A third-year PGE student, Elsa Criqui is currently completing her academic exchange year at HEC Montréal, one of the School's partner universities. This is an opportunity for her to continue to exercise her passion in a new, international setting. Between singing, music, photography, and making videos, all alongside her studies, Elsa has been busy since her arrival in Canada. Passionate about music in particular, Elsa reflects on her passion, her studies at EM Strasbourg, and her ambitious projects.
Music: A Family Affair and an Outlet
Elsa was born into a family of musicians and artists: her father is a multi-instrumentalist and her mother is a singer. Although she has great technique, she has never taken singing lessons: “I was lucky enough to be surrounded by music professionals who could advise me.”, she says, before humbly adding: “I regularly listen to feedback, I'm constantly trying to improve.”
Elsa is above all an all-round artist: she started playing the piano at the age of seven and learnt to play drums in high school. From the age of nine, she composed her own pieces and began to accompany herself on the piano. “My parents chose to raise us without television and today I am very grateful to them because it really helped me to develop my creativity.” As for creativity, Elsa has plenty of that! In addition to music and singing, her two favourite fields, the second-year student directs and edits the music videos for several of her songs and never goes out without her camera, looking to capture the best shots of her daily life.
Music has brought her a great deal both personally and professionally: “A lot of things just run riot in my head, to the point where I have trouble sleeping. Music is an outlet for me, it allows me to express myself and put things in order!” It is a passion that also allowed her to be much more open to the unknown and to overcome a lack of self-confidence. Her secret? Since high school, the singer has given more than a dozen concerts, either in a group or as a soloist. She was even asked to perform at the Fête de la Musique in Strasbourg last summer.
“My specialization courses in marketing have been very useful to me, whether in managing my social networks, my time or my contacts. As for my storytelling and body language classes, they allowed me to develop my oral fluency and enrich my stage presence.”
Her Studies at EM Strasbourg at the Service of Her Passion
As part of her academic exchange within the PGE, Elsa now studies more than 3,000 miles from her home region. This has not prevented her from continuing to cultivate her creativity, quite the opposite! As a true all-round artist, she was recently an award-winner at the 72h Film Maker Festival with four other students, a short film festival organized by the student association dedicated to cinema at HEC Montreal. Thanks to her year abroad, Elsa has managed to develop a network of international artists, whom she has met through her classes or during open mic nights, in which she regularly participates.
In addition to allowing her to open up to the international scene and share her passion by performing at the talent night organised by the Arts Association, EM Strasbourg also gave her the keys to bringing her artistic projects to fruition. “My specialization courses in marketing have been very useful to me, whether in managing my social networks, my time or my contacts. As for my storytelling and body language classes, they allowed me to develop my oral fluency and enrich my stage presence.”
Integrating Your Passion into Your Career Path: A Gamble That Was Meant to Be for a Hardworking Artist
Today, Elsa has matured her plans for the future and the student remains realistic: “I am aware that it is complicated to make a living from music. I am passionate about marketing and communication, and I would like to continue in this direction. My ultimate goal is to find the right balance between passion, skills, and values. I'm thinking of working for a record company, but I'm open to any other opportunities that come my way!”
This has not prevented her from continuing her career in the music world: after a collaboration with the artist SKAN which has had more than a million views on Youtube, the student now wants to develop a new musical identity and a well-defined style before launching her project in concrete terms: “I'd like to start by choosing a new stage name because I've had the same one since high school (E15A) and I've changed a lot since then.”
But the student doesn't want to stop there and is innovating in a different way: “Today, I'm looking to create my own trademark: an unexpected mix of jazz, rnb, soul, and rap.” Elsa encapsulates the be distinctive ethos and doesn't hesitate to use it to offer her listeners new music. Intrigued? Video clips of her latest songs in collaboration with Tom Delarge and Federico Vallucci (artists from Strasbourg and Italy based in Montreal) are currently being prepared...
Watch a clip from one of her latest songs, “Charly”
Photo credit: Sophie KERN