The Swedish pop singer putting out stripped-back ballads.

Swedish pop singer ELINA stairs

Jamie Noise

Swedish pop singer ELINA stairs
Jamie Noise

On first listen, what’s apparent about the songs of ELINA is the pure emotion pouring forth from her songs. Unfiltered, raw feels infiltrate her piercing vocals, even further showcased by the stripped-back composition of the tracks.

The Stockholm-hailed artist woefully sings of loneliness, self-doubt and love, and all at once you’re hooked in. And her new EP “In Hindsight” is no exception, a project the singer explains is built from “the fragments of a past relationship.”

We caught up with ELINA and talked inspirations, Shania Twain and reflecting on past relationships…

How did you start out making music?
I used to write a lot as a kid. Stories and poems. I listened to music all the time growing up but it wasn’t until much later that I combined the two. I started taking guitar lessons in the eighth grade and created a tool for myself to start exploring songwriting. It’s been my favourite form of creative expression ever since.

Who did you listen to growing up?
My parents introduced me to a lot of their favourite music. Everything from Kiss, to Shania Twain, to Toto. They used to take me to concerts and let me buy records. I’ve always been a huge fan of rock music. I’m a sucker for electric guitar and raspy vocals. My first big inspiration that paved the way for my own songwriting was John Mayer. I remember coming home from school one day and my mum played me “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” on YouTube. I fell head over heels in love with his music right there and then.

What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever had about your music?
When people tell me that my songs have helped them through difficult times. That’s overwhelming. I’m very moved by that because music has always played that exact role for me in my own life. It’s helped me process things. I used to always escape into it, and still do. To be able to create that for someone else, is beyond belief for me.

Tell me about your new EP – where did the inspiration come from?
From a bit of a crossroads, actually. I wasn’t really functioning creatively for a long time, for a lot of reasons. I used to only write for other artists, and even though it was an incredible time in many ways, I sort of lost myself in it a bit. I struggled with a lot of self-doubt at the time and the core of the EP is about that. Stepping away from it to regain some of the lost confidence was an important decision. It was relieving to create something without guidelines, expectations or rules.

Why the name “In Hindsight”?
I think of the songs on the EP as fragments of a past relationship. You’re looking back at it through the eyes of the person you are now. The person you’ve become because of it. Being with someone, sharing everything with them and then losing them comes with all sorts of knowledge about yourself. Knowledge you sometimes wish you’d had in the first place.

Swedish pop singer ELINA
Swedish pop singer ELINA press image

Jamie Noise

Swedish pop singer ELINA
Jamie Noise
Swedish pop singer ELINA press image

What’s your favourite song and lyric?
I have a special place for “Mirage”. Also “do you think there’s anybody up high, looking down, watching us, wishing we’d enjoy the ride” from “Here With Me’” makes me think of my grandmother. I never had the chance to show her these songs before she passed away.

How do you want people to feel coming away from your music?
To me, the most important thing about this EP is that it hopefully makes the not-so-much-fun stuff in life less difficult to talk about. Mental health, insecurities, self-doubt, loneliness, loss. It’s present in everyone’s lives yet we don’t talk or see that much of it. Having these conversations and sharing these thoughts is important to help each other feel less alone I believe. I hope these songs can be of some assistance in whatever emotional process people might be going through.

What’s your 5-year goal?
I hope I’ll be able to continue doing this, with the people I love. Maybe overcome a big fear and step on stage. I don’t take any of this for granted. A lot of good things came through the making of this EP and I learned a lot about myself along the way. Hopefully I’ll have realised by then that life’s too short to worry about everything all the time.

What’s next for you, what are you excited about?
I’m very excited about writing new music, exploring new sounds. It’s been incredible to spend a whole year in this little universe that became this EP, but I can’t wait for what’s next. New feelings replace the old ones. New things become present and important in life. It feels good stepping into a new chapter.

Jamie Noise

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