IT must have been about four years…
since I first discovered the music of Elena Ramona. Interviewing her back in, maybe 2012/’13, it was wonderful finding a young woman with so much passion for music – one of the most genuine and honest people you will meet in the industry: her enthusiasm and dedication to the craft affected me greatly. Early songs like Rise and Lying Blue Eyes showcased a fine songwriting ability and great range: switching from deeply personal and emotional to strident and coruscating. Since then, she has continued to perform and record and is one of the most-promising young songwriters around. The Neon Lights is the latest song from Elena Ramona and covers new ground. It takes in Dance and Electronic sounds and is another bold step from her. I ask the singer-songwriter the inspiration behind the song and what she wants people to get from it; whether it is important having full control of the music/creative process – Elena is a video editor and has creative control of her work. I ask whether Skiathos, the Greek island she is from, has a thriving music scene and what sounds can be heard there; what it feels like having (her music) played on This Morning and what she hopes to achieve this year.
PHOTOS: Andy Boschier MAKE-UP: Vicktoria Khol Webster
Hi, Elena. How are you? How has your week been?
I am very well, thank you for asking. Hope all is well with you.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hi, everyone. My name is Elena Ramona. I am a Pop singer/songwriter based in Guildford, Surrey. I studied Vocal Performance at the Academy of Contemporary Music and I have been pursuing my career as a musician ever since.
The Neon Lights is your latest single. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind that?
I have always had issues fitting into social groups, and throughout school, I was quite lonely. This song is inspired by me feeling ok with me.
The main message in the song is to be yourself: embrace who you are and keep going.
I used the analogy of neon lights to portray a happy, confident message.
Neon lights are strong, bold and unique and I want my listeners to feel like this when they hear this song.
In terms of sound, it is a move away from your previous stuff – one of the most insistent and confident tracks you have done. It has elements of Pop, Funk and Dance. Was it quite daunting pushing into new areas or was it quite liberating?
It was very daunting to start off with because I didn’t know how people would react to such a different sound from me – but I am so glad I have released this song.
The reception, so far, has been really positive and impressive. Is it quite humbling getting such a warm reaction from fans and new followers?
The response to this new track has been amazing and has humbled me greatly – it has gained airtime with some really big, well-known radio stations and platforms.
Working in such a competitive environment, the response to this track has really inspired me to keep going.
You edit and work on the videos closely yourself. Is it important having that sort of control and is it quite rewarding and satisfying working on a video from start to end?
To be able to work on the editing and directing process myself – for my own videos – is very rewarding and satisfying because I have full creative freedom.
I know some of your songs, like The Neon Lights and Lying Blue Eyes have been used on T.V. and shows like This Morning. How does it make you feel hearing your songs on the big screen?
Hearing my songs on the big screen is surreal. The feedback given for both tracks was so kind and encouraging.
You’re based just outside of London and have been making music for quite a while now. What have been your favourite memories up until this point and what do you hope to achieve the rest of this year?
My favourite memory so far is returning to my old school in Wiltshire and mentoring young musicians.
This year, I would love to release more music and break through to national radio stations around the world.
I would also love to perform with a Jazz band and see in the New Year in style.
Can we expect to see an Elena Ramona E.P. or album this or next year, perhaps?
Yes, you can. I am working hard to make this happen.
Being from the Greek island of Skiathos, you must notice a difference between the music scene there and in the U.K. What is the scene like in Skiathos and are you returning there to perform any time soon?
Skiathos is a tourist island full of amazing traditional Greek musicians who play to guests in restaurants and create a truly magical atmosphere. However, if you find yourself in the club-strip in town you will hear lots of commercial Pop and the same club music that we hear in the U.K.
I will be returning to the island this summer and I hope to perform in clubs and at beach parties with my new music.
Is there a message you would give to your fans and follows on social media?
Thanks so much for your response to my new track The Neon Lights. I have received many lovely messages and it has really encouraged me to keep making music.
Which new artists do you think we should be keeping our eyes on?
What advice would you offer any new acts emerging at the moment?
Stay true to yourself.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
I listen to this song when I need a little pick-me-up or when I am at the gym – this whole album is great.
Knife Party – Boss Mode
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