Showcase Spotlight: Elle Exxe
Ahead of her showcase for Wide Days at La Belle Angèle on Friday 22 April, we spoke to ELLE EXXE about her eclectic live show and what she's got coming up this year.
Q: Who is Elle Exxe?
A: I’m a walking contradiction, everything and nothing at the same time. I love creating - music, art, fashion, films, you name it! I’m all about love and my passion is to bring people together through music, art and concerts.
Q: At your KOKO gig in London for Club NME, you took to the stage accompanied by Cheerleaders and a Giant Cat Head. Can you tell us a little bit more about what to expect from your live show?
A: First I need to clear something up - that was no “giant cat head” that was Pussy LaRae. She’s my BFF.
My live shows are one-off events; I like to do something different each time. I take my job as an entertainer really seriously - I aim to give everyone the best night of their lives when they see me. It’s an honour to be given a platform so I try and use it for good. My aim is to help people forget about their worries for one night, and to connect with the people around them and the moment that they’re living in; and have fun!
Q: What were your first experiences of live music in Edinburgh and what influence did they have on you as an artist?
A: My genuine first experience of live music was a piano competition I was in when I was 7. I started playing saxophone when I was 8 and became fascinated with jazz music, so my next experience would have been the Edinburgh Jazz Festival. After that it would have been Edinburgh’s buskers - especially during the Fringe. I think having all this eclectic music on my doorstep widened my musical tastes and made me brave enough to experiment. I think the more influential concerts I went to were when I was old enough to get into The Liquid Room, Bongo Club, Cabaret Voltaire, Whistlebinkies etc! Seeing P!nk at Edinburgh castle really inspired me and performing there would be a dream come true for me.
Q: What have you been up to between then and now?
A: I spent a long time deciding what kind of artist I wanted to be and writing and recording as much as possible. I travelled a bit and experimented with different bands. In the last year I’ve released an EP and a couple of singles and played some amazing shows.
Q: You have worked with Rob Davis, who co-wrote some huge hits including Can't Get You Out Of My Head. How was it?
A: It’s great! Rob Davis had his first number 1 hit in 1974 so has practically lived his whole life inside the music industry. With that he has tonnes of knowledge and amazing experiences to talk about. Most importantly, he’s a lovely guy.
Q: Who would you like to speak at an event like Wide Days and why?
A: I’d like to see more artists/producers/writers speaking at conferences like Wide Days - what about a panel of Grimes, Calvin Harris, Lady GaGa and Young Fathers? So often we work in solitude and it’s always interesting and inspiring to hear how others work and what other people have found helpful in the creative process. It’s also good to hear about their experiences within the industry and what to be careful of and what to embrace.
Q: What else have you got planned for the coming months?
A: I’m playing at the Great Escape festival in Brighton and Canadian Music Week in Toronto. My album is almost complete, and I have a single coming out so we’ll be shooting a video for that soon. I’m planning a short-film to coincide with the album release so I’ve gotta get working on that!
Q: What are the most extreme acts you listen to? And what are your guilty [musical] pleasures?
A: I don’t really listen to the same level of extreme music I used to. My tastes are way more pop these days; Mindless Self Indulgence are probable one of the most extreme bands I still listen to and also my guilty pleasure. Dirty Loops are pretty extreme in the funky way.
Q: Do you have a non-musical talent, and what is it?
A: I do aerial dancing.