Elliphant Opens up About Working With Skrillex and Diplo, Her New Album ‘Living Life Golden’ and the Meaning of ‘Spoon Me’
Though “Living Life Golden” is the second full-length studio album from Sweden’s electronic pop star Elliphant, it is very much her debut for worldwide audiences. “A Good Idea,” her first LP, was not released internationally in 2013 though it sold very well in her home country. However, her infectious fusion of electronic, dancehall and pop music still made a huge impact, and her sophomore album will be available to audiences everywhere on March 25. In anticipation of her album release and tour, Elliphant took the time to talk with Entertainment Voice about “Living Life Golden,” among other topics.
“Living Life Golden” is your first internationally-released album. How does it feel knowing music fans all over the world will get a chance to experience your eclectic sound?
It’s really like a ‘win’ for me because I think when I had just done that first album, I was so new to music. So to finally get an album out is amazing. And it’s not fair, you get fans all over the world from Youtube and video channels and then you can’t give them your music. It’s just so stupid. So yeah I’m just so happy that I get a chance to have a release and get a chance to do a re-release of the other album and make it available to people after this album is out.
You’ve worked with notable producers like Diplo and Skrillex. What is it like working with and releasing music with some of the biggest hit makers in the world?
I remember getting messages from people saying ‘You need to get a Twitter Elli because Diplo is trying to reach you on Twitter.’ I remember I was in Germany and I just tried to make a tweet so I could reply to Diplo; this is like three [or] four years ago. And it was just a very organic and natural way [of] how I met him.
Skrillex also just reached out to me when I was in Sweden. I had just got home from America on a tour. I had a missed call from America and then he called again and it was Skrillex. He came to Sweden and spent a week with me. It was another time, just a couple years ago and we became really good friends and were in the first step of making music. So I think they both keep an eye on me; both care about my project a lot and if they ever have something they send it my way.
It’s also a different time for them now because they are superstars. They are traveling the whole world and they are touring producers. So it’ll take a while before I have that moment again where I could just sit with them in a studio for a week and just make music. But they are always on my side and the way we work, maybe you make songs and make it with another producer, but you send it their way and maybe they finish it or take over the whole song. I always keep them in mind.
But yeah, I just feel very lucky that I have them in my life.
The album is chock full of some incredible guest appearances. Was there any collaboration you were particularly excited for or even nervous about?
It’s so stupid because [the song is] actually not on the album. I had this other song with Big Freedia. There was some practical stuff that I had to take away [the] Big Freedia [song] at the last minute and put in another very important song. I should have just said 14 songs, or 13 songs but instead I said 12 because we just wanted to be 100 percent sure to get it out on time. So it’s not on the album but it’s out there in the world. It is a part of this album project, the Big Freedia collaboration (“Club Now Skunk”).
The other ones on the album are just very natural like Twin Shadow. I toured with him for like six weeks all over America. MØ and I did “One More” because I really embrace that song. I’d linked up with her a couple of times on tour and stuff and she is really, really cool. But, I wasn’t in the studio when she made the song.
What was it like working with MØ and do you feel that you gained any insight from the experience?
MØ is the only artist I reached out to, maybe three years ago. Both she and I were new then, and she had this really beautiful song called “Pilgrim.” There was a lot of media that was writing about her in the same articles that were about me and I just thought it was interesting because she was from Denmark.
I made the “One More” song. I wrote it along with Joel Little and I knew halfway through the song that I [was] going to have MØ sing the second verse. It was a song about friendship, and I was just waiting for a song that I could put her on; I was just waiting for the opportunity. And she loved it, so I sent it to her and she recorded.
After working with Skrillex on “Only Getting Younger” from the 2014 EP “Look Like You Love It,” what played into the decision to team up with him again on your single “Spoon Me”?
“Spoon Me” is really an old song actually. I came to Sonny [John Moore, aka Skrillex] one day because I wanted to do some work. I had a producer that I was working with when I started Elliphant, the guy we worked together with here in Sweden, so we’re all kind of close and he just came and chilled out and showed him this song, “Spoon Me,” and asked him if he wanted to re-produce it for us if he liked it. But I was a little bit like, ‘No! Let’s do something new!’ I wasn’t really so high on that song. I thought it was a very simple, in-the-moment kind of idea. But then, when he started doing his magic it started turning into something that I really enjoyed. He made a song that has something very organic in it; something very dry and real.
You opened for Charli XCX on her “Girl Power North America Tour” last fall. Tell me a little bit about the experience touring with one of the biggest names in contemporary pop music?
She’s great. She’s also friends of friends. I had a connection with her before. She’s been in the industry for a long time. I heard about her early and she wrote a lot of songs for some friends of mine with my Swedish label called Icona Pop. It was just great being on tour with her. It was a very beautiful tour. I had so much fun. Opening tours can be very fun sometimes because you don’t have to give a shit really. You just do your thing. But for her it was a lot of work. She was working very hard.