Introducing Denver-based alt-pop singer/songwriter Elina Odnorlav a.k.a. IOLITE who recently released her first solo project. You can't help but be captivated by this beauty's sultry yet vulnerable vocals which accompanies catchy melodies and deep, beats that you literally feel in your "Bloodstream". I got a chance to learn more about this stunning songstress and one I feel is definitely one to watch, when I had the opportunity of interviewing her which you can read more about below:
MHB: Can you introduce yourself?
Elina: My name is Elina Odnoralov, I go by the stage name Iolite. I'm 17 years old from Denver, Colorado--originally from Russia, and I've been writing songs since 11 years old. Just a few months ago I released my first project, a series of singles.
MHB: How is the music scene where you are from? What do you like about it most?
Elina: Denver has a great music scene. I love that it supports local music so much.
MHB: How do you describe yourself as a person apart from being a musician?
Elina: I think I can describe myself as a very passionate and committed person. If I have a goal, I won't stop until I reach it.
MHB: Where did your love of music stem from? Is there a particular moment when you decided you wanted to make music your life's work or could you remember the first time you realized you had a voice that could be a unique instrument?
Elina: I grew up listening and playing music. My parents are very musical, and my 5 brothers and I were all taught classical piano at the age of 7. Later, my brothers started a band and we toured as a family. I don't think there was a specific time when I discovered that I could sing...I think it was my parents who discovered it. According to family home videos, I was about 3 years old when I sang my first song at a family event...I sang half the song then fell to the floor crying--haha. My parents started me out young. At 11, I decided for myself music was going to be what I would pursue.
MHB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences and what artists/bands continue to inspire you and your music?
Elina: There are too many. I grew up listening to a variety of music. From John Mayer, Christina Aguilera to One Republic. Now artists like Astrid S, Jon Bellion and Ellie Goulding are big inspirations.
MHB: Without using any musical terms, how would you describe your sound to a new listener?
Elina: Edge, Vibes, Modern, Neon
MHB: Would you mind walking me through your creative process? Do you start with music and add lyrics, or do you know what you want to say ahead of the composition?
Elina: My creative process is always different. Im best at writing melodies, so usually they come first. My phone is filled with voice memos of melodies I come up with at the most random times. I also love to blast music and vibe before a writing session...keeps the inspiration juices flowing. I tend to be pretty picky with lyrics. I want to mean what I say. When it comes to production, I'm very involved with that as well. It's probably one of my favorite parts of the process. It's the cherry on top, and it's what makes the track killer.
MHB: What can you tell me about your latest release "Bloodstream" (which I LOVE btw/...)? What is it about? What was the inspiration behind it?
Elina: Bloodstream was actually a song that came very naturally. I wrote it with a Chase Martinez, a producer/writer here in Denver. I came into the session and he had started a cool track. We just turned on the mic and I started throwing out melodic ideas...the only word I actually sang at first was Bloodstream, and after a few hours we had a whole song down.The song is about how the people you love, can hurt you the most.
MHB: Where does your inspiration come from?
Elina: I find a lot of my inspiration from my friends and family.
MHB: What projects are you working on and what can we expect to see from you in the next coming months? Is there an album in the works?
Elina: Yes! I have some more singles coming out real soon. So stoked to share them with everyone.
MHB: If you were given the opportunity to go back and see any artist perform live, who would it be?
Elina: I would love to see Coldplay and John Mayer live.
MHB: At the end of the day, what do you ultimately hope listeners take away from your music?
EIina: I want to inspire others to go after what they want. Pursuing their dreams and making the best out of the opportunities that come.
MHB: Can you share one random fact about yourself?
Elina: One random fact about me is I have an obsession for black olives.
MHB: What does music mean to you?
Elina: Music is my escape. The best songs are written when they have a story behind them--it's the only music I want to write.
Check out IOLITE's latest single "Bloodstream" below: