Elliot Horne is dialling in from a small room in Oxfordshire, which over the last year has served a multitude of functions: bedroom, studio, writing lab, and mixing room all in one. From that very room, Horne launched his musical career during lockdown, trading big stages for confinement and meet and greets for live streams. You take your wins where you can. At the crux of it all, Horne is a stellar musician on the rise, offering an alchemy of sounds, fusing pop and R&B with guttural tones. In his first single “Where Would I Be,” he processes the feeling of being alone with your own thoughts when your mind is racing, a thought we’re all accustomed to at times. Bearing his soul in every note, Horne echoes the same vulnerability when he talks, orating the emotional character amongst men, the majesty – give or take – of TikTok and why a fixation with Halloween might just be down to the frequency of playing the ‘ghost’ on stage as akid. Whatever lights your spirit, Horne.
EVA PRAMSCHÜFER: Hey Elliot. Let’s start from the beginning, can you tell me a bit about how you came to sing?
ELLIOT HORNE:Since I can remember, I always performed for my family. I was that annoying kid who would get all the cousins together to put on a show for the whole family. But when I was about 7 I think my Mom understood. “Oh, so you really do love music,” she’d say. I remember I went to a stage school where you did dancing, singing, and acting, and I missed so much of my primary school years because I was in the theatre. I used to always get these weird dark roles and when I came home to my mum, I was always like: “I had to play some kind of weird ghost again.”
EP: What made you want to move on from theatre?
EH:One thing that toughened my skin was doing all these auditions as a child actor. You walk into the room so excited and bubbly and they're like, “Oh he is not quite right for this role.” That can be hurtful for a 7-year-old kid. But then you soon realise this is the way the industry is. I kind of grew out of the theatre world and wanted to transition into writing my music, standing on stage and not pretending to be anyone but me.
EP: Congratulations on your single “Where Would I be.” Can you tell me a bit about the song and what it means to you?
EH:This song was birthed in lockdown. It’s about those thoughts when you can't fall asleep, because you've got so much on your mind. It’s about every decision you make in life and wondering, “What if I did that differently? Where would I be? I wonder if I did that? Where would I be?” It’s a message to yourself and the listener, that it's going to be okay, you're on a journey, and everything happens for a reason.
EP: And it’s a very emotional song.
EH: Yes, I wanted to write something that felt a little bit more on the vulnerable side. It’s okay for men to show their emotions and it doesn't make them any less of a man. I think this notion of men not showing emotions, those things are so old-fashioned. But it’s something that I find a lot easier to share in my music. Mental health is such a big topic. My number one job, before I'm a singer, before I'm a brother to someone, your number one job is to look after yourself. I think that's what some people forget.
EP: Bringing a song to life from the page, how does that involvement shape up?
EH: I was heavily involved with everything. It was really important for me to get ithow I wanted it. I was so nervous about this first song. And as you can imagine, you work so hard behind the scenes. But I think to take that first initial step, it's surreal and nerve-racking.
EP: So are you a bit of a perfectionist then?
EH: A massive perfectionist. And I think even more so since I had complete control from home because I recorded everything myself. I tracked it down with editing and putting my vocals together. I had complete freedom of how many harmonies I did, or whether I should put this high note there or not.
EP:Where did you learn all of this?
EH:I taught myself everything, thanks to YouTube tutorials! And my producer who worked on this song in LA was teaching me over the phone a lot. I loved it, it was so much fun. With the money that I saved from modelling during lockdown, I bought myself my equipment so that I could make music.
EP: You had to launch your career during lockdown? I can imagine that was hard.
EH: There were times when it was tough and isolating. It's so lovely to actually see people's faces in real life. In lockdown, TikTok grew so much more just because people were at home on their phones and connecting with other people via social media.
EP:I wanted to ask you about TikTok. How do you think TikTok plays into young artists' careers?
EH:It's one of the biggest things in the music industry right now. I love it because I think it allows everyone to get whatever message out there. You can post a video and wake up to it going viral the next day.
EP: When someone with a big following uses your song in a video, it just makes sense that it blows up. Who should we manifest to use your song in a video?
EH: Maybe Charlie D’Amelio.
EP: If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
EH: I have so many. But I'd love to collaborate with Tate McRae. Just because I kind of think we have a similar vibe. She's killing it.
EP: What are you most excited about for the future?
EH: Definitely performing. Getting to perform the music that I've created in my bedroom actually on a stage, to a live audience with a band, just to have that whole experience.
EP:I can imagine your first-ever performance is going to be emotional.
EH:I know, even seeing people lip-syncing on TikTok was like, “Oh my God, I wrote that and people are singing along, that's so cool.” Although I have toured before, I'm sure the day that I get to perform my original music on stage, I'll probably just be sobbing.
Styling by @wayperry_edit at @thewallgroup
Grooming by @sallyoneill1at @carenagency using @oliver.j.woods
Words by @evapramschuefer
Art Directors @livi.av @harry_conor @aparna_aji
Production Director @bencrankbencrank
Fashion Assistant @andrewburlingand @samth0mps0n