EARLY TALKS W/ EIZA MURPHY

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EJ: HOW ARE YOU? HOW ARE YOU FEELING TONIGHT? 

EIZA MURPHY: RIGHT NOW I’M GREAT – JUST ABOUT TO EAT A BIG BURGER FOR DINNER AND WATCH THE ‘TINDER SWINDLER.’ 

EJ: TELL US ABOUT EIZA MURPHY. WHO ARE YOU AS A HUMAN BEING? 

EIZA: I’M A 5.1 FT, LITTLE IRISH PERSON LIVING IN LA. I’M AN OVERLY SARCASTIC AND OVERLY SENSITIVE VEGAN WHO STILL HAS A BABY TOOTH. 

I GREW UP IN CORK, IRELAND, AND MOVED TO NEW YORK WHEN I WAS 15 TO STUDY MUSIC PRODUCTION. I THINK THAT MADE ME GROW UP A LOT FASTER BECAUSE I FELT LIKE I WAS 15 GOING ON 30. SINCE THEN, I’VE KIND OF BEEN A NOMADIC HUMAN GOING FROM NEW YORK, BACK TO IRELAND, TO LONDON, BACK TO IRELAND, AND NOW LA – SO A LOT OF MY SONGS ARE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCES IN DIFFERENT PLACES. 

I’M THE MIDDLE CHILD, WHICH I THINK IS A PERSONALITY IN ITSELF, AND I’M REALLY CLOSE WITH MY FAMILY. MY SISTER, LENII (WHO THIS SONG IS ABOUT) AND I LIVE TOGETHER AT THE MOMENT. 

EJ: “LA” BOTH SONICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY IS A LIGHTER BALLAD THAN THE MAJORITY OF YOUR DISCOGRAPHY. THIS IS A PERSONAL TRACK, TELL ME ABOUT HOW YOU CONFRONT THE EMOTIONS SO DEEPLY LAYERED IN THIS TRACK. TELL US ABOUT THE STORY BEHIND “LA.” 

EIZA: I WROTE ‘LA’ ABOUT MY SISTER WHEN SHE FIRST MOVED. SHE WAS BY HERSELF, FINDING HER FEET, AND CALLED ME NEARLY EVERY DAY IN TEARS. I HAD NEVER BEEN TO LA BEFORE BUT I WROTE THE SONG ABOUT THE STEREOTYPES SURROUNDING THE PLACE – OR AT LEAST HOW I IMAGINED IT – AND AS IF I WAS TALKING TO HER. SO, I THINK THE EMOTIONS IN THIS SONG ARE SECOND-HAND FEELINGS BUT FOR SOME REASON, I FELT THEM REALLY DEEPLY – PROBABLY JUST OUT OF SADNESS/SYMPATHY FOR MY SISTER. 

I THINK I ALSO CONFRONTED THE FEELING OF HAVING EXACTLY WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WANTED, BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO APPRECIATE IT. I THINK ON SOME LEVEL, EVERYONE CAN RELATE TO THAT WHETHER YOU’VE BEEN TO LA OR NOT. 

EJ: I FEEL “LA” CAN OFTEN BE USED AS A METAPHOR, ESPECIALLY FOR LISTENERS TUNING IN TO THIS TRACK. WHAT DO YOU HOPE LISTENERS FEEL OR TAKE AWAY FROM THIS RELEASE? 

EIZA: BECAUSE I HAD NEVER BEEN TO LA WHEN I WROTE THE SONG, IT WAS KIND OF A METAPHOR FOR ME, TOO. APART FROM IT BEING DIRECTLY ABOUT MY SISTER IN LA, FOR ME, IT WAS ALSO ABOUT THE POLARITY BETWEEN HAVING [AND] ACHIEVING GREAT THINGS BUT NOT FEELING GREAT. I HOPE THE TAKEAWAY IS THAT YOUR MIND AND HOW YOU FEEL ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING MATERIAL. 

EJ: IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE THIS SONG IN ONE WORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY? 

EIZA: I THINK IT WOULD BE ‘HONEST.’ I FEEL LIKE NO ONE WANTS TO ADMIT THAT SOMETHING ISN’T AS GREAT AS IT SEEMS BECAUSE WE’RE BASICALLY PROGRAMMED TO DO THE OPPOSITE. EVEN THOUGH THE SONG ISN’T DIRECTLY ABOUT ME, IT FEELS REALLY EXPOSING. I THINK YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF TO ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG AND COME TO TERMS WITH THE FACT THAT ALL THE THINGS YOU THOUGHT WOULD BRING YOU HAPPINESS, ARE USUALLY NOT THE THINGS THAT ACTUALLY MAKE YOU HAPPY IN THE END. 

EJ: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LINE FROM “LA” AND WHY IS IT? WHAT WAS THE MOMENT LIKE WHEN YOU WROTE IT? 

EIZA: I THINK MY FAVORITE LINE IS ‘BUT LATELY YOU HUG THE TV WAITING FOR THIS CITY TO LIVE UP TO THE HYPE’ BECAUSE IT KIND OF SUMS UP THE IDEA OF LIVING THROUGH SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE GREAT BUT ISN’T. I DON’T KNOW WHY I CAME UP WITH THE IMAGE OF SOMEONE HUGGING A TV BECAUSE I’VE NEVER SEEN SOMEONE ACTUALLY DO THAT… BUT I FELT THE DESPERATION OF IT ANYWAY. I WROTE THE FULL SONG ONE MORNING AFTER A CALL WITH MY SISTER SO I DON’T REMEMBER HOW I FELT WHEN WRITING THAT EXACT LINE, BUT I REMEMBER AS A WHOLE FEELING THE SADNESS AND DESPERATION THAT MY SISTER WAS FEELING. 

EJ: IF THE CHILD VERSION OF YOU, EIZA, COULD LISTEN TO THIS SONG, WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE SHE WOULD TAKE FROM IT?

EIZA: PROBABLY ‘MIND OVER MATTER…’ THAT WHAT YOU DO/HAVE [OR] GET IS NEVER GOING TO GUARANTEE YOUR HAPPINESS. OR JUST DON’T GO TO LA… JOKING. 

ALSO, WHAT APPEARS TO BE PERFECT ISN’T ALWAYS THE CASE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE MAIN FEELINGS I HAD WHEN WRITING THE SONG – ESPECIALLY THE LINE ‘NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS COULD YOU PICTURE TEARS FALLING HERE.’ 

EJ: TELL ME ABOUT HOW YOUR BACKGROUND WITH PRODUCTION INFLUENCES THE WAY YOU WRITE. 

EIZA: I THINK PRODUCTION AND WRITING COME HAND IN HAND IN A LOT OF WAYS BECAUSE THE PRODUCTION CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE A SONG, SO I ALWAYS HAVE AN IDEA OF THE PRODUCTION WHILE I’M WRITING AND VICE VERSA. LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, I KNEW THAT I WANTED A LONG NOTE IN THE PRE TO PAN FROM SIDE TO SIDE IN THE PRODUCTION, SO I WROTE THE WORD ‘MILLION’ AS A LONG NOTE THAT COULD BE PANNED. 

THAT BEING SAID, I WRITE NEARLY ALL OF MY SONGS AT THE PIANO BEFORE ANY PRODUCTION COMES INTO THE EQUATION, SO FOR ME, IT’S NEARLY ALWAYS THE SONG FIRST, PRODUCTION SECOND. 

EJ: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE, PERTAINING TO YOUR MUSIC OR SOMETHING CLOSE TO YOUR HEART, THAT YOU WANT TO TAKE THE CHANCE TO SAY NOW? 

EIZA: I THINK MOST PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO THIS SONG WILL THINK THAT I HATE LA OR THAT THAT I’M STUPID FOR MOVING HERE AFTER WRITING IT AND SEEING HOW MY SISTER FELT WHEN SHE FIRST MOVED BUT IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE I ACTUALLY LOVED IT FROM THE MINUTE I GOT HERE. 

TO BE FAIR, I DON’T KNOW WHY I MOVED WHEN ALL OF THOSE THOUGHTS WERE GOING THROUGH MY HEAD BUT I’M SO HAPPY THAT I DID… AND NOW MY SISTER LOVES IT HERE TOO. MOST DAYS. 

THE SONG IS STILL ABOUT HOW OUR MINDS ARE NEVER REALLY SATISFIED BY OUTSIDE [AND] MATERIAL FACTORS AND THAT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT YOU HAVE OR DO. BUT I’M REALLY HAPPY THAT LA ISN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE… FOR ME ANYWAY.