With her new single hitting the charts and getting plenty of airplay, ESP’s Sharon McAllister grabs a word with this month’s cover star…
Eliza Dollittle’s feel good track Pack Up had us all singing along a few years ago and now she’s back in the charts with another catchy little number, Big When I Was Little and her second album on the way in the autumn.
Three years after breaking through with her self-titled Platinum-certified debut album which featured the hit singles Skinny Genes and Pack Up, Miss Doolittle has been doing quite a bit actually!
Eliza’s recently been doing the rounds with Disclosure singing the vocals on chart hit You & Me for which she wrote the lyrics, and has now produced her own stripped back version to create an emotive torch song topped by a soulful vocal performance.
Eliza’s set to announce her own headline shows soon but in the mean time has been doing the rounds promoting her new single Big When I Was Little on shows like Sunday Brunch, where of course she was also roped into a bit of cooking which she admits isn’t her big thing – “They had me scooping out a courgette, that was fun. I’m not the best cook so I think they gave me the easiest job! It’s just something I’ve never really had the passion for. I love good food and eating, I really am passionate about food but I just don’t like cooking,” she laughs.
But while many of us might have our feet up chilling out an watching the likes of Sunday Brunch Eliza told me she’s never really enjoyed a typical weekend – “Even in my own head I’ve never really given myself weekends or anything. I guess I give myself a day to switch off and it’s important to separate yourself off from what you do, but for me that probably happens on a Wednesday or a Friday it just depends.”
Eliza wrote all of her new album so it’s easy to see that her head’s usually pretty full of tunes and lyrics.
Three years ago Eliza was singing about light hearted, feel good stuff and while new single Big When I Was Little still has an upbeat feel she admits a few life experiences have matured her song writing – “In the song writing I’ve changed a lot. I’ll always be a control freak that’s for sure, I get a bit anal about really small things, even the snare sounds of the drum on a song or something like that. This time round I’ve really tried to let go a bit and let it flow a little more which is something I definitely didn’t do before.
“I’ve learnt a lot in this whole process – not just in actual song-writing ways but in life anyway. I’m at the age where people learn a lot about themselves and I would hope that I’ve grown a bit as a person let alone as a musician in the last few years.”
“I guess I’ll always be myself but I have different sides to me and I think the songs I released on my last album, it was three years ago and I hadn’t really experienced that much anything really at that point so what I was singing about was quite light and feel good and I think my new record delves a little bit more than I’ve ever delved before.”
After the successful collaboration with Disclosure, Eliza says she’s open minded about working with other artists in future – “I think it’s so cool when people from different places put their brains together that’s how you come up with something people haven’t heard before necessarily.”
With an appearance at Liverpool International Festival this month and touring prior to the album release – “I do love travelling and seeing different places I’ve not seen before,” – Eliza is excited about getting back out there after spending a year and a half writing for the new album, for which she turned out at least a hundred songs she had to whittle down to her favourites. Life’s had its ups and downs for the young singer and some of these tracks have been cathartic for her.
“There are songs from the album from when I was not in a good place at all,” Eliza reveals, “and I have to remember how I felt then to know how to get over it and remember how lucky I am not to feel that anymore. In a way Big When I Was Little, when you go through something for the first time in your life that you’ve never felt before, it makes you remember things about when you were younger, so in a way, although it’s the most funnest songs on the record, it still means a lot to me. Every song is a piece of the puzzle, and a piece of the journey for me.”
So what was her favourite thing when she was little? “Probably making up dance routines and singing a long to my favourite songs!”
Well that’s certainly worked out for her! Eliza’s new single is out now and look out for her new album on Parlophone out in October.