Born and raised in South London, ELI is an alternative artist who combines ethereal harmonic vocals, melodic guitar riffs and syncopated beats to form her own distinctive sound.
Get to know her better with this VIPER Presents…

What five words define your sound?

Eclectic, Genre-bending, Sonorous, Delphic, Alternative.

Tell me something unique about your creative process

I’m a music over words type of person and tend to create a complete production before even thinking about writing lyrics. It’s a bit odd but I think melodies and rhythms help guide the story of a song and lyrics are an added texture. 

Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?

‘Parallel’ encompasses me the most as a songwriter. It’s eloquent and mysterious, a little bit otherworldly but has this endearing quality that makes you want to lay inside it and just wonder. I hope people feel that too when they listen.

What inspired you to make that song?

I feel like I’m living in two lifetimes simultaneously sometimes. The life that people see and know me for and then what really happens underneath. I often feel disconnected from reality in a “parallel universe” kind of way and wanted to convey how my lived experience manifests itself from that other perspective. 

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?

Writing as a whole is a vulnerable process. You’re pulling from your raw emotions and your psyche and sharing that with the world. It can be daunting and that feeling never leaves whether it’s the first or 100th song. There’s so much beauty in that though and when people sing your songs back to you on stage you’re connected on a spiritual level. It’s amazing!

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?

My guitar strap has fallen off a couple of times onstage and that can be a bit awkward. I’ve got some strap locks now so I don’t have that issue anymore.

What is your favourite song to perform?

‘Promises’ is a lot heavier live. I love getting to show my versatility as a performer. 

Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?

My mother is actually the biggest inspiration. She sang, still does and passed her love and ambition for it on to me. Growing up she’d take me and my sister to her rehearsals, sessions and performances and we’d watch her. I remember feeling this fondness seeing her up on stage passionately singing and it made me want to be just like her.

What’s the meaning behind your name?

My full name is Elizabeth so I just took the first three letters which are ELI (Pronounced the E-Lie). No profound decision making really, but it does translate to “Ascended” so maybe there’s a subconscious influence in there somewhere, who knows.

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?

As a kid I dreamed of being a pilot so maybe working towards that?

What’s success to you?

Being consistent in what you love and making sure you’re growing and improving.

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?

The pandemic definitely put a lot into perspective for me. It reminded me that the future isn’t certain and things can change at any point so make the most of every moment you have. It gave me the motivation to pursue music wholeheartedly.

Where can people keep in touch with you?

I love getting messages from people all the time who’ve discovered my EP Full Form I always respond so following me on Instagram @eli.ldn and @Sheiseli_ on TikTok

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