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Interview: Eloise Viola


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There's a surprising number of successful musicians who have degrees in completely different fields.

Image courtesy of Eloise Viola

Ice Cube majored in Architectural Design, Art Garfunkel has his Master’s in Mathematics Education and Brian May is a doctor of Astrophysics, just to name a few.

Soon we will be adding Eloise Viola to the list. The Exeter University psychology graduate is making positive inroads in the music industry with her first single, 'For My Eyes', as well as working on a podcast focusing on body image in society.

Eloise has always had a calling for the music industry. Let’s not call it destiny, although it might be. Growing up she was inspired by some of the biggest female names in the industry, above all, Adele. “I was deeply moved by the song-writing in Adele’s 21 album,” Eloise says, “I do sometimes wonder where I would be if that album had not come out.” In order to play Adele's songs, she taught herself piano which she remarks, "My piano playing led to me working on building the nuances in my voice and enabled me to start writing my own songs."

She gave the 9-5 life a go after university but found herself hating it and decided to pursue the career she had always labelled as just a dream. "I have recently been very fortunate to work with a number of producers and writers, which has allowed me to learn so much about different ways to write songs and have been able to use techniques I’ve learned when I am writing alone."

Eloise is constantly using these connections as a source of inspiration for her music, as well as holding on to anything that comes her way. She continues, "I try to have an idea for a song, and then write down on my phone anything that could be associated with it. This could be something that someone says or just a line from a film; I am always thinking about songwriting."

Her first single 'For My Eyes' came after working with producer Brandon Friesen (The Kooks) and was released in November this year. It tells the story of how feelings can change towards a person because of a dream. Traces of her idol Adele are definitely there, but there’s an undertone of darkness and mystery within the upbeat-fronted pop song.

“I have always been really fascinated with how the mind works, consciousness and dreams, so when I had a dream that completely changed the way I felt about someone I had to write a song about it.” It’s not surprising she was a psychology student.

Speaking of, when she isn’t working on music, Eloise has been curating a podcast on body image. While its an ever-present topic of conversation, it is important for somebody spending more time in the limelight to be vocal on the issue: “I wish that I had someone I admired when I was 14/15 who was more positive about body image/stretch marks/rolls/advocates for self-love!”

While not necessarily focussing just on the music industry alone, Eloise told us that a lot of the themes she talks about have been poignant to her. In particular, social media has played a large role in the progression of her career so far. The podcast concentrates on the dangers of social media and photo retouching, while being a source of positivity for younger teenagers, all wrapped up with an element of science that she learnt from her degree.

“I have put a lot of hard work into having a positive body image and working on my mental health surrounding eating/exercise. I wanted to share my journey to try and help young people (especially women).”

It is a tough industry but Eloise's headstrong approach and her drive to empower others will take her far. 

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