“Dancing Queen” Reimagined: Q&A with Elliot Lee
As soon as we heard Elliot Lee’s rendition of “Dancing Queen” on her Kala Archtop Ukulele, we knew that we needed to know more! We connected this week with the Brooklyn-based dark pop artist to talk about her acoustic twist on the 1976 Europop hit. Watch the full video here:
What drew you to "Dancing Queen"?
“Dancing Queen” has always felt a little sad to me, in a way that I felt was never properly appreciated. A stripped down, bare-bones cover seemed like the perfect way to highlight that sadness.
How did you come up with the concept for the video?
I rented this studio recently for a music video shoot, and I really wanted to utilize the uniqueness of a space full of screens. The room just felt so ominous and melancholy, in a way that I truly felt captured the feeling “Dancing Queen” gives me. So I decided to record “Dancing Queen” there between takes of the music video.
How long have you been playing the ukulele?
I started messing around on the ukulele when I was in high school, about 7 years ago. An upperclassman that I admired would sit on the stairwell and play songs on the ukulele, and I fell in love with the instrument after that. The first songs I ever wrote were written on the ukulele.
What made you choose the Kala Archtop that you have?
When I was searching for a ukulele to use in my live shows, I knew that I wanted a Kala brand but wasn’t sure which one would fit my personality. When I found the archtop at a music store in Times Square, I fell in love, and I would go back to the store regularly just to play it. When I finally got it, it was like bringing home a new puppy :) I learned Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” on it. It’s just such a beautiful instrument, and its uniqueness really feels at home with me.
How would you describe your songwriting process?
I make sure to always write without any rules. Sometimes I just start by writing a long page of all the thoughts currently existing in my messy head, and then it just naturally starts to transform into lyrics when I mess around with chords. Writing with the uke always has an aspect of comfort and healing for me, since it’s how I started writing when I first turned to songwriting for comfort.
What projects do you have coming up that we should look out for?
I have a huge concept for a video that I’m working really hard on right now, and I think it’s going to be super fun!! :) I always have something that I’m working on, so there’s a lot to come.
Elliot Lee plays the Metallic White Archtop Tenor from our Crossover series.