Elena Izquierdo looks to the future of her musical career

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Cristian Orellana

Elena Izquierdo poses in front of Loyola. She hopes to release at least three new songs before the end of the semester.

Cristian Orellana

For popular music freshman and singer songwriter Elena Izquierdo, Loyola can feel quite different from the New York music venues she performed in just a few short months ago, but she couldn’t be happier to be here. 

“Ever since I’ve been at Loyola, I think I’ve grown a lot as a writer and as a person,” Izquierdo said.

Izquierdo was named a 2020 National YoungArts Foundation Honorable Mention winner in  the category of popular voice two years running, but that was not even close to the beginning of her musical career.

“My dad was a singer-songwriter. I grew up surrounded by music. I started playing piano in kindergarten,”

Izquierdo did not like playing piano classically. She knew early on that she preferred writing her own original work more. Moving from piano, to musical theatre to jazz, to working in New York with professional songwriters though the National YoungArts Foundation, Izquierdo always knew she was interested, but doing performances in New York inspired her the most. 

“That was the first time I said to myself that I could maybe do this for a career,” Iqzuiedo said.

“Where I grew up, there was no one my age that was trying to do what I was doing,”

Izuierdo said it wasn’t easy, having to do not only the song-writing, but also the marketing and planning as well. 

Izquierdo’s creative process never ends. She’s always searching for new ideas.

“I have to be constantly writing. It’s just about doing it over and over again and getting into the habit of creating even when you’re not feeling super inspired,” Izquierdo said. 

The ideas behind a song for Izquierdo vary a lot, and the ideas usually come at an uneven pace. 

“Sometimes I’ll be inspired to write this chorus, and I’ll have no idea what I want the verses to be about. I have no idea what I want the song to be about, and then a week later, I’ll experience something super minute, but it will be enough to realize that I want to put this thing in the chorus, and then it all comes together.”

Izquierdo likes to take the small and sometimes unnoticed details from her life and her friends’ lives and uses them as jumping off points for creating new material. She believes that inspiration can come from everywhere.

“I don’t believe there’s such a thing as writer’s block. There’s always things you can take inspiration from even if it’s not jumping out at you. I try to keep on that grind,” Izquierdo said.

Anything can be an inspiration for Izquierdo, but she likes to focus on certain subjects.

“I definitely talk a lot about my feelings. My songs are very emotionally driven,” Izquiredo said. 

To Izquierdo, Loyola feels different from the New York music scene. Izquierdo said that in New York, people were more excited to see her finished products than her in process work.  

“People here are like, ‘Oh what are you going to do with this? I wanna help” The people here are so supportive and so willing to be involved in my creative process, which is something I’ve never experienced before. They hear that someone is doing something really awesome and they want to get involved. That’s something I really like about being here. 

Izquierdo hopes to release at least three songs before the end of the semester and then start production on another album in the summer.