Music Mondays: Elise LeGrow

We caught up with spellbinding singer, Elise Legrow, on her latest LP Playing Chess, her writing process, and what her life was like before she started making music. 

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We love your look! Who are your style icons?

I love classic French style - Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn; classic Hollywood - Lana Turner, Sophia Loren. And as for contemporary style icons, Janelle Monáe and her wicked sharp black and white ensembles always inspire me.

How long have you been working on your LP, Playing Chess?

We recorded the album over a few months in New York and in Toronto, wrapping up at Bunker Studios in January 2017.

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Do you write all your music and lyrics? What is your process?

This album features songs from the Chess Records catalog, including hits written by Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. It was really an honour putting my twist on these classic songs. I'm already in the studio working on the next album which will feature exclusively my original songs. As for my process, I love writing songs collaboratively. In fact, I had a session just the other day in the Hollywood Hills with one of my fave writer/producer friends, Brian West. Can't wait to share it!!
You have such a unique sound, what are the albums and artists who inspired your music style?
I've always been enamoured with the blues, jazz, soul and rnb of the '50s and '60s. Etta James, who rose to fame on Chess Records, has always been a huge inspiration. "Can't Shake It", which appears on my new album was recorded by her but never previously released! Her albums 'At Last' and 'Tell Mama' contain some of my very favourite songs. I'm also a huge Sam Cooke fan and I had the privilege of recording his song "Bring It On Home To Me" with Jools Holland recently for BBC Radio.

Have you always been a musician? What were you doing before this?
I have always been a musician, but like most artists I have also had lots of other jobs - shopgirl, waitress, nanny, to name a few.
Listen to Playing Chess here!