The raspy voice. The bluesy rock and roll. The songs about heartbreak. No, I’m not talking about Adele, but about Brooklyn, New York newcomer Elle King. Her debut song, “Playing For Keeps” is the theme song to VH1’s Mobwives Chicago series and gave her career a kick-start and is now the girl on the block everyone is starting to talk about. Modern Frequency sat down with Elle King while sitting pretty in her backyard in her hometown Brooklyn to talk about her career thus far.
Are you originally from Brooklyn?
Well, I was born in California, raised in Ohio, and moved here when I was 10 or 11-years old.
How hard was it for you to break into the music business and how were you discovered by your label, RCA Records?
I always was playing music. It started out playing shows with my friends and then someone heard of this girl playing banjo and that someone turned out to be my manager—who happened to have the right connections. He put me in front of all the right people and then I signed to EMI publishing. They then sent one song to RCA and that was that.
Where and when did you learn to play banjo?
I went to college in Philadelphia. Education wasn’t really my strong suit; I didn’t do very well in school. It’s a bit embarrassing that I saw a boy play it first and I wanted to play it, but I fell in love with that kind of music. I was frustrated that I didn’t learn it well like how I played guitar, but I practiced really hard.
You Tube is lit up with comments that your voice is similar to the voice of Adele’s. What are your thoughts on being compared to her?
I think it’s a wonderful compliment! She has quite the range and one of my favorite singers! I think we have very different styles, but I will take that compliment.
Where did you get your bluesy-rock influence?
My stepfather was a rock and roll musician and had this amazing record collection that I probably have ever seen. I grew up with him and he taught me my first song. My mother loved rock and roll—so I grew up around lot music.
Where did you get the inspiration behind your hit song “Playing For Keeps”?
It’s kind of about a lot of relationships. That song was written about people who weren’t true to themselves and how it’s hard to see people go down the wrong path in life. It’s about a lot of people that I knew.
“Playing for Keeps” is also the theme song to Mobwives: Chicago. How did you get involved with that and have you seen the show?
I saw the sneak peek to Chicago and I love Mobwives New York! I don’t really know how they chose my song, to be honest! We weren’t even going to put that on the record. It got sent to VH1 and they wanted to use it and thought it was awesome!
Your self -titled EP, is going to debut on June 12! What is your favorite song on the EP?
Yes! My favorite song is “Good to Be A Man” probably because it is so fun to sing and it’s really weird because I wrote it one of my most heart breaking days. It’s cool that everyone is being so open to my music and likes my songs!
For more information on Elle King visit her social sites: https://www.facebook.com/ElleKingMusic