We had the good fortune of connecting with Elyse Kacsandi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elyse, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by everything around me; God, my family, my friends. I’m inspired by the sky, the sea, flowers & bees, I’m inspired by nature. I’m inspired by the flicker of a lit candle or an old memory. I’m inspired by a good book, and by some good oldies music. I’m inspired by everything and anything.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a music artist, and abundantly in love with it. I play the piano, guitar, & ukulele. I sing and I write. I also produce & engineer my own work, and love every moment of it. I’ve loved music ever since I can remember, and I know for a fact in my heart, soul, and mind that it’s what I’m meant to pursue. I genuinely desire to reach others through my music, to help them understand that they’re not alone, to remind them that they’re stronger than they think they are, to help carry them through tough times, and enhance their joy during good times. I’ve definitely been through hard times in my own life, but I don’t regret anything because those times have strengthened me and made me who I am today. I hope to be able to share some of my stories and how I’ve been able to overcome difficult and complicated times with as many people as possible because my overall goal is to simply help. Now trust me, I’m still learning lessons. I’m young and I know I have yet to experience so much, but I will always be vulnerable throughout my life and career. I believe that vulnerability shows strength, and will help so many individuals to know they’re not alone, and show them that it’s possible to overcome anything that might try to stand in their way of becoming everything they dream of. I’m grateful for all I’ve been through, all I’ve learned, and all I’ll continue to experience and learn.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Miami, Florida which is just such a gorgeous place in itself. If I had someone visiting, we would definitely have beach hangs & sunset picnics. We’d enjoy the pure beauty of what is Miami. The sunny beaches, the parks, the art. We’d have picnics, go on bike rides or walks around South Beach and Wynwood, just enjoy nature. We’d go to Kush for the best burgers, or Caja Caliente for the yummiest tacos. I’d take them to The Standard, and/or to Sugar which has some of the most delicious drinks and the most beautiful views. We would definitely go to Lagniappe, my absolute favorite Jazz & Wine bar. It is absolutely incredible there. We would simply enjoy our time & be present in the moment.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to my wonderful parents, my true best friends. Without them, I wouldn’t have the immense amount of love for music as I do. We’ll start with my momma. She’s the most sincere, kind-hearted, & strong woman I have ever known, and I owe a huge part of my love for music to her. She started teaching me piano at the age of 4, guitar at the age of 12, and voice lessons throughout my growing years. She introduced me to jazz music (Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, etc.) at a young age, and to this day, it remains one of my absolute favorite genres. I am so grateful for all the music (and life) lessons she’s given me, and for always being there no matter what. Now on to my pops, the silliest, most selfless, & loving man. I get the majority of music taste from him for sure. From The Beach Boys & Jonny Mathis to Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, and tons more; Oldies music will forever hold a special place in my heart. Some of my fondest memories are driving around with my dad in the summer, windows down, & Oldies playing through the car’s CD player, or on Big 106.1 Oldies radio station. We still do that to this day whenever I’m home to visit in Ohio. Those special memories with him are a huge part of what has sparked and continues to spark my desire to create music that is easy and enjoyable to listen to. I want people to feel the same way about my music as I did with all the feel-good Oldies I grew up on. I want people to have good feelings and create fond memories while listening to my music. Throughout the years, as I have grown from simply making little songs on the piano and recording them through the voice memo recorder on my first pink flip phone, to moving to another state, starting my solo project, “Lyse,” learning how to produce & engineer my music in my home studio, and releasing my work on all available streaming platforms, both of my parents have been insanely supportive through it all, and I appreciate them more than words could ever describe.
Bob Canto Jessica Kae Photography