Elliot Lee Charts the Rise and Fall of the ‘Queen of Nothing’ [Q&A]

image

Elliot Lee is a mesmerizing talent who is effortlessly melding a ripping rock sound with animated pop sensibilities. Her new EP Queen of Nothing is a dark and daring five-track collection that explodes with colorful, quirky arrangements and bold, intense vocals. The release narrates the ups and downs of life in power and the materialistic tendencies birthed from wealth and status. Each track slays with a confident queen-like energy without ever sacrificing its vulnerable messages of loneliness and misjudgment.

Within the elevated EP, she cleverly showcases her many musical styles. From fierce lyrical flows to stunning emotive pop vocals, Lee demonstrates she is a true musical mastermind. Through her unique musicality and aesthetic, she has captured the attention of a devoted fanbase known as "the bubblegum army." Lee's offerings create a space of open expression where you can listen and feel less alone. 

Ones to Watch had the chance to talk with the Lee about the inspiration for her new concept EP, feelings of loneliness, and more.

Queen of Nothing beautifully illustrates the rise and fall of a queendom through the perspective of a harsh ruler. Can you explain this concept further?

Whenever I do interviews, and in many other aspects of my career, I always get the question "What's next?" or "Where do you see yourself in the future?." My mind is an unkind place, and it rarely lets me envision a future in which I'm at peace with where I am. I want to say that I see myself happy with a flourishing career because there are times when I can imagine that, but I also don't like hiding my darker thoughts in spaces where my Bubblegum Soldiers can see what I'm saying. In reality, I have a fear that the darkness will take over one day, and I will make bad choices that lead me to losing everything. So I decided to give an honest answer to this question through the story of the Queen of Nothing.

The title track "Queen of Nothing" references the famous piano piece "Heart and Soul."  What inspired you to use this popular song as the base for your track?

When I was young, my grandmother was a lot like a second mom to me. She taught me how to play piano; we would sit on her old piano bench together and play songs together for hours. One of the first ones she ever taught me was "Heart and Soul." She would play the low part, and I would play the high part. When I decided to write this song for other kids like me, I wanted to include a part of myself in it, kind of like a drop of blood on a covenant. So I infused it with this familiar melody that helped me feel safe and grounded my whole life, and in doing so maybe I can turn it into something safe and grounding for my Bubblegum Soldiers too.

"Pink (Freak)" is an intense, hard-hitting offering that narrates not fitting into the boxes we are placed in. In what ways have others misjudged you?

People are often confused by the fact that I actually like to spend most of my time alone at home doing things like studying, drawing, or producing songs. I have a very hard time socializing, and I struggle with my social battery getting drained very easily. I think I tend to give off this bubbly energy that makes it seem like I love to be around people and am good at it, but in reality I feel lost when it comes to things like small talk and hanging out with other people. I really feel like an alien trying their best to seem human, and maybe I've gotten good enough at it to fool people.

"Rubies" also details the idea of being an outcast and boldly fuses rock and electronic sounds. How was the track crafted lyrically and sonically?

When I wrote "Rubies," I watched some cool trailers for movies like Blade Runner to try to sync the energy of the song up to the general flow of an action movie trailer. I wanted it to sonically have a beginning, a climax, and a cathartic end, but at the same time I wanted the lyrics to feel like they were going in a circle without ever reaching a conclusion. In some ways, I wanted it to mirror the feeling of someone walking through a post-apocalyptic world and maniacally hoarding remnants of the world before. It would be ridiculous to hoard rubies in a failed society with no economy and no one to even show the rubies off to, but that irrational need to collect useless things in an attempt to fill the void is exactly what "Rubies" is about.

It is tough to feel like an outsider. What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to fit in?

Even if you don't fit in with the people around you, there are people out there you can feel at home with. I never fit in until I found my Bubblegum Soldiers, but now I know that I was never truly alone in the world. I want you to know that you aren't alone either. You can sit with us at the La La Land Lunch Table.

What is next for Elliot Lee?

I want to see my Bubblegum Soldiers in person as soon as possible!! I have so much I want to say to them. So I'm hoping to be able to tour once it's safe and reasonable to do so.

Who are your Ones to Watch?

My Ones to Watch are Bibi, WHOKILLEDXIX, and GIRLI.

Listen