Journey to the Center of Myself, Vols. 1 and 2, is available now: Stream
Since emerging in the mid-2010s, singer-songwriter and producer Elohim has consistently unveiled a trove of reflective, revelatory, and downright irresistible tracks documenting her self-discovery, relationship and journey with mental health, and metamorphosis as a person, all while empowering fans to take control of their lives, view the world from a different lens, and dance like no one is watching.
Now, after years of releasing timeless anthems like “Sensations” and “Xanax,” and her hit-packed eponymous debut album with “Sleepy Eyes,” “Fuck Your Money,” “Hallucinating,” and underrated gems like “The Universe Is Yours,” the multi-talented artist is exploring another side to her artistry on her new four-part project, Journey to the Center of Myself.
No part of the EP is quite like the other, and as the artist details shortly after her set at Firefly Festival, each part sees Elohim pushing the boundaries of her sound and story to new horizons. While Volumes 1 and 2 deliver powerful mantras of self-love and perseverance, the parts currently unrevealed will venture into a “darker” sound and even instrumentals that felt like such a departure, the artist once considered releasing the music under an alter ego. Read on below as Elohim discusses her new project, hit song, “Strut,” and dinner at Big Freedia’s house.
We’re here at Firefly which you’ve played before. How did it feel to be back today?
It’s wild. It’s wild because as a human being, actually, Firefly posted a couple of days ago, I just noticed they had posted a post of me from four years ago and I was 100 pounds at the time. I was severely underweight because of my anxiety and panic and everything was so, I was in such a mentally tough space and so it was really crazy to see those photos just a couple of days ago cause I was like wow, sometimes you really have to reflect on how far you’ve come and you have to see a photo or a video or something and be like wow, I’ve come so far, so as a human being it felt completely different today. I was so excited to go on stage and I didn’t feel nervous, I was just excited and I feel so much stronger than I ever have and more confident so I would say above anything as a human being it felt really amazing just to be back, I felt so much more secure.
How has that shift in confidence played a role in your creative process from your debut album to now as you explore your new project, Journey to the Center of Myself?
I feel like with confidence came so much of me being able to explore a sound that I had always wanted to and I think I always knew was always in me but I think it took me doing hundreds of shows and putting out tons of music and writing tons of music. I feel more confident in my writing than I ever have. I’ve changed so much as a human being and I think I needed that to peel back the next layer and the next layer in order to explore those sounds.
Journey to the Center of Myself is being released in four parts and we’ve got the first two. Can you tell me how these four differ from each other?
Journey to the Center of Myself is fun. It was about confidence and learning that and growing into that. Volume 2 – I’m a Pisces and I’m like just this dreamer, and so it was this kinda like dreamer state still with the topic of anxiety in there. Then Volume 3 is the color red and it’s not necessarily dark but it’s different its a little bit darker and it tells stories that I haven’t told before. I grew up in very humble beginnings and so I tell kinda that story. Volume 3 and 4, are my favorite, and Volume 4 I produced in my bedroom alone during the pandemic.
All of Volume 4? What is it about?
That is a lot of instrumental music actually and it was the most free creation of music because I was completely alone, I didn’t think it would ever get released. I even made a fake name to put it under so I sent it to my manager and he was like “this is amazing, El, I want everyone to hear this,” so we decided to make it Volume 4. *laughs*
These new projects have been delivering some powerful mantras. What’s been some standouts and fan responses to the tracks?
Well, one of my mantras is “go through it to get through it.” I always say that and it’s something that calms me down. It’s so funny because people in my life now will be like, “just remember, you have to go through it to get through it.” You know, because sometimes I just want to have the panic attack so that it’s over, so that I’m on the other side. I would say that is the most standout one and then “Strut,” just owning who you are, and the response to that was so beautiful because it was so many people feeling empowered listening to it or feeling badass.
“Strut” features Big Freedia. Amazing collaboration. What was it like to work together?
She’s amazing. We did it remotely and then we met on an Instagram Live for the first time and it was awesome. She’s is the nicest, most, not even just nice, the most spiritual and inspiring person. She’s amazing. I can’t wait to meet her in real life next time I’m in New Orleans. She invited me over for dinner.
If you bring a plate to dinner at Big Freedia’s house, what do you take?
Oh my gosh, I don’t know! She said that she would make a really classic New Orleans gumbo, so I don’t know, some sort of… what goes with gumbo? Bread? I don’t know! *laughs*
I love that. “Strut” is on the first EP. Will anyone else appear on parts 3 and 4?
I don’t think so actually. I think it’s just going to be me and the last part 4 is literally just me. I feel really proud of this music and really excited to share.
You just released a throttling track “Losing My Mind” with Party Favor. Is this the direction we can expect from Volume 3 or future music?
It’s hard to put into words what my future self will write. She is constantly changing and evolving and going through new experiences. Sometimes I wake up and want to scream my lungs out on a track, other days I’m emotional as ever and sit at the piano and write a sad ballad while I cry my eyes out. It’s always been challenging for me to stay in one lane. They’re all so fun and feed the soul in different ways! That being said I am leaning into dance music but specifically, EP 3 is very electronic raw, and real. I’m telling stories on this 3rd project I’ve not told before!
As the world reopens, how can people readapt in a mindful way that makes sense?
It’s been really tough but I’ve been trying to stay as open and honest as possible about my own experience and reminding people this is the first time we are actually all going through the exact same thing, not in the exact same way, but we are all dealing with this in some way or another globally. If we look at it that way, in a weird way it brought us all closer. It’s kinda beautiful when I go back on the road, sharing this experience and trying to find the positive or any silver lining we possibly can because it was getting really hard and really dark and it was getting really hard for me to get back out there. Leaving the house was really hard for me after being home for a year and a half and I noticed a bunch of other people have been going through that, so I’ve been trying to just be honest about that. I think it’s super important for everyone to be honest because we are all just human beings.