Independent singer-songwriter & producer Freyja Elsy incorporates both pop technique & classical influence to create a striking sound, which has received much recognition & international radio play, including BBC 6Music.
With her previous two singles, “Lungs” & “Requiem”, making a swift impression on listeners, Freyja has unveiled her third single, “Golden Hour”, which encapsulates the nervous joy that comes with change and seeking the strength and bravery to take a different path.
Freyja has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding her latest single. You can find the full interview below.
Hey Freyja, thank you so much for this interview. Can you start by telling readers a little bit about yourself?
Freyja: Hi Jess! I’m Freyja, a composer and songwriter from Cardiff, Wales. I’ve been songwriting since my teens and I studied for a degree in Music at Cardiff University. I’ve worked as a sound FX editor/designer for film and television for the last few years and I’ve been performing as a keyboardist and vocalist with the jazz punk band Blue Amber since November 2019. I’m also an amateur visual artist and ice skater in my free time.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Freyja: Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I used to play on my grandma’s piano from a very young age, my family and I used to watch the Proms every year on the television and I started learning the flute when I was 7 years old, and piano aged 10. I picked up learning the instrument pretty quickly, I fell in love with performing at a young age, playing Eisteddfods and competitions and finding any opportunities to play my instruments throughout my childhood and teen years.
During high school, I would often escape to the music department to play the piano and practise the flute and I found myself starting to write songs that would help me verbalise how I was feeling during a time in which I was suffering with depression and anxiety, coupled with trauma surrounding a religious upbringing.
I feel like I’m always rediscovering a newfound passion for music whenever I encounter new music that I love listening to, or playing, or trying something new in my compositions or productions. Music feels limitless and is constantly reinventing itself and that excites me all the time.
Have you always wanted to pursue a career within the music industry?
Freyja: When I started playing the flute for the very first time, I imagined myself one day performing in ensembles and orchestras like I’d seen on the Proms or other classical performances and a love of music quickly became a constant in my life throughout my childhood and into my teens. I’ve played in orchestras and wind bands throughout my life as well as smaller ensembles and bands too, discovering a multitude of genres as I went.
During my teens, however, with the pressure of choosing a career in my mid-teens and my interest in sciences, I started considering pursuing medicine, but realised during sixth form that my strengths and passions were in composing and performing music. I took a year out after university to re-evaluate and decide my next path, which was to study Music academically at university. I’ve never looked back.
How would you currently describe your musical style?
Freyja: I’ve been using the term ‘bow pop’ as well as ‘dream pop’ to describe my songs in the last few years – which is the mixture of orchestral timbres with pop and electronic elements, which tends to create a bit of a cinematic feel within my songs, particularly when using strings. I’m still exploring what I can do as a producer, so I’m excited to expand out from this genre and try new things.
You recently released the new single “Golden Hour”. How did the idea for this song come together?
Freyja: I wrote the song back in May 2022 during a time in which I was experiencing a lot of changes and big decisions that I needed to make. Whenever I’m dealing with ‘life stuff’ I often go to the piano just to play or write and I started putting together chords with the idea of ‘golden hour’ going around in my head and what that meant as a concept. It made me consider times of transition and how that might be reflected in the transition between day and night, and how the fear of going from day into night might be an allegory in life in general.
During the initial songwriting stage, I heard a rising melody in my head accompanied by a thicker texture or a general feeling of a growing tension or an uplifting feeling. I kept the string texture minimal in the form of solo melodic lines flowing over each other rather than thick chordal moments, and instead used stacked vocal harmonies for accompaniment with a sort of early 2000s pop feel.
How would you compare the creative process behind this song to earlier releases?
Freyja: Each release has been slightly different in its creation, the first two songs have had vocal melodies and harmonies that have a fragile or delicate nature, but this time I felt I was able to push myself a bit with my vocal range and capabilities, whilst still holding onto some delicateness in the harmonies. There are also heavier orchestral textures in my first two songs, creating an epic, heightened feel, whereas in this one I was able to try something different with the sparser string texture and electronic production. The build of tension and release in ‘Golden Hour’ feels more like optimistic relief rather than the epic heartache felt in the previous two songs.
Did you always plan to release “Golden Hour” as a single?
Freyja: Definitely, at the moment I’ve been releasing singles and seeing what I can do as a producer – I’m still learning a lot and exploring new techniques and genres. I’m aiming to release an EP next – I’d like to see how I can create a set of works that are congruent with each other. Golden Hour feels like a standalone song, but I could imagine potentially writing a sequel one day. We’ll see how it goes!
What does this song personally mean to you?
Freyja: During the time I was writing the song, I was dealing with a lot of changes in my life and decisions that I knew I needed to make, and the sheer act of facing those decisions was a lot to deal with. With any big life decision, you often go back and forth with it, which is exactly what I was doing. This song describes the same fears and uncertainties that I was feeling, as well as the fear to take the leap and go for something. It’s about the feeling that life is moving forward for everyone else and you seem to be lagging behind, whilst totally preventing yourself from elevating your life, despite the knowledge that you can journey on in your own way.
If listeners could take something from this upcoming release, what would you like it to be?
Freyja: I hope this song can act like a moment of meditation for listeners, wherever you are in life, and that it gives you the comfort to know that life changes and big decisions are scary and we’re all going through it. Particularly if you’re in your twenties and trying to find your feet. This isn’t limited to young adults though, big changes happen constantly throughout life, and I hope you all find the solace and comfort needed to make the decisions that are best for you.
What advice would you offer to someone who was looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Freyja: If you’re just starting out in writing songs, write as much as you can, go to as many gigs as possible, go and meet other musicians and get collaborating. Always try and remember the reason you started and don’t give up. It gets tough feeling like you’re a tiny fish in a very big pond, but if one person loves your music, then write for them and don’t stop. You build an audience one person at a time, each with their own unique life and story, each relating to your music in some way. Keep going!
Finally, is there a message you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Freyja: Remember why you had the dream in the first place and hold onto that in your journey – don’t give up on your most precious ambitions! Also try to remember the people you surround yourself with who have helped you on your journey so far and will do in future – they have their own dreams and ambitions themselves and we’re all one big community. Treat others as you’d like to be treated.
Thank you to everyone who has listened to, downloaded and streamed “Golden Hour”. I’m excited to share my new projects soon!
You can check out “Golden Hour” on Spotify below or via further platforms here.