Secret identities are nothing new in the music industry, but Elohim, a rising electro-pop artist from Los Angeles, takes anonymity to a new level. Her name, her face, and her personal information are kept hidden from the public eye, and even in a one-on-one phone interview, she still made the effort to mask her voice using text-to-speech software. But unlike other initially faceless musicians like Burial, Cults, and Evian Christ, her ambiguous identity is more than just a clever marketing ploy. We caught up with her to discuss her reasoning behind staying undercover, her controversial choice of moniker, and not tolerating people who just won’t shut up.
You emerged out of nowhere with your debut “Xanax” earlier this year. What was your life like before you dropped that track?
My life was dedicated to making music. I started playing piano at the very tender age of five. My parents bought me this beaten-up piano for $100 or so. I’ve never stopped playing.
You produced your own music and remix for Casey Veggies. How did you transition into production?
I started playing classical piano at a young age. I felt limited by one instrument. I am so inspired by unique, obscure sounds. I love to deconstruct them and build them back up. I started writing a lot and collaborating.
In your album art and live performances you conceal your identity with a mask, and you’re hiding your real voice from me now. Why go to such lengths to preserve your privacy?
I love being able to put my art out for the world to enjoy, and I can focus on my music and my sounds without fearing that my appearance would skew the experience. Some people see it as hiding away, but for me it truly allows me to open up.
Elohim is a sacred Hebrew name for God. What attracted you to integrating it into your artist persona?
As a woman, it is very empowering to call myself something so masculine, so strong. Elohim is an ancient word. It has held various meanings throughout history. To me it is love, acceptance, and confidence. It is strength in my art and in myself. It is beauty and spirituality.
Even though the name conveys strength, “Xanax” is all about anxiety and vulnerability.
I think there is something god-like, in a non-religious way, about helping others and being there for others. I love opening up about these issues because I know that people will be able to relate to it when they feel alone. I have talked to and connected with many beautiful souls. Since releasing “Xanax,” we discussed anxiety and I helped them.
On the other hand, “She Talks Too Much” seems to be about pointing out other people’s shortcomings.
“She Talks Too Much” is about anxiety. It’s not meant to put someone else down. But it is true; some people just talk way too much. I think silence is beautiful. There is a lovely harmony in the spaces between words. I am a bit of an introverted extrovert. Sometimes people can be overwhelming.
You performed live for the first time this fall. Were you able to overcome your anxiety onstage?
They were amazing. It was absolutely incredible to finally show what I had been working so hard on.
You released your last single “Bridge and the Wall” last month. What’s next for Elohim?
The future is looking bright. I hope to always surprise. I am always creating. Art to me is about evolution. I plan on putting out a full body of work soon. I will play more live shows and keep sharing my love and art. I hope to keep taking people on special journeys.