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Elohim has announced that her all-new EP Braindead will be in support of Mental Health Awareness Month this May and 100 percent of the proceeds this month will be donated to a selection of charities focusing on providing outreach and support for those suffering from mental health issues. Along with this seven-track EP, which includes a stunning, stripped-down piano cover of the alt-rock ’90s hit song “Flagpole Sitta,” she’s created a series of meditative breathwork videos that go with each song. We had the opportunity to catch up with Elohim to find out more about her personal experience putting her mental health management at the forefront of the Elohim project, as well as her own take on how such issues develop, permeate, and ultimately become a catalyst for artistic creation.

Read on to learn more, check out Braindead below the interview, and be sure to also listen to her Skrillex-produced OWSLA releases “Buckets” and “Connect” if you haven’t already.

Have there been any unexpected results of putting your mental health on the front end of your artistic output and social media presence?

You never know how people will react but the acceptance and understanding were really wonderful. I didn’t expect to make so many friends through releasing my mind and music. There is this community that feels like a family now. By putting my truth and struggles out there I was able to connect with other people on a level I never had before. For the first time in my life, I had friends that genuinely understood exactly what I go through on a daily basis, because they go through it too. So I’d say that real friendship was the most unexpected beautiful thing that came from speaking openly about mental health. 

Do you think mental illness is predominantly inherent to the human condition or is it increasingly a product of the world we live in?

I believe every human and situation is uniquely different and one of a kind. I think many cases are from genetics and others are from trauma and experience. In my case, the first seven years of my life I was this badass little warrior. No worries, was never afraid of being away from my parents. Truly an independent, confident child. The summer before third grade, I got my first panic attack and from then on it was a horrible downward spiral of severe panic and anxiety. My whole life changed and has never been the same. Mental illness is uniquely different in everyone yet there are so many similarities too. It’s hard to put the severity into words but I do the best I can.

Do you think about how you want your music to make people feel and if so, how?

I want my music to make people feel understood, loved, less alone, less stress, less fear, less anxiety. I want the music to give the listener whatever they need. I hope for it to be a world and experience that the listener can get lost or found in. 

How did the collaboration with AWOLNATION come about and have you always resonated with “Flagpole Sitta”?

Aaron had asked me to sing on one of his songs. I had always loved AWOL’s music so I was honored. We quickly became what feels like siblings… like I’m always trying to make him think I’m cool kinda thing haha.

I had been working on a “Flagpole Sitta” cover so I sent him the a capella to get his opinion and was hoping he’d be impressed. He loved it and asked if he could produce it. I said OF COURSE! I never realized how relevant the lyrics of “Flagpole” were until I sat down and started singing it at the piano. I got chills and was kind of mind blown by how deep and real the lyrics are and how tapped into mental health they are.

Many thanks to Elohim, and enjoy the Braindead EP below.