ELLE WINSTON: “BROOKLYN-BASED SINGER-SONGWRITER”

"I want them to recognize something truthful and a little bit raw."

TO BEGIN, WHAT ARE SOME WORDS, OR PHRASES THAT DESCRIBE ELLE WINSTON?’

Womanist & Avocado Enthusiast.

THE JUMP FROM ARIZONA TO BROOKLYN MUST’VE BEEN A SHOCK. WHAT PUSHED YOU TO RELOCATE? 

I finished my master’s degree in Arizona (2011) and felt like I needed a seismic change in my life.  After having visited New York a few times, I felt like it was a place that would give me more opportunities musically, but also push me to expand as a human being.

WHO ARE SOME MUSICAL INFLUENCES IN YOUR LIFE? 

I grew up listening to a lot of folks/singer-songwriter music. I recall my parents listening to Muddy Waters, Tracy Chapman, Joan Armatrading, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Carole King, Bob Marley. From a singer’s standpoint, I was very drawn to folks with a unique vocal character like Whitney, Celine, Anita Baker, Michael Jackson, Brandy. As I got older, a number of female musicians struck a chord with me… Lauryn Hill, Fiona Apple, Paula Cole and classical singers like Kathleen Battle, Leontyne Price, Elly Ameling. Huge hip-hop fan as well: Nas, Jay Z, Missy Elliott, The Roots, etc.

The most important thing for me as I’ve developed as a songwriter is to try not to control too much. I find that my best songs are ones that I let flow from me, versus ones that I try to concoct.