May 24, 2022

Enchanted Creators: Her Own Little Fairy Tale Album by Ellette

Fairy Tales have inspired artists, writers, and musicians for centuries. Ellette, a Swiss and British songwriter born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, uses folklore traditions as a catalyst to create musical stories. Her new album, Her Own Little Fairy Tale, features songs that evoke well-known fairy tale characters and plots to capture the emotions of contemporary life experiences.  

Ellette (whose name means “little elf” in old Anglo-Saxon) was kind enough to share her thoughts on fairy tales and music with the readers of Enchanted Conversation. Enjoy! 

Tell us a little bit about your background as a musician and lover of fairy tales. 


I’ve always been a music lover down to my core, and music has always had a connection to family for me. I created two projects of unreleased songs with my father when I was younger, and I have been writing melodies and lyrics since I was 10 years old! I love telling a story through ambiguous language and metaphors so people can find their own narratives in my lyrics.  


I have also always been a lover of fairy tales and Disney. Ever since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with dressing up as princesses! In my teenage years, I started looking into fairy tale stories by The Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen. I found the dark elements interesting, and I wondered why the tales had evolved into happy stories. 


In 2020, I thought of combining music and fairy tales. I used the contrasting elements (dark and happy tales) to build my own fairy tale world, by writing songs inspired by these stories while adding a realistic twist to them. It was kind of like a light bulb moment. Why not combine the two things I love the most in this world? 


Your album released two early tracks titled Charming and Don’t Trust Strangers. What fairy tales inspired the songs, and what message does each song send?  


Charming was inspired by the character of Prince Charming, no surprises there. When writing this song, I thought of tales such as Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. In these stories, the princess meets a prince and falls deeply in love, either after they’ve just met or after ‘true love’s kiss’. So, for this song, I wanted the message to be simple and express that it is sometimes all right to feel attracted to someone whether you know them or not. 


Don’t Trust Strangers was inspired by the story of Little Red Riding Hood. This song tackles the darker side to falling for a stranger. “Happily Ever After” doesn’t always happen in the real world, and I wanted to capture this by using the moral of not trusting strangers from Little Red Riding Hood. This song is a warning to not fall for just anyone, as looks can sometimes be deceiving. The main message of the song is not being able to recognize the person you fell in love with because they seem like a stranger. This song follows Charming on the album because together they create a small narrative. 


What else can listeners expect to find on your album?   


Her Own Little Fairy Tale will have 9 songs in total, including a short interlude. Each song is inspired by a fairy tale like Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel, and one song is inspired by a nursery rhyme. The songs dive into real world issues like relationship problems and anxiety. For example, the last song on the album is inspired by the Evil Queen’s mirror in Snow White. Her famous sentence, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” inspired me to write about insecurities, jealousy, and doubt, things we all feel at some point in our lives. Her Own Little Fairy Tale was written as a look into my own life but can also be for everyone else to enjoy and relate to in their own way.  


Since moving to London to pursue your music career, have you encountered any fairy tales from the British tradition? Do you have any favorite fairy tales, and how do they help you connect to your audience?  


My favorite British tales would be Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Jack and the Beanstalk. But worldwide, my favorite fairy tales are Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. I also really like Hansel and Gretel, The Princess and the Pea, and The Ugly Duckling - I really can’t choose! 


I believe every story and every piece of art inspires us because of how it makes us feel. Each story emits a certain emotion, and my method of writing often includes reflecting on my own emotions or experiences. Fairy Tales have always interested audiences from every age, culture, and gender. The idea of something fantastical and unknown allows us to be imaginative. Fairy Tale worlds are idealized and are an escape from reality. 

Readers can escape from reality by immersing themselves in the fairy tale sounds of Ellette’s music which has been influenced by musicians like Melanie Martinez and Ariana Grande, features cello music provided by Maddie Ashman, and is produced and arranged by Jagun and FADENT.  

Her Own Little Fairy Tale is available on all streaming platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify. Listen to "Don't Trust Strangers" HERE

Ellette can be found on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok) as @ellettemusic. Let us know what you think and share some of your favorite fairy tale music in the comments!

Kelly Jarvis teaches classes in literature, writing, and fairy tale at Central Connecticut State University, The University of Connecticut, and Tunxis Community College. She lives, happily ever after, with her husband and three sons in a house filled with fairy tale books. She is also Enchanted Conversation’s special project’s writer.

All photos courtesy of Ellette

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