective. Unfortunately due to budget and time constraints I had to let go of that idea, but the studio and crew were booked and a music video needed to be made so..what’s a girl to do? “The show must go on…”
I showed up to the freshly painted studio (so fresh that I couldn’t walk on it without getting paint all over me) with no outfit (other than the Elle Exxe gown I’d embellished the night before) no extras and no idea of what was gonna come out of it all, but I trusted my co-director Michael and knew we could still make something special with what little we had. It was a powerful experience for me, getting naked in front of a camera crew (of mostly men) with my hair glued to my nipples (to avoid censorship later). I’d always been the type of person who couldn’t walk around without one arm covering my chest but suddenly I was in front of 10 people with no choice but to be confident. I felt a new sense of empowerment.
It was revealing in more than one way, I’d recently gotten engaged but having always kept my private life very private, I hadn’t announced it. I designed my engagement ring but didn’t know if it had been manufactured yet. I phoned my fiancé from the set to ask if the ring had arrived and if he’d be willing to bring it to me to wear on the shoot, he answered “yes” and “yes”…although I think I probably destroyed any romantic plans he might have had to surprise me with it. All I wore was my engagement ring whilst singing one of my most sentimental love songs that ends with the lyrics “I’ll hand you my trusting and when I say ‘I do’ I’ll never stop loving you”. I’ve always found it easy to sing about the things that make me unhappy, but it’s always been hard for me to talk about my happier and more affectionate emotions. The video totally captured a natural vulnerability with me emotionally and physically naked.
To help me create the videos of my dreams in future support me by buying awesome stuff from my shop.
I was running out the house yesterday when I wrote my blog post about writing "Home With You" so didn't finish but I did see an incredible film called Breathe which I'd totally recommend you go and see (but you'll definitely need tissues and waterproof mascara).
So as promised, following on from where I left you (with a pretty awful recording of a guide vocal and production of "Home With You" after it's day 1 conception). Ross and I didn't see each other for about 3 months but I was obsessed with the song. I listened to that terrible recording of me scatting for 3 months solid determined to do the song justice with my lyric and melody writing. I remember being on the beach in Winter with rain and wind hitting me square in the face but dancing to the song mostly under a blanket whilst trying to come up with lyrics (see the pictures for the first draft of lyrics and a pic of me from the day I wrote them...I think the final lyrics were a lot better!).
It's hard to describe what it's like when you get that initial buzz from writing a song, but I hope it's something everyone experiences at some point. Maybe it's the same as when you listen to a new song and fall in love with it immediately..I hope if you're reading this it means you're a music lover and you'll feel that. I rewrote the lyrics and nit-picked over every detail before Ross and I got back in the studio and tweaked the production until it felt 100% right. I've chucked in a video of Ross having fun on a little synth that you hear in the song.
I think undoubtedly "Home With You" was the most fun song to write on the album and was filled with pure love. I hope you love it as much as I loved making it.
I was at my friend Ross's home-studio in Chorleywood (a gorgeous little village in the countryside). He was in the kitchen making lunch (aka toast and tea) and I was in the zone on his keyboard with my fingers locked into three chords like I was hypnotised. Ross stuck his head in to tell me he liked the sounds and within a couple of minutes we'd recorded the structure of the song on keys. In terms of production (sounds/instruments) we were inspired by one of my favourite songs "Paris" by Friendly Fires and "With Every Heartbeat" by Robyn. The song gradually gets quicker with every chorus..it's not noticeable, but it makes it adds to the energy. I recorded a rough vocal melody idea with the title "Home With You" in mind and then I left for the day. I should probably be too embarrassed to share this, but I found the original demo we recorded that day, and fk it! I wanna share it with you! Listen below:
I've got more to say but I've got to run and get ready for an event I'm going to tonight (about the film Breathe), I'll write Part 2 tomorrow 💕
It was mad fun to perform for you tonight. Rewatch the streams below. Skip to 16mins on the first clip to get straight to the action, and check the second clip out for more (we had to restart the stream because of technical issues with WiFi interference, the majority of action is on the 2nd stream).
Thanks so much to Shane Shanahan at WestPoint Studios for allowing us to use this incredible space, Ben Stokes for engineering the session, IK Multimedia for providing me with the iRig Pre so we could stream high-quality audio from the studio desk through our phone, Umong Shah for directing, Ade Adepitan for hosting, Sam Sharawi, Chris Smith and Bernadette Ryan for their beautiful musicianship, Ross O'Reilly for his impromptu guest appearance and Ryan Farley for being on hand too!