Tallinn based musician, Pille-Riin Karro a.k.a. ELLIP, earlier this year released the fan & critically acclaimed 6-track debut album ‘Four Words‘.
ELLIP has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution about her debut album, along with getting to know more about the artist behind the music.
Hey ELLIP, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
ELLIP: Hey, the pleasure is all mine and thank you right back! Hello, fierce and fabulous people! I’m ELLIP, a singer-songwriter from Tallinn, Estonia. Just this year I released my very first mini album. Although I have been in the music scene since I was practically an infant, I was gathering experience and confidence and now just seemed to be the right time when I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. So if you want to get to know me better, let the album speak – full of various genres, moods and stories, it describes me perfectly. I have always been moving a little bit against the grain, because I am stubborn and I believe being different is the best virtue.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
ELLIP: There has always been a lot of music in my household – my mother is an enthusiast of music – jazz, soul etc (although she herself is not a musician). She has a great collection of vinyls that I just inherited, that she has collected since she was in high school. Even in deep soviet times she managed to get vinyls from around the world which at the time was so extraordinary. And all that has played a major role in my life. Also, pretty naturally, every larger life decision, be it school choice, work related, people around me, they have always been connected to music somehow. So somehow I have always been moving toward a future in music. So, as cheesy as it seems, there was no “discovery of passion”. It has kind of always been a prewritten road for me. It’s the real thing. I do remember a story though – my mother told me, that when I was around 5 years old, I was dancing, “singing” and vibing along to Salt-n-Peppa – Let’s Talk About Sex, infront of the TV. Well..
Have you always known that music was a career that you wanted to pursue?
ELLIP: Definitely. Never seen myself in a 9 to 5 routine, I get bored too easily (in every part of my life). I need something to keep me on my toes. The life of a musician is never a routine and the satisfaction that I receive from putting a song out, releasing an album, interviews, visual branding, is nothing I can obtain from elsewhere. Good or bad, I also feed from attention… Even if singing doesn’t work out for some reason (although I am pretty sure I will never quit before I get the results I need), the music business will be my only choice in life, for sure. The thing I know is, that music truly gives me the most challenges and I enjoy growing in it and the music business and everything around it.
How would you describe your musical style to someone unfamiliar with your music?
ELLIP: There are some people that hate the word, because of its frequent appearance, but I would say it is “eclectic” (also can be replaced with “versatile”). I don’t like to be boxed in by a genre. Music is a reflection of emotions, moods and I am a fiery woman with loads of different moods, thoughts and feelings, so I don’t see how I could fit all those into one particular style. Therefore, my music is a colorful representation of various emotions and stories of a young woman’s inner galaxy. I welcome anything that inspires me musically.
Earlier this year, you released your debut album “Four Words”, which sounds amazing by the way. How did the idea to create this album come together?
ELLIP: Oh.. Thank you! 🙂 I got to go a little back in time with this. As a child, I was in a girl’s group that got pretty popular, after that I started doing solo gigs with cover music, various duo’s, trio’s and bands followed. But never had I had the confidence to be in a situation of vulnerability that surrounds a singer-songwriter. Pretty much just prisoned by my own mind, comparing myself, my music and my abilities with everything/everyone out there. The understanding, that everyone is unique and that THAT is actually the most valuable thing in this (music) world, hit me when I started to deal with trying to get to the bottom of my issues. Universe works in funny ways – dare to ask and you shall be given. I opened myself up to new opportunities, went abroad to study music, worked with musicians and industry people, put myself out there. Me being ready and opened, led to meeting the producer of “Four Words”. My brother in music. Our partnership was kind of like a magical beginning of something. We created a bunch of songs that, after a small cut, became the mini album that is out there now – a celebration of our creativity with no borders. So, to try to answer with a sentence – the idea was to put out our creation, something that makes us happy, and not to overthink the outcome.
What would you consider to be some of the main influences behind the songs featured on the album?
ELLIP: I feel like this album and the songs are mostly a big pile of various influences gathered in life. Musically at least. The title “Four Words” for me was a situation I was in, where I was told “you won’t make it” (five words, if you want to be a nitpicker..) and the journey of proving to myself foremost, that this was far from the truth. One might say that it was a blessing to have those words being said to me, as harsh as they sound. They helped me, personally, to release the album.
How did your family & friends react to your album?
ELLIP: Well, family and friends don’t have a lot of choices but to support you no matter what, do they (LOL)? But to be honest, the pride and shine that reflected from the eyes of my friends and mother at my first live concert as they were standing in the front row, is a feeling that I will never forget. I am surrounded by very special people that really believe in me. As they sing the songs and listen to them in their freetime as well, I feel I have my fanbase closer that I ever thought I did!
What does the album personally mean to you?
ELLIP: To get real deep – it means overcoming myself, growing as a human and taking the necessary steps towards my fate. Which is a life surrounded by music, being submerged in it fully. It feels like I have passed a test of some kind, and now am welcomed to a pretty great new phase which I will benefit, learn and gain from, a lot.
If listeners could take away one thing from this album, what would you like it to be?
ELLIP: Creation doesn’t have any borders, be bold! Music is limitless. Ideas are limitless. Be bold and experiment.
Do you have any upcoming musical releases planned that you can tell us about?
ELLIP: No solid plans just yet, I want to let things move organically, but I can say that I do have new material written and something is to be released this year. If this intrigues anyone even a little, head over to my social media accounts to be the first to find out! (/ellipsing in FB, Instagram, ELLIP @ Spotify)
What are some of the things you enjoy outside of music?
ELLIP: Health, sustainability, the human mind. I take pride in being well informed and active in all of those areas.
If you could perform a duet with anyone in the world, who would you choose & why?
ELLIP: I will take the freedom in choosing more than one, because my first choice would be Amy Winehouse and that, sadly, will never be possible. But out of those alive today, I really want to do a duet with Tom Misch. And/or Jordan Rakei. And/or Erykah Badu. I just respect them so much as humans, musicians and creators. Absolutely love their music and feel a huge connection to it.
What song do you always keep on your playlist?
ELLIP: Anything by the mentioned Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei, Amy Winehouse. Also Kaytranada, Erykah Badu and Anderson Paak.
What was the first album you can recall purchasing & do you still listen to it now?
ELLIP: So starting from my childhood there were cassettes, CD’s, vinyls. Thanks to my mom, I didn’t have to buy any – she gifted me loads and loads of them. I recall that I was obsessed with Spice Girls (I had their merch, all of their CD’s, their movie VHS, etc). I remember an Eminem CD vividly and loads of Destiny’s Child, which was also music that I learned by heart and acted out in front of the mirror. I haven’t listened to a lot of Spice Girls and Eminem as of late, but when they come on, I am sure to let anyone know that I know those songs in my sleep. Destiny’s Child is now and will forever be relevant to me.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
ELLIP: Trust your gut and your heart. Listen to your own thoughts and ideas first and really make sure that you have the people around that work towards the same goal that you have, instead of working for their own goal and what they think is right. Your music is a reflection of you. It should be controlled by your unique vision all the time. Don’t get distracted by noise.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
ELLIP: I wish that you find happiness in the small things, you can always look past the negative and stay strong. If times get tough, take time off, put on an album, reach for your headphones and close your eyes. Listen to the album from start to finish – it’s like meditation, but with someone’s stories guiding you. Stay positive!
You can check out ‘Four Words’ on Spotify below.