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A Divine Shadow: Meet Elohim

It's all about strength, honestly and raw emotion with this singer, songwriter and producer

  • Valerie Lee
  • 25 April 2018

There's few things known about the mysterious young woman known only to the world as Elohim. We know that her hair is dark, and long - just long enough to cover her face ever so carefully in every photo she takes, in effort to continue to hide and cherish keeping her identity a secret as her music reaches more and more people. We know that she chose her name with purpose; Elohim is the Hebrew word for God, and as a young woman operating in today's world that can often seem so frightening and daunting for women, she undoubtedly feels strengthened by a name with such power behind it. We also know she's a talented musician, who sounds a little like a new age Robyn and first started to move the needle with edgy, but vulnerable, raw and undeniably relatable electro-pop tunes with names like 'Xanax' and 'She Talks Too Much'.

Elohim, in a way, embodies a new generation of electronic music makers. Ones that are finding strength in their femininity in a world that has lost so much of that beauty due to its reputation as a boys club only. She also represents the next generation that has learned from harrowing losses within the dance music community caused by the taboo and suppression of discussion around mental health and other demons that haunt the over glamorized musician's life.

In a short timeline of just two years, she's gone from a SoundCloud favorite to a coveted slot at her first Coachella just weeks ahead of her self-titled debut album, set to release this Friday, April 27.

What led you to pick up your first instrument and uncover a passion for music?

I initially wanted to be just like my big brother. He became a guitar prodigy at a young age, so I had to find an instrument of my own. Naturally, I chose piano, thinking it was my thing and more feminine than guitar... Kids are silly. At five, I started my journey of music by getting heavily involved in and consumed by classical piano.

In your music, you often touch on sensitive topics like mental health. How has your own relationship with mental health changed since the Elohim project has come to life?

As much as my project has been a guiding light and blessing, I have also gone through some of my worst bouts with anxiety and panic disorder over the last two years. I hit rock bottom in October 2017, when I had to cancel an entire tour due to pneumonia. I was in bed for two months. It felt like I would never be back to normal. I knew that when I started to get better, I had to get help.

My mind was having an incredibly negative effect on my body when I wasn't doing well, and I think that contributed to my pneumonia. I ended up getting incredible help and am now feeling amazing.

My purpose in this journey of making music is to bring comfort and peace to others who are struggling. I want them to know they aren't alone, and that it does get better when you face your fears and get help. We have to take control of our lives. We are in the driver's seat. Go where the love is.

Your songs often feel very personal and vulnerable, which isn't easy to share with the world. What helped push you to release such intimate music out?

You can feel when someone is being authentic. The music I'm personally drawn to is honest. The only way I feel fulfilled is by being true to myself and sharing my most genuine feelings with people out there who crave authenticity and friendship.

There wasn't ever a moment of question or doubt on whether or not I was being too honest and vulnerable. It was something I knew I had to do - the universe was telling me there were other people hurting out there. It felt completely right.

Invasion of privacy is always a topic that comes up within the music industry that plays a huge role in the mental health of artists. How have you dealt with that issue?

I've stayed relatively anonymous and kept my family and personal information private as best as I can. That has helped me stay sane and have a somewhat normal life outside of Elohim. It really gives me the opportunity and confidence to lose myself, immerse myself and give my all to the art. Music is healing and being able to give that gift to others is all that matters to me.

Another common conversation point that artists bring up is the difficulties of tour life. You've begun to pick up a serious touring schedule. What have you found are the most difficult aspects, and how do you address them?

Touring was really hard for me but it finally feels like all the pieces have fallen into place It is really all about the people out on the road with you, they are all you have. Now that I have an incredible team that supports me unconditionally, I feel excited about touring. I think the hardest part is finding alone time and proper nourishing food, but things that help me include going to the gym for runs and keeping myself busy. It has become an adventure finding cool restaurants in different cities.

I also find that I have to keep to myself and focus. Keeping the outside world at a distance in a weird way helps to not break the tour mode. Otherwise I begin to miss my family and all the nice things associated with sleeping in your own bed.

Playing Coachella is a highlight that most artists look forward to for years. How did it feel to be a part of the lineup this year?

It was surreal. When I got the call from my agent saying "you got a Coachella offer," I was very excited - basically beaming... but it wasn't until the iconic flyer came out with my name on it that it hit me emotionally. I've worked very hard and Coachella is a huge accomplishment for any artist no matter how big or small they are. It is a magical feeling to be able to feel genuinely proud of yourself and the work you have put in.

How did you prepare for the set? What was the reaction like?

I was touring for a month right before, a lot of rehearsing and practice. It's important to me to be as well rehearsed as possible. That way, if you get nerves, your preparedness will kick in and take over and you can enjoy your performance.

As for the reaction at Coachella, it was like nothing I could have imagined! The Sahara tent was full at two in the afternoon! It was very cool seeing the incredible Tweets and messages from everyone watching the live stream from home, all over the world.

You also recently collaborated with The Glitch Mob. What was it like to work with them?

It was awesome! They are some of the kindest guys I have ever encountered. They treated me with the utmost respect and love. It was a fun experience and they have become wonderful friends to me. I can't wait to hit the road with them!

What are some of the inspirations behind your upcoming debut album?

I am inspired by my daily experiences. I can only write what I am authentically feelings. Sometimes that means me being very open and honest about the not so pleasant things in life, such as anxiety, panic disorder and hurt. On the flip side, though, writing my feelings also gives me the opportunity to share love and light and encourage people to live a life of positivity and self love.

What do you hope people will take away from listening to it?

Love. Confidence. Inspiration. Joy. And magic.

Elohim's self-titled debut album is out on April 27 via BMG

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