Ellip: “I like to explore my sound and in a way I have been until now”

The search for the next Estonian Eurovision representative will take one step forward this week, when the semifinals of Eesti Laul 2023 take place. One of the contestants of tomorrow’s first semifinal is Ellip, who is participating the contest with her catchy upbeat song ”Pretty Girl”. Even though Ellip surely is very busy at the moment getting ready for Eesti Laul, she still had time to answer a few questions we asked her. This is what Ellip told us about her relationship to Eurovision, her song ”Pretty girl”, her musical background and some other things too:


Hello Ellip and thank you for giving me this interview! At first I’d like to ask what is your relationship to Eurovision? Do you usually watch the contest and do you have some favorite Eurovision songs?

Hey, thanks for getting in touch! 🙂 I have been watching Eurovision since I can remember and about 98% of the time with my darling mother. It has been a kind of tradition for us to share that together and even make lists at times to predict the winner and points given and so on. It’s a whole thing! I think that my favorite as of late is the song by Salvador Sobral “Amor pelos dois”. I cried when he (and Portugal) won (let it be said, I am not at all a crier). Portuguese language is my favorite in the world and I love the country as well.


Could you tell us a little bit something about your musical background? How long have you been singing and do you play any instruments?

Well, my mother has said that I started singing before talking but nobody knows for sure.. except her.. Any way I sang as a very small kid and when I was 8-9, had some singing competitions under my belt, I was asked to join a girl’s group called Ice Cream. We were lucky enough to become quite well-known and we got to perform a lot. We ended the group when I was 13 and then I had a small break from performing. While I was in the group I studied violin and piano on the side of school. I sadly didn’t finish my music studies though, as the group and performances took up a lot of our time. A bit of a regret of mine. At my second university studies I took a course in drums and music production as well.

After a small break I started studying music production on my own to help myself along in creating and writing music and not to be waiting on somebody else to do things for me. I also started performing more and more in local bars, restaurants and lounges and from that the gig amounts grew to the point where I could fully support myself with music. And now I’m at a point where I am doing all sorts of varieties of performances and it is one of my main sources of income and endless joy. 🙂

I really like your song ”Pretty girl”, it’s very catchy! How was the song born and how would you describe the message of it?

Thanks so much! The song just happened to be honest – we hadn’t worked together with Meelis Meri, an Estonian Electronic music legendary producer but knew each other for the longest time. At one point we got together, shared music and I found this instrumental among his creations and instantly felt myself in it. I think I sent the first demo over that same week and then we took some time to record it and it got ready just in time for Eesti Laul. So it flowed quite fast and without any trouble at all. It’s usually the same way – when I recognize myself in an instrumental then the songwriting on top of it goes very fast.

The message is easy and quitable from the lyrics: “Took a fall, get back on your feet” – its an empowerment song. Hopefully for everybody else as well 🙂


What kind of stage show can we expect from you in Eesti Laul?

The show is going to be fierce and empowering as well!


Who are your musical role models?

That’s a great question. I think there are a variety of musicians that I look to for career inspiration and shows etc. If I absolutely had to choose somebody then I’d say all the strong women in music, the divas and the confident women (Erykah Badu, Amy WinehouseBeyonce, Solange, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson in addition to a variety of jazz and soul singers). I think every one of them give me a bit of something. These are the types of artists that I grew up amongst.


Your music is very versatile, for example ”Pretty girl” is quite different than the songs of your 2020 record ”Four Words”. How would you describe your musical style and your songs?

I mean, it is so hard for me to stay in place and do the same thing over and over – in life and in creation. I like to explore my sound and in a way I have been until now. It is only now that I start understanding what sound is truly me, so I guess you could call the changing sounds a progress 🙂

Right now I am very much getting back to my roots – 2000’s hip hop and rnb, genres/artists that have shaped me the most and that I grew up listening to. So I am looking around in that area of sounds, beats and attitudes.


If you could sing a duet with any Eurovision artist, who would you choose and why?

SALVADOR SOBRAL. Portuguese language is my favorite in the world and I love the country and I love him. Hahah. Oh, and ABBA of course.

What do you do when you don’t do music?

I have surrounded myself, as a surprise even to myself, with music all around – I work at a radio station as a radio host; the head of marketing at a fair music streaming app called Fairmus (great for independent artists, check it out), I go to school (music business specialist 1 year course) and work out 4 times a week. I also DJ and do my live gigs in various versions. Other times I am trying to keep sane, find balance and read psychology books.


What would it mean to you to win Eesti Laul and represent Estonia in Eurovision 2023?

It would be lifechanging – such an audience, such an experience and a performance of a lifetime. To do that for Estonia, having been a fan each year, would be an honor that I would take very seriously but also with the biggest joy and feeling of fun. 🙂


What would you like to say to our readers and your fans from all over the world?

I wish that everybody would love themselves and put their happiness in front of everybody else’s – to be the happiest version of themselves – good things happen then! Also I hope this year’s Eurovision offers you an amazing experience of fun, memories and entertainment. I wish you all the best <3


Thank you so much for this great interview Ellip and the best of luck to Eesti Laul!


You can listen to the Ellip’s great song ”Pretty girl” here:


If Ellip is your favorite to qualify in the first semifinal of Eesti Laul 2023, don’t forget to vote for her in our poll:

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