Interview: Elohim talks limitless experimentation, masks, Coachella and more

There’s absolutely zero transparency when it comes to the electronic-based musician known as Elohim. The songwriter began her journey at the age of five with a $100 piano purchased by her parents and took her classical foundation to new heights when she began dropping dance-friendly pop tracks onto her SoundCloud in 2016. As electronic subgenres continue to develop across today’s contemporary landscape, Elohim seems to be easing her way up the independent ladder, and even reached a national audience last year as the featured support act on Aussie DJ Alison Wonderland’s North American tour this past fall.

While a generation of artists struggle to establish a fresh identity in a cluttered digital sea of selfies and self-branding, Elohim’s masked identity allows her the kind of privacy and creative freedom that many take for granted these days. Her disguised identity and speaking voice [this interview was conducted via email] allow her fans and curious onlookers to embrace the unknown while receiving an unfiltered artistic experience, which Elohim proudly expresses through a unique visual performance, in addition to her music. Elohim is anything (or anyone) that her listeners what her to be, and it’s that kind of freedom that many artists don’t have at their disposal once they’ve established a specific sound or look.

Elohim is about to head out on her own headlining tour this spring, which includes two stops at both weekends of Coachella in addition to shows at New York’s Rough Trade and Nashville’s Exit/In the month prior. She’s also on the bill to join Chromeo and The Glitch Mob for their June 28 concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. She's also one of the selected artists set to perform at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on April 27 as part of the Goldenvoice Presents concert marathon.  

AXS recently “spoke” with Elohim to learn more about the woman behind the music and the mask. For someone who is great at fully transforming into a separate persona on stage, there’s still plenty of human qualities found in her music and her equally ambitious spiritual journey.

AXS: How are you feeling heading into the new year after spending a month on the road with another very talented artist in the electronic scene, Alison Wonderland?

Elohim: I am feeling good and like a busy butterfly. This year started off full force pretty quickly and we haven't slowed down a bit. Touring with Alison Wonderland was incredible, I left that tour feeling like I had made a lifelong friend, sister, confidant - you name it. Her insane talent/contagiously kind heart inspired me so much and her fearlessness sparked a fire in me to work harder than ever.

AXS: A handful of your song titles relate to one’s physical and psychological perception of reality - “Hallucinating,” “Sensations,” “Xanax” - are those more like journal entries for how you personally pursue your own journey or are those tracks more about telling a story through song that may not apply to your own experiences?

Elohim: Every song I write is a personal experience and a part of my journey. I find that I write best when I am writing my own story - those are the only stories I can tell really. I am grateful though, to be able to put into songs these struggles, emotions, and or experiences that other people might have had. It is really a blessing to be able to connect to one another through music especially when nothing else seems to make sense.

AXS: Speaking of new songs, “F*ck Your Money” has been out for a little under two weeks now - Would you say that message is a solid first impression of what fans can expect to hear on your upcoming album, or is it just one of many themes you hope to cover with the various songs?

Elohim: There are many layers sounds and messages within the album. This is just one of many creations within the story. The colors and flavors vary while maintaining a base layer of love and positivity. I am really proud of this record and hope it evokes that love and magic within the souls of many people.

AXS: As someone who’s only been performing live under the Elohim moniker for a little over two years, what have you discovered about what being a live musician in 2018 means?

Elohim: Being a live musician in 2018 requires commitment, at least for me. I put everything into my live show. One of the most beautiful parts of music is the never-ending world of endless possibility to grow and learn. Today, there is so much potential in the world of live sound, video and light. The synchronicity of it all creates an immersive feeling of bliss, and when it all comes together perfectly I realize this is why I spent thousands of hours behind these keyboards. I rehearse and practice my instrument every day trying to come up with new ideas. It is important to me to give others an experience and a world to walk into and escape while coming together as one.

AXS: You’ve said in a recent interview that the appropriate term for where you are creatively right now would be “experiential electronic.” What are your favorite ways that you like to experiment while writing and playing on stage?

Elohim: When it comes to writing, experimentation is limitless. One of my favorite things in the world is going to the studio with an entire day dedicated to finding and creating strange sounds I haven't used before. This process usually ends up sparking an entire composition which is always very rewarding. I am excited by unique ideas too, and work with a creative team that helps me experiment visually in cohesion with my music. We use interactivity plus immersion to create things that aim to not only trigger your senses, but your soul as well - I want you to lose yourself. When I am on stage performing it's all there, I get lost in the emotion of my instruments and voice.

AXS: As someone who hides their identity while performing, if you had to pick some famous faces to use on a mask, who would you love to perform as?

Elohim: Bjork has a very beautifully unique face, but I would rather wear one of the gorgeous masks James Merry makes for her. I am not sure there is anyone else I'd want to be other than me.  

AXS: What are you hoping to achieve musically on your upcoming tour that you may not have reached on the last North American trek?

Elohim: I am always evolving and trying to progress my performance, so that is important. I am excited to meet more wonderful people and share an experience with them where they can maybe forget their worries for an hour and be with the music and moment. It will be amazing to perform my own headlining shows because I pride myself in creating a special atmosphere each night from the moment you walk in, to the moment you walk out with a daisy in your hand and love in your heart.

AXS: Congratulations on getting the gig(s) to perform at Coachella in April as part of your tour! What are some of the emotions that come with being part of one of the biggest music events on the planet?

Elohim: I got a call from my whole team while I was on the east coast with Alison Wonderland. I was driving to the next show in our sprinter van. They were all so excited and I could feel their ear to ear smiles through the phone. I was very excited and happy as well but it didn't hit me until the flyer came out. I didn't realize how much it meant to me until I saw that iconic flyer that comes out every year.. with my name on it! It felt so surreal.

AXS: Would you ever consider performing with a full band? Or is riding solo your preferred way of telling your musical stories?

Elohim: For right now I am really enjoying this solo journey of discovering and pushing myself on stage as an artist. There is no telling what the future holds and I am actually quite open to having more instruments on stage.. would make things easier for me. Maybe I will compose a symphony of robots.

Tickets to select shows on her upcoming spring run can be found by clicking here.