The Ivor Novello nominated songwriter on what’s next.

With a voice that will give you goosebumps, Elina is well on her way to establishing herself next to the biggest names in pop. Already with an impressive songwriting history under her belt, the upcoming sensation was the brains behind “Sexual” by NEIKED and “What Lovers Do” by Maroon 5 and SZA, and now she’s stepping out from behind the scenes with her own dreamy songs.

Dropping her beaut debut “Wild Enough” earlier this year, Elina describes the track as a testament to her will to be better and be proud of who she is, and she’s not afraid to address the less than perfect moments within her lyrics.

Following this up with “Here With Me” – which dropped today! – Elina talks about wanting to live in the present with refreshing and beautiful songwriting, and a melody that you’ll want to hear again and again.

With such impressive skills in songwriting, we had to grab her for a chat to find out more about the brains behind the pop bops…

Congrats on your new single “Here With Me”! Can you tell us what the song’s about?

Thank you! The short answer is that it’s simply about appreciating the present, which is one of my everyday struggles. Either my head’s stuck in the past, or I’m anxious about what’s to come. I wanted the song to be a friendly reminder that nothing you love or care about should ever be taken for granted.

What kind of headspace were you in when you wrote it?

We had some serious conversations about life at the time we wrote the song. I felt very sentimental during the whole process. I did a lot of self-examining and thought a lot about my own values. I’m glad there are ripples of positivity that run through the whole song, which I think makes it a bit easier to digest the heavier overall message.

Who do you hope will resonate with the lyrics?

I just hope it encourages people to think about what’s meaningful to them for a few moments. Maybe it makes you want to give your parents a call, or tell someone you care about what they mean to you. If you’re like me, in a business that’s competitive and puts you under a lot of pressure, I hope it can also mean you can take a minute to be proud of yourself and what you’ve achieved so far.

How would you describe its sound?

It’s very much in the same vein as ‘Wild Enough’, organic, piano-based, but there’s also a few more ambient elements in there that add another dimension to the song.

Would you put yourself in any specific genre?

I prefer for now to not label myself into any specific genre, and instead just keep an open mind about my music and artistry. I’m still exploring what my “sound” is.

We loved your debut single “Wild Enough” – what was the reception like for that?

Thank you. I was overwhelmed by the response to the song. I felt honoured that people took the time to write beautiful, kind words to me about it. As my very first song as an artist, the release was quite a big deal for me. I can’t describe how nervous I was, but I am so happy now to see how it resonates with people.

The song touches on struggles with self-belief and fears of being inadequate – how do you overcome these feelings in your own life?

I think I’m still trying to figure that one out. These feelings are a recurring thing for me when I’m either stressed, anxious or lost in some way. Right now I’m doing my best to keep a more healthy perspective on things, and trying to be honest with myself about what I actually find important in life.

It also promotes having pride in who you are – what are you most proud of in your career so far?

I would say the decision to release my own music. No matter how fun, exciting, or rewarding it can be writing for other people, I missed having a sacred space where I could express myself uncompromisingly.

How did it feel to be nominated at the Ivor Novello Awards?

It was unreal! So many of my heroes have received this award throughout the years, and the ceremony was amazing! I had a great time.

You’ve written for some amazing artists – who would you most like to write a song with?

Chris Martin, if I’m allowed to dream a little. There’s a warmth and honesty I find to his songwriting and singing that leaves me lost for words.

Who would you love to feature on one of your tracks?

Well I have a few childhood heroes. One of the main reasons I actually started writing songs in the first place was John Mayer’s music, so to have the honour of singing together with him on a song would really be a dream come true.

Have you got any more music in the works?

I do actually, a lot of it. I have a lot of past drafts and ideas that I’m currently working my way through. I’m letting them be shaped more now by the person I am today, and what’s happening in my life. To be honest, I haven’t actually sat down yet by the piano to specifically write a song “for me”, but I’m really excited about switching into that mindset.

Where can we see you play live soon?

Time will tell! I’m slowly working my way out of my living room…

What are your goals for the rest of the year?

The first milestone is to finish my first EP. At the moment I’m really focusing on narrowing down on my identity as an artist, but also as a person. Music and life go hand in hand for me, so what happens personally and emotionally will inevitably shape my music to come.

Bartek Szmigulski
Abigail Hazard

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