Despite having a hit on her hands, and no album as yet, Eléa Calvet is anything but a one-hit-wonder. One listen of "Lust", and you'll know that music is her life, her passion. Hyperbole? Hardly. She's on the Come Up list, and she's orchestrating a super dope maneuver for the doubters.
I have to start off by asking, what were you doing before the single dropped? There seemed to be a buzz about your music months ago. You had all these followers at Instagram, and Facebook, and I felt left out. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. You were making noise in your local scene, weren’t you?
I had been gigging very regularly over the year before then, stopping in December to get everything in place to launch the single in 2017. The focus this year was to get arrangements perfected for recordings, so I spent most of my time in practice rooms or in front of an amp in a sea of wires. I often take videos of snippets of songs, or certain guitar licks simply not to forget them; I started posting a couple of those which seemed to get quite a good response and rapidly gained more traction. I had deleted all previous unofficial releases/demos on the net in March, which meant a full month of not having any content up, which pushed me to the audio track of one of those videos as a free download for a week before the deletion of everything (you can check out a snippet here).
How does it feel now that your single has finally debuted, and you’ve a video for it?
Liberating and terrifying at the same time. Liberating because I’m glad that it’s out, as the run up to it was extremely nerve-racking; I had put a lot of work into the development of the campaign but was quite unsure of what to expect. Terrifying because this only the first, tiny step and there’s much to come, but the order in which that’s going to be done and it’s process is still quite unclear.
I’m assuming there’s an album coming in the very near future, was “Lust” the first song you’ve written for it, or the song you or your record label decided should be first?
There will be an album, however not in the very near future, as I’d like to be more established by the time it comes out. Originally, “Lust” wasn’t going to be the debut single; It was recorded during at Toybox Studios along with three other songs that comprised “Sacrifice” which was then set to be the first song to go out. This was changed for many reasons: first of all, I highly regard concept albums, and felt that the three other more recent songs fitted perfectly together and would be best kept in order; secondly “Lust” was the first song that I had written over a year before then and still wanted to keep, but it had to go first, otherwise it would’ve never been used.
What are your shows typically like?
They vary. I generally perform with a full band (second guitar, bass, drums, percussions, cello, organ); however depending on the occasion I might be on my own with my guitars and pedals, or with with fewer band members. I’m not generally one to talk too much on stage, I prefer to let the music speak for itself.
Who are you working with in studio?
“Lust” was recorded & mixed by Stef Hambrook at Toybox Studios. It was then mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Sean Magee. Otherwise, my dusty mics, twisted leads and fuzzy amps… I record a lot of songs at home, on which I play all the instruments to finalise arrangements and have complete creative control over new projects before going to record them with a band.
You’ve an eclectic array of influences: Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse. Could you pick just one primary influence, or are they all intimately intertwined?
I don’t think I could, they change in cycles so I suppose they’re all inseparable really. As recently more I feel I’m more influenced by Nick Cave, Agnes Obel, Tom Waits or even Jeff Buckley but that might be quite different in a few months time.
Where are you originally from, why the move, and what's it like where you are now?
I was born and lived my early childhood in Hemmingford (Canada), but both my parents are French. We moved to Dharamsala in India when I was six for my father to pursue studies in Tibetan medicine. At 13, we moved to Toulouse, in France back where my mother was originally from, and I left at 16 to come to Bristol. I had wanted to move to the UK for it’s thriving music scene, and to take part in it for 2 years, and after being accepted in a music college, I took off and here I am! Bristol was chosen slightly at random at 2:00 in the morning looking up where to apply to, I haven’t regretted that impulse so far though; it’s a spectacular city, artistically just as it is socially.