Writing "Lost in L.A."

"Lost in L.A." started everything off for me. I'd "moved" to London to chase my dream as a singer but couldn't afford to live anywhere and had been searching for a room for months. My friend Clare called me one day and asked if I wanted to go to Los Angeles with her, whilst I wasn't paying rent I'd saved up a bit of cash and could afford it so I immediately said "YES!".

When we landed in L.A. a man came up to us and asked "Do you know where the lost property is?" I said "No, do you know where the taxi rank is?" and then he asked where we were headed...at this point I realised he stank of alcohol, had a black eye and looked out of his mind on something. Trying to be "street-wise" I answered cautiously that we were going to Hollywood somewhere, he said "ME TOO! Let's get a cab together, it's this way". I looked at Clare expecting her to say "no"..but to my surprise she smiled and said "Yeah! Let's do it". So, we got to know each other in the queue and in the cab. It turned out this guy had come to Los Angeles on holiday, found a girl, spent every day in a hotel room getting messed-up with her and then when he went to leave she stole his phone and he didn't notice until he was getting on the plane. The way he told me the story was that he'd spent the week in his hotel room with this girl and they'd fallen madly in love and the fact that his phone was missing was a sign that he should never leave Los Angeles, so when he was sitting on his flight ready to go home - he changed his mind and decided to go back to Hollywood to find his girl. He borrowed the cab drivers phone and literally was talking to a lady at T-mobile saying "Please I can't remember my security information, but I fell in love with a girl, can you just tell me where the GPS of my phone is signalling?!". It's either insane or romantic..or maybe insanely romantic.

That story came from the first 10 minutes in Los Angeles, but every single day some other madness happened and the trip was a bit of an awakening for me. I became open to everything. When I was flying into Los Angeles I'd connected to WiFi and contacted everyone I knew asking if they wanted to meet up or if they knew anyone that might want to collaborate with me. Ron Entwistle introduced me to Tony Maserati at Mirrorball Entertainment and within an hour of arriving I'd set-up cowrites with Jon Castelli (worked with Jason Derulo, Beyonce, Lady Gaga to name a few) and Kevin Hastings (shared the stage with people like Rihanna, Jay-Z and Eminem again to name a few!). 

I wrote "Lost in L.A." with Jon Castelli and his friend Aaron Joseph. As I mentioned before on the "Lie To Me" blog, I don't really like talking about the meaning of my songs, but this song was clearly inspired by everything that happened on that trip. I loved working with Jon and Aaron on it and was so happy with how it turned out. Also - the little lesson of reaching out to people and learning to ask them if they wanted to collaborate was a life changer for me, I came back to the UK and did the same thing and started writing with loads of friends and other amazing writers and producers. "Lost in L.A." was the song I was sending to everyone at that stage and how I got people to understand my style. The whole "Love Fuelled Hate" album wouldn't have existed had I not learned how to put myself out there - I got my band, my manager and my first sync-deal from that song (it was on a Google advert). 

The video was a whole other story, which I'll definitely tell you about tomorrow! 

- Elle xx

Guest Post: Umong Shah

This month there'll be some guest posts from fans, friends and exxterminators to celebrate the anniversary of my album "Love Fuelled Hate". The following was written by my amazing manager Umong Shah about his favourite track on the album "White Lies".

- Elle xx


This month is really exciting, it marks the anniversary of an album that is very close to me. It's the first full length album that I've had the pleasure of working on really closely with Elle. Throughout the creation of the artwork, I could genuinely feel the creativity and passion oozing out. It was infectious. 

I want to write about ‘White Lies’ if you follow Elle’s Snapchat and Instagram, you'll have noticed throughout the year that whenever the song is played live, I make a big deal out of it. There’s something about this song that speaks to me and puts me in a little trance. The song has a really strong pulse, set by the kick drum pattern that mimics a heart beat. During the verse I just want to sway side to side, listening to Elle tell a story about the collapse of a once loved relationship (or at least that's my interpretation of it). 

As we enter into the chorus, you get some iconic metaphorical imagery within Elle’s lyrics, some of which are my favourite, as they paint such a strong visual when you hear them.

I fell down from the highest high
but landed safe upon my side.
My insides out. My heart is rare.
I laid it bare. I showed I cared
but you were never truly there.

The chorus then kicks in with beautiful instrumentation and charismatic songwriting, which just makes me want to sing along out loud (and I do at gigs). The ‘breakdown’, is gorgeous. The gospel vocal backing with the big drum beat surges through, making you want to join it, with all your passion. When Elle plays this live the whole room gets involved, it's like you're transported out of a venue into Elle's world, you close your eyes, sing together and for that moment, there's unity, nothing matters, because it's just you (and the collective audience) and the song. 

Watching this song live, takes my breath away. I think that it means so much to me because a lot of us have been in this position. I know I have. Where love breaks down, your insides hurt, and it's hard to communicate. But this song does it so well and lines like “landed safe upon my side” and “But I’mma be a better person than you ever could” show there's a light at the end of a dwindling relationship tunnel. 

Home With You LIVE

 

Tonight I've chosen to perform my song Home With You at the MusicGateway Launch party as part of my Love Fuelled Hate celebrations. Stay tuned from around 7:30pm www.facebook.com/musicgateway

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For now check out the livestream of "Home With You" from the Unsigned Music Awards below - you can get a free mp3 of "Home With You (Live)" if you sign-up to the mailinglist here: Sign-up.

Also "Home With You" is currently in the Salute Top 100, vote for it to win via Facebook Messenger and I could win £50,000 towards my music! Click here to go to Facebook Messenger and start voting.  

Writing "Lie To Me"

Lie To Me artwork 3.7.jpg

Line of Best Fit said:

"It's a bolshy pop belter with one toe in electroclash and another in swaggering neo-soul. There's gallons of confidence in her vocals as she sings of love gone awry. Replete with jerky synth stabs, calamitous basslines and beats that tumble, "Lie To Me" is a huge song that's ready for dancefloors, and one that won't wait to be to be given permission to enter your lives, but rather storm in and force you to move."

 

I’m gonna stick with “Lie To Me” for a minute, it might have been the most loved single from the album so let me share the story with you.

It’s a little-known fact that I was a featured vocalist in a band called Bleach Blood back in 2015. The band was formed and fronted by lead singer/guitarist Jamie Jazz (ex The King Blues). At the time I was involved all the recordings were done by Jamie’s friend Sam Eyes.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I wrote “Lie To Me” with Sam and Jamie. I reached out to them with my song “Lost in L.A.” and a Spotify Playlist of my influences at that point and asked them if they wanted to get involved and collaborate on a song together. It goes without saying, they were down for it and we all got in a studio together.

This is the point where I should probably tell you what the inspiration behind the song was but I don’t believe in revealing song meanings, it can ruin any sincere relationship someone might have with the song..#sorrynotsorry.

But..I can tell you a fun-fact: the song was originally titled “You Don’t Matter” but I decided to change it after received one too many emails with the subject-line “YOU DON’T MATTER” (not nice).  I should really create a song titled "I love you so much", that'd make my inbox look a little more welcoming.

Lie To Me (album version)

Lie To Me (single version)

The original single mix was done by Des Lambert but the album version was by Joe Kearns and features the original extended intro (this is the way the song was before it was released as a single). At the end of the album version you hear me walking and listening to "You Said You Loved Me" (an unreleased song I wrote with the lead producer of the album Ross O'Reilly) before breaking down the door of my ex's flat (sound design by Will Tonna).

As well as producing the original version, Sam (aka EYES) went on to produce one of the remixes (video below) - it's one of my favourite remixes I've ever had made. It beautifully captures the sadness of the song and I'm always a sucker for sampled vocals...especially when it sounds like they say "You know me you c*nt, you know that you are" 😉

 

 

See you back here same time tomorrow,

Elle xx

p.s. Sam and I have been back in the studio and I've been loving it. Got some killer music coming for you soon x