Eilish “Ellen” Senyard is a 17 year old emerging Gold Coast artist bringing a fresh sound to the local scene. She’s been writing from a young age and in 2014, amid a frantic artistic and academic final year of high school she recorded her debut album Shadows. It’s an eclectic mix of contrasting styles and sounds. Eden Tokatly recently had the chance to talk to this down-to-earth teen about her album, music and travels.
I started by asking Eilish about the message behind her single Tulips and she says the song is cryptically written.
“It’s actually about being the person you want to be and the person that’s right for you,” she said. “The message throughout the song is that a rose represents who you are supposed to be and love but the song is leaning towards the idea of being a tulip, be something a little bit different and show your own sort of beauty. The message is just to be yourself and people will love you for who you are.”
It took over two years for the album to be written and recorded. Eilish says it was a slow process. “I was going through high school and never in my life did I think it was going to happen so quickly,” she said. “All of a sudden this opportunity was in front of me, so I smashed it out as quickly as possible and it worked out really well for me.”
Eilish released her album Shadows at Mandala Organic Arts Café and soon after had a guest slot on Sea FM. She told me everyone was funny and kind. “It was really cool having people ring in and win the album,” she said. “I walked outside and a women on the street actually stopped me and said, ‘Were you just on the radio?’ and I said, ‘yeah that was me! Things like that are my favorite part of those experiences, getting to know people”
I ask Eilish what her recent trip to Japan was like. “It is such a beautiful culture over there and I was really stunned with how different it is from Australia,” she said. “They have an amazing music culture over there too, it’s incredible.”
This year brings more travel: to Italy and Greece and as we chat I learn that as well as being a rising singer/songwriter, she’s also a rising humanitarian. She will be working in America as a youth camp leader and then on to Cambodia volunteering at elephant rehabilitation camps.
Eilish laughs, “Its going to be a busy year.”
She’s young, but she’s already achieved much. I wonder if Eilish has any advice for other aspiring musicians and she says “keep going.”
“Just put your head down, be you, be happy and don’t let it ever stress you so much to the point where you don’t want it anymore.”
“I think that music is something you’ve got to work hard for and you’ve got to make sure that you’re being you and that you have a love and heart for music; that’s got to be there from the get go to the very end.”
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Eilish’s album launch is expected in mid-May in Brisbane. Eilish Ellen’s album Shadows is available now from the iTunes store.