Good news for those of us who aren’t terribly familiar with Russian surnames: Elizaveta Igorevna Khripounova has chosen to record and perform music under her first name only (à la Madonna). Unfortunately we might still get tripped up on Tchaikovsky when talking about the talented pianist’s inspirations.

She often turns to her long-dead inspirations when writing, and if you listen closely, you can hear bits and pieces of the classical within her contemporary pop songs. You’ll also hear vocals of a level rarely found in pop music (I guess if you’re going to get a degree in Opera Performance from USC it’s a pre-req that you be able to sing your butt off). With several songs recently licensed for film and television and a music video for a Converse shoe campaign, this LA performer’s fanbase is growing quickly and we highly recommend you check out her music…right after you read this interview with the songstress.

Elizaveta

Where are you originally from? How has growing up there affected your music writing?

I am originally from Moscow, Russia. I was born in New York, but grew up in Moscow. Russia has a lot of culture, and I was exposed to a lot of beautiful classical music growing up.

What originally brought you to LA?

I came here to attend USC and majored in music composition and opera performance.

What inspired your EPs “Breakfast with Chopin” and “Like Water”?

I was experimenting with different directions. “Like Water” is definitely more pop-oriented, while “Breakfast with Chopin” has a very classical chamber feel. Now, I feel like I have found my sound, finally, but those two EPs were my stepping stones to getting to this point.

When will your next album be available?

I believe that there should be a lot of new music available in October.

When can people see you live again in town?

August 24th at the Hotel Cafe at 7 p.m.

You recently shot a music video for Converse. How did that come about?

I am very active online and one of my new digital friends was Geoff Cottrill, the CFO of Marketing for Converse. He became a fan and then suggested I do the project.

What are some highlights from this past year of your music career?

Doing the Converse video, developing new songs, playing New York and London for the first time, meeting and playing for Herbie Hancock.

Are you currently working with anyone on the business side of the industry? Who?

I have engaged Ken Hertz as my music attorney and am currently meeting with various managers. I have been very lucky to have encountered a few amazing people in the music biz who have been mentors and supporters, and so I have been able to navigate the uncharted waters a bit better recently.

What projects are you currently working on?

An EP to be released through iTunes and a full piano and voice album. Also a whole slew of videos to be posted shortly.

What advice do you have for other musicians who are just now trying to break into the industry?

Be yourself first.

What is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Sigur Ros, MGMT, and Frank Sinatra

For more info on Elizaveta please check out:

www.elizaveta.net

or

www.myspace.com/breakfastwithchopin