Unseen Plays: What is up Ela! We welcome you to Unseen Plays! Let’s begin this interview by getting to where you are from and how you got started in music. Can you tell us a bit of your story?
Ela Ozturk: Thanks for having me!, to start off I was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and grew up in the Bay area. I got started in music at a young age by being introduced to various genres, artists, and musical styles by my father. I also was a choir kid growing up which helped me find a place to grow as a young musician. I started writing songs around six years old and I never stopped. I started putting out my own original music in 2020, and the rest is history.
Unseen Plays: Tell us a bit about all the genres and music that inspired you up to this point. What are some records that shaped your musical world? We would love to know your musical taste in a sense.
Ela Ozturk: Great question! I’m massively influenced by the great “diva” soul singers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Nina Simone just to name a few. Growing up I studied all the artists that fall into the R&B, Soul, Blues, etc., and was taken back by their musicianship and artistry. I bring the elements from all the artists I studied into my own music.
Unseen Plays: Your vocals are strong, deep, and sad. We admire them! What are some things that get you singing the way you do? How do you get into those feelings that translate so well in your music? And is that sadness we hear coming from a place within that you wanna talk about through here?
Ela Ozturk: Thank you! At my core, I am first and foremost a songwriter and a storyteller. I love the power of words and lyricism. I have so much respect for songwriters and genuinely believe they are the most important person on a record. I tap into a part of myself that I keep tucked away from the world to protect the most vulnerable parts of myself, that’s the place I write from. I draw inspiration from my own personal experiences and for some reason I tend to lean towards writing about the hardships, heartbreaks, and losses that I have accrued in my life versus the happy moments. I promise I’ll write a happy song one day! ( Hopefully haha).
Unseen Plays: Your new single titled “Healing” is beautiful and it’s what led us to your music. What is healing all about? It gives us a heartache and we wanna tap into that with you right now.
Ela Ozturk: Thanks! Yes, “Healing” is my latest song. ‘Healing’ is about continuously returning to a love that no longer serves you, and getting to terms with the fact that you can’t heal in the places you get hurt in. It’s about choosing to finally let go even though it’s painful because in the end, you know it’s more painful to stay. The track carries the idea of letting go of someone you love, as hard as it may be.
Unseen Plays: Why did you choose soul music as your platform? Was it a choice you made, or do you think pop music chose you?
Ela Ozturk: I chose Soul/R&B music as my platform because it is my favorite style of music and it was what I grew up listening to and singing to. Soul/R&B music is what feels most authentic to me as an artist and songwriter. I think in a way it chose me, it called me at a young age and pulled me in and never let go.
Unseen Plays: You’ve been releasing many singles, can we expect an entire EP or Album shortly?
Ela Ozturk: Yes! I am definitely going to release an EP in the near future and eventually my debut Album as well. At the moment I am working towards growing my audience so that I can release a solid body of work.
Unseen Plays: What’s something you’ve struggled with as an artist and that has made you stronger in the process?
Ela Ozturk: Something I’ve struggled with as an artist is writer’s block. This is something that happens to almost every artist at some point, it’s hard to be continuously creative when you’ve been an artist for so long. At some point, it’s best to step away from creating and live life so that you can create from perspectives and experiences.
Unseen Plays: I think there are songwriters and then there are songwriters who are entertainers. Which are you? What’s your artistic vision for yourself?
Ela Ozturk: I am definitely a songwriter and artist. My artistic vision for myself is to inspire people with my music and lyrics. I want to make music that is timeless and universal, yet unique to my story and feels genuine.
Unseen Plays: Besides our question on upcoming releases, can we expect anything else from you this year? Any music videos? Or Visual components to your music?
Ela Ozturk: This year I am working on new music, new visuals, and shows. I may put out another music video this year or at least a visualizer. I also will be releasing more lyric videos for every song I have out.
Unseen Plays: Is making music your only passion or do you have other passions in your life?
Ela Ozturk: Music is my main passion, but I also am a fashion designer and have worked in fashion for years. I also hope to have my own brand one day.
Unseen Plays: Here is our random question for you. We throw this in to have a little fun at the end. What’s invisible that you wish people could see?
Ela Ozturk: That’s an interesting question! I think sadness can sometimes be invisible. There are a lot of people who suffer in silence and don’t reach out until it’s too late. A lot of people put on a brave face, I wish we could see those who are hurting so we could give a helping hand.
Unseen Plays: All right, where can people find you online? Your most active social media platforms!
Ela Ozturk: You can find me everywhere haha, I’m very active on social media. Thank you!
Official website: https://www.ela-ozturk.com/