Get To Know: Eloisa Cullington

It’s been a big couple of months for Sydney’s ELOISA CULLINGTON. She’s readying the release of her debut EP Float, and in preparation for that, she’s been slowly giving us tastes of what we can expect from the release.

Invoking nostalgia through her sound, Cullington‘s combining of jazz, pop and more comes as something that feels totally unchartered in popular music being made right now. Using her stellar, careful vocals to tell stories, she’s done just this on her latest single, ‘Be Free’.

Coming as the third single off her forthcoming EP, ‘Be Free’, produced by Dan Mac of Art Vs. Science, draws from elements of dub, using slow, crooning trumpets to accent her driving vocals. The electronic elements of this track never once feel overwhelming, allowing for Cullington‘s voice to shine, but also taking her sound a step further and into a new sort of emotional context.

We don’t know much about the Sydney artist, so we put a few questions to her to get to know her, her musical background and what she plans to bring to this project.

Who are you and what does this project mean to you?
Ever since I can remember, my dad Jim had me listening to all kinds of jazz music and artists, such as Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Vic Damone, Shirley Horn, Sarah Vaughn and contemporary jazz musicians such as Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, Dianne Reeves and Amy Winehouse. My dad also got me into the Sydney underground jazz scene when I was about 15 and a few years later I started singing live with some pretty incredible players such as guitarist Dave Smith. The meaning of this project to me represents trust and freedom. It was a very powerful and intuitive song to create. Interestingly, the first take of my vocals was used as the final take on the recording, which makes this song quite unique. It was also the first time experimenting and collaborating with producer Dan Mac. It was a very instinctive process working with Dan, an absolute pleasure.

How did Eloisa Cullington come to be?
Since 2009, I have been collaborating with some extremely talented musicians and producers such as Jim Finn from Art vs. Science, Tyler Touché and I also got to tour with Flight Facilities in 2013. In 2017, I had an amazing offer from producer Jay Collie to help bring my original music out to the world, which ultimately led me to producing my first single ‘Changing’. 

I’ve spent the last 10 years in Sydney performing live and working on my sound. I started experimenting with sounds on Ableton in 2016, playing around with dance and hip-hop samples and from there I started to explore the production side. I completed a Bachelor of Music at the Australian International Conservatorium of Music in 2012, which helped connect me to some incredible musicians and also got me really exploring the songwriting process. 

What are we talking, vibe-wise?
I was always around music growing up, with my mum and dad owning fashion stores in the 80s and 90s in the city. In the shops they would play George Benson, Jobim, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, heaps of world music, the list goes on. I was brought up with so much quality music and being a 90s kid, I had pop, hip-hop, dance and rock influences around me such Alanis Morissette, Sade, Spice Girls, Real McCoy and Corona. As I got a little older my taste in music developed, and I started getting into electronic and more experimental sounds of Portishead, Massive Attack, Radiohead and even house music from producers such Lovebirds, Deadmau5, Daft Punk and Booka Shade.

I would say my sound is defined by all of my influences, making it a blend of jazz, pop and soul.

Tell us a bit about your new single ‘Be Free’.
I wanted to write a song that represents freedom. It brings in feels from dub-reggae, pop and electronic music, with synths and live instruments including trumpet played by Dane Laboyrie. ‘Be Free’ invokes a nostalgic vibe as it takes me back to the Bob Marley days of; “don’t worry about a thing, cause e’ry little thing is gonna be all right!”  

What can we expect from you moving forward?
On April 12th I’m playing with my band at Spring Street Social in Bondi Junction. This will be the single release party for ‘Be Free’ with support acts including Grace Grove and Üm Bird. My debut EP Float will also drop later this year, which I’m excited to share. 

Where can we hear more of your work?
You can hear my tunes on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and Youtube. It’s all there baby. 

‘BE FREE’ SINGLE RELEASE PARTY
Supported by Grace Grove Üm Bird
Friday 12th April, 8PM
Spring Street Social, Bondi Junction

Image: SUPPLIED

Interview by CAITLIN MEDCALF

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About:

No idea where she’ll be in 10 years, but as long as she has a good record and a glass of white wine, she’ll be sweet.