Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with El Nova. Together we discussed Melbourne, the inspiration behind their name, their new single “Nothing to Say”, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?

I’m doing well, thank you!! Thanks so much for speaking with me. It’s been a bit of a hectic start to the year but I’m thriving in the chaos.

2. Mustard wonders what your relationship with music was growing up?

Growing up, my parents exposed me to lots of different styles of music which I think has played into my influences today. There was a lot of Aretha Franklin, Mozart, Vivaldi, ABBA, Louis Prima and Fats Domino playing in the house. The first artist I remember being obsessed with was Elvis Presley when I was about 6 or 7 I think. I started piano and violin lessons and I really loved classical music. In high school I started classical voice lessons and I ended up continuing these studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music when I left school. As I got into my late teens I listened to a lot more indie rock, which has also influenced my music taste today.

3. Nova’s are exploding stars whose brightness increases before going back to its original intensity. Would you describe yourself (and your music) the same way?

Oh definitely. I feel like my music is quite eclectic and bold. I think these days, with creating music being so accessible, the industry is so oversaturated. My aim with my music is to cut through and create something that’s unique and different rather than following the trends.

4. A human gets the opportunity to visit Melbourne. Where do you recommend they visit?

The thing I love most about Melbourne is the arts and music scene. It’s just incredible how much amazing work is being done right here in the city. I would definitely recommend visiting the arts precinct and checking out the art galleries and theatres around there. I also love the Fitzroy/Collingwood area. You can spend the day vintage clothes shopping and rummaging through vinyl at record stores, then head up to a rooftop bar and grab tickets to a local show. It’s actually the perfect day out – for a human that is.

5. What was the inspiration behind your artist name?

I actually really struggled to come up with an artist name for a long time. I wanted it to be reminiscent of my real name – Eloise – but nothing really seemed to fit. I loved the astronomical nature of Freddie Mercury’s name so I decided to follow that direction and I eventually landed on El Nova.

6. You are inspired by the likes of David Bowie and Queen. What song of each do you recommend every human should listen to? Do you have a favorite album from both?

Ahh it’s so hard to choose just one!! I think ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars’ has to be my favourite Bowie album. It just feels so complete – there’s no dodgy tracks, every song is a hit. That album also has one of my favourite Bowie songs on it – ‘Starman’. I just love the story he tells through the lyrics in that song.

As for Queen, ever since I started really digging through their catalogue when I was about 19, I’ve loved this one song of their’s – ‘March of the Black Queen’. I would describe it as Bohemian Rhapsody on steroids haha. It’s absolute mayhem and I just love that they put out such a ridiculous song. It makes me feel like anything is possible. One of my favourite Queen albums is ‘News Of The World’. I love listening through this album in its entirety. There’s such a broad range of stuff on there and every song is so different. It’s a great listen.

7. What is your creative process?

Generally, when I write music I tend to focus on the melody first and the lyrics come later. I’ll often have a little idea I want to write a song around, whether that be a riff, chord progression, harmony or rhythm. Then I sit down at my keyboard and hold that thought in my head and I just start playing. It’s a lot of trial and error but I’ll usually come out of it with a completed section or a few sections that could belong to one or several songs. Later on I play around with stitching these sections together and see what sounds good. I’ll also start humming over the chords and sing made-up words until I find lyrics I want to use. I do a bit of co-writing with my Dad too so I’ll often show the song to him once it’s got a structure and vocals and then he’ll add guitar and bass to it. It’s great to have some his input as he gives the tracks a more classic sound which blends nicely with my more contemporary touch.

8. Who (or what) influences you?

I’m influenced by a lot of things in my environment. I often get lyric ideas from conversations with friends or scenes in films or things I see when I go for walks in the park. I like to listen to the radio a lot so I will often find that I’m influenced by things I hear in new songs like rhythms, sound effects, harmonies etc.

9. In December 2021 you released your debut single “Morpheus.” What was the inspiration behind this single?

‘Morpheus’ started out as kind of a silly song about these strange recurring nightmares I had a few years back. It was a pretty weird dream experience for me and I thought “what the hell, let’s write a song about it” haha. I liked the idea of being a really happy upbeat song with quite a dark meaning so I kind of wrote the song around that framework. I worked on it a bit with one of my high-school friends before it became the version it is today, so it features a few lyric ideas from our conversations about different dreams we’ve had. I really love the opening and closing chords too, I think they definitely help to tie up the track nicely.

10. Can your song “Morpheus” be found within the Matrix? Do you know if we are currently living within The Matrix?

I couldn’t say for sure, but I do get deja vu a lot so maybe that’s a sign…

11. You followed up “Morpheus” with “Time Will Be Gold.” Do humans need to move west to listen to this single? Could you share more about this single?

Haha I doubt relocation is necessary. The sort of ‘space-western’ vibe of ‘Time Will Be Gold’ was actually totally unintentional. I definitely didn’t think it would be so moody when I was writing it but I’m glad it’s created it’s own little world to exist in. This is the only one of my tracks so far that I’ve written on guitar and that’s me playing all the guitar on the recording. The chords a little odd cause I actually have no idea how to play guitar, I was just messing around one day and wrote the song!

12. At what time specifically will Time become gold?

The sentiment behind ‘Time Will Be Gold’ is that time will turn gold (or good) again in the future. The lyrics reflect times in my life where I’ve felt trapped and frustrated by my circumstances and I’ve wanted to give up hope and fall into despair. So the message I wanted to convey through these lyrics is to hold on and keep moving forward because good times lie ahead. So I guess I would say if time isn’t gold right now for you, it will be very soon.

13. Last month saw the release of your latest single “Let Me Out.” Have you successfully escaped? Could you share more about “Let Me Out?”

‘Let Me Out’ is about feeling frustrated with continuously trying to keep with societal expectations and trends and, to be honest, I don’t think I have escaped. There’s a lot of pressure on creatives to say something profound and meaningful through their work and to make sure it’s something that people will like too. I think it’s possible for artists to take back a bit of this power from their audience and just write what they feel. I believe some of the best work is produced when people are true to themselves and make art that reflects who they are. In my opinion, artists should be writing songs that they want to listen to, even if it’s not the most popular genre at the time. These trends are changing so suddenly that they are literally impossible to keep up with anyway.

14. What is next for El Nova?

I’ve got some very exciting things coming up in the near future!! My new single ‘Nothing To Say’ is out on Friday April 28th. This is a silky soft rock track with super cool moody vibes and I’m super excited for it to come out. This song will also be featured on my debut EP titled ‘Beam Me Up’ which is out on May 26th. The songs on this EP were all written over roughly the last 5 years and I can’t wait to finally share them with everyone.

15. Do you have any upcoming shows?

Yes! I’m playing a show at The Workers Club in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday May 25th to celebrate the launch of my debut EP! The launch is supported by two local artists, Kiwat Kennell and Lady Fern. I’m so excited for this show – it will be fantastic to get to play all my new songs in a live setting.

16. Where can readers listen to your music?

If you love nostalgic, 70’s vibes and soulful harmonies definitely give my music a listen!

It’s on all the major streaming platforms –

Spotify –

Apple Music –

Soundcloud –


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