Elen Levon is a triple threat
She may be fresh faced, but 18 year old Elen Levon is no newbie to the entertainment industry, having taken dancing and singing lessons since she was a kid. Impressively, she already has three hit singles already under her belt.
Jumping out onto the music scene only two years ago after being signed by Ministry of Sound Australia, her raunchy debut single Naughty rocked the air-waves and was fast to became a full throttle club-jam, spun by DJs around the nation. Her killer vocals, show stopping confidence & sass are what led her to be described as “Australia’s very own Rihanna.” Her follow up single Like A Girl In Love was well received internationally and took to dance floors around the globe. Taking the genre of Electro-pop to a whole new level, Elen collaborated with 3Oh!3 to write her latest hit, Dancing to the Same Song – which is about music evoking the presence of a lover when you’re in a long distance relationship.
From the innocent little girl I used to split a pack of Twisties with after our dance concerts, to the pop sensation that she is today – this girl is an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Impressed by her warm humility and eloquence, I spoke to Elen about her life and how she’s settled into the rapid rollercoaster that is the club-pop music scene. Currently supporting R&B sensation, Jay Sean, on his I’m All Yours 2012 Australian Tour, here is what she had to say:
What are you most looking forward to about touring with Jay Sean?
I’m most looking forward to just doing the shows! Also, I’m excited about watching Jay Sean and just the fact that I get to support someone as big as him, who has so many hits. I’m really excited, I feel very honoured.
You’ve spent quite a bit of time recently in L.A, writing with 30H!3 . Would you ever consider moving there?
Yep – I would definitely consider moving there! It’s just everything about it – don’t get me wrong – I love Sydney and will always come back here and call it home but I just love it over there in L.A. I think I’m meant to live there. Just the producers, the dancers, and the choreography, everything there – I think I’ll need to move there.
You’ve come such a long way in such a short space of time. Do you feel like you’ve grown a lot as a person?
Oh my God, yes! Physically, mentally, emotionally all because I just feel like I’ve learnt so much from so many people along the way and learning from people is everything. It’s what guides you to the right path, it’s what makes you who you are in the end and if you surround yourself with the right people, then that’s what it’s all about. I definitely think I’ve changed a lot but in a good way.
When did you know that this is what you wanted to do with your life?
Oh, ever since I started dancing and singing. Ever since it was my passion, which was at a really young age. So yeah, kind of forever. It’s weird because even when I was younger, at a dance school and stuff, I remember I kept thinking; “I know I’m gonna make it” – I just knew and I don’t know why. I think that’s the most important thing, and I know as corny as it sounds and how everybody says it, but if you just believe and are really passionate about it – it will happen.
I agree. It’s like when you think positively, you attract positive energy and good things come your way.
Exactly! But you don’t have to force it, you just do. When your whole life revolves around being a positive person and doing what you really want to do – that one thing that you’ve always wanted to do, even if you think its impossible – Why is it impossible? There’s no reason for anything to be impossible. I just think; Look, if people can do what they do around the world, then you can do it too.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Rihanna. Is she someone that you look up to as a musician?
Oh gosh, of course! It’s so flattering that people would say that. I think it’s amazing. I don’t see it at all [laughs] but you know, whatever floats everyone’s boat. If that’s their comparison then I’m fine with that.
Who else do you look up to? Who’s your biggest inspiration?
Definitely Madonna, I love Madonna. I have a lot of inspirations. I honestly don’t listen to a lot of pop music. And when I do listen to it, it’s only because that’s the kind of stuff I want to perform. I love exploring all types of music like I love Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra.
What’s your favourite song at the moment? Which artists are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to a lot of Frank Ocean at the moment, he’s incredible and everyone is obsessed with him right now, so I thought why not go along with it. I always have Aretha Franklin blasting and then I have a lot of stuff like Smokey Robinson & Joss Stone, James Brown and oh, Azealia Banks!
Who is someone that you’d just love to collaborate with?
I’ve said this before; I would love to collaborate with Chris Brown or James Morrison. They’re really different musically but I think that’s the most amazing thing about being an artist – how I’m just able to transform and take on different roles – its like being an actress, you know, transforming into different characters – why not do something completely different?
What’s the best and worst thing about being in the spotlight?
The best thing is that you get to do what you love and people get to experience it with you. The worst thing is possibly the pressure that you’re under and time. Just to be in the spotlight half of the time is hard.
What’s the sweetest or craziest thing a fan has ever said or done?
Actually recently, I was just in a McDonald’s drive thru and this van was driving behind me and I poked my head out and they were like “OMG are you …? OMG!” and they couldn’t talk, they were just hyperventilating and I was like, “Are you okay?” And then they drove off and nearly smashed into the side of the curb, it was horrible! I felt really bad I was like “OMG Don’t drive, don’t drive!” and so I came up to the window and said hi and it was very, very sweet but she nearly had a car crash.
How do you balance schoolwork with your music and tour schedules?
I’m just home-schooling, so I have a tutor who helps me out with my work and it’s not easy but I’m nearly done so it’s okay.
Do you have any plans to go to uni or is music where your heart is?
I’d love to go to college one day. Right now, I’m focused on this but eventually I’d love to study something interesting like psychology.
What helps you stay grounded?
Honestly, as I’ve said – It’s just the people that you surround yourself with. When I’m surrounded by people who are just as weird and crazy as me, they’ll keep me at that same level. I actually don’t find it that hard to stay grounded – to not let all the glory get to my head after something. I’m also one of those people who after a show, people come up to me and say; ”oh you were amazing!” I’ll still go back and unfortunately be one of those people like; “I mucked up on this”, “ I stuffed up on that”, “I did all that” – and even though I shouldn’t and it’s sad, that’s just how I am.
Well we are our own worst critics. So what are you most likely to be doing when you’re not on stage or in the studio?
I’m most likely to be at the beach; prawning or surfing. Or just chilling with friends and going to the movies and stuff.
Last question… Being a triple threat – you can sing dance and act – where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I’d absolutely love to do a movie! I find acting really intriguing and interesting how you can just transform yourself into a role. I’d just love to try it out, even if it wasn’t amazing– I’d like to see how it would go. I also can see myself maybe, hopefully performing at a stadium somewhere.
Interview by Tammy Potakh.
Keep up to date with Elen Levon on Facebook. She plays live with Jay Sean on Sunday 28th October at Jupiters Casino, on Queensland’s Gold Coast in Australia.