Reckless and Restless, Elea is an 18 year-old singer full of verve and energy with a deep raspy voice that sends shivers down your spine. She has her own wild, grungy attitude and plays songs about long roads, storms fire and shadows whilst dreaming of vagrancy and escape.Her lyrics are poetic, intense and intriguing, and she speaks with a certain maturity you would not expect from someone so young. When the thrashing guitars blasts get together with Elea’s rock star snarl, you feel the power. Her groovy songs yet carry a mysterious vibe, an obscure atmosphere you feel curious to discover. Who is this girl? Where does she come from? How does she get inspired?
Elea was born to French parents in Hemingford, Québec. The little girl was only 5 years old when her dad decided to travel to the other side of the world to learn Tibetan medicine in Men-tsee-Khang, the Tibetan medical and astrology institute of Dharamsala, north India. Elea went to a Tibetan school for 8 years where she met with Tibetan refugees fleeing Chinese occupation. Soon, she learnt Tibetan and was introduced to exotic musical instruments such as the Chinese Yang Qin, a hammered dulcimer originating from Persia, and the melodious Dramyin, a Tibetan folk music lute. In addition to her classes in Dharamsala, Elea was home schooled to keep up-to-date with the French syllabus. “It was quite a nightmare, as I’d be in school from 7 to 5:30 and then do the French one, which had quite a heavy curriculum in my opinion,” confessed young and brave Elea. When she reached 13, the family flew to Toulouse, France, where they chose to live for a couple of years. Elea attended two Catholic high schools and it did not take too long for her to realise she had landed in a complete different universe. “After all that time spent in India, it was not easy to fit in. I was a bit of an alien there and didn’t understand how teenagers of my age could have so much pride and prejudice.” In Toulouse, she had guitar lessons which she quickly gave up on, and decided to teach herself.After 3 years spent in France, the aspiring rock star finally moved to Bristol, end of the journey. She is now completing her education at Access to Music Bristol, and follows the Artist Development course which is successfully developing her potential “The College really helps you and tailors itself to your needs. I have progressed drastically in terms of general knowledge of the industry and also musically” she said proudly. The gritty singer also likes to play in pubs around Bristol, in Bath and Exeter, alone or backed up by different bands. She has refused offers from music labels and management companies for now, convinced it would be better for her to ‘go DIY’ for another year.
But playing music for a living is not easy. Her parents would like to help her, but it is delicate. They had two different conceptions of her music; her father used to play saxophone and guitar when he was young and chose to play music again to get closer to his daughter “He hadn’t played in years but when I started being serious about music he started getting back into playing guitar. That gives us a common ground which we didn’t have as much beforehand.” Her mother never really liked music but is willing to encourage her girl in her choice of career “my mum used to hate my voice, but now she supports what I do, so that’s good enough for me.” What we, young people, really need in our life to overcome stress and doubts, move forward and achieve our goals, is support from our friends and relatives. Elea is a determined young girl who carries music in her heart and plays with her soul. She knows what to do to capture her audience with no more than a guitar and a raw, deep voice. Miss Calvet’s music is rich, varied and flows from verses to chorus with a natural simplicity. The diversity of vocals and acoustic guitar rhythms invite us to move along with the melody, following the path of the young singer; from Québec to India, France and lovely Britain. Her songs are long roads you want to follow, rivers you want to cross. You can tell she was influenced by eclectic music genres: from opera and lyrical music she listened to when she was little, to alternative rock, folk, blues, jazz and metal, that best describe her music now. Elea is a free spirit who can sing songs in different registers with the same raw energy “what I love about music is the fact that you can end up falling in love with a piece you’d never thought you’d appreciate just because of that little something you can’t put your finger on.” Her inspiration comes and goes like many other artists, and when she holds the right word, she feels the need to put it down on paper. “I’ll just get a melody stuck in my mind and want to get it out it’s that simple. I don’t focus into turning it into a specific genre; I just wait and see where it goes”.
Her songs are mostly based on personal experience and seem to cover the theme of soul searching. Speaking to strangers can also inspire her music and lead to an analysis she then relates to her personal experience “It’s like painting a picture of something you’ve never seen but think you can imagine”. The song “shadows” is an example of a song she wrote for a close friend. “Shadows on the ground” represent all the people Elea knows who have a very low self-esteem and refuse to fulfil their potential, fearing failure. To her, these people are shadows, ghosts with no personality, argument or opinion, no voice. “Words like bullets shots them down,” she sings, describing the pain these people can suffer from cruel words they were told before; words that can lead to doubts, loss of convictions and erode self-confidence “Words can have a far bigger impact that you’d expect them to” Elea added, “they can ruin lives.”And speaking of ruining lives, she dedicated her sad, touching song ‘Every Little Soul’ in tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks “I felt sad for the world we live in. Reaching that level of heartlessness must be worse than death” said the singer.
Elea Calvet is preparing her first EP and will play at Landed Festival this summer, in Wales.