How do you follow up releasing the song of the summer? For Eliza Rose — whose BRIT Award-nominated number one hit B.O.T.A. (Baddest of Them All) with Interplanetary Criminal dominated the airwaves in 2022 — it's by dropping a steady stream of heavy-hitters, from the moody minimalism of Take You There to the Chicago house of her Martinez Brothers collaboration Pleasure Peak, and continuing to bask in the deserved acclaim of her peers. The latter was realised earlier this month when the east London producer, vocalist and DJ won the PRS for Music-sponsored New Artist Award at Music Week's Women In Music Awards 2023, an honour previously presented to the likes of Nova Twins and Rina Sawayama.
Eliza isn't done there, either: last week she released Body Moving, a sun-soaked, horn-filled single with Calvin Harris. The link-up came about after she received a DM from the producer while at Amsterdam Dance Event. 'I was doing what you do at ADE, which is party,' Eliza tells M. 'I got into the studio with Calvin within a few days of getting [the DM]. I made sure I come correct and prioritised this wicked opportunity — and it paid off!'
As well as the Calvin Harris collaboration, M caught up with Eliza to discuss her Women In Music award, the need to continue pushing for greater gender equality in the industry and her new music plans for 2024.
How did it feel winning the New Artist Award at the Women In Music Awards?
'Absolutely fabulous. I was really, really blown away that I was nominated. I can never quite believe that these kinds of things are happening. I've been pursuing a career in music for over 10 years, so to get the New Artist Award feels quite unusual! But what's really lovely about it is that it made me take a step back and think, "I'm actually just at the start of my journey". All this hard work that I’ve put in before has led me to this point and is opening new doors. I'm at a different fork in the road.'
How important is it to elevate women in music through avenues such as these awards?
'It's definitely important, especially coming from a working-class background where I certainly didn't receive any kind of leg-up. I've really worked hard and had some good luck to get me where I am — there's a sense that you create your own luck! I'm hoping that winning this award will be inspiring for people that have been working on their music career for a long time, and this can show that it can happen. But, you know, do it for the love: I think that's very important. Don't do it in the hope of success, do it because you enjoy it — that way, you're always a winner.'
Are there any inspiring women in music or the wider creative community that you'd like to highlight?
'My creative director Jeanie Crystal is absolutely amazing, I couldn't have created what I've created without her. My fabulous stylist Rhiannon Isabel Barry, who runs a fashion archive called Ninety Fly, we've been friends for years and she's fantastic. My best friend Liberty Yates is always making me custom pieces from her amazing brand, Studio Seventy; my make-up artist India [Rawlings]; the dancers and the amazing people in my videos [like] Jayla, Treasure. We're like a family, and I feel so blessed and lucky to be surrounded by so many incredible women.'
In terms of gender equality in the music industry, what more do you think needs to be done?
'I think it's certainly got better, much better compared to when I was younger. But I do think there's a lot more to go. What I want to see is more women behind the scenes, sitting in the label meetings and having higher-up positions. I think there's a lot of female creatives in the forefront, but I actually want to see those people behind the scenes as well as behind the camera. A&Ring, for example, is where there’s still quite a big divide. I think changing things behind the scenes is just as important.'
Body Moving, your new single with Calvin Harris, is now out in the world.
'It just feels very surreal. I never in a million, trillion, zillion years thought I would be in a position to be making a song with Calvin Harris. Like, what the hell? I just feel blessed, to be honest with you. It's so hard to put into words. It's not just for me as well, it creates amazing opportunities for all the people that I work with.'
What can you tell us about the music video?
'I'm very involved in a lot of my videos, but my creative director actually took the lead on this one. We’ve always spoken about cabaret and Josephine Baker being an influence for both of us, and so she wanted to recreate that opulence and decadence. I think something that was mentioned was ‘the Lord and Lady of the dance’, and I felt like that was quite a good way of looking at it in a cabaret context, exploring this glamour and opulence and the female innovators of the ‘40s. They were people who inspired me and my director.'
What can we expect next from Eliza Rose?
'I've got a neo-soul song that I'm putting out soon. I'm going to be exploring even more of that jazz and soul side of things — that was my original introduction to singing. I'll always make electronic music, but I'm excited to explore other flavours and show more of what I can do.'