Eli Gauden: A Norwegian twist on American Folk

Eli Gauden is a talented Norwegian songwriter. She is a performer, a communicator and explorer of life; from Boston to Spain she loves to travel the world using the music as a channel to connect with people

Hi Eli. Can you please introduce your project to our readers?

I am an independent artist from Norway, writing and performing folk/roots music. I’m drawn towards simplicity, nature, and truthfulness, which I believe is why I find these older musical styles to really speak my language and how I can express myself. I’ve recently spent three years in Boston and one year in Spain, where I’ve studied, performed and recorded. I’m now excited to graduate school in 2 moths and go wherever music takes me. I look at being an artist as a chance to use my voice in an effective, to connect people and make a difference. It’s for that reason I do what I do, and why I’m eager to keep going and share my music.

Tell us something about your last album called “The Walk” and the direction your music is taking.

The Walk” was my first EP, released August 2016. It started out as a project for a fellow student, which I then decided to turn into my own EP. Just as we got started, I wrote the song called “The Walk”. Through this song I felt like I was finally able to put words and melody to things I value in life, while also getting a better hold of roots music, a style I’m constantly working on familiarize myself with. The song became a natural choice for title track, and somehow defined the direction I wanted to take the EP. The Walk is a nice combination of folk/ballade and roots/bluegrass. This is also where I’m heading for my next album which I’ recording now (coming next summer). However, I hope to be able to define the styles more clearly, and make it more relatable, yet new and different.

How do you compose and where did you get inspiration for your music?

I now have a Songwriting degree from Berklee College of Music. While studying we have to write following certain guidelines. There are many good things about that. For me, however, I find it to restricts me, not my creativity but my emotions. Consequently now I mostly write when I have a strong and clear feeling that is asking to be put to music. I will then close my eyes, and let the fingers go where they want on the guitar, and let random words come out my out. It’s not really as simple as it sounds like, but this is at least how I like to get my first idea/lick/lyric/chord; let it come from a genuine place and a need of expression. That being said, I hope to work on my “pressured writing skills” and in the future write more music for film, tv, commercials, in addition to music for myself.

Which artists have influenced your style & sound, if any?

John Mayer. Favorite. Fenomenal writer and conveyer of emotions.
Gillian Welsh and Dave Rawlings (duo) is a great folk/roots inspiration.
And then; you know all the blind guys who sat under trees out in the mid-wests and plays blues guitar in the 30s? I can play/listen to that kind of music all day and never get tired.

Do you plan to have a tour in the next future? Tell us something about your next shows! 

Yes, I am putting together a tour this Summer. I’ll be on the US East Cost in May, and Europe (Norway) for the rest og the summer. I have a few shows already set (www.eligauden.com), but I’m working on the booking more and hoping to be able to make a decent tour out of it. As I’m graduating school and have zero plans for the future, I’m pretty open to when and where to go(with certain economical restrictions).

What’s the coolest live act in your area?

I’m currently in Spain where Berklee has a second campus. I yet don’t know the music scene here by heart yet. However… I want to mention a lady who I find very inspiring. Her name is Wendy McNeil. She’s Canadian folk/americana/ish-artist, now basted in Valencia. I was lucky to warm up for her on a show in November. What took my breath away was her attitude on stage, her presens, how she communicated with the audience, payed attention to things, trusted her own voice and music, and was 100% herself. No matter what style of music artists play, this is key; having something to say and say it/be it with all of you.

What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?

Hm..I realize that it’s been months since I went to a show that was NOT a show where fellow students performed or I was one of the artists myself. That is a shame. That being said, Berklee College of Music has some incredible players who some of them has already had a music career. It’s never disappointing to go to a Berklee-Show!

Tell us something about your best and your worst memory on the road. 

One of my better shows was back in December. I took part of a show put up by Berklee Valencia, called Innovation: En Vivo. The show featured innovative use of electronic elements. I played slide guitar (very folk), but with electronic sound design. It turn out very cool, different then anything I’d every played, not to mention a big, sold out venue, with great production team and just real good vibe!
As far as bad experiences goes… I choose to believe that “I’m not better then my last show”. This is great motivation cause I’ve just got to do better each time. However, without mentioning one specific event, there has been times where I’m simply not prepared, or were I thought I’d be able to fake it but I couldn’t. And that feeling, going of stage and knowing that you didn’t give as much as you can, is very disappointing. Luckily, if you keep on working there’ll always come a new chance!

What do you think of Livetrigger.com?

I’ve tried several databases like Livetrigger; sites that helps artists get booked. They’re all great tools for unestablished artists like myself. What I specifically like about LiveTrigger is that I don’t have to apply to a specific gig to get seen by a promoter. It’s more a open database for the artists and promoters/venues to blend and find each-other, which is just what we need! Big thanks to Livetrigge for letting me speak and giving me a chance to reach to to some more people!