Former Amercian Idol Finalist ELISE TESTONE
Today on The Neil Haley Show, The Total Tutor Neil Haley and Caregiver Dave will interview Former Amercian Idol Finalist ELISE TESTONE.
Soulful singer/songwriter ELISE TESTONE, a former American Idol finalist and powerhouse vocalist whose incredible stage presence and bluesy maturity rank with the best, is releasing her long-awaited sophomore album, This Is Love, on April 17 and immediately mounting an East Coast Tour that includes special performances during the world-renowned New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Elise has toured extensively, with high profile TV appearances on The Tonight Show, Ellen, Live! with Kelly, Access Hollywood, Good Morning America and others.
Elise’s debut album, In This Life, released in 2014, received rave reviews, celebrating her ability to “wail the blues, rock like a b*tch and purr sexily” (Goldmine Magazine). Her unique style owes more to Ella Fitzgerald, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, James Brown and Amy Winehouse than today’s disposable hit-makers.
This Is Love is the perfect combination of soul, rock, attitude and restraint ― a distinct fusion of R&B and rock, subtly influenced by funk and hip-hop that best complements her longstanding reputation as a “sassy” (Yahoo! Entertainment) soul siren. Equally as impressive and at ease at belting James Brown style over a relentless funk groove as she is gently resting her voice over a tender ballad, Testone’s range of influences and vocal capacity know few limits.
“Love has come in and out of our lives in many different ways,” says the New Jersey native, now living in Brooklyn after establishing deep career roots in Charleston, SC. “Sometimes the love is real and sometimes we are bound together by an unhealthy passion or aggression and become trapped under the illusion that what we have is true, when in fact it is the opposite. This Is Love is an artistic expression of those experiences, starting with ‘Flying High,’ a composition focused on the most important love ― self-love.”
Co-written with guitarist Adam Fallen (Clay Aiken, Eric Benet) and Brooklyn jazz, hip-hop, and electronica multi-instrumentalist Jesse Fischer, and featuring Daru Jones (Jack White, Pete Rock) on drums, “Flying High,” starts the album floating joyously through a jazz-flavored, flute-enhanced classic soul orchestral groove. Other players on the album include Broadway’s School of Rock teen guitar phenom Brandon “Taz” Niederauer (also co-writer of album closer, “Tell Me Now”), drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Snarky Puppy, Ghost Note) and bassist and experimental musician MonoNeon (Prince).
Of special note on This Is Love is “Holly,” written to honor the memory of Elise’s best friend and Charleston roommate, who committed suicide in 2015, two years after surviving life-threatening brain surgery.
“Holly had a light around her that was like no one I know,” Elise recalls. “She could make anyone smile within the first few seconds of seeing her. We bonded instantly and had a relationship built on honesty and playfulness. We looked out for each other. We were family. Both of us young at heart, we shared a deep passion for music. Holly always dreamed of being a music star but was always a little afraid to perform.
“Two years after her surgery, I moved to New York and she moved to Texas. She was very unhappy and ended up shooting herself in the head, or at least that is the story I was told. I know if I was near her that never would have happened. I felt like I mourned her twice in a way. And in no way did I think I would lose her that soon after I almost already did. This song took me three years to write because it was so important, but also because I had a real tough grieving process and felt stuck. I am so happy with how it turned out. I am so confident that every lyric was the right lyric, and I am so grateful to have had the time with her that I did. Hopefully this song can convey the positive mark she has left on me and the world.”