Welcome to the 405's Ones to Watch rundown, 2016. In an attempt to hammer home the 'quality over quantity' adage, this year's selection is slightly smaller at just seven artists, but we're confident you'll find someone to fall in love with this week.

Besides her lush and sugared music, Elohim isn't seen or heard. It's a phone interview, yet she isn't speaking to me. I'm told it's her laptop that's answering my acute and interested questions through the use of a computerized text-to-voice system that adapts the sound of a robotically pleasant middle-aged British woman, who echoes through the phone, despite my knowledge that the young artist behind it is a Los Angeles-based electro-pop mystery.

Elohim is an enigma. A female synth-pop prodigy changing the way we look at pop stars - or not look at pop stars, in her case. With a name that's defined as Hebrew for "God", the polarizing artist has remained incognito through the use of mysterious minimalism regardless of her newfound notoriety, generous reviews and various remixes by artist peers like Gosh Pith, COIN and BECOME, thanks primarily to the success of just two SoundCloud singles, 'She Talks To Much' and 'Xanax'. But from visuals to live shows to interviews, the young singer/songwriter remains inconspicuous, using animal masks and a disguised voice to ensure her obscurity. "It's important to me because I want the audience to experience [my music] in their own way. No preconceived notions or judgments. Just sound," she types, greeting me with a mechanical retort.

Rattling the blogosphere just four months ago with her debut single, 'She Talks Too Much' encapsulates a relatable modern-day party anthem, brimming with power-chord synths and a brash yet glossy chorus; a single that has garnered nearly 250K plays on Soundcloud and propelled the artist overseas to share it with her newfound rising fan-base during her first round of performance stops. Following two months later with a polar-opposite release 'Xanax,' an offering that accurately depicts the feeling of panic attacks through dark and somber soundscapes, Elohim's two debut cuts rely heavily on their youthful relatability and stand as both yin and yang offerings - night and day releases - that showcase the depth and range of the budding new songwriter. For a female pop artist, the kind usually prodded and packaged to fit a single mold, Elohim's experimental, multidimensional and almost contradictory approach to her artistry is a refreshing upsurge to a predictable bubble-gum market. See, women are able to reflect their complicated and mysterious existences too, while still garnering fans and Elohim won't have it any other way.

"She Talks Too Much' sounds so fun and happy. Yet there is an undertone with the lyrics. 'Xanax' has a mellower vibe, which I personally love. The two of them are perfect together. They both touch on anxiety in a way. I love the juxtaposition between the both of them," Elohim's voice system spews in a monotone rush. But between the polar opposite ends of the confident-to-anxious spectrum, she believes she has fallen somewhere in the middle, which triggered the call to protect her nervousness, harness her ego and propel her music, through the use of a blanketed image. "I have both. Confidence and anxiety; it's an interesting combination. It's like being an introverted extrovert."

In the case of Elohim, anonymity elevated universality, as only her music does the talking through relevant lyrics almost whispered by her sweet yet sharp vocals, all the while mixing raw sensations with technical instrumentation. She records herself. As a classically trained pianist for much of her existence and a singer from the age of nine, extensive musical knowledge and range have only added ammo to her already fervent vision, while previously sighting diverse influences ranging from Rachmaninoff and Debussy to Thom Yorke. "I am a musician first and foremost. I have been playing and making music my entire life. It is important for me, as a female, to show that. All sides of me. Well, except my face," she teases.

In the process of joining the pool of charismatic and ground-breaking acts like Grimes or Björk, Elohim is relatively radical in her bravery to go against the grain and remain strictly herself out of the gate. Her name means "God" in Hebrew, an artistic moniker that stands as a powerful and definite statement - that she connects to her fans through a more non-secular means rather than a marketed appearance. You don't need to see her to believe in her. "This name is so special to me," she says. "This project has helped me discover myself. I have become the spark in my own life. I feel like that is Elohim, God-like in more of a spiritual way. It just sounds so beautiful and strong. It is so important to me. Strength and inner beauty."

Although odd and off-balanced, industry folk still tend to be mostly supportive of the way the mystery singer chooses to navigate throughout her career, she says. "Sometimes it can be uncomfortable. But that is why we live. To experience, to try new things, to be true to ourselves."

With new music currently in development, Elohim is focused on completing her first body of work in the hopes of furthering the inimitable experience she's developed for her fans. "God". "Pop star". "Enigma". Elohim is a real person, yet it's clear that the spirit of her music is what speaks for itself. And that works.


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