The world first got to know electronic-emo artist Eliza Grace in 2014, when she shot into internet fame. It was her YouTube cover of Bring Me The Horizon’s “Drown”—which has amassed over 5 million views to date—that established her growing following. But it wasn’t until 2018 that she released her first album, Wormwood. Claiming it to be her most artistic venture, she took inspiration from her time car camping in California parking lots and living in a frat house/hippie commune in Highland Park. But this time, Grace doesn’t have just one source of inspiration for her new single, “Love To Hate.”
Grace and AltPress teamed up to exclusively release the track and its music video. She spoke with AP on the collaboration process, with both artists and her fans, for “Love To Hate.”
“‘Love To Hate’ was a total collaboration,” Grace says. She mentions producer David Bendeth (Taking Back Sunday, Sleeping With Sirens, We Came As Romans), who wrote the instrumental for the track. While Grace crafted the lyrics and lent her vocals, Cameron Pierce Mizell mastered her slow-beat, breathy tune.
“When I heard the instrumental, I felt that it was about something kind of spicy or eye-catching,” she says, admitting that she fed off Bendeth when it came to crafting the words for the song. “Those were the first lyrics I wrote, and they stuck.
“So whenever we have ideas or inspiration strikes, it’s really easy to get the ball rolling quickly,” she adds. “I feel like when you collaborate with other artists, you’re all telling your own stories and meeting in the middle. Which is fun, ’cause it leaves it up to the listeners [to] interpret their own personal meanings.”
Grace decided to focus on perspective in her lyrics, but not necessarily her own.
“I wrote the lyrics from the perspective of someone watching others self-destruct a little bit inside,” she says. “Caving to social pressure. Hurting themselves out of habit. Some lyrics are a little more upfront than others. ‘Love To Hate’ is different from anything I’ve released before, and I wanted to keep the wonder and essence of innocence in there somehow.”
And when it was time to start filming the music video, she asked her fanbase—which includes her YouTube 259,000 subscribers—what she and her music represent to them.
“A few weeks before we started prepping the video, I asked my fanbase what they thought of when they listen to Eliza Grace,” she says. “And they came back with things like ‘a safe place,’ ‘’childhood’ and ‘my youth.’”
The feedback she received led to her to rent an abandoned warehouse in Tennessee as the location for the music video. It exuded a darkness that Grace wanted to incorporate into the shoot. Though, she knew she had to bring a sense of purity that her fans had mentioned, so she enlisted 11-year-old dancer Estella Guzman.
In the visual, Guzman performs a modern choreographed dance that contrasts with the shadowy space.
“I just liked the overall concept of someone who’s so young and innocent dancing throughout a dark, abandoned place,” she says. “It’s symbolic for me.”
When it came to Wormwood, Grace wrote every song, photographed and edited the album artwork, and filmed and edited the music video for “Meteor Shower.” She has the same involvement with “Love To Hate,” shooting and editing all of her own videos with the help of Mizell.
Grace is currently in the process of writing a song that harkens back to her childhood. Specifically, it’s a “sad ballad” intended for all of the “sad bois” in her following.
“Once an emo kid, always an emo kid, I guess,” she says.
Catch Grace perform at Los Angeles’ Emo Nite Nov. 1. Check out the “Love To Hate” music video below.