Welcome to Wonderland

Elie rees solo singer songwriter head dress photo shoot guitar singer

So here goes nothing.  Again.  This is yet another moment where I really don’t want to do what Im about to do and yet I know that I have to do it anyway.

I’m about to share with you secrets I have been jealously guarding for years.  I’d rather not, but I can’t complete my mission if I don’t.  I could just release an album and hope you’ll get something out of the mysterious lyrics but I’ve been hiding behind that junk forever and, this time, I have my sights set a little bit higher.

I originally set out to produce ‘Welcome to Wonderland’ because I was so lost, so far gone and so disillusioned that I literally had to pick something to believe in.  I chose to believe that I would be released from my horrific (then) life if I got this album out into the world.  I felt totally mad for believing it but things had got so bad for me that it was worth a shot.

Ambitiously, the concept for the album was to document my journey from where I was then to the happy place I’m in now.  I had the title and tracklist from the start and have been working on lyrics, learning guitar and figuring out my vocal sound ever since.  Each song delves into something I had to get straight in my head and as soon as the first track was finished I started performing wherever I could to try out the material on real audiences.  A lot of songs have gone back into the studio to be reworked, some were axed altogether.

Welcome to Wonderland has already saved me and the project has taken on a higher meaning.  Now, it’s about connecting with people – everyone is included – but maybe the special meaning will ring true for those who have been traumatised; raped or abused, physically or mentally, ignored, disbelieved, neglected, cast out and written off.  If you have been mentally or physically ill and mistreated, beyond skint, homeless, addicted or suicidal then I hope there is something in there to grab onto.   That said, with songwriting I have always felt that it doesn’t matter what a song is about, as long as you put in real feeling.  We all have the same emotions, just maybe for different reasons.  Despite being totally embarrassed by all the depressing, difficult stuff I’ve been through, I know that overcoming it is the best thing I have ever done and “de-tabooing” has now become part of the mission.   My new goal is that one day, somewhere in the world, someone will be tap into a glimmer of hope or joy or inspiration from one of these songs.  After all, that’s what music, and art, is all about.


Thanks for reading.

x .

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elie rees solo performance waltamstow essex live shot guitar ukulele singer songwriter acoustic
Elie live at Walthamstow folk club 2014, playing ukulele