Eleanor Hammond has been singing, playing guitar and piano, and songwriting since she was eleven. She has been in at least two theatrical productions per year from ages 14-22. She often uses her theatrical background to incorporate storytelling into her lyrics. Her passion for composition became so strong that, in 2019, she was inspired to write and produce a full-length feminist musical called, "Walls," the story of artist and founder of the Whitney Museum, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. She then produced her second musical, "Newsflash!" in 2021, with co-writer Em Beihold. She is now releasing a string of singles. Eleanor Hammond's dynamic and confident singing, demanding stage presence, and prophetic yet relatable lyrics make her a unique and trailblazing artist. Her songs vary in genre, keeping the listener on their toes, yet still feel cohesive and of the same creator - one that has been honing her sound for years, inspired by her influences and growing worldview.
With her single and music video, “Best of Tonight,” out now, we took some time to hear more from Eleanor Hammond. Read below to learn more about Eleanor Hammond, the story behind her single, and what’s to come.
Hi Eleanor Hammond! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
My artist name is just my birth name. I tried for a while to come up with something more clever, but after a day, I hated every idea, so we’re sticking with what we know.
What city are you from and where are you based now?
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?
I always had a passion to songwrite. When I was a child, I would have rather written in the margins of my piano book than practice the actual piece for my lesson. The first thing that really sold me on doing music was a kids’ group songwriting class through Sessions Songwriting, led by Lauren Bruns. In college, I was pursuing a career in theater. But, in the last few weeks of my undergrad, the autonomy that I felt when writing original songs could not compare to acting, and that’s when it became crystal clear that I wanted to do music.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?
LA is a sprawling metropolis of different cultures, so I was exposed to a wide amount of genres. My dad is a music manager, and his favorite music is Rock and Pop of the 60s and 70s. Classic songwriters from that time like Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, and Laura Nyro were a few of my idols. I also adore the unbridled rawness of 90s artists like Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, and Alanis Morisette. And, I aspire to write as well as Bob Dylan. I’d go to shows for the independent artists my dad managed since I was little, and they inevitably shaped me. My dad would give me honest feedback on my music from a young age, which helped cultivate my songwriting. My musical theater and Pop backgrounds are why I now call my genre 'Theatrical Pop.'
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
To me, my genre, 'Theatrical Pop,' means combining a classic musical theater ballad sound with a modern Rock sound (eg. Paramore) together. If it’s not modern Rock, my music has a Dance Pop vibe (eg. The Weeknd).
How do you go about recording music?
My philosophy when I record music or make a TikTok (ugh I love/hate TikTok) is: the weirder the better. Act like no one is in the room. Play up your quirks. It sets you apart.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
I love climbing with the girl I nanny at Hollywood Boulders. I also love baking: my friends love my signature pavlova dessert. To stay creative, I keep experiencing life. Life fuels my art. It can be a double edged sword because I often need pain to make good music.
Who are some of your main musical influences?
Current influences include Weyes Blood, Angel Olsen, Phoebe Bridgers, Mitski, Wet Leg, Kate Bush (always), and Miley Cyrus.
What are some of your future music career goals?
Some future career goals include touring the world and making my first debut album. I should also add that I want to headline The Troubadour because I feel like that’s a must do for any artist.
Now onto your release, ‘Best of Tonight.’ What inspired this song?
I was seeing someone new at the time, and I was scared about whether the relationship was going to take off or not. Instead of sitting in my place of worry, I decided to make a song about savoring each moment with the person.
What is ‘Best of Tonight’ about in your own words?
'Best of Tonight,' is a celebratory, 80s Pop-inspired Dance track about a budding relationship and enjoying a night of spontaneous fun with someone. I wrote it for people to look at their breakups in a more positive light. Even if your relationship ends one day, you can still be happy for what you guys had. Feel free to dance along, and I hope you enjoy it.
How did the music video for ‘Best of Tonight’ come about? What was your vision for the video?
I wanted to make a video that showed two people seizing the night and having a blast. The Record Parlour in Los Angeles felt like the best place because of its vintage arcade games, bar, record store, and stage all combined in one. I had recently been dating a girl and things didn’t work out. So, I wanted to have a girl in the video with me, and my friend Lauren agreed to do it. We had a $0 budget, but I think that simply made the video that much better because we had to be creative in our limitations.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from ‘Best of Tonight?’
That every situation is not simply 'good' or 'bad,' and that there are happy and sad parts to every experience. And, we can celebrate and sit in both. That loving people deeply and feeling strong emotions is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
I think performing at The Hotel Cafe Wrier’s Block. I love how that venue prioritizes singer-songwriters, and the sound there is great. Watch my performance here: https://youtu.be/qKvRMnl-l4k.
I also had a release party for my song, 'Nighttime B*tch,' which was just an utter smash of a time. I want to do more release parties.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
TAKE. MY. TIME. I am the tortoise, not the hare. One of my next releases is called, 'It Girl,' and it is about comparing myself to famous influencers online who seem to be thriving in success. I want a long, sustainable career with a cult following. I don’t really want to be a viral TikTok star. I have so much time, and I want to enjoy the journey.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects, or do you have any upcoming shows that we should be on the lookout for?
I am performing for the first time with a full band at Bar Lubitsch in LA on March 28 at 9:30 PM (30 minute set)! Tickets at the door!
The 'sad version' of my recent single, 'Best of Tonight,' comes out February 3rd!
My next big single, 'Dream Chaser,' comes out in March, and I am working on two other singles to be released in the spring as well.
You can find all my music and show info on my website www.eleanorhammond.com, or my linktree: https://linktr.ee/eleanorhammond.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Links to music:
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/eleanor-hammond/453498947
Before you go, let's ask you something random. What is your favorite book?
My fave novel of all time is 'Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier.
Thank you for the great interview; wish you much continued success!
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