This past week, I was able to have a phone conversation with Elle Winter before she released her new EP called Yeah, No. In this interview we discussed what went into the recording sessions, the meaning behind the album title, and artists she looks to for inspiration. Yeah, No is available everywhere music is sold.
Thank you for your time today! I understand that you are gearing up to release your new EP, called Yeah, No this Friday, March 6th. Who did you work with on this record, and can you describe the writing and recording process?
Yeah, so almost every song on this record was produced by The Orphanage, a super-talented production duo in LA. Working with them was honestly one of the best experiences. They made me feel so comfortable and they were so talented and understanding, and had such great energy. So, the whole process really felt so seamless. And I think this was one of my most authentic pieces of work, and they really brought that out of me. They also helped me feel open and honest in the writing process. So, I really loved collaborating with them!
What is the meaning behind the first single and EP title, Yeah, No?
I wanted the EP to be called Yeah, No because this is my first real project and with me holding my ground and setting the narrative straight, and saying you may think you know me, but yeah, no, you really don’t. So here’s my music, here’s my story and the single was written in Nashville after the end of this relationship where I had this ex-boyfriend who kept calling me to kind of check in on me after the break-up. And so I was like, “You know me! We were together for so long, and you know I’m fine on my own. I don’t need you to support me through this breakup.” So I really wanted to write this empowering sort of breakup anthem, I guess, for both myself and for when I was feeling down about it.
That’s really cool! Who are some artists in today’s music scene that you admire, and what are the qualities you are drawn to by these artists?
I love artists like Bruno Mars. I think he’s just such a true entertainer and I also think that in his music he stays true to himself, even throughout all these years. Despite what happens in the music industry, and what’s popular at the moment, he puts out what’s true to him. Like he was putting out funk music in 2016, when that really wasn’t going on at that time. He really paved the way and created his own lane, which is really special. I also love artists like Ed Sheeran, where his writing is so powerful that I feel like I’m with him through each lyric. Like for example, he takes me to 29th and Park whenever I hear that song. I feel like I’m with him for every moment and that picture. An artist like Beyoncé, who can put on a special performance every night, I think she’s so disciplined and I love that vibe she has and she’s so incredible.
Do you hear any of those qualities in your own music, or things you hear in your own sound?
Yeah, definitely! I keep up with the artists I love and try to incorporate that into my own sound. The creativity of Bruno Mars and the precision of an Ed Sheeran lyric, I hear that in my music as well.
After this EP hits the streets, do you have plans to do any touring?
Yes, that would be the goal this summer is to do some touring. Work on new music too, and hopefully have a full-length album ready by next year. That’s what makes it all so meaningful, to tour on these songs and hear people connect with the lyrics and hear people come up to me after the show and say, “Hey, this song really connected with me,” and I could say that I’ve been through this before and thank you so much for sharing. So I’m looking forward to hearing all of that.
What do you imagine the live show to look and feel like?
I definitely want it to be super interactive. Like there were those moments in past shows where I got a lot of the audience to sing along with me, so it’s pretty anthemic. So when they would join me in the songs, I thought it was such a powerful moment and see how we all could connect through a song. Especially at a show, you can forget your differences for about an hour or so and really just be with each other for a great experience. So really I want to create that in my show.
I understand that you wrote or co-wrote the majority of the songs on this new record. How do you typically compose your material?
It honestly depends on the session. Sometimes I’ll go into a session with a chunk of the song done, and written it wherever I was such as in the car, or if I’m at an event with friends I’ll just write something down in my notes and then take those into the sessions with me. Other times, like for these sessions for Yeah, No I would just go into the studio without these notes since I wanted to hear a track and be inspired by the music, or the vibe we were creating that day. It really depends on the session and the song.
What motivates you as an artist, and what do you find for inspiration?
I think what motivates me is when I was younger I would look at artists like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and hearing those songs and feeling such a sense of solidarity with these artists, I felt empowered and they just made me feel good. Like if I was having a bad day, I would listen to a song by an artist like them or something similar and feel less alone. If I could do that for someone else who listens to my music, that is something that I feel is inspiring. It really motivates me to do honest work, and really share my experiences, whatever they may be.
I was incredibly impressed by your vocal range, songwriting, as well as the overall production of the EP! What are you most proud of looking back on this record?
Thank you so much for that! I think I’m really proud that I didn’t shy away from writing about everything that I was going through. I think often times we live in a culture where we are always filtering or putting our best foot forward and pretending that everything is fine and great. But I think I really pushed myself on this project and this chapter should be as open and honest as possible. So, I’m really proud of this project for being vulnerable and intimate in that way.
That’s great to hear! Congratulations on the release of your new EP and I wish you nothing but the best moving forward in your career.
Thanks so much, Adam!