Interview: Indie Pop Artist Ellen Krauss Chats with Glitter + Makes Waves with Premiere of New Song, ‘No Talk’

Photo: Ludvig Rönn

Get to know the up-and-coming Swedish indie-pop artist, Ellen Krauss. This blossoming singer-songwriter has been gaining attention with her melodious yet deep songs, including her new single, “No Talk,” which debuts this Friday, May 8. The mellow and sultry track is offset by an emotional, almost melancholy mood and vocals, and perfectly showcases the young artists’ talent and musicianship. Ellen has already been labeled as “Rookie Artist of the Year” at the 2018 Denniz Pop Awards and she has won the praise of fellow Swedish singer Max Martin, as well as, Canadian pop-star Carly Rae Jepsen. Read on to find about her rise to fame and how she is using her recognition to help create change in the music industry.

GLITTER: Where did you grow up and when and how did you start making music?
ELLEN: I grew up in Sweden. I feel like I’m still growing up. I was born in 2000 and I started making music in my early teens. I think I just had a lot more on my mind than I’d ever had before so writing was a good way of expressing myself.

GLITTER: How long have you been writing music and how did you get started professionally?
ELLEN: I’ve been writing music professionally since 2016. That was when I met with the producers I’m currently working with. I had released a song I wrote on SoundCloud and Christian Walz, former artist, and renowned Swedish producer found it and set up a meeting between us. Johan ”Jones” Wetterberg was there too, as moral support, and the three of us have been working together ever since. I’ve really gotten to know the industry through them and they’ve really opened a lot of doors for me. However, I really believe that it’s all about the music and the story at the end of the day.

GLITTER: Who are your musical influences?
ELLEN: 
I consume a whole lot of music. I don’t like to stick to a few genres I like to mix it up a bit, but my absolute favourite artists are singer/songwriters in the acoustic pop world. Post Malone, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, and Fleetwood Mac. However, I’m also very into modern indie acts like The 1975, King Princess, and Years & Years. I think my musical influences have been very variated which I love. Growing up, my dad always played Bruce Springsteen or Creedence in the car whilst I was pumping my ”Hits for Kids” records, full of Max Marti’s’ biggest hits, in my room. This might have messed me up.

GLITTER: How would you describe your sound?
ELLEN: 
I would describe my sound as acoustic pop or alternative pop!

GLITTER: What is your songwriting process like?
ELLEN: 
I usually don’t sit down with my guitar with the intention of writing a song, it usually just happens. I like to see songwriting and music-making as having a conversation with yourself. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find a great melody and lyric that I just want to play over and over again. That’s how I know it’s worth working on and playing for my producers. If they like it and are interested in taking it to another level we record and take it from there.

GLITTER: What instruments do you play?
ELLEN: 
I play guitar. Both electric and acoustic. And a little bit of piano. However, I definitely see guitar as my main instrument.

Photo: Ludvig Rönn

GLITTER: Where are you based now and what do you enjoy about the location?
ELLEN: 
I’m based in Stockholm, Sweden. I like it here. It’s my home and I have everything and everyone I need. I’ve travelled quite a bit so I do know there are other places out there with great qualities. I’ve lived in South Africa with my family when I was younger and have worked in both New York and LA quite a bit, but like I said I have a great life here and I love the studio I get to work in. It’s got a very genuine feel to it. It’s kind of unique.

GLITTER: Can you tell us about ‘No Talk.’
ELLEN:
“No Talk” is about ignoring the fear of getting it wrong for a minute and just letting yourself be swept away. I think people and myself really suck at just being spontaneous. We’re so afraid of being rejected or maybe we have been rejected so we’re afraid of getting it wrong. Sometimes you just have to get out of your head and make a move. It’s okay to seize the moment even though you have no clue what you’re doing. I think it’s like that for a lot of people and especially in the LGBTQ-community. There’s no handbook on how to do things, you have to navigate on your own. I wanted to make a song for us. A song that liberates us and lets us take control of our bodies and our sexuality.

GLITTER: Can you tell us anything about your new EP dropping this summer?
ELLEN: 
There isn’t much to say other than that it’s a collection of songs I wrote throughout the years and they’re very personal. One of the songs I’m releasing is the song I posted on SoundCloud with really started my whole career. I’m very excited!

Photo: Ludvig Rönn

GLITTER: What was it like hearing praise from pop icon Carly Rae Jepson?
ELLEN: 
That was very cool. I didn’t get to hear from her personally but knowing that she is a part of the judge that awarded me ”Rookie Artist of The Year 2018” at the Denniz Pop Awards is fucking huge.

GLITTER: What have been some highlights of your career so far?
ELLEN: 
Winning the Denniz Pop Awards was a really big moment for me. Also meeting Jones and Christian of course but also that we signed with BMG in LA. That was big. Also, I can’t not mention releasing my first song, ” The One I Love”. That was crazy and I never expected it to go this well.

GLITTER: How do you use your voice for change in the LGBTQ-community?
ELLEN: I think by just being here and being queer I’m making a difference. Representation is so important. However, I do make an effort to speak openly about being a young gay woman, and all that comes with it. I know that there are a lot of people who feel left out since a lot in music is about heterosexual relationships and it can sometimes be hard to relate to. We need to be including. Music is for everyone.

Photo: Ludvig Rönn

GLITTER: What do you hope fans take away from your music?
ELLEN: 
That life is interesting and people are interesting. And that we are free.

GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?
ELLEN: 
The best advice I’ve ever been given is ”you can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself.” My aunt said that.

GLITTER: Who is your mentor?
ELLEN: 
I don’t really have a mentor. However, if I can have one in the future I would love to have Chris Martin by my side. He seems very zen and he is so crazy talented.

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign, and we want to know, what’s self-love mean to you?
ELLEN: 
To me, self-love means to accept and love all sides of yourself. Your full complexion and capacity. I know that I’m in a good place with myself when I dare to put myself out there and be embarrassing. That’s when I’m most comfortable. Also as an LGBTQ-person, I’ve really taken the high road when it comes to self-love and acceptance. ”If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” – RuPaul.

GLITTER: What would be a dream collaboration for you?
ELLEN: 
Oh, this is such a tough question, but I’m gonna say Coldplay.

GLITTER: What’s on your playlist right now?
ELLEN: 
I really suck at making playlists, I pretty much just search for music I wanna listen to. Right now I’m listening to “Living In A Ghost Town” by The Rolling Stones. I love that they’ve released new music. They’re all like 80-years-old.

Photo: Ludvig Rönn

GLITTER: Social Isolation has become the new normal for now. What are your favorite things to do right now throughout the day?
ELLEN: 
I sleep a lot and watch series. I just finished six seasons of Lena Dunham’s ”Girls.” I’m probably the only one who hasn’t already seen it, but whatever. I loved it. So liberating and weird.

GLITTER: What have you been eating at home during isolation? Can you cook? And Favs?
ELLEN: 
Pasta! I’ve eaten a lot of pasta. Yeah, I’d say I can cook. Living with a single mom requires you learning how to do these things. Right now I’m cooking a lot of Salsiccia Pasta with mushrooms. I’m a big fan of Italian cuisine.

GLITTER: Favorite ways to center yourself and relax?
ELLEN: 
I love taking a shower, washing my hair, and then wrapping myself in robe. Perhaps putting on a face-mask. I’m really into skin-care.

GLITTER: First thing you want to do after isolation ends?
ELLEN: 
Go out and drink lots of wine with as many friends as possible. 🙂

GLITTER: What have been your favorite destinations in the past and why?
ELLEN: 
My favourite destinations have been New York and South Africa. There’s just something magical about that city. It makes you feel super small but at the same time very important. I love the energy and pulse. South Africa, on the other hand, is a country with so much to offer. Very variated. It’s got everything from mountains, animals, great food, and history.

GLITTER: Favorite fashion indulgence?
ELLEN: 
I love wearing over-size. Big pants and big sweaters. Also, I am absolutely obsessed with sunglasses.

GLITTER: Top 5 beauty favs?
ELLEN: 
I love moisturizers since I was born with sensitive Swedish skin. I love nail polish. Unisex perfume. Hair mousse that gives bouncy curls, and lip balm. That’s five things, right?

GLITTER: What’s next for you?
ELLEN: 
Well, I’m gonna be releasing a second EP. That’s about everything I know right now. It’s a weird time. No one really knows anything.

GLITTER: Any special talents outside of music?
ELLEN: 
Hmm… I’m pretty good at running. I’m fast!

GLITTER: Best social platform for fans to find you?
ELLEN: 
Instagram! 🙂 @whoisellenkrauss

Listen to Ellen’s world premiere of ‘No Talk’ below and check her out on Glitter’s Facebook and Instagram Live on May 8th at 12 PM PDT and 12:30 PM PDT!