Interview & Photos by: Orchee Sorker | May 26, 2022
Eloise Alterman talks with HAZZE MEDIA about her new EP Sad Bird, learning to live by herself from a young age, recently moving to LA from Nashville, and her upcoming personal goals.
How did you get started on music?
My entire life I wanted to do music. I started singing when I was really young. I started with karaoke machines. I definitely annoyed both of my parents with singing all the time. They were eventually like if you really want to be a singer, you have to play an instrument. You can't just sing karaoke, you have to play an instrument. I went and taught myself how to play guitar and piano. After learning the piano, they were like you can't just do that; you have to write songs. I started writing songs, and I really have always been kind of an emotionally sensitive person. Writing has really helped find an outlet for that. Music's just been something in my bones. I don't remember a day where I didn't love it. Sometimes when I think about that, I'm like, ‘how are you just born loving something?’ You usually find your hobbies or find things that you love as you get older.
You moved to Nashville at a young age, like 17 years old. What were some aspects you learned along the way by living on your own?
I definitely learned how to be lonely because when you're 17 and you're not in college and everyone else, your age is you just have to learn how to. There's not many friends that are doing the same thing at your age.
Everyone older than me was trying to start their careers. They were all out of college. I wasn't able to get into bars or anything. So, I just spent a lot of time by myself and I felt very misunderstood by people my age too. I didn't really understand them either.
Being by myself is probably one of the hardest things I ever did, but it's also one of my super powers. Now, I'm really independent and I don't ever want to have to go through it again, but I'm really glad that I did.
Now you moved to LA, what made you move? How is the culture different in LA and Nashville especially in the music industry?
I would say the reason I moved was because of my music. It was evolving a little into a different direction, and I spent so much time in Nashville. When I first moved to Nashville, I had so much growth and Nashville felt so big when I first moved here. I wanted those new challenges with a new city like LA. My management was there; I wanted to try writing with new songwriters, explore a new avenue, and keep finding new parts of my music. I moved there in January. I’ve had a great experience so far.
In Nashville, it's less track based. It’s a guy with a guitar. People are writing the start with the hook (the last line) first. In LA, people maybe start with the chorus and loop type of hit. In pop, the title is the first line of the chorus and sometimes repetitive. In country, the title is the last line of the chorus or bridge, like the moral of the story.
Who are your musical influences?
I have so many different influences. I've listened to so many different types of artists growing up. I appreciate listeners who love all kinds of music too. I'd say it's just any artist who has songwriting as their main thing. I grew up listening to Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Mumford and Sons. I loved Miley Cyrus when I was younger and Taylor Swift. I just listened to anything that tells a story.
Your debut EP Sad Bird came out May 6. What was the creative process behind the EP? How long did it take? What do you hope your audience gets from listening?
I wrote it through the pandemic. The creative process was really just unloading my heart and trying to be vulnerable. It just all poured out. It was very easy to be as open as possible when your heart's broken. Writing was therapy for me at that time.
Then all of a sudden it was born. I didn't even mean to do that. Looking back, I didn't even realize I was creating something. These songs are so sad, you know, but it kind of also makes let that part of your heart go a little bit.
Why did you make “Her” your focus single? What was the meaning behind that song?
I made her the focus single because it is one of the more up-tempo songs. I wanted to come out of the gate with something that started the story. If you listen to any of the other ones by themselves, it doesn't really give you any background yet. I needed to kind of lay down the basis of the story before coming out with all the filler of everything else. At first, it sounds like a story about another woman, but it's really about me and unraveling comparing myself to another woman and wanting so badly for someone to see me the way I think they see the person they loved before…being ghost of the woman that he loved.
What are you trying to focus on or improve this year? Whether it is personal or music related?
I definitely want to be the best performer that I can be. I want to be as confident as I can be too. I want to work on my mental health and focus on me just as a person. I want to be kind to other people, empathetic, and just focus on the sweet things in life as well. I'm always very stressed out about the future instead of being present. I want to also just be in the moment, you know.