Elle King is psyched to play the largest lesbian party on Earth

Elle King‘s hit single “Exes & Oh’s” is one of those songs you don’t mind getting stuck in your head. The bluesy-pop songstress has the kind of old school rasp and coo that brings shivers to your spine. The 26-year-old New Yorker released her album Love Stuff the day after Valentine’s Day last year and has been riding a wave of praise since. She was nominated for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song at the 2016 Grammy Awards, and even though she went home empty-handed, she was thrilled to be in the same categories as Foo Fighters, Alabama Shakes and Florence + The Machine. 


On April 1st, Elle will be hitting the stage of Club Skirts The Dinah’s White Party, and she follows past performers like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Meghan Trainor whose careers have only exploded after playing the largest lesbian party on earth.

We talked with Elle about her upcoming performance and what we can expect from her next album.

AfterEllen.com: The Dinah has a long history of hosting great acts that go on to become even bigger stars, so I feel good about this for you!

Elle King: I’m super excited. I hear that it is quite the party. I’m psyched. Me and everyone are so excited to play The Dinah.


AE: In society we rarely get to be in a room where it’s just women, so The Dinah is always quite the experience. Have you ever played an event like that?

EK: No, I haven’t! And so I’m super excited. I’m excited to be around some strong, crazy partying women. I can’t wait.


AE: I read that you were inspired to name your album after a sex toy shop. 

EK: That’s 100 percent true, yeah! I named my first album after a sex shop that I passed by when I was drunk in a limo. It was called Love Stuff, and I was like, “Pull over!” I made my manager get out and take a picture of me in front of the sign, and I looked at him and said, “I’m going to name my album Love Stuff.” And I did! And I didn’t’ tell the label where I got the name until after the album came out because I didn’t want them to make me change it.


AE: I hope Love Stuff sent you some free shit!

EK: They should! I can’t believe I haven’t tried to capitalize on that.


AE: They should have you as the face of their brand.

EK: If they were smart, yeah, they should.


AE: Congrats on your Grammy nominations this year. What was it like to go as a nominee?

EK: It was fun, it was terrifying. I’m kind of a—I’m pretty much a tomboy, even though I get dressed up for stuff like that, other people poking and squishing me and putting me in dresses. But I was really excited—I kind of joked, “Oh, it’s an honor just to get nominated,” and then you get nominated, and you go, “Holy shit! It’s an honor just to get nominated!” And I’ve been saying; I’m basically indoctrinated now because for the rest of my life I’ll be “Grammy-nominated Elle King.” That’s really just the highest accolade you can get as a musician or as a singer, and it was just really cool to see it acknowledged like that. It was really fun. Someone stepped on my dress when I was on the carpet, and my gown ripped up the side, and we had to use nail glue to shut the seams, otherwise my body parts would have shown. I tried not to cry, but it was an experience. It was a whole terrifying hour, but then we begged someone in wardrobe to stitch me up.


AE: What is it like now to go into writing the next album with that kind of pressure?

EK: I think that there’s two sides to that. I try not to think about the scary shit, but I think 50 percent of it would be pressure of, “Oh shit, how am I gonna follow that up?” But then there’s the other side where I built this fanbase and people like me for who I am and for the music that I make, and so you just hope that whatever I create as my second album that my fans will like it. I always say expect nothing and hope for the best. We’re still touring my first album, and I haven’t really thought too much about album two. I’m starting to let it creep into my mind, but it’s still terrifying because I have a whole year of touring. But it’s back there; it’s simmering. I have no idea what it’s going to sound like. I hope that it’s good.


AE: Do you have any themes that you think might end up on the next album?

EK: You know, I don’t know. I know that’s not a good answer, but I really don’t know. There’s a lot of things that I want to do as a musician in my life, and there’s a lot of different albums that I dream of making. And so I really do need to sit down and think about what I want my second album to be because my first album took three plus years to make. Nobody knew what they were gonna do with me. Nobody knew how it was gonna sound. You listen to The Strokes first album and all the way through from start to finish–“Oh, that’s a Strokes album.” And you listen to my album, and it’s got—I kind of see it as different chapters, you know? Different sounds. I think it did work out well, and it was a good representation of me, but I don’t really know. I’ve never made a second album, and so I’ll probably approach my second album like I did my first, like I don’t know what I’m doing so let’s just make a bunch of shit and see if it sounds good!


AE: Because you have such an eclectic sound, I’m sure you have a very diverse fanbase. Do you notice a lot gay fans?

EK: I do, I do. But I have to say; I see such a varied group. I’m very engaged with the audience because they make the show so special, and they make that an individual experience. And you can’t make a show without the audience. But I see children, and I see much older people, people of all different races, gay people, straight people, everyone. And that’s what’s so cool. I think I make a lot of different types of music that hopefully can speak to everybody and that’s why I’m so grateful for my fans. It’s hard; you can’t really pinpoint one fanbase. 

Elle King plays The Dinah on Friday, April 1st.