Filipina singer-songwriter Elise Huang has come a long way from helming stripped-down confessionals that grapple with one’s personal history to coming out of her shell with songs that defy conventions. Huang’s remarkable transition has given her the opportunity to explore the outer fringes of pop music without completely losing the emotional vulnerability that defined her earlier releases—a quality that sets her apart from similarly categorized acts.
Now ready to map uncharted territory while maintaining accessibility, Elise Huang finds a middle ground between introspective, acoustic pop and producer-driven R&B on “Lonely”—her first official single under Island Records Philippines and MCA Music Inc.
Brushing over sultry, soulful beats and lush instrumentation, the rising new act sings about self-worth and women empowerment with a refreshing new perspective. “I’ve just grown tired of hearing my friend’s stories about the guys they’re dating, which ghost them and come back only when they feel like it,” says Elise Huang. “I wrote the song out of that and to remind people that they shouldn’t settle for someone who sees you as a security blanket. We are worth the dinner dates, flowers, and the commitment.”
Taking a swipe at men who only remembers they’re in a relationship when loneliness strikes, “Lonely” is a kiss-off that navigates one-sided relationships with wisdom developed through years of observation and familiarity.
In this particular track, Elise Huang worked with producers Sam de Leon and knōwmaad, who brought a different dimension to her sound without fully getting rid of what made her distinct in the first place. “I got to work with some good friends of mine, and meet a new sound engineer to mix the track. We all had that same wavelength and that is very important especially when you’re in a work-from-home situation.” The smothering crossover tune also features a pool of collaborators, including Daniel Monong (Recording Engineer), Jana Lee (Mixing Engineer), and Nick Azurin (Mastering Engineer).
In terms of following a particular music direction, Elise Huang explains that she has long wanted to get into modern pop/R&B. “Lonely” takes this path with compelling earnestness, giving the singer-songwriter a chance to tick off the box on her wish list. “It was actually my very first attempt at the genre and I’m still writing more songs hopefully similar to it,” Elise Huang points out. “I want to challenge myself and experiment with other types of music. All I really hope to achieve is to find my sound in whatever this is, and stick to it, and hope that people like it too.”
Elise Huang’s “Lonely” is out now on all streaming platforms worldwide via Island Records Philippines and MCA Music Inc.
About Elise Huang:
Elise Huang’s dream of being a singer started when she was young. As a kid, she would watch her mom sing with her band, Passage. Her dad used to produce some of the band’s shows as well. She picked up her first guitar at the age of 12, and she learned it with the help of her brother Nathan and her cousin Trey. Since then, she fell in love with music.
It was the year 2016 when she experienced her first breakdown that led to the creation of her first masterpiece, Dear Dream. The song’s honest lyrics and heartfelt melody were first heard by the public when she got the chance to perform it at her debut gig with her brother in 2017. The gig, called 1821, is where her genius would be discovered by Seed Bunye who has been her Creative Director ever since.
After a year, she was able to release her first singles with Warner Music Philippines. Seed managed Elise when she was independent from 2017-2019,up until Sindikato took management of her for a year. A few months later, she signed with MCA Music Philippines’ Island Records.
Throughout her childhood, Elise has been exposed to many different genres thanks to her family’s musical background. This valuable influence has since helped her hone her own musical identity–modern yet still deeply rooted from what her parents used to play when she was young.
For Elise, her music is a reflection of who she is. “I have many interests, and so my music taste is always changing.” Right now, she takes inspiration from the music of H.E.R., Mahalia, IU, UMI, and Tori Kelly. Listening to these artists led her to explore R&B, soul, gospel, and light pop genres for her latest releases.
Her new song, Lonely, is a fruit of these inspirations—a modern pop R&B that is “a middle ground sound between acoustic and alternative R&B pop.” Elise believes that only by exploring and experimenting would she find her sound that both she and her fans could love.
Her evolving musicality is also evident in her songs like Coffee, Won’t Stop, Nights, and In My Heart. Across the genres of pop-jazz fusion, gospel, indie pop, and soul, her musical creativity brings a new and unique touch to a wide range of well-loved genres. But what makes fans entranced by her music are the real stories and emotions that are told—narratives of relatable experiences wrapped in the soothing melodies that are unique to her.
“I want to be a role model to younger people like my little sister. I want to be the type of artist that doesn’t have a picture-perfect Instagram feed or only talks about music. I want people to know that even as an artist I am not any different from them. I still have other interests like coffee, food, or playing video games. I want to be of help to people that struggle with some things I have struggled with in the past, and I will try to do that through my music.”
Elise writes songs that are from personal experiences, regardless if it’s her own or others’. She threads each word from her perspective as she tries to tell what she thinks should be said or done. By telling stories that are based on real and relatable human events, she wishes to communicate to the humanness in her audience—a place within all of us where raw and imperfect emotions reside.
Elise’s authenticity as an artist is never lost in translation as she is present in all aspects of making her music. From the arrangement to music production, and even to its technical considerations, she makes sure that the intent, the message, and the core of her songs would be delivered to her listeners just how she first strung it from her heart.
As a natural-born artist who started writing songs when she was in college, Elise has written a good number of unreleased songs that are yet to be heard by her fans—something that everyone can look forward to.