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La Jolla Local Increases Music Presence with Social Media

Written By: Matthew Burke
Photographed By: Evan Tipton
Styled By: Kylie Sigurdson
Hair & Makeup By: LaNae Garcia Elise Trouw

Elise Trouw is nothing short of a prodigy. Beyond her years, yet a blast from the past. With influences from the likes of drum legends Stewart Copeland, Dave Weckl, and Bernard Purdie, expectations would be high for this young southern California native, and Trouw’s raw talent does not disappoint.

She may be a master behind the kit, but Trouw’s expertise doesn’t stop there. On her debut album, Unraveling, she sings and plays every instrument heard on the 10-track LP. The album displays her broad musical palate with soft and silky vocals over hints of contemporary jazz, funk, pop, alternative rock, and even a dash of R&B.

Trouw began as a pianist at the age of six years old before she was introduced to the hands-on video game, Rock Band, where she proceeded to dominate the “Expert” level on drums. “It wasn’t ‘real drums,’” said Trouw, “but it really introduced me to older ‘90s music and got me into wanting to play that music on the real drums. Then I just stuck to the real drums and never looked back.”

Besides being a top-notch musician, Trouw realizes how crucial marketing herself is. Standing above a sea of talented musicians, she began posting videos of herself drumming on Instagram. It wasn’t long before a drumstick company reposted one of her videos, catapulting her into an online sensation. “It’s important to be a musical entrepreneur, because the rise of the Internet and social media, it has opened doors for so many people, making it more competitive online. So many people have access to putting their music out there, so you really have to push to stand out from the others.”

The fact that Trouw is a talented well-rounded musician and is self-sufficient at marketing herself, makes her a rare breed. To top it off, she is one of very few female drummers. Although, she doesn’t want to be classified as such, “It’s definitely an emerging thing for girls to play drums. I try to think of myself primarily as a drummer, because I want to be looked as a musician, not as a girl drummer. Obviously though, it’s a novelty, and it promotes girls in music.”

With online success and a debut album, what is on the horizon for Trouw? Gigging and touring. But how does one convey their songs in a live setting from an album in which they play every instrument? “The goal is to be hopping around. As of right now, I mostly sing and play drums, then I have a guitarist and a bass player with me. I have been working on a live show using Ableton, so that will have different tracks, so I can bounce around between the instruments and reflect the way the album was recorded in the live show.”

Graduating high school a year early to pursue her unconventional career in music, Trouw speaks without regret. “Two years ago if you told me I would be doing this I would be like, ‘Eh, no, I’ll probably just stick to school.’ (laughing) But no, I’m really happy with where music has taken me.”

Favorite Song to Play Live: Elise loves to cover the song, “What You Won’t Do For Love” by Bobby Caldwell. She enjoys the 16th note groove on the drums and the revolving chord progression.

Finding Inspiration: Elise recalls being initially inspired by “My Immortal,” a song by Evanescence, at six years old. She replayed the song for the duration of a five hour long plane ride, until she ultimately asked her parents for piano lessons.

Elise Trouw is Drumming Her Way to the Top of the Charts

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