Elvann ~ “The geek gamer girl that plays harp & sings opera”

Hey, I’m Elvann!  I’m a music streamer on Twitch and a YouTuber.  My mission as a content creator is to inspire musicians to start writing their own music and offer them the tools they need to grow their passion into a business.

My Music Story

Here’s a short video about the weird story of how I ended up becoming a profesionnal musician.

Early Years

Unlike a lot of professional musicians, I didn’t start music really young.  From as far as I can remember, I was craving for being creative, I did painting and danced for the major part of my life.  Little did I expect expect music to be the path I would chose for myself.

My first contact with music happened when I started high school.  A friend of mine introduced me to Nightwish, and I fell in love with the operatic voice of Tarja.  I wanted to learn how to sing like her, but despite that I knew I had a decent ear, I was way too shy to actually think of this as a possibility.  Later, one of my friends came to me with the idea of starting a band in the style of Nightwish, and I decided to take my chance and audition for them to be their singer.  The level of serious for that band was definitely the one of high school students, but it made me really want to dive into this music world.  I wanted to create and write my own music, but I never had any music or singing lessons in my life.  This year is when some of my dearest compositions were born (Journey of Shadows & Realm of Illusions – though they did undergo a lot of changes to get to the point they are at right now.)

A few years went by, and doing music remained that little secret hidden in my heart, nobody knew but me.  I just didn’t really have enough resources.  I remember starting my first YouTube Channel back then (which I am not going to link), and posting few videos.  I guess I was aiming to gain more confidence, but it didn’t really go anywhere.

One day, the course of my life changed.  I was in my final year of high school, and I was having this conversation about future with one of my guy friends Sam.  When he revealed to me he was going to go study music in CEGEP (college?), I heard the angels sing.  What about I could study music too?  This definitely was an impulsive decision.  I was about to enter the tests to learn 2D/3D animation, and I ditched what I thought I’d be doing for the past 5 years to jump right into music.  I only had a few months left to learn how to read, train my ear and learn music theory, and learn a little bit of singing technique so I could pass the auditions.  That was a HUGE guess on my part, but the idea of challenging myself like that excited me.  I was starting from zero, and I was determined to make it in a few months.

College Years

I’m not going to lie, I’ve worked REALLY hard to get there, but I ended up making it at the auditions, and a few months later (2010), I was in music school trying to make a place for myself.  The road that I decided to take was really hard.  It is without saying I was far behind a lot of very talented students who’ve started learning music before they could even talk.  It was intimidating, sometimes discouraging, and the classical world was really rough as creative freedom was really not the focus.  Regardless, CEGEP was a really good experience for me.

At my second year, when I had to chose for a second instrument, I decided to go for harp.  I knew a friend who lived near me, and we did try to duet a few times, that’s how I first got intrigued by the instrument.  But on my first harp lesson, I did absolutely fell in love with it.  I loved the sound, the feel, and the technical challenge that I knew I’d have to go through.  Starting to learn the harp was hard, but I loved it so much I didn’t bother practice hours on going.  Though at the end of the year I would leave for University, and I didn’t place much hope in being able to play the instrument again.

University Years

A few years later (2012), I entered the University of Montreal in the “via classical singing performance” program.  If I thought CEGEP was rough, University was even worst.  I had a hard time getting along with the teacher that I had at first, and my friends from CEGEP started acting like they never knew me.  It felt pretty lonely.  University was when I started getting a few gigs here and there as a singer.  Later in the year, I was switched to work with Julie Daoust, one of the most amazing singing teachers I’ve ever had.  She really helped me build my singing technique from the ground up, and she had such a positive impact on me.  Things were finally starting to go well for me, though, at the end of the school year, my mother was diagnosed with a breast cancer, and it hit me so hard I couldn’t sing for months.

That is when I started to ask myself questions about my future as a singer.  Building a career on something so unreliable as my voice seemed like a bad decision.  I needed to find an alternative, and that’s when it striked me: I could learn to accompany myself on the harp.  I felt if I could learn to sing and accompany myself, I would become independent as a musician, I could make my own music and would have many more gig opportunities on my way.   I decided that I was going to leave the singing program and try to make it as a harpist.  That was a little hopeful as I really did only have a few lessons as a harpist at this point, but I was going to still try my best at it.  And I made it.  I wasn’t really strong and still had so many things to learn, but I was given this golden opportunity to learn the instrument with an amazing teacher.

I obtained my bachelor degree in music in 2016, with a lot of good and bad experiences, a little bit of self doubt and, I am not going to lie, with a lot of resentment.  Things didn’t quite happen the way that I hoped, and I didn’t feel prepared for what was coming next.  I had a really rough time the next year, and almost stopped playing music for a while.  University had left me with a bitter taste for performance, and I needed a break, a place to be creative and be entirely myself.  I had a rough year, and needed some time to reconstruct myself out of ashes.

Post-University & Twitch

Beginning of 2017 was when I decided to start playing music again, and streaming  it on Twitch.  That was a revelation for me.  That’s where I have finally found my place, the creative freedom that I needed, and the love and encouragements that I have received since then is incredible.  Streaming was the best school I’ve ever attended to.  I thought me about consistency, about the importance being creative, and it reminded me that was I was doing truly could have a positive impact on others, regardless of the mistakes that I could.  It thought be performing music isn’t about perfection, but something you have to feel and live every single moment, something unique that’s different every time.  It reminded me that creativity still has a place in this world, and starting this journey was the best thing that could ever happen to me.

I might never be as good as many classical musicians that I know are, but that is not what I want anymore anyway.  What I want is help, inspire & share creativity with others..  I want to make their day better, I want to help them achieve the creative freedom they aspire to.  I want to share my passions, grow, and learn as much as possible.  I want to prove creativity still has a value and a true positive impact in this world.