The singer-songwriter talks new track “Lost and Found”, and the importance of addressing mental health in her music.
The past weekend we’ve spent hours blasting Cardi B’s new horny single before gliding into Eloise Viola’s pop fiesta “Lost & Found”. Leading us in with a fierce slow-burning hook, Viola’s vocals burst through on the anthemic chorus, showcasing her vocal prowess and ability. Formed over a smooth and jazzy production, the track empowers people to rise above toxic relationships and situations with the lyrics, “You lost my heart for someone to find / it won’t be there when you look this time / You lost me to someone else.”
“It’s a powerful self-love anthem about finding strength from vulnerability,” Viola explains. “Finding yourself again after giving too much of yourself away to someone who is undeserving and ultimately leaves you feeling lost. It’s about knowing when to put yourself first, knowing how to find the strength to do so and when it is time to prioritise you.”
Captivated by the likes of Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan at a young age, the self-taught piano player takes inspiration from her own experiences dealing with mental health issues and eating disorders, stating, “I want to speak however I can, about what has helped me overcome my own difficulties with mental health and disordered eating especially, which for me started by identifying unhelpful negative thoughts, and replacing them with constructive kindness.” Getting candid on her own past, we sat down with the rising artist talking creativity, growing up in Brighton and how she can’t wait to tour again.
Check out the interview below…
Hey Eloise! For those who don’t know you and your music yet, what’s the first thing they should know?
I write music for you to scream the lyrics to yourself in the mirror: self-love anthems about speaking to yourself in a kind and empowering way, especially when it feels like it’s the hardest to do so.
How would you describe your sound?
I take my inspirations for my voice from all over the shop, my absolute favourites being Adele, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin and Nina Simone as I like playing with textures and sounds to create a unique voice when I sing. My music itself is more pop sounding, with R&B influences, I want to write music that people feel they have to get up and dance to, and feel their most fabulous self!
Who did you grow up listening to and who do you listen to now?
My parents listened to Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Nina Simone and Janis Joplin around the house when I was little. I loved the females’ voices, and the pure emotion they evoked through music and particularly found the storytelling aspect of the songwriting of Bob Dylan and Van Morrison inspiring. I listened to Adele’s 21 album at age 16 and I was hooked, I taught myself to play the piano because I was so inspired by her songs and just had to play and sing them, and the songwriting started from there!
Did being raised in Brighton – with its buzzing local music scene – help shape your sound, or inspire you creatively?
I have been fortunate enough to live near Brighton and live in Camden, both very music-based scenes with a similar sort of ‘organic/rustic’ feel. They both had the most influence on me when I used to perform in pubs and feel really close to audiences and you could see which songs most connected with people. Performing in pubs and around town were invaluable experiences for me, it was really gritty and hard work but helped me shape my performance and learn to interact with audiences.
Did studying psychology at university have any impact on you as a songwriter?
Studying Psychology at University just expanded my interest and passion for understanding people, the mind and what drives people that I have always been fascinated with. My degree itself as well as the experiences I had at university completely shaped who I am as a songwriter today. I originally wanted to write Adele-style ballads about love, pain and suffering, but after university, I just thought – why am I doing this? Music is so powerful and I decided I wanted to write about overcoming suffering and what I have found helpful in overcoming my own mental health issues: speaking kindly to myself and learning to be confident in my own decision making.
You have been very open about struggling with mental health issues and eating disorders in the past. How does your music serve to tackle these issues?
The main message of my music and platform is to speak to yourself in a kind way, especially when you are in a low place, and try to find lessons and strength in our inevitable painful experiences through life. I think that the main point is that mental health is a journey, where you pick up and acquire techniques and what works for you along the way. I want to speak however I can, about what has helped me overcome my own difficulties with mental health and disordered eating especially, which for me started by identifying unhelpful negative thoughts, and replacing them with constructive kindness. I want my music and platform to help empower people in whatever way works best for them to find the tools to be able to overcome their own problems themselves. Everyone’s mental health journey, and what is helpful to them is different, but I truly believe only good things can come from speaking to yourself in a positive way.
You have also been vocal about these issues on TikTok. Do you think the app can be used as a powerful platform for raising awareness?
Anything that has influence can be powerful! We’ve seen Tiktok blow up hugely as a platform over the past year, and people have been using it in the most creative and imaginative ways, and I’ve seen a trend towards a lot of positive mental content. I think it’s amazing that there’s so much content out there now, not just on Tiktok, that’s genuinely helpful in supporting people’s mental health – particularly through this year!, and the algorithm works to promote to you similar content to what you’re seeking out. Ever since I started following more positive accounts, and unfollowing those that I found damaging, I’ve found social media a much more inspiring place. There’s still a long way to go with censorship, policy and changes in trends on social media, but it’s great to see so many people listening and learning, and creating their own content around the positive messages they are seeing.
Congratulations on your new single “Lost & Found” – why that title and what does the song mean to you?
Thank you! I’ve been holding onto this one for a while so I’m really pleased for it to have been released. Lost and Found is about finding strength from vulnerability and from a situation that has caused you pain. Although you sometimes have to go through the painful part, it’s about trying to see the lessons that you can learn and the strength you can gained which add to you whatever happens next. Although it sounds a bit weird. in a way trying to see your negative experience as a gift. I like seeing this ‘gift’ as a physical thing you may not be able to see yet, but you slowly uncover it as you learn and heal, and this is where the idea of something being in the ‘Lost and Found’ came from.
What’s your favourite lyric and why?
“You lost my heart for someone to find, won’t be there when you look this time.” I love the second part of this as I think it’s really empowering to get on with building your life and be independent, I like that it sort of means “I’m not going to sit around waiting for anything”. That level of active assertiveness really speaks to me and makes me feel strong in the face of vulnerability and pain.
What’s next and what are you most excited for this year?
Honestly, I just can’t wait to go to the pub! But career-wise … I am also hoping there will be a chance to gig at some point. I have so much music I am releasing this year, which I wrote during lockdown and I feel it really represents my message and the sound which I have spent years honing. I can’t wait to share it and hopefully be able to perform at some point!