Interview: Elisa Elisa

French DJ & producer Elisa Elisa has brought her deep and fiery brand of house music to a number of great labels in the past, including Cacao Records, Bambossa Records, and Heat Up Music.

The now Berlin-based artist will make her debut appearance on what might be the biggest imprint to grace her catalogue so far, as she releases new single ‘Toxic To Me’ on Anja Schneider’s swiftly growing Sous Music label.

We caught up with her to chat about the new release, how her African heritage has influenced her own productions, and what else she might have coming in the near future. Get the full discussion with Elisa Elisa below.

Elisa, how are you? How are things in Berlin right now?

Hey Inflyte, I am good thank you, and thank you for having me! I just came back from an amazing trip and show in Morocco. My heart is full of love, and I am so inspired to make new music!

You’re from Lyon, but now live in Berlin, do you remember what first inspired you to move there?

Oh yes, my friend Quentin was busting my head every day at school about how awesome Berlin is and that we should go there for our yearly internship. At that time I wanted to work in fashion, so I found an internship in 2010 at Fashion Week Berlin and we moved there for a few months. On a Saturday night, as I was queuing for the very first time at Berghain, my boss text me to ask me to go pick up some mannequins in the morning, and yet, I entered a whole new world and realised fashion was not for me, I text my boss that I quit!

So, I enjoyed the Berlin Music scene to the fullest during the remaining time we had. By that time, I was even more addicted than my friend. Then went back to Lyon to finish my studies and came back to Berlin in 2012 to do my masters internship at Watergate.

Your family also has African roots, what kind of impact do you feel that has had on your music?

My mother is from Kabylia, Algeria, with Berber roots. She was always playing traditional and modern music at home, and we were all dancing together. So, my roots have a great impact on me in terms of sound. I just love playing percussion, sometimes it brings me to a higher state, like in a trance, and it makes me feel so connected to the energies of my ancestors.

I feel something very similar during those moments shared on the dancefloor, it can be really spiritual for me. I am now also working more and more with my voice since my collaboration with Emmanuel Jal, and I feel I can touch some special emotions.

You’re about to make your debut on Anja Schneider’s Sous Music with ‘Toxic To Me’, what was the inspiration behind the track?

‘Toxic To Me’ is a phrase that popped into my head when I realised that some friends had manipulative and gaslighting behaviour toward me. I started a healing journey and in this process I needed to take back my narrative by playing candidly with the constant self-doubt and unsafe feelings that were ruling those relationships. And this is how I came up with the vocal: “Are you toxic to me? Am I toxic to you? Are we toxic together?”.

It comes on their ‘So Us Vol.1’ various artists album, will we also see a solo EP from you on Sous at some point?

I am so honoured about this release with Anja, whom I have been admiring for so long. Anja is just a great inspiration as well, so I would love to do an EP for Sous!

And which other labels might you be releasing with in the near future?

I will be releasing on Maya Jane Coles’ He.She.They Records at the beginning of 2023, who is also a big inspiration for me, I feel so grateful.

Thanks a lot for chatting to us, is there anything else you want to mention before we go?

Thank you for having me. I would love to thank Anja Schneider for her great support and for letting me express myself on her amazing label, Sous.

So Us Vol.1 is out November 18th on Sous Music.