Written by Brittany Shawnté
I am on the train back from a beautiful vacation in Montreal, which I plan to blog on sometime this week on my personal site, BrittanyShawnte.com, as well as showcase some pictures and video here of the LEGENDARY Diana Ross, who I saw on the Fourth of July! In the meantime, I’m working to get quite a few spotlights up (the backlog on these is honestly a mess due to my outside jobs and issues, but I’m working on them!). As always, if you are interested in being featured on The Spotlight, please email me atBrittanyShawnte@gmail.com. (With the huge amount of requests, please allow a few weeks for response).
Today, on The Spotlight, we have Australian singer-songwriter Vanessa Elisha! Vanessa became involved in music rather early, growing up in a musical environment. From the TV to the radio, Vanessa heard music everywhere she went. Her dad would even drum on her back as a baby (softly!). “He always says he ‘drummed the rhythm into me,’ the singer said.
Inspired by artists like Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah, Jon B, and Monica, Vanessa acknowledges that her music has a “90s feel with a twist.” She also draws inspiration from her Assyrian roots. “I have hundreds of relatives,” she said. “We always gathered for barbecues and family functions, [and] there was always singing, whether in English or Assyrian (Middle Eastern).”
The singer released her EP, Don’t Go, without any backing from a major label. For the project, Vanessa stated that it all stemmed from her writing one song—“Blur,” which she was encouraged to release on SoundCloud and received great reception, which caused her to take her craft more seriously. She literally wrote and recorded the EP on her own, using producersGXNXVS and Cviro to develop beats. “I wrote about my life, what was happening, how I felt,” she said of the EP. “The beats inspired me more than anything else. The rest is just my story.”
Most recently, Vanessa has released a few other tracks this year, including her song, “Ocean.” “Water has been a major influence on these last couple of songs,” the singer said. “I find the juxtaposition of a relationship and water quite haunting. Vanessa continued: “There are also nuances of reflection in my lyrics, pondering my own existence. I guess you could say, ‘I don’t know where I go, I don’t know where I fit in.’”
Vanessa feels like her perspective and musicality is different, which makes her stand out in a sea of upcoming artists. She likes to think of her music as “genre-less,” consistently creating music through her own emotions and life experiences. Constantly writing and in the studio, the singer plans to come out to LA soon and see which doors open up for her there. In terms of the future, Vanessa wants to continue to be “an artist above all else,” and a writer for herself and for others. “I just want to put pen to paper, create melodies, and vibe out for the rest of my life,” she said.