Eloïse Muses on Celebrity Culture With ‘Now He Wears White': PopCrush Presents
Celebrity culture is a poisonous, double-edged sword, sharpened on our fascination with grandeur and Hollywood's exploitation of the American dream.
From Marilyn Monroe to Taylor Swift, we voyeurs of our own creation romanticize the lifestyles of the rich and famous. As we peer into their lives, stalking social timelines and collecting copious amounts of magazine covers, a toxicity seeps into our psyche, damaging the grounded sense of reality and leading to distorted perceptions. Pop up-and-comer Eloïse examines our roles with her new single "Now He Wears White," a brooding alt-pop track flickering with a sultry, deeply-laced vocal. "Someone once told him that he looks like Elvis / So now he wears white every night and thinks he's Jesus," she sings, framing the song around one young man's spiral into the abyss of egomania.
"Humans appear to be very inclined towards beauty and gore, and I think at its height this is exactly what celebrity culture provides," the singer-songwriter explains to PopCrush. "People within the media are also just really good at crafting images like writing film characters, which makes it difficult not to see celebrities as alien and beyond normal life."
Social media like Instagram and Twitter are dangerous tools, allowing us to project the most perfect version of ourselves. "It can't be preached enough that cameras have an amazing power of taking the real world and making it seem perfect and alien," the artist says. "You only have to look at the image of Marilyn Monroe that is tattooed onto thousands of bodies and plastered on thousands of walls to realize we sacrifice truth and reality for the sake of the beauty of an image. Then, to move on from this, we need to trust images and the information we receive through media less and not take famous people so seriously."
Below, Eloïse discusses her weighty vocal maturity, growing up in rural Suffolk and why she takes such a satirical look at her life.
To what do you owe your maturity, both vocally and personally?
I was always just keen to learn stuff as a kid, so I devoured pretentious books and films which definitely affected the way I expressed myself. I also found my early teenage years particularly difficult, and looking back at the songs I first wrote around the age of 15, I can see how the influence of the things I struggled with and the things I read weaved into a mature outlook. This being said, I still watch Spongebob on a regular basis.
Growing up in a family of artists, did you dabble in other media, too?
Fashion was always my big thing, and I used to sit around and draw terrible knock-off teenage girl versions of Alexander McQueen a lot. Clothing is possibly my most important form of self-expression, and I will never forget that I was the kid that turned up to a birthday party in the forest in a green faux fur coat.
What was life like in rural Suffolk?
It was pretty quiet, I suppose. The great thing about living somewhere so open and green is it gives you a lot of thinking space which was amazing as a very imaginative kid.
What is so alluring about music above other media?
I find music very absorbing; I am very sensitive to the colors and textures of music, and listening to anything paints a world for me in the same way a film does. This is why I am drawn to cinematic music. The picture it paints is richer.
When did you realize music would be your career?
I wanted to be an actress for a long time, but it was when I was around 15 that I realized the power of being able to act out your own opinions and emotions by writing about them and performing them which is what music allows you to do. For me, it was the realization that the act of writing about how I saw the world was something I couldn't survive without. I knew then that it was the career I needed.
What was the journey of developing your musical aesthetic like?
When I was much younger I listened to a mix of opera and the Jonas Brothers, and I have always liked mixing influences to this extreme. I think my taste as it stands was really set off by the release of Lady Gaga's The Fame and Lana Del Rey's Born to Die. This is the time I started writing and looking back at the songs I made. It was a real regurgitation of what I heard, but the confidence that comes with getting older allowed me to put my own voice in what I was doing and almost satirize my own love for this ostentatious style of pop, whilst also being a part of that art pop genre.
Elsewhere in your music, you examine other facets of popular culture and your place within that world. How did wanting to take a satirical look at yourself and the world evolve?
In my early teens, I listened to a lot of dark music and took myself very seriously, but I have always found myself ridiculous and been able to laugh about it. It was important in the development of my songwriting to take the songs which were invested in a nihilistic and ostentatious "cigarettes and private jets" world and flip it on its head [in order] to laugh at why I and other people romanticize this kind of thing.
Musically, where do you want to go next, as the follow-up to your Marie Antoinette EP?
I would love to write an album. My writing so far has had cohesion to it, and I am hopeful that an album would allow me to say more about the things I'm interested in.
What are themes and topics you hope to explore?
I am keen to add a little more reality to my writing. I think the trickiest part of writing is being honest about your own experience, so I would definitely like to introduce more of a look at mental health, love and social media.
How has studying acting helped heighten your lyrics and performance style?
Oddly enough, I think it's the biggest influence on my openness with emotions, lyrically and in performance. I think the performative side of music and acting allows you to express emotions far more openly. I also think being very theatrical is often the best way to get emotions across to an audience. Some of my favorite artists like Kate Bush, David Bowie and Lady Gaga certainly capitalize on this, and the effect is insane.
How do you stay grounded in popular culture?
Just staying very in touch with the real world. Everyone I know is so invested with what they see online, and as soon as you take a day away from your phone, you experience the world in an entirely different way.
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