ELLE KING – THE GOOD AND THE BAD – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW FOR THE #GIRLPOWER ISSUE

The Untitled Magazine GirlPower Issue - Photography by Indira Cesarine
The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue – Photography by Indira Cesarine

“I’m not encouraging anyone to do anything that I’ve done, but I feel that this is the path that my life is on, and I’m even thankful for the hard things that have come my way, because they’ve made me who I am. I’m thankful for all of it, the good and the bad!” Elle King, daughter of comedian Rob Schneider, moved to New York at the age of thirteen with her mother and stepfather, who bestowed her with her first guitar. She has become known for her unabashed, robust music, which she describes as “soulful Southern rock and roll.” Her debut EP The Elle King EP was released to critical and commercial success in 2012 followed by her 2015 debut album Love Stuff, which secured her reputation as a spitfire and one of the most promising new performers of her generation.

Elle was turned on to music at a young age. “My stepfather was the frontman for a rock ‘n’ roll band.  He opened my eyes and ears to new music at age nine…I became obsessed with it and I knew that that’s what I wanted to do, so I’m totally, unbelievably thankful for him.” At fifteen, played her debut show in the West Village, even though she wasn’t yet of legal age to be in the venue. “You could get a fake ID for about twenty bucks on St. Mark’s Street. People would actually find me and ask me to play shows, and I just wouldn’t tell them my age,” she says. “The thing is, if you’re talented, they’re not really going to question it.” Between jamming on her banjo, her guitar and her saucy voice, her raw talent is uncontainable on stage.  Both her musical talents and personal life have invoked comparisons to the legendary Janis Joplin, which King brushes off with humility. “There can only be one.”

Inspired by greats such as Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, Elle’s songs chronicle past loves and personal experiences. “I’ve been in so many crazy relationships. I fall in love so fast, and unfortunately, I fall out of love even faster… Music is cathartic and therapeutic for me.” She’s been through her fair share of heartache, but now focuses on using her talents to encourage positivity. “It’s really hard for girls. We’re told to constantly pick apart our bodies and our minds, and I think that that’s really fucked up. I‘m just like, ‘Fuck that!’ I’m talented, and I am beautiful, even though I’m not a size two!’”

Elle spent this past summer on a headlining tour in support of Love Stuff, which features her hit single “Ex’s and Oh’s”. Through her music, which is unashamedly honest, Elle continues to promote self-acceptance. “If we didn’t have such different physical types of bodies…there would be no individuality, and who wants that?” She knows the struggle to fit an unattainable standard, because she lived it. Along with her killer confidence, Elle’s Idon’tgiveadamn personality makes her stand out amongst the crowd of cookiecutter performers. “I have ‘Damn, I’m good,’ tattooed on my boob because it really makes me feel better…I think that we’re all our own worst enemies, and no one can be as mean to you as you can be to yourself, and so sometimes I will try and shift that thinking. I want to be proud of myself. I want to love myself…You know, I’m a tough cookie, and I love rock ‘n’ roll!”

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Elle King - The Untitled Magazine GirlPower Issue - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Elle King – The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue – Photography by Indira Cesarine

Check out The Untitled Magazine’s full interview with Elle King below! 

Indira Cesarine:  There’s something about your music that is very soulful. You have a very strong female voice. When you were young, you grew up in Ohio and you moved around a lot. I understand that’s where you first got your inspiration to become a musician.

EK: Yes. I lived in Columbus, Ohio at the time, and my mother met my step-dad – he was the front man for a rock ‘n’ roll band. They fell in love, and he moved in pretty quickly and became a big father figure to me. He brought all of his records; he just loved to have all of his music playing all the time. And so I would ask for certain CD’s, and he would say, no, no, no – you’re not going to get that CD, you’re going to get this. So he would totally open my eyes and my ears to new music, you know, at age nine, which is really young to be learning about rock ‘n’ roll. He shaped my musical interest, and he taught me to play my first song on the guitar. I became obsessed with it and I knew that that’s what I wanted to do, so I’m totally, unbelievably thankful for him. Now they’re married, and he’s my dad, and I love him.

IC: That’s good that you have a positive influence, As opposed to what often happens, where people rebel against their parents.

EK: Not when they’re super cool.

IC: Absolutely. You got lucky!

EK: Yeah, they’re high-end. They’re so cool. I’d rather hang out with them than anybody else, but they sometimes won’t let me. He moved us to New York a year or two after, and that’s one of the best things that ever happened to me, because even though I’m thankful that I grew up in a small town, I’m glad to get the best of both worlds. Because we moved to New York City, and that’s when I really learned there was a world much bigger than Ohio. And I’m really thankful; he got me guitar lessons. I got kicked out of a lot of schools, so I learned a lot. I was a really bad teenager. But it made me grow up kind of quick, and I’m thankful for that. Not a lot of people can say they had a major recording deal by twenty-two, and I don’t know, I feel really proud of the stuff that I’ve done. It’s because I got all the bad out of my system really young. I’m not encouraging anyone to do ANYTHING that I’ve done, but I feel that this is the path that my life is on, and I’m even thankful for the hard things that have come my way, because they make you who you are, and I think that I’m a good person, so I guess I’m thankful for all of it; the good and the bad.

IC: I recall reading that after you first moved to New York when you were sixteen, that you used to gig at a lot of clubs using a fake ID. Can you tell me how you managed to get gigs at clubs that young, and about some of your early performances? That must have been really fun and fascinating and exciting at the same time.

EK: Yeah, it was kind of a bad fascination that I had with bars, but I always felt much older than I was, and nobody questioned me. You could get a fake ID for like twenty bucks on St. Mark’s Street, and people would actually message me – this was when you could still have a MySpace music page, and people would check it out — like, that’s weird. So people would actually find me and ask me to play shows, and I just wouldn’t tell them my age. There were two places where I used to play. There was a bar in Manhattan, 169 Bar. They let me play there any time I wanted. And then a bar on Bedford Avenue called Spike Hill, which is actually a cool music venue. The sound is really good. It’s usually free, so people just walk in off the street. I had a residency there when I wasn’t, you know, eighteen. The thing is if you’re talented, they’re not really going to question it. If you bring people, they may think ‘oh, she looks young, but I don’t know.’ There was one bar where I showed up and they didn’t believe my fake ID, and I was like, ‘well, I’ve got like 200 people coming to the show,’ so they put the big black x’s on my hand. It’s easy to wipe off though, let me tell you.

IC: Did you ever have bad experiences gigging that young, or was it all just a lot of fun?

EK: I don’t really stay in any situation when it’s not fun. Everything, you can learn from. I don’t have any scarring memories from playing out that young. My mom was super supportive; she came to every single show. She still does. So if anything ever got heated or weird, she’d shut it down. But I love her for that. My mom is way tougher than me. She’ll take you down a couple notches. I’ve got horrible memories of shows, but they’re all in the past year!

IC: Of performances that were just disastrous or something?

EK: Yeah, just – things go wrong…

IC: Well the bigger the venue, the more complicated it gets, right?

EK: Yeah, sometimes, definitely. And then corporate events can be weird as well. Nobody really pays attention, but you get paid to do something, so you try your best, and then when no one’s looking, you give everyone the little finger.

Elle King - The Untitled Magazine GirlPower Issue - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Elle King – The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue – Photography by Indira Cesarine

IC: And I understand your dad was an actor on Saturday Night Live, and you were actually featured on the movie Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo, which is kind of hilarious. Did you consider acting seriously as a career, or were you just like, forget it, music is my thing?

EK: Oh my gosh, totally. When I was younger, I just wanted to be on stage. I loved acting. Either I wanted to be on Broadway — I’m not a very good dancer, but I loved performing in musicals, and I was good at it. Then once I realized I didn’t have to be a character on stage, I could just be myself and play my songs, and tell my own stupid little jokes, I was like fuck off, this is it! But yeah, Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo, was my breakout roll. My debut roll in acting, and it’s very embarrassing, even though it looks cute.

IC: Aw.

EK: Yeah, I’ve been in lots of movies and don’t tell anyone.

IC: But obviously, you have such an incredible voice. I think it’s a good thing that you pursued music verses commercial films or Hollywood. It seems like your heart’s in your music.

EK: It definitely is. Music is cathartic and therapeutic for me. I don’t always say my feelings, I just kind of keep them bottled up, and they build up this anxiety inside of me. Once I started writing songs, it really changed how I dealt with situations. At first, I welcomed a lot of depressing or unhealthy relationships, because I was like, ‘oh whatever, I’ll do something unhealthy because I’ll probably get a good song out of it.’ And now, I’m learning that I don’t have to do that. I’ve done it enough. I’m trying to not be so self-detrimental, I guess? Just to get a song. I’ve talked to a lot of songwriters, and they’re like, how do you go about getting these feelings? And I’ve told them what I’ve told you. You don’t have to do that. You can pull from it. It’s just learning how to differentiate right now and pulling from your past.

IC: That’s amazing.

EK: Yeah!

IC: So your sound really crosses over from a lot of different genres, from country, to soul, rock, and blues. How, in your own words, would you describe your sound?

EK: Ooh, that’s hard. I would say it’s soulful Southern rock and roll. People are like, ‘so you’re a musician? What kind of music do you play?’ I’m like, I don’t know! I play everything!

IC: You’ve been compared a lot to Janis Joplin. How do you feel about that?

EK: Oh my gosh! It makes my stomach drop. There can only be one. And when I was growing up, I saw some kind of pop stars try and emulate Janis Joplin. But you’re singing pop music, and you’re not – not that you have to be high on drugs, but – Janis Joplin was a wild woman. And that’s why she stood out, because she was kind of crazy. That’s why her voice just pierced right through. If anyone says that I sound like Janis Joplin, I’m like, thank you, thank you very much, but there can only be one.

IC: Was she an influence at all to your music, growing up?

EK: Yeah, totally. Once I started to develop my voice – I listened to a lot of soul growing up. And then it kind of transferred to country. But through that time, I also listened to all rock and roll. I would listen to these people; you know, Aretha Franklin, and The Band, and I would learn their songs and try to sing their songs, but anyone that I kind of sounded too much like, (you know, Janis Joplin) I kind of would step back a little bit to continue finding my own voice, so that I wasn’t emulating or impersonating. If you have a voice like mine, like I can do any accents, and I did like acting. I can do weird impersonations with my voice, and I think that’s maybe why my music stands out a little bit, because I can make my voice do so many different things. So if I sound too much like somebody, I pull back a little bit and take a break from listening to them, because I don’t want them to change how I sound. I think I’ll never write a song like Janis Joplin, and that hurts me. It’s hard to listen to her.

IC: Who else do you consider to have been a big influence on your work?

EK: Otis Redding. He is so inspiring to me. And his songs are just absolutely heartbreaking. And he sings them! Do you know what I love about soul and R&B? When those people are singing those songs, you feel it. That’s what I took from listening to soul and R&B. I and my mom would always say, ‘don’t sing it unless you mean it.’ And that’s so true. And now, I sing those songs with such a passion, and I remember what made me write them, and I go right back to that feeling. I sing my songs so hard sometimes, that I’ve almost thrown up on my drummer three times. It just comes out of me like that – not throw-up, but passion. But it’s a lot. Giving every ounce of your energy to a performance, there’s something beautiful about that. And that’s the only way I can sing. And I recognize it in other people, when they’re doing it the same way, I’m like wow. They’re just giving it their all. That’s props, like I respect that.

IC: So you play the banjo, which is such an interesting choice, I know you play the guitar as well. But why the banjo?

EK: To be honest, I saw a really cute boy playing it, and I was like, hey, can I play that? So a lot of things are fueled by handsome boys. I’m only human. But he was such a sweet person. He was like, why don’t you take it home and practice it? I was like, are you serious? I had it for over a year. So then finally, I got back from Denmark, I had taken the banjo there. He sent me a message, and he was like, ‘hey Elle, do you think maybe I could get my banjo back? My dad needs that.’ I was like oh my gosh, you’d have to come to New York, but yeah, you can have it. He came to New York to get his banjo back, I gave him a hug, and the very next day, I went and got a new banjo.

IC: I was checking out some songs on your EP, and you did a cover of a rather explicit song, “My Neck, my Back.”

EK: Oh yeah, it’s disgusting! Disgusting!

IC: It’s so raunchy. What is it that drew you to that?

EK: I’ll tell you how that song came about; I was playing out when I was living in Hollywood. I was a bit of a spitfire back then. I got this like hotel gig in some really hip Hollywood hotel. I was playing there, and no one was listening to me. Not one person, they were all talking over me. And I had played that song at parties to make my friends laugh, and they loved it. So I was like, honestly, fuck this. Don’t fuck with me and don’t pay any attention to me. So I was like, I’ve got a song for everyone, why don’t we all listen to this. And I started playing “My neck, my back,” and you could hear a pin drop. All these old ladies. There was this group of six eight-five year old women just started clapping along with me and laughing! And everybody saw them laughing and having a good time, and not being shocked by it, just like ‘oh, she’s crazy.’ And everybody payed attention to the rest of my show. Of course I giggle. I giggle when I still sing it, because I don’t even speak like that to people. But there’s something kind of cool about people – I don’t know if anyone’s ever really, no one’s ever told me that they’ve been offended by it.

IC: Oh, it’s a song. When you sing things, it changes the impact a little bit, don’t you think?

EK: Yeah, there’s something beautiful about being a little bit uncomfortable and maybe still liking it, even though your brain is telling you that’s wrong. It’s like letting yourself be vulnerable and letting yourself enjoy something even though it’s something that you normally wouldn’t like. I continued to play it because it made people step outside of themselves, and they’re definitely not going to forget about a blond girl singing that song. After I released that EP, or no right before, the original rapper, her name is Kaya, she reached out to me, told me that I was a real OG, and that I was the only girl that she hadn’t sued for singing her song. I was like, oh my gosh, are you going to kill me? But no, she was super cool, super supportive, and she let us release it on the EP, and no one else has done that with her song. So that was cool that a reputable rapper that I grew up respecting saw my cover, liked it, and let me put it out. That was fucking cool.

Elle King - The Untitled Magazine GirlPower Issue - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Elle King – The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue – Photography by Indira Cesarine

IC: A lot of your own songwriting has such a personal touch to it. Songs about boyfriends and relationships. Can you tell me a little bit about how you draw from these experiences for your music?

EK: Yeah, they’re all real stories. I’ve been in so many crazy relationships, I feel like I’m sixty. But I just love love. I fall in love so fast, and unfortunately, I fall out of love even faster. It becomes kind of this sick cycle. And I did break it once, and I was with someone for over a year, and they ended up breaking my heart, so I’m like I never want to date anybody again, even though I know I get songs from it. I’m sure I’ll only just play this album for a year, and then I’ll date people and break up with them and get songs. So that’s kind of where they come from. People ask me, like, ‘you write from the male perspective a lot,’ it’s like no, I just kind of am a dick. I’ve been a total asshole to people who have been really really good to me and kind to me. It’s the whole thing where bullies, like when you’re a kid, are mean where they are afraid of being hurt and afraid of being rejected. So in their minds, it’s I’ll hurt you before you can hurt me. Unfortunately, that’s how I am in most relationships. I’m so afraid of them hurting me; I pull back and pull away. I’ve run away in the middle of the night I don’t know how many times, but I’ve really hurt people. So a lot of my songs are talking about how awful I am as a person, and how I feel bad, and how I don’t feel like I deserve this good love that people give me. But I do, and it’s all a learning, a learning what’s-the-word. A learning experience. See, I haven’t learned enough. I’m just trying to be a better person. My New Year’s resolution is to be calmer and kinder and to not get so overheated and so angry so quickly. And also I’m going to try and take as much time off of dating, and I don’t have time to be anyone’s girlfriend. Once you get older, the breakups you experience, they stay with you, they affect you, and they affect your next relationships. So I’m learning to be by myself and really love alone time, because I used to be terrified of it. I wrote songs about that; I would be with people just because I was too afraid to be alone. Now I’m on tour so much that like, ugh – don’t call me! I just want to sit in my bed with my dog, eat Chinese food, and watch Master Chef Junior, and I think that’s okay. That’s just where I am in life right now. I think that’s much healthier for me to do that than constantly wearing booty shorts and little tops going out to bars, and making out with cute boys, but where does that get you? I mean, it’s fun, it’s really fun, but I’m just in a different place right now, and I think that that’s cool.

IC: Men can be a distraction sometimes.

EK: Yes, they can!

IC: So Love Stuff  came out February 17th, which is obviously all about all of that love stuff, right? What songs in the album do you really feel like you are most proud of? You’ve got a lot of amazing tracks on there.

EK: There’s a song called “Song of Sorrow,” that is really beautiful. Yeah. It just came out so nicely, and it just ended up like – I was Bible-dipping for the lyrics, just as a leeway to write the song. And I got these really crazy lyrics that were meant to be for me, and I just think that the song is so beautiful and so powerful, and I’m proud of how the recording came out. There’s another song on there called “Cocaine Carolina,” and that’s another banjo song.

IC: What was the inspiration for that?

EK: It sounds like I’m singing to another person, but it’s actually about myself. A lot of my songs are songs about relationships to my friends, my family, to ex-boyfriends – a lot of them are to ex-boyfriends. But some of them, they sound like a relationship, but I’m singing to myself. I feel like I get these conversations from my conscience, I guess? I go through things, and I don’t really know how I feel, but I write a song about it and it’s like, ‘oh, alright Elle, that’s how you feel. Cool. Nice to know.’ I went through a really hard time – I was really struggling with things and life, and trying to get my act together. And I wrote that song, and I was basically telling myself ‘you’re going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.’ And that’s a really nice thing. You should be able to tell yourself that. Otherwise you get so wrapped up in things. It’s really hard, and I don’t know if guys go through the same kind of state of mind, but it’s really hard for girls. We’re told to constantly pick apart our bodies and our minds one by one, and I think that that’s really fucked up. I feel like I was really shaming myself because I didn’t feel like I was good enough or pretty enough. I was just like, ‘fuck that!’ I’m talented, and I am beautiful, even though I’m not a size two. It’s okay! If we didn’t have such different physical types of bodies, and so many different hair colors and voices or anything like that, there would be no individuality, and who wants that? So I’m really proud, and I hope that girls listen to my album and take away something positive from it.

IC: Do you feel pressure sometimes when you’re performing or working on press productions to be a certain body size?

EK: Oh yeah, totally. I went through a really serious struggle with it, and it was really unhealthy. I obsessed over it, and I lost a lot of weight. And I was tiny for a year, and I went through some really hard break-ups, one right after the other, and I just kind of stopped eating. And it was really hard and sad. I’ve heard women say it before, but it’s funny to think of it for myself, and look back at pictures of me a year and a half ago, where I was so tiny and fit into a size four-five miniskirt that was my mom’s, and I still thought I was fat. Like, how warped are our brains now? And yes, I could live a healthier lifestyle, I 100% could. I am my best when I’m exercising and working out, but I don’t feel the need to look like those Barbie-doll types, because I’m never going to have that body.

Listen, you don’t have to be a size two to get a good-looking boyfriend. You just have to be cool and confident. Guys are more attracted to confidence. I’ve dated a few gorgeous guys, but I’m more attracted to confidence and a good sense of humor and intelligence. So I don’t date people for how they look, and a lot of people that I’ve been with haven’t dated me for how I look. They like me because I’m passionate about what I do, and I’m funny, and I’m confident. Confidence is so sexy on every level, and I think people need to learn that. It makes me sad when I see such sweet girls be so quiet and shy. It’s like, live out! Be who you are. And that’s kind of what my album is. It’s like hey, I’m here, I’m not going anywhere. You’re ready for this? I’m going to kick you in the jaw! This is who I am, and my album goes through so many different kind of waves of – I don’t know if it’s waves of genres, but it’s definitely waves of emotion, but it’s all me.

IC: You have some other songs on your album that are highly evocative, like “Under the Influence.” In your lyrics you reference, do you feel like some of it is sort of drowning your sorrows a little bit, or is that metaphorical? Tell me a little about the lyrics from “Under the Influence.”

EK: I know what it’s like to be, like I said, a really bad teenager. I know what it’s like to do drugs and be in bad relationships. Being under the influence doesn’t necessarily mean getting messed up on drugs and alcohol. You can be under the influence of anything and anyone. That song definitely comes out of being in unhealthy relationships, and this weird thing happens, and I see it happen to all my friends, and I’m like that’s not healthy. We thrive off of unhealthy, kind of rollercoaster love. Because I’ve dated really sweet guys and nice guys, and they’ve been so nice and kind to me, and I’m just like ugh, get away from me. And it’s so bad, you know? And I go back to these super unhealthy people where we fight and make up and it’s so passionate, and then we fight again, and then we make up, and then we fight for days and then we make up, and it’s like oh my gosh, why do you want to put yourself through this?  I wrote that song with my friend who is back out in California. Dave Bassett set the whole tone for my album, and the people I chose to go back with, they’re special, and they understand that songwriters want to be true to themselves and want to make something worth collaborating, because it’s a whole collaboration. I do love all the people I got to work with on this album, they let me stay true to myself, but they also took me outside of my comfort zone, and showed me different ways to write.

IC: What was your inspiration for “Ex’s and Oh’s”?

EK: A lot of people ask like, it sounds like you’ve been with three different guys. Is it true or are you making it up? Nope. I completely am telling the truth. Those were all three breakups that happened very close to each other, in a row. And it’s funny, because I don’t really talk much to my ex’s, but I tried to stay friends with one, and we went up one night in New York City, and he was like, I have a question to ask you. I’m not trying to be egotistical or anything, but is that first line in your song about me? And I was like “Yes! Yes it is!” And the lyrics are “I had me a boy, turned him into a man. I showed him all the things that he didn’t understand. Whoa, and then I let him go.” And that’s really true. He was just like a little boy, and I tried to teach him a lot. I broke up with him the first time, I didn’t speak to him for a year, and then I came back and he was grown up so much, and we got back together again, and he still wasn’t grown up enough, and I broke up with him again and moved away. I was dating someone else. I came back this time, and we started dating again. This is not an easy breakup. He’s a crazy person. I wonder what it’s like to date normal people.The second line of that song was so heartbreaking. I feel really bad for that. The third line was that I have a lover in New Orleans. His mom heard the song and put it on Facebook. I forget that people see the shit that I write on Facebook. Some people don’t like me that much, and that’s okay. Not everyone is going to like you in what you do, and you have to understand that and embrace that. Like when I play a bad show, I look out into the audience and find one person who’s enjoying it, and I play the whole show for that one person. It’s just shifting your thinking, shifting your mind, and not letting yourself get too down. If you mess up in life or in a performance, you just keep going. You don’t let it stop you, you have to keep going, and otherwise everything will get the best of you. You just push through. I enjoy the songs that I write. And especially after “Ex’s and Oh’s,” I’m no longer afraid of the letters P-O-P. Pop music is such a different term not than when I was starting out. Pop music was Nsync, and Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls. And now, pop just means that it’s mainstream. So everyone says that I’m writing pop music, but it’s actually country and blues. I think that I’m walking a fine line between mainstream pop and kind of alternative music, but it’s walking a fine line that I’m enjoying, but it just means that I can get lots of different ears to listen to my music. If somebody hates it, alright, fuck you then. But try anything twice in life, you know?

IC: If you’re an original, at the end of the day, you’ve got to take risks.

EK: Oh my gosh, of course. And you know what, not everyone is going to appreciate that. It’s weird because you can read a hundred sweet things that people write about you, and then there’s one comment on some weird thread where someone says they hate your music, or they call you fat, or something like that. It’s just like, Uh, it hurts. It stays with you. I try to think about what that person’s doing in their life, and have they done anything that makes them as proud as I am of myself? I don’t let it get to me. You know what, my mom always says, “Give a touch of love, baby because they probably need it more than you.” And that’s so true. I would never write mean comments like that online, ever. You know what really changed my mind? I was never a really huge fan of Lana Del Rey, but when all that stuff came out about her, people were just awful to her online. And I don’t think anybody deserves that. I think that it messed it up, and she didn’t want to play live anymore. I was just like; I’ll never do that. Even if I’m not one hundred percent a huge fan, I’ll just keep it to myself. And it just goes back to the whole fanbase. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. It’s so true, why do people have to be so hateful, does it really make you feel so much better? I’m definitely trailing off into something else, but that’s what I’m passionate about. But people can be so mean, and I’m just trying not to be that person.

IC: It’s definitely one of those things; you can’t take everything personally. The longer you work in this industry; your skin has to get tougher. It’s good to be sensitive too though.

EK: Yeah, but now I don’t read anything. I don’t read the good ones, and if there’s a bad one, I wouldn’t know.

IC: That’s a good policy, just ignore it.

EK: I don’t let it define whether I’m good or bad. I’ve been really really lucky that people have been on board with my music, because it’s from my heart and my soul. I don’t have Google alert, my mom does. So I’ll usually find out if something’s really really good. My manager will send it to me, and it’ll make me smile. But if it’ll make me cry, I don’t even want to know about it.

IC: Do you have a motto or words of wisdom that you like to live by?

EK: I’m looking at all the tattoos I have on me. You know what I say when I need to be built up? I have this tattooed on my boob. Hahaha! It says “Damn, I’m good,” because it really makes me feel better, it pumps me up, and I think that we’re all our own worst enemies, and no one can be as mean to you as you can be to yourself, and so sometimes I will try and shift that thinking, because I don’t want to be mean to myself anymore, I want to make myself feel good, I want to be proud of myself, I want to love myself. And so my mom would always say that to me, and one day I was like, mom, I’m going to get that tattooed, and she’s like, you should! And I got it on my boob; I don’t know if she’ll be proud of that!

IC: I love that, because it’s a positive reinforcement.

EK: It is! You know, I’m a tough cookie, and I love rock ‘n’ roll. To me, it feels rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t want to say the other ones I have on me though!

Check out our behind the scenes clip from our shoot with Elle King and stay tuned for the full video in the #GirlPower App edition.

———————————
Elle King Behind The Scenes Video (excerpt)
Video Directed by Indira Cesarine
Fashion Editor Indira Cesarine
Video Capture by Kimo Kim and Patricia Gloum
Video Edit by Patricia Gloum
Song “Ex’s and Oh’s” by Elle King

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