I first came across Eleanor’s music about a month ago after hearing about her on the Urban Outfitters blog. After listening to her song, “Belgium,” I was hooked and haven’t stopped listening to it! I was amazed when she found my blog so I asked her if she would be interested in doing an interview. Let me just say that Eleanor is one talented lady. She was also super excited to do this interview :)
Q: Eleanor, how old are you and where are you from? Plus, I have to know. Is Eleanor Seabird your real name?!
Eleanor: I’m 22 years old, and I’m originally from America! I still like to call London my hometown as it is the first place I finally feel able to call my home. No, Eleanor Seabird is not my real name, it actually came from my old landlord/friend who was in the music business briefly and we were driving along and I was trying to come up with a stage name and I wanted to be Eleanor SEBERG after Jean Seberg my favourite actress and Sandy thought I said SEABIRD and was like, “Genius! Eleanor Seabird is great!” And I never corrected him. It might not be the name on my birth certificate, but Eleanor Seabird is a real person it’s who I am and who I’ve always been.
Q: When did you first begin singing and was it just for fun or could you see this as a possible career?
E: I began singing when I was four. I started off with Elton John cassette tapes and a little walkman and then did talent shows with my kid sister (we’d sing gruesome versions of the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen songs) then when I was about 17, my aunt took me to this music group and I would sing Wham! Songs at the mall to people. I didn’t take it seriously till I moved to London and felt like I had nothing to lose, so now I’m embarking on a proper career.
Q: Who are you usually compared to? And do you think that this person and you are alike?
E: Looks wise, people say I have this Karen O thing going on, and music wise it’s a combination of Karen O and Lily Allen, both of whom I love so I take it as a compliment.
Q: What is your favorite song to cover?
E: ANYTHING by Hall and Oates. I end my sets with a killer acoustic version of MANEATER and we want to do a Hall and Oates show of just their songs. They are so much fun to sing!
Q: Who were your influences growing up?
E: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN! He was and is one of my heroes. I really loved Elton John, AC/DC, Genesis, the Police, a lot of classic rock growing up as I think I was in a state of rebellion coming from a conservative home so anything loud that made me feel like I was going to get the heck out of dodge had an impact on me. As I got to my late teens’ early 20s when I moved to London I became seduced by French pop of the 1960s and fell madly in love with Jacques Brel. He is, to me, such an amazing vocalist and performer. I really hope as an artist to be as captivating as he was/is.
Q: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
E: Jacques Brel, Dizzie Rascal, or Bruce Springsteen.
Q: What influenced your relocation to London from America?
E: Because I left the states to pursue a better life for myself I don’t have too many good memories but I will say the ones that mean the most are the ones with me and my radio. I always found solstice in listening to music. I think now as an adult and coming back to the states on different terms I’m looking forward to meeting people who love music, who are passionate about life, and to be able to see the parts of the country I haven’t seen, such as Seattle. I think growing up in a small town you’re just not inclined to travel so I’d only go to places where I had relatives, we never really could afford to travel much so even though I’m from America I’ve met Europeans who have seen more of it than I have.
Q: Describe to me the London music scene.
E: The London music scene is vast. Music is on every night of the week, and there is sooo much of it. That’s what’s great about London, it’s really chaotic and multi-cultural and the music capital of the world and any and everything goes here. I will say it’s cool to be a artist here as it does feel like a community and you go out to support your peers and they come out to support you and there are some big faces around so it’s cool to bump into some bands you really like and get the chance to strike up a conversation.
Q: What is a typical day for Eleanor Seabird?
E: This question makes me laugh as I know people expect a musician to have this lifestyle, but I’m quite boring to be honest. I eat breakfast at the same café every morning, I’m usually writing and recording throughout the day and at meetings with different people I want to collaborate with, and in the nights I’m either rehearsing or checking my Myspace and then off to bed. I had someone ask me where all the great nightclubs are in London and I couldn’t name ANY! I prefer films, art galleries, photography exhibits in my spare time. And of course going to gigs to see friends play or a really great band I like. It’s pretty standard.
Q: What has been most challenging for you as a musician?
E: I think taking the criticism. I have people tell me I’m crap or that my music is shit to my face and because I put a lot of myself and my life into my work, it’s hard not to take it personally. I have those moments where I’m ready to quit sometimes…….. it’s not a life for the faint of heart especially when trying to make a living doing it.
Q: At the end of the day, what makes it all worth it for you?
E: This! When people want to interview me or chat with me because they really enjoy what I do and want to learn more about who I am. It’s cool to know that there are people out there willing to give me a chance and come on this journey with me because I’m still unknown, but hopefully I’ll drum up support along the way. I really love to play and put on a good show for people and I’m glad that more people believe in me and my work than don’t so the fans and friends who believe in me make it worthwhile and it makes me want to really succeed!
Q: What are you listening to these days and who would you suggest my readers start listening to, besides you of course!
E: Oh there are a few suggestions: I really like this band called the Dark Room Notes based out of Dublin, Ellie Goulding is great, The Temper Trap, The XX, The Big Pink are great and put on a wicked show, Pelle Carlberg is an indie guy from Sweden who’s great, Dizzie Rascal is a rapper from London who I quite think is fun, and Mayer Hawthorne is cool! He’s like Amy Winehouse, but a bloke!
Q: Where can we expect to see you next Eleanor?
E: I’m starting up a show on my YouTube channel ELEAVISION called ELEANOR GOES where I go on little adventures. It’s not a reality show, though if I did a reality show I’d call it THE BILLS because that’s wherein my drama unfolds. Me a telephone and the lady on the other line. LOL It’s just a little documentary style show where I go off and do stuff. My first one is ICE SKATING and then I’m going to Norway to find this red phone booth I have an obsession with. Apparently phone booths are on the historical society’s list to preserve in Norway or so my Norwegian mates tell me. So going to go on a safari and try to capture them in their habitat before they disappear. Good times……….
Check out Eleanor’s music here