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Meet Elaine Faye of EE Beyond

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elaine Faye.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a Hollywood based musician and singer/songwriter. I am also currently a breast cancer patient. I’ve been singing and writing music for almost as long as I can remember. Music was a staple of my childhood and became instrumental to keeping me out of trouble at a young age as my home life fell apart. My father went to prison for a life sentence when I was seven years old and my mother passed away shortly after I turned 14. Music became a way for me to cope with loss and express my emotions in a healthy way. It helped to keep me grounded in a way that nothing else could at that time in my life. I always knew that I wanted to be involved in music in some way professionally, but I never thought that I was good enough. Fast forward to 2009… I was in a relationship with someone at the time who encouraged me to enter a nationwide full-ride scholarship competition that the Musicians Institute was holding. They were offering three full-ride scholarships to attend their music institution. Prior to this, I had just been casually pursuing music and doing occasional open mics here and there in San Diego. But with his encouragement, I decided to enter the competition and to my utter and complete shock, I ended up winning one of the scholarships. Since then, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve been blessed to have success in different areas of the industry that have continued to keep me active and thriving including opening for some amazing artists (Baby Bash, Nikka Costa, Allen Stone, and more), lots of touring and high profile performance opportunities (Coachella and Bonnaroo the most notable), and over 100 song placements in TV and film so far. It has been a wonderful journey and I daily reflect on my life and I am filled with gratitude.

Shortly after starting a new music project under the name EE Beyond I found a lump in my left breast. I had just released a new EP that had been well received by the press, two music videos, and had just returned from an east coast tour and was in the process of lining up another with my publishing company. I was on top of the world and honestly didn’t think there was anyway that it could be cancer. I thought only older women get breast cancer, right? It turns out I was very wrong. A month later, in October of 2018, I received the news that all women dread to hear, “Elaine, you have breast cancer.” Needless to say my life has changed significantly in the past year. I am unfortunately still battling cancer and dreaming of the day that I will hopefully go into remission. Much of my time and energy is now focused on healing and survival. But I do still make time for music. It’s interesting how music has transitioned for me over the years. Originally it started as a way to keep me grounded through a turbulent childhood then became my career and livelihood. Nowadays, it’s become a catalyst of healing for me and a place of joy and refuge from the fear and anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis. I don’t perform as often live now and have spent most of my time writing and recording and interacting with my fan base via social media. I’m currently sitting on a pile of music that I’ve been waiting for the right time to release.

As my life has utterly and completely changed, my desires and passions have as well. I still love to create and perform music, however, my experiences this past have led me to new passions as well. One of those new passions is the desire to spread breast cancer awareness. I never thought that breast cancer was a possibility at this time in my life and I know that there are many other young women in their 20’s and 30’s that believe the same thing. I would love to be apart of changing that narrative. This past year I’ve had the opportunity to dabble a bit in being involved in spreading awareness including an interview with Self Magazine on my diagnosis, a partnership and photoshoot with Bali/ Hanes to promote their new post-surgery mastectomy bra, a studio performance/ interview with the non- profit organization Cancer Can Rock, and I just partnered with an amazing CBD company called Foria who’s CBD products I use in my cancer treatment protocol. In the future, I would love to find a way to use music as a tool to promote and spread breast cancer awareness to the younger generation of women. Maybe something along the lines of a music festival… an idea I’ve been playing with this past year.

As I don’t have family support, the past year has also been difficult financially. I have some amazing people helping to supporting me on Patreon and others that have donated to help with my medical expenses. But I unfortunately still have to work multiple jobs to keep up with my medical expenses and pay for my cancer treatment. It’s unfortunate how much health care costs nowadays. Though this area of life has been frustrating and incredibly difficult, I am acutely aware of how much there is to be grateful for. I now look at life in a completely different light than I once had. Everyday is a blessing… a gift… an opportunity. I am thankful for every moment I have here in this world and try not to take anything in life for granted if I can help it. I’m still here… living, breathing, laughing, loving, and making music. Life is uncertain and at times very difficult, but life is also very very good. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely hasn’t been the smoothest road, but I think that’s common for most artists. I had a pretty traumatic childhood which was really the caveat that leads me to pursue music so passionately. I ended up in an abusive long term relationship which pushed me toward music even further. And then there’s the little issue of being diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s definitely a pretty big bump in the road in my opinion.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a musician/ singer/ songwriter. I specialize in songwriting and am known for creating music in general as well as being somewhat of an inspirational figure for dealing with and overcoming all that I have in my life thus far. I am most proud of the fact that I chose to pursue my passion in life.

I think my life experiences and my own unique perspective on life is what sets me apart from others. It’s reflected in my music and how I live my life.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
For now my main focus is my health and going into remission. But as I mentioned before, I would love to explore ideas of ways to link breast cancer awareness and music in some way to help spread awareness to the younger generation of women in the world. Sadly more than half of the women in my breast cancer community that I interact with via social media are all in their 20’s. Which is really quite terrifying when you think about it.

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Image Credit:
Joanne Garcia (3 photo’s) Irv22; Jaden Larue; Above the Glass; Extreme Music

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