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NewTracks New Artist: Elipsa

NewTracks New Artist: Elipsa

Elipsa is a fresh face to the drum and bass scene here in NZ. She brings a crisp sassiness with her vocals to the fast-paced dnb rhythms within the backing tracks of her music created by producer Tom Lee aka FairfieldsNZ On Air Music included Elipsa’s latest single Take Our Time on their March NewTracks compilation.

What’s your full name, where are you from, and what instruments do you play? 

My full name is Molly Mexico Foster. I am from Somerset, England (though I consider myself a kiwi gal now). I’ve played the guitar and sang for as long as I can remember. 

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

I did a tiny bit of vocal training in high school, which definitely helped me with my breathing, but I’ve found just singing as much as possible to be the best training! 

Any other previous (or current) projects might we know you from?

You may have heard my first single, Alien, which came out in Dec 2020. Otherwise, you’ll have heard me on Underground with Kiwi legends Lee Mvtthews and UK dnb king Grafix. 

What’s the background story of how Elipsa came to be? Who else is directly involved?

Elipsa came to be after I realised I wanted an alter ego to release music under. I’d been singing in bars and at weddings all of my teen life, but I felt like I wasn’t achieving my true potential. I started learning to produce in my bedroom in 2018 and posted my creations on Soundcloud. It wasn’t long before an old friend got in contact, needing vocals for his drum and bass track. I had no idea what I was doing but gave it a shot, and little did I know that that one move would turn into a whole career in drum and bass.

My collaborations with local drum and bass producers snowballed from then, as it turned out there weren’t a lot of drum and bass vocalists in the scene at that time.

My work was passed on to the award-winning vocalist and MC Tali (who we refer to as the First Lady of Drum and Bass). Tali had been looking for an emerging artist to mentor, so we met up and immediately connected. She became my manager and gave me the best start in the music industry I could have asked for.

The other person who has been directly involved in my journey is Tom Lee an incredible producer and one half of Lee Mvtthews. He worked with me on my first 2 self-produced singles Alien and Make It Up To Me and has been encouraging and supportive throughout my rise as an artist. 

How has your writing (or music) evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

I used to think all of my lyrics had to mean something and that I had to always write from personal experience. I put a lot of pressure on myself to find the perfect words rather than let them flow, which was definitely impacting my ability to grow as a lyricist. Through working with others, I’ve developed the ability to write off the cusp a bit more. I’ve found that now I can write a song that I don’t relate to at first, but the lyrics end up meaning more and more to me over time. I can now enjoy the creative process of it a lot more. 

How and when did you come up with the name for the new project?

I remember thinking I wanted to come up with a completely new word for my artist name. I had been thinking about words I liked, like “eclipse”. I thought, “how can I make that feminine? Ah, I’ll do what European languages do and add an ‘a’.. Eclipsa, no, that doesn’t work, take out the ‘c’…. ‘Elipsa’, yes!”. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment; I was stirring some chickpeas in a pan at my flat in Takapuna. 

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

Playing Rhythm and Vines in 2020 was a big highlight. It had always been a dream to perform there, and the COVID conditions meant I and my accompanying DJ, Willy Mav got more of a prime time slot on one of the bigger stages. I remember feeling on top of the world, so energised and powerful. It just couldn’t have gone better. 

What makes Take Our Time stand out for you as a single?

I think the honest lyrical content is what makes this track rather special. It really speaks to how transformative the last year has been for us, and I think many will be able to relate to that. 

What is the story behind Take Our Time?

Take Our Time retells a conversation between two friends, one of whom admits they’ve been feeling lost and alone recently. Elipsa acts as that supportive voice to remind them (and the listener) that they have the power to overcome their self-doubt and negative thoughts. When writing the tune, Tom and I wanted it to be a refreshing and uplifting narrative that really touches the soul of the listener. 

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

My favourite moment has to be the adlibs I sing at the end of the song. I just love the melodies and all of the energy in them. They feel like the perfect sign-off to the song, and they’re so much fun to sing!

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? 

Fairfields and I wrote Take Our Time during the August lockdown last year in my home studio. We had been processing the news that we weren’t going to be able to play shows for another long while and thought we would turn to music to express how we felt. We had been wanting to make a UK club-style tune as we’d been listening to a lot of Disrupta and Bru-C, so Tom whipped up this incredibly energy-filled instrumental, which I thought would make a great dance track. However, instead of making the lyrical content typically dance-style to match the instrumental, we found ourselves writing something more heartfelt. 

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

I would love for listeners to take away the main message of the song; that they don’t need to rush through life, and if they’re struggling with the pressure, then they should reach out to others around them. It’s through our friendships that we can be pulled out of dark places. 

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

It should be something that most people can connect to right off the bat. If it creates a powerful feeling inside of them, then it’s a good song. 

Who else is in your team?

As mentioned earlier, Tom Lee produces and engineers for me, and Tali is my manager. Forte Touring acts as my booking agency, and I distribute my music with DRM

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for? 

I have an EP coming out in the latter half of the year, which will be my largest project to date! Can’t wait to show more of my style. 

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

  • Pirapus & 33Below: Slipping Away 
  • Willy Mav & Young Gho$t: Metamorphic
  • Sly Chaos & Ella Monnery: Too Far Gone 

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others out there?

I am yet to get single funding. However, I am going to persist and keep applying! That would be my advice, just keep trying and keep working. If you show your good work ethic and that you’re not going anywhere, you’ll for sure be noticed. 

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with in the application? Which was it and how did you work it out in the end?

Generally, I have struggled with how to word the marketing side of things in my applications. However, by reaching out to others that have completed applications for funding before, I was able to gain a better understanding of how to answer these questions. 

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

Not really music-related, but I really enjoy listening to the High-Performance Podcast. It’s a UK podcast that digs deep into the minds of highly successful people to figure out what makes them tick and what has led them to their success. It’s helped me think about my journey very retrospectively and how I can use my past experiences to better my future. 

Any last words?

Thanks for having me! I’ve got heaps of more music to come this year, so hopefully, you’ll keep an ear out.