Wonderland.

ELLE WINTER

The NYC-hailing singer-songwriter and Radio Disney prodigy talks new single “Help”.

Elle Winter – producer of retro-influenced pop-soul jams – went on her first tour with the little-known musical duo, Chloe x Halle. “[They’re] two of the kindest and most fun girls and I love watching them perform together,” she tells us below. Embarking on the “Next Big Thing” Radio Disney tour at the age of 14, Winter travelled the US with her fellow young popstar friends, building their fanbases as they went. “We all loved hanging out together with our families. I have so many fond memories from being on the road and it was special to meet all of those Disney fans together, many of whom I am still connected with today.”

Today, Winter, now a former student of the University of Pennsylvania and LA-based singer-songwriter is on the cusp of releasing a new project, led by magnetic single “Help”. Having previously worked with The Orphanage (Demi Lovato, Alessia Cara) on 2020’s “Yeah No” EP, her upcoming project looks set to be no different, with Grammy award-winning producer, Kizzo and Grammy-winning songwriter, Autumn Rowe helping Winter illuminate her full popstar resplendency.

Head below to read our chat with the burgeoning talent about all things “Help”, hitting the road with Chloe x Halle, and sharing her stories in her songwriting…

Hey Elle! How has your day been so far? What’s one thing you’re hoping to tick off of the to-do list today apart from our chat?
Hi there! My day has been good so far. I actually woke up feeling great today after being a bit under the weather for the last few days. So today I have lots of catching up on errands to do but will certainly get in a workout with Isaac Boots, who teaches my favorite virtual Pilates class!

Congratulations on “Help”! Tell us about the headspace you were in when you wrote the track!
Thank you so much! I wrote “Help” with Grammy award-winning producers and songwriters, Kizzo (“We Are”) and Autumn Rowe (“We Are”). We had been working together for a number of months on my new project and spent time really getting to know each other during the process. Throughout working together, Kizzo and Autumn encouraged me to be true to myself and really express who I am through my music. I came into the studio the day we wrote “Help” wanting to create a song about something personal I had never written about. I had always internalized people’s expectations on how I should “be,” creating this self-imposed pressure to be perfect. I felt like a shoulder to lean on for everyone else but never felt I could reach out to others for support. This track as well as the other songs on my new EP are a message to myself, acknowledging my self-worth and realising that asking for help and support is actually a strength, not a weakness.

You’ve flexed your songwriting muscle on many an occasion by now. How does it feel for people to be connecting with your work?
It is so special and fulfilling to be able to share my stories and in turn connect with people around the world. Music is truly a universal language that can break boundaries and bring so many different types of people together, regardless of who they are or where they are from. I have been fortunate to experience the power of music with the connections I have made with fans in and outside the United States.

We read that you were initially discovered, way back, on Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing”. Can you tell us more about that experience?
Getting my start with Radio Disney was a wonderful experience. I had grown up watching Disney Channel and listening to all their artists, so the opportunity to be part of Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” program at age 13 was really exciting for me, almost surreal. Working with Disney not only catapulted my career, but also taught me so many life lessons that I still carry with me today. Handling so much responsibility at a young age by juggling school and a career made me learn the importance of prioritising my life. The show included touring throughout the country with other participants, visiting many cities and meeting so many interesting people. Radio Disney was incredibly supportive of me for years following the show, championing all my new music on their platforms, and having me perform at venues and events for them.

You went on tour with the amazing Chloe x Halle! What’s your biggest memory from your time on the road with them?
That was my first tour and such a fun experience. Chloe and Halle are two of the kindest and most fun girls and I love watching them perform together. Those harmonies are amazing! We all loved hanging out together with our families. I have so many fond memories from being on the road with them. It was special to meet all of those Disney fans together, many of whom I am still connected with today.

You’ve gathered an esteemed group of personnel to work on your new music! Can you tell us what the dynamics have been like in the studio?
It’s been so incredible to develop this project with Kizzo and Autumn Rowe. I had actually known Kizzo since I was 14, but we did not have the opportunity to work together until now. When I finally moved to Los Angeles last year, we reconnected and started this new project. Autumn joined us after the first session and the three of us in the studio together felt so right. We joke that the timing was so perfect it felt like the stars truly aligned for this EP. Working with Kizzo and Autumn was so special for me because I not only spent a fair amount of time in the studio making music with them, but we also spent a lot of time outside the studio for them to truly get to know me. I believe all that bonding between us helped to create my most authentic and genuine body of work to date. I also feel so lucky to be working with the people at Venice Music. They have an amazing team there and I can’t wait for my new music to be released to the world with them!

You also attended the University of Pennsylvania! Tell us about your time studying and how it influences the artist you are today!
I really enjoyed my time at UPenn. I cherish the friendships I made there and really appreciated the multidisciplinary curriculum that allowed me to study a variety of subjects such as communications, cinema, and history. UPenn has been so supportive of me and my career and has allowed me to continue to take courses online while living in LA and working on my music. Expanding my mind whether through new personal experiences or academic pursuits definitely influences my life and contributes to my songwriting.

You were born and raised in NYC but now live in LA? Tell us about your ideal day in Hollywood and your ideal day in the Big Apple!
Yes! My ideal day in LA would be starting off on my balcony sipping a warm cup of Nespresso Caramel Cookie coffee, attending a Pilates Class in West Hollywood, then going to the studio and working on new music, and ending the day either home in my apartment eating a yummy bowl of spaghetti squash pasta from my favorite take out restaurant “Impasta”, or treating myself to dinner with friends at the Tower Bar.

In NYC, an ideal day would also begin with a warm cup of coffee, sipping it with my mom in our kitchen, then taking my angel dog Skye to Central Park to have her fun with the other dogs there, and then attending a Pilates class at SLT. After my workout I would spend time with my older sister who lives close by, maybe bop around with her downtown to shop. I would end my day with a meal at my favorite Italian restaurant in our neighborhood, Via Quadronno.

What’s one thing that we’ve not covered in this interview that you think your fans would be surprised to find out?
The making of this project and the way everything unfolded, really proved to me how “things happen for a reason.” I tend to like to control every aspect of my life, but I have come to realize that trusting the universe while working hard and surrendering to what life brings my way changed everything for me. There were so many coincidences in creating this project, and we were able to bring together a wonderful team who wanted to bring my stories to life. My new EP is inspired by the artists of the ‘60s, one of the most revolutionary eras in music when some of my favorite records were created. I grew up in a household where ‘60s on 6 was the only station programmed and Motown was played at every party. I have always been particularly inspired by the women of the ‘60s, who used their voices in such an empowering way. The music of the ‘60s is both positive and uplifting with song lyrics narrating strength and courage. The arrangements are intricate and coated with background vocals and live instruments. The music on my EP brings back the elements of the ‘60’s with a modern twist. My family has always referred to me as an “old soul,” so I think the music on this EP truly represents who I am.

ELLE WINTER

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