Gold Coast Magazine

Eleea Navarro stops in and talks new single 'Cigarette'

Gold Coast singer-songwriter Eleea Navarro chatted to GCMAG about her newly released single ‘Cigarette’ and its accompanying music video, why it was important for her to keep the production local, and what’s coming next for her.

Hi Eleea, it’s been a huge year for you! What have you been working on?

It sure has! I’ve been working on lots of different projects and I’ve been so lucky to have had a lot of opportunities come my way. I’ve pretty much spent the last year doing more modeling, more acting, but most importantly, a LOT of music!

Since I last spoke to you, which I think was nearly a year ago, I’ve been blessed to be able to turn my passion into my ‘day job’, so I’ve been performing heaps as a solo, original artist.  I’ve also been in the studio working away on new material, so I’m so excited that I finally get to share some of it with you!

You’ve just brought out your new single ‘Cigarette’ with a music video. What was the creative process behind the song, and what made you decide that it was the single?

This song was actually co-written with my boyfriend, Chris Naughton, and we loved it from the beginning. We’ve written a lot of songs together, and this one came out really easily and was finished in about half –an-hour. But the hard part started there, because as you can tell, it’s not an acoustic song. So taking it from acoustic guitar and vocals to the big production that it is now took a lot of hours and hard work.

Thankfully, Chris played every instrument but the drums, and could do all the work at his studio. And because we weren’t on a deadline, he could do a lot of tinkering as inspiration struck. He did so many different mixes and added so many layers to fill out the song – only for me to come in and want it all changed again (laughs). But in the end it was exactly as we wanted it and it’s something we’re really proud to release, so it was worth it!

How did you come up with the concept behind the video?

I just have talented friends! (laughs). Well, I’ve known Steefan from Treetrunk Digital for quite a while, so when I decided I wanted to release this single, he was my go-to guy for the video.

So once that was decided, I started daydreaming and making a Pinterest board, and we were both pretty much on the same page from the beginning. The first thing we said is that we don’t want any cigarettes in it! (laughs). After our initial meetings, we were both really clear about what we wanted out of the video and I’d already conceptualized the makeup and costume looks, so then we just got down to the organization of it all.

As far as the concept goes, it’s pretty simple. The song is a metaphor for a destructive relationship, so you basically see the character in the video go from a low point, to her lowest point, then kind of rise from her ashes as the strong, independent woman that she is (laughs). It kind of shows all the different sides of a woman: the strong side in the water, the passionate side with the fire, the vulnerable side in the alleyway and the tormented side in the underpass. I hope that people actually get that when they’re viewing it, but even just visually, they’re very strong images.

Tell me a little about the making of the music video:

It was so easy! All of the people involved were really great at their job, so it was a breeze. We did 2 days of filming in total. The first day took about 7 hours and we covered 3 locations, then all of the water scenes were shot in a couple of hours on the second day.

How did you put together the team behind the video for ‘Cigarette’?

I already knew Steefan -who did pretty much everything for the video- and I knew he is good at what he does. He works at Treetrunk Digital and I liked the idea of working with a boutique company based on the Gold Coast, so it was perfect.

Hair and makeup was a big part of my concept for this video, so everything fell into place when Kylie Eustace from Kylie’s Professional agreed to come on board. We actually met on a shoot for GCMAG and I loved her work and her personality. As I styled myself, she was invaluable on set for touch-ups and pretty much everything else.  And it turns out that she’s a bit of a pro at underwater makeup, using her Mineral Goddess Makeup range, so I struck gold!

Musically, Chris Naughton is just the best – even if I am a bit bias (laughs). I can be very picky with different things, especially vocals, so I think that working with a producer that I’m so comfortable with allows me to do my best work. I feel like he’s always pushing the boundaries of my sound, which I sometimes need. And the fact that he could play all of the instruments meant that he produced the song exactly as he imagined when we wrote it. We just brought in our friend Morgan Flake (from Gold Coast band, Nine Sons of Dan) to play the drums and that was it.

What does the future hold for you now?

Well, a lot has changed since my last album when I was 16! I think my voice is still distinct, but my style has changed a fair bit. Doing so much live performance has made my voice stronger and improved the performance of all my original music, as well. In the near future, I think I’d like to do a little tours of Australia, hopefully build a larger fan base, and keep writing. I would also like to finally finish my second album that I’ve been demoing and working on for a little while now. So hopefully I can get that done by the beginning of next year. There’s a lot of exciting stuff in the pipeline, but I’m just super happy to have this video and single out, to show everybody where I’m headed!

Owen George
Owen George

Editor & Chief of Gold Coast Magazine is a lover of great coffee and sharing the stories of the people, places, and events that make the Gold Coast such a great city

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