Elise was born in Southern California to a South African father and a mother from New York in the very last year of the millennium. Raised on The Carpenters, Green Day, and 80s New Wave, I always looked forward to rides in my mom’s car where she played her “mixtapes", whether it was on a compilation CD or an ancient iPod. Inspiration struck when my six-year-old self first heard the haunting piano melody in “My Immortal” by Evanescence. I distinctly remember a five hour plane ride that consisted of that one song blasting repeatedly into my ears. So I begged my parents for piano lessons, and after they finally relented, they were then begging me to not practice at five in the morning every day. I did it anyway, and my love for piano just grew stronger.
Life changed when my family bought the game Rockband for Xbox. After mastering the drums to "Dani California” on Expert Mode, I thought I was ready to rock (thank you, Chad Smith). It took a lot more to convince my parents I needed drum lessons, but I managed to wear them down with my obsessive talk and relentless requests. Luckily, at that time we were living on a 2-acre former chicken farm in the middle of nowhere, so the decibel c
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