Over the course of her career, Elohim has made made it no secret that she's struggled with her mental health. Using music as a means to vocalize these very real issues, the multi-faceted artist and acclaimed electropop producer stoically shares her experiences of anxiety and panic attacks with her fans.
While she appears to be comfortable discussing these topics now, Elohim has not always been so open about her mental health journey. The release of “Xanax” in 2015 was the first time she spoke in such a candid manner about what she was going through—at a time when she felt truly alone.
Following an incredible response from the vulnerable track, Elohim had an epiphany. “There are a lot of humans out there suffering from this too and that inspired me to keep talking about it," she told EDM.com.
Having dealt with panic attacks and anxiety since the age of seven, Elohim had to learn how to cope, turning to music as an escape. As an artist who wants to perform but struggles with social anxiety, she adopted an ambiguous identity as a coping method. "I didn’t show my face or talk for so long because my anxiety and panic was crippling," she admitted.
Even her name, Elohim—another word for "god" or "almighty one"—is indicative of her internal transcendence. Identifying as Elohim “became such a powerful, strong, almost alter-ego,” she explained. “It helped me get ready and face the world.”
Opening up about her mental health journey was no easy feat. "It’s not a pretty thing to talk about because when you are going through it, it is horrible,” Elohim continued. “I have actually had people on my team seen me first hand go through it and they have said to me that they don’t look at mental health the same after seeing you go through this.”
Elohim is very transparent with her followers on social media about her mental health journey, which helps them empathize and understand that every day is not always a good day. Although bad days may feel like setbacks, she has learned over the years that “sometimes you need to recharge and reset your batteries.”
Sense of Community
Through her music, Elohim has fostered a close-knit community of people who are there for each other in times of loneliness. “It’s really nice to have people that genuinely understand what it feels like,” she said.
In 2019 Elohim released a mini YouTube series called “Braindead" along with an eponymous EP, presenting the complexities of mental health in a way others could better understand. "There were people that came to me and said that their mom or dad didn’t understand what they were going through so they played the videos of me talking about my mental health, which helped them understand more," Elohim proudly shared.
Group Therapy Tour
Elohim's “Group Therapy” tour in 2020 was her first headlining run. “It was my baby,” she exulted. “I put everything into this tour and it was so special and meaningful.” The tour, she says, was her way of bringing all of her fans together to physically solidify the sense of community she had cultivated online.
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Suddenly, COVID-19 struck and Elohim and her team were unable to continue the tour. “I just broke down crying and everyone in the crew was crying because it was just the most magical tour of all time,” she lamented. Experiencing such a high moment in her career—a pinnacle she worked so hard to achieve—made it incredibly difficult when the live music industry shuttered.
Returning home from the tour much sooner than anticipated, with no idea if she would be able to reschedule, was very unsettling. “I had worked so hard to be where I was and this felt like a setback,” Elohim said. “I worked so hard to be able to comfortably perform and do shows and what if I am set back by just being home and isolated?”
Finding Motivation at Home
For the first couple of weeks after the tour's abrupt conclusion, Elohim waited at home for things to get back to normal. But as time went on, she started to experience a dip in her mental health. “I am prone to anxiety and panic, and this was actually depression,” she said. “I didn’t even want anything to do with music.”
Eventually reaching a point of despair, Elohim knew she had to get up and do something for the sake of her wellbeing. Acknowledging the fact that she could be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, she set up her very own home studio and created a song called "Vacuum," wherein she expelled her dyed-in-the-wool feelings.
She had tapped into a deeply creative flow. "I made a whole album by myself, like totally by myself, and that brought on this whole new level of confidence and independence as a female artist,” she expressed with glee after, feeling a true sense of purpose and a heightened state of mind. "Creating music became a saving grace."
Making the Most of it
Many artists are accustomed to rigorous touring schedules, causing complications in their ability to maintain a social life. “It consumes pretty much your entire life and so it is hard to stay in touch family and friends,” Elohim said. “Interestingly enough, during quarantine it has been a way for me—and for a lot of artists I’m sure—to connect and get a lot closer.”
While everyone is stuck at home instead of on tour due to the impact of COVID-19, Elohim thinks now is a great time to create. Naturally, it is also a perfect time to reach out collaborate with other artists, so she got in touch with electro-funk titan GRiZ and shared an acappella with him.
"I sent it over and [GRiZ] got really inspired by it and that day he made a whole track," Elohim said. “Then we made some little changes and added more vocals, and we were super happy with the song.”
Elohim debuted the new track, “Bring Me Back," at Insomniac’s Park N’ Rave drive-in concert series earlier in the month of April at her first live event in over a year.
She explained how much she appreciates the unfiltered feedback from an audience when playing a song for the first time, sharing how it can feel awkward when no one recognizes it. But when Elohim played out her new collab with GRiZ, she said “it felt like pure bliss throughout [her] body."
Elohim is evolving
According to Elohim, “Bring Me Back” marks the first of a slew of new musical releases coming out in 2021. “A lot of it I made during the last year, which is really cool and it’s just the most me and the most authentic,” she declared. “I feel like I am always evolving as an artist and this feels like a part of the evolution and it feel so good!”
“Music is a really special thing and I think maybe we take it for granted,” she digressed. “If anything, this past year has given us so much gratitude and empathy and made us realize what is really important in life, and I think music is one of those things.”