Gillian Elyse’s latest single “hookup scene” dropped on March 18, 2022 and I am obsessed. Both written and performed by Gillian Elyse, the song perfectly captures the dating world of today. I love how honest “hookup scene” is and how it touches on all the right notes about dating these days.
Not only is the song talking about the general expectations of a hookup when dating now, it’s a look into the mind of Gillian Elyse and her mental health. The line “am I too beyond repair” speaks to what it feels like for those of us with mental health issues. “I think I need more closeness before closed doors” really hit me because that’s how I feel, too. Like Gillian Elyse, I was met with a bipolar disorder diagnosis. And all the stigma that comes with it.
Dating is hard enough, as is evident by the song’s title. Add in mental health problems such as bipolar disorder and you can struggle even more to find someone who can meet your needs. Especially if your needs involve needing a deeper connection with someone.
“Hookup scene” is well-written with powerful lyrics that are met with the perfect instrumentals and tempo. Gillian Elyse’s vocals are stunning and full of raw emotion. Her soft and low voice is definitely the right choice for this song.
Overall, this song is a hit for me. I love everything about it. I think we can expect more great things from Gillian Elyse. Follow her socials linked below to stay up-to-date.
Q&A with Gillian Elyse
Q: We love “hookup scene” and what it means – it definitely is rough in the dating world. Can you walk us through the creative process for the song’s music video?
GILLIAN: “Hookup scene” was written about a girl that I met at a Halloween party last year in 2021. I had such a good night meeting her and I wanted to capture how I was feeling that night—a little jaded, disinterested in new connections, and kind of isolated. The mood quickly changed when I saw her for the first time and decided to kiss her immediately. We then had a few weeks of hanging out. I took her to clubs and had her meet my friends. It was really only 2 full nights but I am really appreciative of them.
I knew Samantha Hunter and Bridget Rodriguez of Source Films from back in Florida during my college years. I knew for years that if I ever decided to release a video, they would be who I would choose to work with. I told them about wanting to capture the party, and we all thought of Euphoria episode 1 of season 2—the chaotic party scene. We wanted to capture the love story of Rue and Jules in real life. I’m bipolar, and finding someone I really like and feel understood by is rare, and I identify with many parts of Rue. When Paris offered to help me with the video, the vision manifested into something more.
Sam and Bridget brought up the deep creek hot springs and wanted to film scenes that feel like a memory in super 8 film. Their vision for the spring and integrating it into the party scene ended up so seamless and beautiful.
We were low budget, all talent was recruited via Instagram, and we made something beautiful that surpassed my vision. It really captured the moment that I met her.
All in all, this film was shot in super8 film, super8 underwater, and steadicam. I feel super lucky to have had such a creative team alongside me, as well as the incredible talent, Paris Helena.
My cover and all of my promotion for the video was shot and edited by Kailyn Avery (@kailynaveryphoto).
Q: You live with bipolar 2. How does mental health play in your music?
GILLIAN: Music and songwriting are huge for my mental health. I’ve learned through years of living with bipolar 2 that routine is extremely important, and Incorporating songwriting into my routine has helped me stay grounded and cope with the disappointments that happen in interpersonal relationships. If I write a song about someone, I want to share it with them, because oftentimes I feel like I finally found the right words to say, even if it’s sometimes too late.
I’m grateful for music’s role in my life. I don’t put any pressure on myself, I just say what I have to say even if it puts me in a place of vulnerability. I have gratitude for those moments too. Living with bipolar is not easy. It’s stigmatized and people often have preconceived opinions about who I am as a person and that’s painful and isolating. But when I see that people are enjoying my music, I don’t feel like that label sets me apart from anyone. I feel human like everyone else, feeling what I need to feel and saying what I need to say in order to get by.
I identify with Rue and Jules’s relationship completely, and that’s why I wanted to capture the essence of their relationship in the video—having someone in my life that loves me unconditionally and being the person that doesn’t believe them to the point that I push them away. Bipolar paints reality in untruths sometimes. It makes it difficult to love yourself, and even more difficult to believe that others can love you too. This is still something that I still am learning how to process in my life today.
Q: What’s the music scene like in LA?
GILLIAN: I love the music scene here in LA. There’s always something going on, especially by me. I also am lucky enough to call some rising and established artists my friends, so I’m always looking for opportunities in which I can support them.
Sometimes we joke about how people have to pop off on TikTok in order to have any popularity in the music industry (a sad but true reality), but what inspires me about the music industry here is that everyone is just looking to create something great. Of course we want success, but I think we get so much enjoyment out of being present together and making something new. Plus, the artists that I have in my life push me to put myself out there because they started somewhere too.
Many people are disheartened by the industry here. Sometimes I am too. But I hold onto what makes me feel really good about it: creativity with new people, making connections, making something beautiful.
I just feel lucky to be where I’m at and have such an incredible support system in the music industry and in my personal life.
Q: How did you get started in music?
GILLIAN: I started writing in my early teens, when Taylor Swift was taking over the world. Around 13 I taught myself how to play guitar. Then I slowly transitioned myself from listening to alternative music to listening to country music (almost exclusively). I became obsessed with (songwriters at the time) Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris. They knew what to say and how to say it and I finally felt understood. I wanted to make music that made people feel like how Kacey made me feel.
I played in bands in high school, performing any chance I had. I went to college and started a cover band there, performing country covers and songs of my own. I knew in college that I needed music to be a part of my life in some way, and I wanted to figure out how to make that happen.
I actually took a break from making music because of my bipolar when I lived in CO for 2.5 years. I was in a pretty bad cycle, and when I moved to Los Angeles, I had a conversation with my old college band mate, and an ex of mine, and they reminded me of how important it is to keep creating.
That’s how “hookup scene” came to be. I just needed a little convincing that people would want to listen to what I’d have to say. I’m happy that those conversations happened, because it feels good to put something out there that I’m proud of.
Q: Do you have any advice for those wanting to pursue music?
GILLIAN: Write. Make new connections. Make your own box, don’t try to fit into someone else’s.
Q: Any final words for your fans?
GILLIAN: I am planning to release my first EP Summer 2022 with new visuals and more stories. Follow @gillianelyse for my new releases and to get to know me.
Reviewed & Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan
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