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Singer Elaine is a shining star in the new H&M Rabanne collection on GLAMOUR’s Digital Cover

The enigmatic and fashion-forward R&B sensation, Elaine has come a long way since her first single titled "Slip Away” in 2019.

In this dynamic and competitive landscape of contemporary music, Elaine is a refreshing and immensely talented act. With a fusion of soulful melodies, breathtaking vocals, and a distinct sense of style, Elaine has captivated audiences here at home as well as across the globe.

Elaine's star power doesn't just end with her music, but she effortlessly combines her passion for singing with her love for fashion, creating a visual spectacle that complements her exceptional talent. Her classic and fashion-forward sense of style has made her a fashion force in her own right. Her love for fashion recently took her to Paris to celebrate the launch of the Rabanne and H&M collection, which was an unforgettable experience for her.

She speaks to GLAMOUR about her journey to music, her love for fashion and what’s in store for the future.

Photograhy: Zander Opperman

Hello Elaine, how did you discover your passion for singing, and who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

I discovered my passion for singing at the age of 6. My dad introduced me to a lot of music, mainly R&B, and that was pretty much all we would listen to and a big part of what we bonded over growing up. I was also surrounded by lots of music at school. I was in choirs, talent shows, school concerts… I was always very intrigued and inspired by seeing the likes of Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Destiny’s Child, Lauren Hill, Lebo Mathosa and Brenda Fassie. That was mainly playing at home on the TV and it was all I was surrounded by growing up.

Can you tell us about your musical journey so far? What are some of the milestones you've achieved and are proud of?

I have been blessed with so many magical moments on my musical journey and to name a single thing on this journey that has taken me all over the world is almost impossible.

But I must say I am proud of the 6 year-old girl in me that had a dream to become a global singer and songwriter. And the fact that I continue to go after my dreams no matter how scary or far away they seem.

Photograhy: Zander Opperman

I think the most special part of my journey was when I was putting together my first music tape , it was honestly just me making music in my producer’s dorm room and garage. And the fact that it resonates with so many people around the world has led me to this point in my career is something that I am really proud of. And it inspires me even more on what is in store for me in this journey and I am excited to make all of it a reality.

You are also doing the most in fashion outside of music and we love your style, what inspires your wardrobe and how you put your outfits together?

My wardrobe and how I put my outfits together are inspired by mainly how I feel. I think when it comes to music and being in the studio allows me to express exactly how I feel and what I am going through, I find the same comfort in my clothes.

My outfits are a way for me to say something without saying anything at all, and it’s all guided by whatever it is I am going through.

At the moment I am feeling extremely fearless, powerful and confident in who I am! Over the years my style has developed into a special relationship with clothes because they are not just materials, it’s more about how they make me feel and how I can convey that into my audience as something extra to the music.

You recently attended the launch of the Rabanne and H&M Collection launch in Paris last month, please tell us about your experience there and your thoughts on the collection?

My experience at the launch was absolutely magical and the collection is absolutely stunning! It has a nostalgic feel to it and reminds me of the very infamous Rabanne era in the 2000s, an era of which I get a lot of inspiration from when putting together my outfits.

Photograhy: Zander Opperman

Also being in Paris at the time of the launch, and being surrounded by so many creatives, artists and fashionistas was a special experience.

It was definitely unforgettable as well, very romantic , warm and the energy in the club was absolutely unmatched!

It’s so inspiring to see how far fashion can take you, being a girl from SA… I don’t take it for granted.

How was your experience shooting this first GLAMOUR digital cover?

It was absolutely surreal, from the moment I walked into the studio until we got the last shot, the energy was so vibrant and high, and everyone was so passionate about this project we are all collaborating on. I am so grateful as this is a huge milestone in my career, and I couldn’t be more happy to be recognised and respected for the hard work I put in, not only in my music but my love for fashion as well.

You are wearing the Rabanne and H&M collection dress on the cover, which is a beautiful, fun party dress, how does this look relate to your personality?

This ICONIC Rabanne and H&M collection dress relates to my personality in more ways than one actually. I think it’s so carefree, it’s groundbreaking and absolutely a show stopper!

I mean…It’s shiny and I am the same girl that wrote the song “Shine” so there is a correlation there. But more than anything , the dress just reminds me of what it feels like to be free and fearless and to push boundaries. It’s not your everyday party dress, there are a lot of details to it and at the same time, it’s so well put together!

Can you describe the emotions you aim to convey through your music? What messages or themes do you hope to communicate to your audience?

My music is always relative to what I am going through in my life. I am a very open creator and writer, and most of what I sing about is where I am particularly at that certain point in my life. My audience relates to my music because of how relatable it is. I am not afraid to shy away from feelings, good and bad, and my craft has grown into such a way where I am more comfortable sharing feelings that are not comfortable to me.

Photograhy: Zander Opperman

As a young female artist, what challenges have you faced in the music industry, and how have you managed to overcome them?

The music industry definitely comes with a whole lot of challenges and for me personally, it’s been navigating through such a complex and male dominated space, inside and outside the studio.

More than anything it has taught me to always be on my feet and to be a critical thinker , and responsible for certain things that I want to see through my ideas and projects.

I think there lies an extra pressure of trying to maintain an international feel as well. There is so much that goes behind being a global act and trying to maintain yourself and working relationships, it takes a lot of mental capacity as well, which is something not openly spoken about in the industry as well.

My coping mechanism is surrounding myself with a supportive group of people , and my team to be on the same page as I am when it comes to my projects and rollouts. I also have a very, very strong relationship with God who is my source of energy , inspiration and overall well being. Balancing all of this as a young musician can be challenging but with the right people around you, it becomes easier to achieve.

What advice would you give to other young aspiring female singers who are just starting their musical journeys?

I would say, be completely fearless in your endeavours as there are no boxes or boundaries which exist and there are no limits either, so dream big, have a plan, be intentional and execute consistently.

It’s also important to remember to chase your dreams at your own pace and capacity, and that everyone’s journey is unique.

What are your plans and goals for the future?

My plan is to take over the world and shine from every corner of the world! I am still envisioning what that feels like and every day I feel that I am getting closer and closer to that goal and vision. More than anything , I would like to grow as an international household singer, songwriter and brand. I have my debut album coming up which is something I’m so passionate about and I know that my fans are super excited about it too. I am excited for the world to experience exactly the little world I have been living in over the past years. More than anything I am excited about where God is about to take me and I am happy that you guys get to experience this journey with me.

The Rabanne and H&M collection will be available at the V&A Waterfront and Sandton City H&M stores in addition to Superbalist on November 9th 2023.

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