Maud Mostly: Hello and welcome to The Other Team's Tunes Tuesday, an interview series that discusses music and matters with queer artists you love. I'm your host Maud Mostly, my pronouns are they/them, and joining me this week is New York-based singer, Elizabeth Wyld. Thank you so much for being here. Would you like to share a little bit more about yourself?
Elizabeth Wyld: Hi everyone! Thanks for having me. Like you said, I am a New York City-based singer and songwriter. I actually live in Brooklyn, and I’ve lived here for seven years. I released my first album last year, 2021 during the pandemic, and working on rolling out my second album currently, so really nice to chat with you about that today.
MM: Awesome, yeah, I'm so excited to chat with you about that because you've also already been rolling out some of the singles for that upcoming album, and they have just been so exciting, there's so much to talk about it, so I'm really excited to jump into that because on social media, you've been referencing the fact that your most recent single Love Comes With a Knife is actually inspired by the show Killing Eve, which I'm sure so many queer people are so excited about for so many reasons along with your music and the show coming together, do you find yourself often inspired by other stories and forms of media?
EW: That's actually sort of a new thing for me because my first album was completely autobiographical, and somebody who came to my show once, when I was still sort of working on those tunes, and they said they said when your first album comes out, everyone always is gonna have plenty to say on their first album, you can write about your life and what got you to this place, but he said something that really stuck with me, which was that it's really a test to... It's kind of intimidating, but it's really a test to how good of a songwriter you are when you're second album comes out, when your third album comes out because it's like, what do you really have to say beyond just an introduction of who you are? So when I started writing the second album, it was actually... I was starting to write it the week that the shutdown happened and covid was just running rampant, and it was a scary time and I just was like, well, I guess I have a lot of time on my hands. Why don't I just write some songs?
And of course, I feel like a lot of musicians did the trope of, and I did it too, of just writing about the pandemic and being like, I'm stuck at home. What are we gonna do? And I was like, well, I can't really release as an album full of songs like that because it's just gonna be a huge bummer, you know what I mean? By the time it comes out and literally nobody is gonna wanna talk about that, and so I just thought... I just noticed myself, I was diving into anything that had to do with fiction, like I was diving into television shows and fictional novels and even history, like reading about historical figures and reading their autobiographies, and I was like, Wouldn't it be fun to just completely escape from what's happening here and write it from the perspective of all these people that I'm reading about and watching on TV? So I ended up just kind of doing that as a project, and little by little, I have collected this group of songs, that was about different people's perspective, but I feel like they were all still connected in a way. They all have a lot of similarities.
MM: Absolutely, thank you for sharing so much about that, I feel like that gives it a really unique perspective, and do you feel like as a songwriter that there's a lot of differences when you're writing a piece that's more autobiographical vers more inspired by another story? Do you feel like the flow is different, or do feel like navigating the topics feels different?
EW: Well, I guess that's a hard question. I guess when I wrote my first album, a lot of those words did just come out of me from raw emotions, and not to discredit my own work, but you start to learn a lot about yourself as a person when you look at your lyrics, and I realize like, oh, you know what, Liz? You should probably be a little bit more positive about life or things like that, but when I was writing from the perspective of different people, I feel like that's when the craftsmanship as a songwriter really comes in, because I used to think that in order to write songs, you would just have to have a really negative thing happen in your life for a really exciting thing, and then I kinda realize like, well, I can't just keep waiting for something bad or something amazing to happen in my life to be inspired enough to write a song. At a certain point, you have to just sit down and learn how to write a song. Whether you feel a certain way or not. And so I just definitely think that there was a lot more...I came at it more from a perspective of a songwriter and not necessarily from this raw emotional place, which I think was a healthy thing.
MM: Yeah, definitely, I think navigating those different feelings is important, and I think that also helps a lot of people get past that sense of writer's block that I feel like you were speaking to, where it's that sense of like, Oh well, what else has happened in my life? Nothing. And now here I am and I can't do anything about it. Yeah, yeah, no, it was really incredible to hear that, and also Love Comes With a Knife is paired with a music video that takes on a very different vibe, aesthetic and medium from your previous music video release, which was for Virginia. What interests you about experimenting with different visual styles alongside your music?
EW: Well, first of all, let me just say, I had so much fun working on this music video, which was... The reason that I had made an animated video previously was just because it was covid and there wasn't a vaccine yet, and I was trying to collaborate with people, but I didn't want to broach anyone's level of comfort, and I didn't wanna be in a position where I'm on a set with 10 people and then maybe one person got sick and spread just...I don't know, I just was not wanting to carry that guilt and I wanted to feel safe in the creation process, and so I found an amazing animator for that, and obviously they did a fantastic job with that video, but for me, I actually come from an acting background, so I actually love being on the camera and I really like creating narrative works, so we attempted to make it a story, and I wanted to really make it a sweet love story, kind of as an homage to Killing Eve because that show is just the best it changed my life. So does that answer your question?
MM: Yeah, absolutely, no, I definitely understand. I feel like a lot more animated music videos were actually coming out during covid, now that I think about it, there were so many people experimenting with separated mediums or even how do we film music videos with a bunch of people in different locations. There was a lot more compilation videos where people were kind of doing footage in their own homes and bringing it all together, but I'm really glad to hear that you were able to really work closely with one another again without feeling like you know there was that really inherent risk, you were able to put safer protocols in place and experiment with that, do you feel like that background in theatre and acting comes into your work pretty frequently?
EW: Yeah, I think that I really see this next album as…when you start writing, you're learning a lot about yourself as an artist, like who am I and what do I have to say? And I feel like me pulling in these elements of writing from the perspective of other people is very much rooted in a theatrical background because I really missed the theatre, and I think I wanted to just feel like I was playing a character again, so when I sing one song from the album, I'm this person, and when I sing another song, I'm Villanelle, and I really feel like I can be on stage and act those parts out, even though it's not like a musical, if that makes sense. Yeah, and I'm really excited to bring that element of myself into my work in the future. I feel like there's gonna be even more theatrical kinds of pieces in the future.
MM: That's awesome, and I'm super excited to see that, and I mean, speaking more to that theatrical interest and background prior to the release of Love Comes With a Knife, your previous single, How Am I Still Holding On was featured in Broadway World, which I mean is really exciting, and I saw you were commenting on that feature, sharing that it would have made our “theatre nerd” self as a younger person just so happy. So do you feel like there's other instances in your current career that you take joy in knowing that your younger self would have been proud of or ecstatic about?
EW: That's an interesting question, I never really thought about it. I think that's a good thing to remind yourself, I think, is like, If I told 13-year-old me, you're gonna be living in New York and you're gonna be making your art, I would be like, yes! Yay! That's everything I wanted. I would be so happy. I think it's good to think about when you're actually in it and you're like, man, I wish I had this and I wish I had this, it's like actually like look how far I've come. So I think the biggest shell shock for 13-year-old me would probably be that I'm like a lesbian living with my fiancé, you know what I mean? That would be the biggest shock, 'cause I don't even think I realised...Well, maybe I realised a teeny bit, but that took some time, so...
MM: Yeah, no, absolutely, and I get that. I feel like queer people often have that tendency to think about their younger selves almost a lot more, and especially how their younger selves would perceive them now because they sometimes can do that disconnect be like, wait, how are you... Who are you now? How are you living? Okay, right. That's really cool though. But yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing more about these songs, are you able to share that album release date with us yet?
EW: I actually, I don't know if I can. Yeah, I'm sorry.
MM: Oh, oh my gosh, no worries.
EW: But we're filming this ahead of when the singles coming out, so whoever is watching this, I hope you'll find me on all the social media, 'cause I may have actually announced the release date by then.
MM: Yeah, absolutely, and that was exactly what I was just going to recommend to everyone, we can stay tuned for that date, we can also check out the songs that I just mentioned, as well as older music videos like Virginia that came out last year. And honestly, just going through your incredible discography that you currently have to offer all at the links below. Thank you so much for joining me for this week's Tunes Tuesday, it was such a pleasure having this conversation with you, and Elizabeth Wyld will be playing us out.
*Love Comes With A Knife by Elizabeth Wyld begins playing*