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LA based singer-song writer Elthia just dropped her new single “I love you but you make me cry,” and it’s about an onion. Ok no, I wish that would be very funny. Although the song came from a writing prompt that indeed made her think of an onion – it’s branched out to be much more. Her deep lush voice is singing the heart breaking truths of a lot of relationships over angelic guitar strumming. Elthia’s classical guitar training has blessed her music with a special component that hits all of us. Picture when someone tells a sad story and another person makes a joke like “Do you know what this is? It’s the smallest violin in the world,” but instead it’s Elthia singing “I love you you make me cry” with her guitar in hand.

Elthia is an up and coming indie pop dream queen. She is all over Instagram with her dripping wax crying photos and we all want to know if that’s real wax and if so did it hurt? We got to talk to the New York native about bagels and pizza, what she hates about LA, and of course writing the song inspired by an onion.

Where did the inspiration behind “I love you but you make me cry”? I see some people on the internet are saying onions.

Haha, yes! I started writing the song when I went to a friend’s songwriter’s circle (which is when songwriter friends get together and critique each other’s songs and bring snacks) and she had an optional prompt for the meeting, which was: “write a song about an object, but never say what the object is”. That was when I had the idea to write a song about an onion, and this was the beginning of “i love you but you make me cry”. After the meeting, I looked back at the lyrics and decided that I wanted to illustrate this idea of a broken relationship where it’s difficult to piece together who is actually in the wrong – is it the person trying to protect themselves and cutting themselves off from the narrator, or is it the narrator that is trying so hard to reach out, but keeps hurting the person they love most? The song is also heavily inspired by magic, by hypnosis, by the obsession with another person and the captivating atmosphere that surrounds them – so while, yes, it was originally inspired by an onion, I wanted to take this idea and weave it into a story of obsession, of magic, and of grief.

What’s one thing you love about living in LA? One thing you hate about LA?

I absolutely love the people that I’ve met here – I’ve met wonderful friends and amazing artists. I miss seeing all the incredible shows that my musician friends were performing at.

I moved to LA only a few months before quarantine started here, and I wish that I got to see more of the city before we went into lockdown – so I don’t feel like I got to experience a lot of things that I hate, other than traffic. So, I really hate that the city is so beautiful and I’ve experienced so little of it.

Who are some of your musical influences?

Lady Gaga is my absolute favorite – the way she creates a captivating musical aesthetic with each album and builds her shows into an experience has left a huge impression on me. The Beatles, King Princess, Maggie Rogers, and Onlychild have also played big roles as my musical influences as well.

I see on your Instagram you play the acoustic guitar. When did you learn to play and how have you incorporated into your recorded stuff?

I started learning classical guitar when I was 10 years old – I continued it throughout high school and then attended a classical music conservatory to study it further. Whenever I play live, I always incorporate classical guitar into what I’m doing; I make fingerstyle arrangements of covers and originals so that I’m always bringing my guitar roots into what I do now. For my recordings, I love to add little glittery guitar elements into my songs; in “i love you but you make me cry”, I added a ton of guitar harmonics throughout the song that serve as a little bit of ear candy for listeners.

Where’s the first place you’re going when things open up again?

I want to visit my family in New York – I miss them very much! I also miss the bagels and pizza.

Dream collaboration?

King Princess would be my dream collaboration – Cheap Queen is one of my favorite records and I love her writing so much.



photos / courtesy of artist

story / Vogue Giambri

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