Claire Elise says sayonara to the Provo music scene

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Claire Elise completes her exploration of Provo’s music scene tonight with one last show at the Velour before she heads off to new adventures in Seattle.

Claire Elise prepares to leave Provo with her EP release at Velour on Oct. 23. (Claire Grayson)
Claire Elise prepares to leave Provo with her EP release at Velour on Oct. 23. (Anne Grayson)

“Provo has been the core of my development in music,” Elise said. “But I am ready to get out of the Utah/Idaho bubble.”

Elise originally started her music career by moving out on her own when she was only 14 years old. Growing up with a choir teacher for a dad and a drama teacher for a mom, Elise has been involved with music since an early age. She involved herself in musicals when she was young, but at age 13 her life changed when she picked up her first guitar.

“I thought (being a musician) was kind of like being a princess,” she said. “It wasn’t a thing; you couldn’t be that … but then I started writing poetry and music.”

From there Elise decided to take her music career more seriously. She moved from Idaho to Provo in order to try her hand at the music scene and ended up flourishing.

“Once I played seven shows in one week,” she said.

Other than the fact that she possesses an uncanny resemblance to the singer Adele in both looks and vocal range, the most unique thing about Elise’s success is the young age at which she found it.

“The scary thing about it is most people grow accustomed to the idea I’m 22 or 23, and I tell them how old I really am, and all of a sudden their respect level for me just drops,” Elise said.

Elise may only be 17, but she doesn’t let her age hold her back from chasing her dreams. She writes each song in fewer than 30 minutes and even records her own music. Her dad owned all of the recording equipment but didn’t have the time to record Elise’s EP’s. So she took it upon herself to learn.

“Claire is not afraid to go after what she wants,” said Aimee Vargas, the talent coordinator for the show Backstage Avenue. “She is a risk-taker, and that is something I admire especially at her age.”

Elise spent two full weeks, all day and all night, recording and rerecording her tracks. The homemade recording sound caters perfectly to the indie/folk vibe Elise strives for in her music.

Elise’s new EP strays from the peppy sounds of her old songs as she tries to capture the contrast between light and dark. She emphasized that one is not possible without the other.

“It’s perfect because the more sadness you feel, the more joy you have the capacity to feel, and that is such a beautiful concept,” Elise said.

Elise will play her new EP at her exit show at Velour on Oct. 23. She intends to put on an energetic performance, leaving her friends in Provo with a lasting impression of her soulful sounds. The show will be at 8:00 p.m., and tickets can be found here.

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