Kendall Elise is an intriguing story teller with a hint of yesteryear. With trademark quirky touches and flawless vocal delivery, she has been turning heads since the release of her debut EP in 2017. Her songs speak of dark humour and personal experiences; with her sound taking inspiration from rhythm and blues, folk and country, and everything in between.
Kendall earned her stripes playing in bands such as Thee Rum Coves - alongside Jimmy Christmas (who’s played with the likes of the D4 and Luger Boa) - and The Situations, who supported countless international acts, including Wanda Jackson.
In 2016, Kendall branched out on her own, launching her solo career with her debut single ‘Heart Full of Dirt’. A rollicking and rambunctious track, accompanied with an aptly sassy video filmed by Paul Taylor (who has filmed videos for the likes of Hopetoun Brown), it paved the way for the Kiwi singer-songwriter’s self-produced debut EP ‘I Didn’t Stand A Chance’, released in March 2017.The five-track EP bared the skeletons of Kendall’s personal internal struggle between light and darkness, hope and despair, love and fear, forgiveness and resentment; reflected in the EP's artwork with juxtaposing images front and back. It also earned the Kiwi singer and songwriter critical acclaim, after being selected as a top 3 finalist for the APRA Best Country Music Song 2017.
“I DIDN’T STAND A CHANCE is a lively, charming, and somewhat dark character. [Kendall Elise’s] clever writing has given plenty of captivating and interesting musical moments that pull you through the album, eager to listen to what awaits, and not be able to stop yourself from smiling at the harmonies”-NZ Musician, November 2017
“‘Heart Full of Dirt’ is a dirty slab of honky-tonk rock'n'roll about an oppressive romantic partner meeting up with some rough justice, the chorus a singalong murder-ballad classic: “I’d love you so much more if you were dead". – Grant Smithies, stuff.co.nz”
An appearance on RNZ’s ‘introducing feature’ also led to her song ‘Heart Full Of Dirt’ being licenced for the second season of the Kiwi comedy series Friday Night Bites. A self-managed artist, whose ‘no.8 wire Kiwi ingenuity’ is to be admired, Kendall was a finalist for the achievement award at the 2018 Music Managers Awards, as well as the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award.
She’s gone on to support a handful of well-known local and international acts, including The Bads, Mel Parsons and Canadian country artist Lindi Ortega and is fresh from touring with Kiwi born, LA based Gin Wigmore.
Kendall Elise is ramping up to release her debut album on the 3rd May, of which her recently released singles The Clock Tower and Valentine Street will feature.
“There are some artists, who when they sing, you feel like you are in a deep and meaningful conversation with them. On occasion, this is what Elise brought to her performances... it was intense, professional and beautiful to bear witness to.” Lou Clement, Radio 13, February 2019
“With a voice that will send delectable shivers down your spine and an ever-evolving aptitude for composing music, Kendall Elise can undoubtedly look forward to a long and illustrious career.” – Sarah Kidd, Ambient Light, December 2018
Like ‘Valentine Street’ and the album’s first single ‘The Clock Tower’, Kendall Elise’s first full-length album is a nostalgic nod to the town where she grew up, Papakura, which lies 30 kilometres south of Auckland’s bustling CBD. The geographical thread runs throughout the record, weaving together stories of loss and love. And as anyone who grew up in small-town or suburban New Zealand will attest to, it is that unique sense of community and feeling of belonging which gives this album its beating heart.
What was your first Shure product? Are you still using this product now?
The legendary SM58 Vocal Mic, I do still have this very microphone and use it on a weekly basis – It has also travelled around the country with me on tour a few times!
How have Shure products helped you throughout your career?
I like to use equipment that I know I can trust and rely on while being affordable, and Shure embodies that for me. As an independent artist I have a lot on my plate and the last thing I need to worry about on tour is whether my equipment will perform. Not once have I been caught without a voice while using my SM58. It withstands the rigours of live performance and has not failed me once.
What Shure products could you not live without, and why?
My SM58 – My workhorse!
Do you have any stories/experiences using Shure product in live performance and/or recording applications that are interesting to share?
In my music video for my song Valentine Street, I had the opportunity to film with a beautiful vintage Shure Model 55 microphone. Unfortunately none of our modern microphone leads would fit it so we improvised with some black electrical tape! If you look closely you will also see some very cool Shure Vocal Master PA column speakers on either side of the stage.
What qualities do you think defines Shure as a brand? And why would you choose Shure over other products?
Not only are Shure’s praises are sung by the best in the music business, but I have only ever found Shure products to be reliable and perform highly in all situations.
Link to download all audio:
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/kendallelisetodd
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kendallelisemusic
- Shure SM58