Kings Elliot By Val Yoder
Kings Elliot is a London-based singer and songwriter currently making enormous waves as an impressive vocalist and powerful lyricist. Her soulful lyrics and vocals are of a timeless design, crafting a place of their own within the alt-pop genre. Closely inspired by singer-song writer Lana Del Rey, Elliot incorporates her personal experiences and intimate themes in her lyrics. Her upcoming and second EP, Bored of the Circus, is an ode to her past and exemplifies her inspiring movement to share her open battle with mental illness and curate a community of self-acceptance.
Elliot’s most recent release, Butterfly Pen, a featured single from Bored of the Circus, is a heartfelt homage to a depressive period of her life and is a metaphor to describe the beauty and pain of heartbreak. Writing all her own lyrics, Elliot describes her song production process as the collaboration of her personal experiences and dedicated energy. Her songs are a curation of many ideas formed together in time and balanced with her main collaborator, “Half Rhymes.”
Elliot explained, “What happens is that often, if I feel overwhelmed by emotions, I will write down thoughts to get them out. And then either they come with a melody in my head, or they are just thoughts. And then I have my main collaborator “Half Rhymes”, who I write all my stuff with. We’re like best friends and see each other all the time. And the nice thing with us is that it is quite a natural flow, we’ll be talking and then he starts playing something, and then we’ll just write it. Sometimes, he will play something on the piano, and I’ll be like, Oh, my God, I feel this. And then immediately, this whole emotion comes out and then the song comes out, or I’ll say something, and that will trigger an idea.”
“But it’s just very different every time,” she added. “I spend a long time on lyrics, like I will spend days on days, sometimes weeks on a song, where I leave it alone for a bit and then I come back to it. I just want to get the lyrics perfect.”
Elliot is a dynamic visionary working with a small production team who takes a very dedicated, hands-on approach to an album’s design. She is a combination writer, musician, producer and vocalist. “I’m in this really fortunate position where no one’s questioning what my choices are like, or which songs are on the EP, and it’s just really wonderful. And I’m just getting a lot of support from the label that I signed to, so it just feels very natural and easy at the moment,” she said.
As involved as she is in all elements of her art, Elliot acknowledges the underlying discrimination she has experienced as a woman in the music industry.
She said, “The one thing I do notice is that people don’t realize how involved I am in all the processes, like, maybe because they think I’m just the singer. Sometimes I do think that people just assume that I am not involved in the production and the mixing and the videos and just everything. Whereas I really am very heavy handedly. And I have a lot of vision.”
“I’m very careful with who I write with because I’m quite a sensitive person,” she added. “My co-writer is there for a lot of my sessions as well. And we’ve had sessions where it has happened, where I felt like, if there was another man, that man would only look at my co-writer. And I felt like well, I’m the artists but I feel invisible. Because I’m a woman and they think that I have nothing to contribute, I don’t know. I don’t know, they might have just thought that I have nothing to say songwriting wise and I’m just there. It does happen like that. Whereas I am very involved.”
Elliot embodies a mix of stylized moodiness with dreamy melodies that reflect her journey and artistic influences. She said, “Lana Del Rey, I think when I first, you know, started listening to her, I was just like, wow, you can make sad melancholy, amazing songs. When I went to music school in London, they actually told me like, you can’t just make sad songs. And I used to be like, but that’s what I want to do. And anyway, I decided not to listen to them.
“And Lana Del Rey was one of those artists that I thought—this is really inspiring, and I love her vibe. And she became a big influence for me. And artists from the 40s and 50s are also big influences, because I love those melodies and the vibe. I listen to a lot of Frank Sinatra, you know, the really sad stuff of his and I also love Elvis Presley. I love these sorts of old-school songs. And I often just put a 50s playlist on and just listen and get a lot of inspiration from it. And it, yeah, just gives me that fuzzy feeling. It’s like a bit eerie and melancholic. And just sad. And I just, I love it,” she said.
Writing and performing as a new-age vocalist, Elliot has identified her carefully thought-out lyrics as a personalized journey of mental health and self-discovery. She has composed a vibrant yet somber approach to storytelling.
The video for Butterfly Pen captures the eerie complexity of mental health, evoking the repetitive spiral within a depressive episode. Elliot is shown in a dark bedroom with the curtains drawn. A ballerina intermediately dances with sad clown makeup drawn on her face and Elliot sings to her audience longingly and passionately.
“The very special thing about that song is we actually wrote that in COVID time, so it was in lock down,” Elliot said. “And I was actually working at a pet store, and someone brought in an injured bird, a little, tiny bird. And obviously, you shouldn’t really move them, but they brought them to the pet store, and I took care of him and I called him Kevin. I nursed him back to health. And I recorded him and he’s in the song. I then brought him to a rehab, and I kid you not when I had to give him away I was crying weeks on end because I loved him so much. So anyway, he’s in that song. And he’s very special to me.”
King Elliot’s next single from Bored of the Circus, “Cry, Baby, Cry”, will be released August 31st. The new single is a reassurance to her past self that there is no shame in the process of finding who you are and showing that to the world. Her voice rings true to herself and her audience as a reminder to keep moving forward.
“The song is a song that I would have wanted to hear when I was 14 years old when my life was really changing in my head, like a lot,” she said. “And I just needed to hear that because that song is kind of just saying that there is no shame in showing who you are—if your mind is messed up or whatever. So that’s kind of what I bought to that next song and it means like, a lot to me, this one.”
“So, when we when I sing this song, I want people to feel the same type of way as I do. I want to make them to feel like there’s a sense of community and they’re not alone, where we’re all struggling, you know, and to not feel any shame about your mental health. This is something that I struggled with for a long time and still do sometimes, the element of shame and embarrassment—like I should be this and I should be that. I just want that acceptance and that sense of community that you’re not on your own, that is what I’m trying to achieve,” Elliot said.
Currently on a successful tour with Imagine Dragons and Macklemore, Elliot continues to establish herself as a dedicated lyricist and performer. Her intoxicating, vibrant energy and is an inspiration and has built the young star a momentous following. Elliot presents a powerful message of love and acceptance.
She said, “On tour with Imagine Dragons, and Macklemore, I’ve been in touch with Macklemore loads, you know, we’ve sort of thrown ideas at each other, like, song wise, and I love him a lot. And he’s very supportive of my music. And this tour, it’s just really given me this warm, fuzzy feeling. And I think for me, because I struggled with so much self-doubt, or through it all when I get love from people that I look up to, it really gives me a sense of self belief, and makes me very happy. And I think when I believe in myself a bit more, it helps me achieve more.”
Bored of the Circus is now available for pre-order, including a limited edition 10’’ vinyl of the EP. See HERE for more details.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES
September 1 – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – The Woodlands, TX^
September 2 – Soho House – Austin, TX* (Members Only)
September 3 – Dos Equis Pavilion – Dallas, TX^
September 5 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, CO^
September 8 – Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA^
September 10 – Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas, NV^
September 12 – School Night – Bardot – Los Angeles, CA+
September 13 – North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre – Chula Vista, CA^
September 15 – Banc of California Stadium – Los Angeles, CA^
^With Imagine Dragons