Interview with: Elise Trouw

Interview with: Elise Trouw

Young, Talented Multi-Instrumentalist and Singer-Songwriter from San Diego, California
3489
views

Recently, I got to ask the incredibly talented, multi-instrumentalist/ singer-songwriter, Elise Trouw, some questions regarding her songwriting process, musicianship, and the music business out on the west coast.


First off, what is your name, how old are you and where do you hail from?

My full name is Elise Ashlyn Trouw. I’m seventeen years old and have lived around Southern California my entire life. I was born in Newport Beach, but currently live in San Diego.

Elise, from what I've seen, you can play the drums, the guitar, the bass, and you sing? Do you come from a musical background?

No, I’m the first musician in my family.

When did you first begin playing music and which instrument did you pick up first? Did you receive any lessons?

I started out on classical piano lessons when I was six, after deciding I wanted to be able to play “My Immortal” by Evanescence on piano (which I never actually ended up learning…). After messing around on the video game Rockband when I was ten, I was inspired to play real drums and began formal lessons with Dave Blackburn. I also learned some guitar from him and have also picked up bass since then. As for singing, I only started about 2 years ago after I began songwriting.



You have a really unique, soothing tone to your voice, were you trained in singing at all? You sound like you've been trained in jazz.

Thank you! I never really planned on being a singer and actually began by taking classical vocal lessons with a singer named Sara Perez. She helped me a lot with my technique, which was beneficial when I ventured into pop singing. I currently take contemporary voice lessons with Jody Bagley.

When you are writing a song, what does your songwriting process look like?

I almost always write my songs on piano, beginning with either a melody or a lyric phrase. Typically, the chorus comes first, because I see that as the song’s “thesis”, which the verse lyrics all point to.

Your songs are mixed so incredibly well. Who mixes/masters/produces your music?

Almost all of the tracks on my album were mixed and mastered by Alan Sanderson, though my most recent single, “Burn,” was mixed and mastered by Christopher Hoffee. On songs like “She Talking” and “Burn,” I record and produce the tracks at home, then take them to the studio for mixing. On less electronic songs, I record in the studio with Alan and my producer Gary Hyde.

Is it a collaborative effort between you and the producer?

Yes, my producer is also the cowriter on most of my songs, so a lot of the work we do is a collaborative effort.

You're a full-time musician, but are you/have you been in school for music as well?

I graduated high school a year early to pursue music, so I’m essentially replacing my senior year with a gap year. I have plans to apply for music college for next year, with my top choice being USC.

There is a lot of talent out on the west coast, how do you set yourself apart as an artist?

It’s easy to get grouped with other artists, especially being a female singer-songwriter. I think the fact that I play all the instruments on my album adds a new perspective to my music, since most pop music isn’t recorded like that.

If you could collaborate with one artist, who would they be?

That’s a tough one to answer. I’d probably choose to collaborate with Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

In terms of songwriting, who are some of your biggest influences?

Definitely Sting from The Police.

Why are they your biggest influences?

Sting writes a lot of beautiful verse melodies that perfectly frame his lyrics. The way his songs flow, creating a story, is the tell of an amazing songwriter.

You have an eclectic sound to your original music. Which genre of music would you consider your music?

Most of my music falls under the category of Alternative Pop. By this I mean that the songs are written with pop forms, but the recordings have alternative arrangements.

You've just released your first music video for your single "Burn"! Where was it filmed? What was the experience like?

“Burn” was filmed in South Africa with a production company called The Grand•Kids Collective. It was shot over two long (13-15 hour) days. Everyone involved was a pleasure to work with, and I have plans for future videos with them. You can find behind-the-scenes photos on my Facebook page, along with little stories from the two days shooting.

You've released a few really great singles, do we expect an LP anytime soon?

Thank you and yes, all four of my singles are part of my debut album, which will be released before the end of the year. The style of each single is quite different from the last, which reflects the sound of the album as a whole. There are about eleven songs on the album, and it’d be hard to classify them all under on genre.

Are you currently involved in any other musical projects?

I have been a part of a couple of other projects as a songwriter and vocalist, and a few as a session drummer. However, my main focus is on my album right now.

What are your top five favorite albums?

Reggatta de Blanc (The Police), In Rainbows (Radiohead), The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd), Aja (Steely Dan), and Sylva (Snarky Puppy)

Where do you see yourself as a musician in ten years?

Songwriting will always continue to be a part of my life. I’m interested in collaborating with other artists, songwriters and producers as I continue with my own projects. Other than that, I will always be a drummer at heart and I will go where music takes me.

What is one tip you'd give to other aspiring songwriters out there?

Collaborate. After a while I sometimes find myself starting to write songs the same way repeatedly, which can lose its excitement. Just writing one song with another person can show you a whole different approach that will bring a new perspective to your creativity.


Many thanks to the super talented Elise Trouw. Please check out her music and pick up her singles on Itunes!

Watch her debut MV, "Burn" here:


You can also follow her here:

https://soundcloud.com/elisetrouw

https://www.instagram.com/elisetrouw/

https://www.youtube.com/user/drummergirl11010

https://www.facebook.com/elisetrouwmusic/

Cover Image Credit: Photo Courtesy of Elise Trouw

Popular Right Now

18 Ways The Disney College Program Destroys You

"I can only hope we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse" - Walt Disney
23047
views

The Disney College Program, three little words that may or may not forever change your perspective of the world. Working for Disney has been my dream since I was a little kid. That’s all I ever wanted to do with my life-- to become a part of the magic. It wasn’t just because it’s Disney World, the most magical place on Earth. It's because I truly admire everything that this company stands for. Disney is all about bringing families and friends together, creating memories that will last a lifetime and sprinkling a little pixie dust over this magical place that I’ve called home for eleven months. I knew all of this when I received that “Congratulations!” email. Excitement rushed through my veins . The world of possibilities had finally opened its door for me. What I didn’t know, was what those possibilities truly meant, until post DCP depression kicked in. It's a real thing my friends.

1. You are always going to be an extremely friendly and approachable person.

No matter where you are or who you are talking to, you can't help to smile. You always carry a welcoming vibe with you, no matter what situation you are placed in. Working for Disney taught you how to have the patience of a Saint when it comes to dealing with people. You learned that the best way to communicate is listening to everyone with an open mind, even if they’re screaming in your face about Test Track being out of FastPasses.

2. You are constantly finding hidden Mickeys in the real world.

Admit it, your mind creates hidden Mickeys out of almost every random three circle formation. You can’t help it. You have Disney on your mind all the time.

3. You are FULL of Disney Park fun facts.

Did you know that there are 11,324 triangles that make up Spaceship Earth?!

You love sharing your vast pool of knowledge of random Disney Park fun facts. Sometimes even when people don't care about it, you just have to talk about all the things you learned as a CP.

4. You also may speak ride spiel.

“We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it"- Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

When you work for Disney, you live and breath Disney. You couldn't even count how many times you've been to the park, even just to hub grass and chill or ride the People Mover four times in a row. Those spiels were a part of your everyday life. You know when you are riding Hunted Mansion with a boatload of cast members when everyone in the stretch room whispers, "I am your host, your ghost host". Going to the park almost every day is a part of CP culture. Accidentally referring to ride spells still sometimes slips into your daily conversation. Did you really do the college program if you don't know at least one ride spiel?

5. You constantly feel the need to get down the small child's level and talk to them about their favorite Disney characters.

"Hi Princess! My, you look dashing today, what Kingdom did you travel from?!"

What you would do to get back to the days when you were paid to sit on the ground to talk to a child dressed up as Cinderella. You see a child at your real world job and you feel the need to ask them about the about their favorite Disney movie. You catch yourself accidentally referring to people as princess in the real world, but it instated of the magic it used to produce, they look at you like you’re a crazy person. *sigh*

6. If your friends hear you say, ”So this one time in Disney…" one more time they may punch you in the face.

OMG-- this reminds me of this one time in Disney when...*insert story of an amazing day you and your Disney fam had here.*

You can’t help it, every single day was filled with an adventure during your CP. You want to share your stories with everyone you encounter. It's like word vomit. The second something reminds you of your CP there is no stopping you. Your friends back home may either get really annoyed or end up learning everything you did when you had free access to Disney World.

7. Boy do you miss the days when Mondays were happy.

"We love you Mondays, we do."

For some who were into the social scene, you blankly gaze out your window on a Monday night wondering what county you would have been playing at Son On The Beach. You watch your remaining CP friends' Snapchat stories and think to yourself, "Anzacs VS. Gayllerie!? Ugh, must have been a good game." You miss the days when your only struggle was to make it out of work on time to get to Happy Mondays. Your friends back home wonder how you are so freakishly good at flip cup. It’s a CP thing.

8. 90% of your best friends are long distance.

Skype dates are essential.

You created bonds with people from all over the world during your CP. You celebrated holidays with these people. You spent every single day with them during your time in Florida. Your program would never be as magical if it wasn't for the amazing people you met here. Some of these people turn into your life long best friends-- even if they currently reside 12 hours ahead of you. There isn't a day that goes by that you don’t think about you CP BFFs. When they say you will meet the most amazing people you will ever interact with working for Disney, they were not kidding. These people are even more than friends to you, they are family. If it means staying up till 2AM to Skype with your old roommate, who now lives on the other side of the world, it doesn't even cross your mind how late it is. Catching up with them is always worth it.

9. You probably have roughly 500 "I'm Celebrating" buttons.

"Happy squad-iversary!"

You found every excuse in the book to rock an "I'm Celebrating" button when you and your squad hit the parks. "I'm celebrating ERs" was a great one to sport when you got off work early. The button days were the special days. You could probably fill an entire cork board with all of the buttons you collected over your CP. Thank goodness for that, you'll have a tangible memory of those magical days for a lifetime.

10. The clock strikes 3:00PM and you know the Festival Of Fantasy Parade is strolling out of Frontier Land.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the time has come to take your places” -The Festival Of Fantasy Parade.

You continuously catch yourself looking at the clock around 3PM and feeling a little empty inside. To all the days before work when you watched that parade with your roommates, you were the greatest. You can always spot a cast member as “dreams that glow” blur down Main Street. They are usually the ones dancing along and singing as their favorite floats pass by. What you would do to relive those days.

11. You know a lot about the world and the people it's made up of.

I’d be real keen to learn about your culture over some Maccas, eh.

You know to never tell an Australian their accent sounds like a Kiwi's or visa-versa. You can spot the difference from miles away. You’ve learned the lads from down under are some of the funniest people you’ll ever interact with, and there are in fact, no kangaroos in New Zealand— just wallabies. You know that the people from Spain and Brazil are usually down for some fun and it's always a good time to kick back with your friends from France or The Netherlands. It's true that the Italians are loud and outspoken, in the best way possible. The people from Japan are simply the some of the sweetest. You meet so many people from all over the world and learn so much about their culture. You get more of a feel for all of the greatness the world is made up of than any textbook could ever explain.

12. You could draw a map of Magic Kingdom blindfolded.

“Nearest FastPass kiosk?!” “Down the pathway to the left!

Not only is Disney World your home, but you know every square inch of it. You could still probably give someone directions to the nearest quick service restaurant of your location, from wherever you are currently sitting in the world.

13. Applying for jobs? Disney always makes you stand out.

“Wow, you worked for Disney World? Tell me more about that!”

Your resume stands out among the thousands. Potential employers want to hear about your Disney College Program experience and you are over the moon to share. You tell them about the days where you immersed guests into the theme of your location and all of the magic you made. Working for the number one entertainment company is something to be proud of.

14. You are constantly checking airline prices to reunite with your roommates and get back to the place that started it all.

There is nothing better than reuniting with your Disney family. Your most visited web pages are airlines sites. You count the days where you can rule the parks again with your favorite people by your side. You can't help but to run to them in the middle of MCO with tears in your eyes and magic in your heart, ready to create even more memories together. You know you found forever friends in them, it's never goodbye— it's see ya real soon.

15. You have a strong emotional attachment to certain rides of shows.

"The best part is, you'll never run out of wishes"- Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

There are some shows and rides that take you right back to the days where Walt Disney World was your usual hang out spot. Some of those shows have so much more meaning to you and the magic you made. You tend to get a little teary eyed watching them when you visit. Even when your CP is over, the magic lives on in your soul.

16. Disney is not just a vacation spot to you, it’s your home.

You feel at ease here. You may have even found who you are and who you aspire to be here. It’s a special place to you that holds so much magic. Going back feels familiar. You never feel like an outsider here. Walt Disney World really is your home and it welcomes you right back every time you return.

17. People who know you before your College Program say you've changed.

You're more outspoken, you are confident in yourself and you carry on with pride. Not to mention your work ethic and customer service skills are outstanding. You believe in things and the people around you. You believe in magic and that's all thanks to the Disney College Program.

18. It was the best 4 months - 1 year of your life and you would do anything to relive just one more day of being a CP.

"While no one knows for sure what we'll see or do. I do know it will be quite an adventure, an adventure that we'll take and make together. See you in the future"- Spaceship Earth.

If you were given the opportunity to put on those extreme high-waisted polyester grandpa pants and that florescent shirt that was probably eight sizes too big for you— you’d do it in a heartbeat. Despite the long hours and blazing sun, sometimes your life felt like a dream. Your time spent working for the mouse will forever be your most magical days, as the Disney College Program was the best opportunity of your entire life.

Cover Image Credit: Dana Saccoccio

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Ways You Can Stop Producing so Much Trash

We produce a lot more trash than you think, until you start paying attention to your actions.

260
views

One of my major goals this year is to do more to save the planet as well as animals. I have already been vegetarian for three years. and I'm plan to stay vegetarian, but I want to have a more plant based diet. As well, I want to start reducing the amount of trash I produce. Not only because I realize just how drastically our trash is affecting wildlife, but also because I think having to take out your trash twice a week is way too much trash!

1. Bring recyclables to a recycling center or reuse them around the home!

Giphy

This is something I want to start doing! I always get take out food and throw away the containers, when I could be using those containers to carry my lunch everyday! Also, I want to start collecting my plastic water bottles and taking them to the recycling center on campus instead of just throwing them away

2. Invest in a reuseable water bottle

Giphy

This would actually fix my water bottle problem. I need to invest in a nice, reuseable water bottle that I can refill, rather than throwing away 3-4 water bottles a day. Amazon has a lot of varieties of these bottles ranging from inexpensive to expensive, cool designs, and even one that holds snacks.

3. Reuseable Straws

Giphy

This is a great addition to your new reuseable water bottle! Like trash, you don't realize how much you use (and throw away) straw, until you actually start to keep count. I thought i didn't use straws at all because I never bought them in my life, but then you go out to eat (straw), you go to Starbucks (straw). Having a glass straw is actually really useful to reduce your trash, in cases when you wish you had a straw but don't, and sanitary purposes. Those straw sitting out at Starbucks, are they really that clean?

4. Donate old/unwanted clothes

Giphy

This is something I already do. I go through my drawers and closet once a year, and just put all the clothes I haven't worn all year, or just don't want into a garbage bag. I'm usually able to fill at least one (gallon) garbage bag with clothes to take to Goodwill!

5. Use actual plates instead of paper plates

Giphy

This is another huge mistake of mine! I hate doing dishes, so I try to buy paper plates to make less dishes, but in the end I'm producing more and more trash! I'm convinced the reason I have to take out my trash so often is because I eat so much! It's time to be a big girl now and start washing my dishes...or start using my dish washer

Related Content

Facebook Comments