How House Music Sensation Elkka Shifted Her Career From Singer to Producer

May 22, 2023

Staley Sharples

2 min read

Cardiff-born London-based DJ and producer Elkka is known for her prismatic take on house music, crystalizing classic house, breakbeat, and UK bass into mesmerizing fractals of pulsating beats all her own. The Ninja Tune affiliate and femme culture founder is shaking up the dance music scene with hits like “I Just Want To Love You” and “Burnt Orange.”

Following a prized win of BBC’s Essential Mix of the Year in 2021, Elkka has snagged a BBC Radio 1 residency, headlined venues like New York’s Elsewhere, played major festivals such as Sonar and Portola, and recently taken up the DJ-Kicks curation mantle in her newest genre-defying mix.

Elkka didn’t always identify as the enigmatic producer she is today. Her journey in the music industry began as a singer-songwriter, fueled by her love of classic songstresses and storytellers Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Annie Lennox.

While her love of music was always strong, Elkka felt that her expression as a singer and writer no longer suited her creative aspirations. Always writing “for men,” Elkka craved a space where she could truly see herself in her music.

In an interview with Mixmag, Elkka shared an epiphany she had attending a Jamie xx concert with her girlfriend. Unhappy with her music being stuck on “someone else’s laptop and having to wait for them to finish it,” the multi-faceted artist decided then and there to learn how to produce on her own.

The day following the show, she got to work figuring out sample manipulation, side-chaining, and filtering on her electrifying rhythms. Producing her own music was a liberating experience, she explains. It led her to develop femme culture, a label, party, and overall safe space for LGBTQ+ producers like herself to have a platform in an industry where they are often undersold. As Elkka puts it, “house music” is “the soundtrack to finding myself as a human being and finding my identity of a queer person.” With her irresistible grooves and community outreach, Elkka continues to elevate and champion other artists on journeys similar to her own.

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