Elle Darlington has all the ingredients needed to make an it-girl: charisma, versatility, magnetism, and all things nice. Following her rise to TikTok stardom, accumulating over one million followers, the 20-year-old UK-based singer has emerged as one of the newest pop girls everyone should keep their eye on. Hopping onto the music scene with her debut single, “wish you would,” just a short number of months ago, Darlington’s ongoing discography is mighty and impressive. She has paved a new wave for the direction of contemporary pop music, showing off her honey vocals and distinctive sound. Following the release of her single “hiatus,” Elle Darlington spoke to EnVi over Zoom about self-care practices, drawing creative inspiration from real-life experiences, and her upbringing as a Welsh-Chilean. 

A New Side

“Hiatus” is a pop track with R&B undertones where Darlington details her journey getting over a breakup. For the moody pop lovers, this single has the perfect blend of dreamy vocals, emotional depth, and a subtle groove that’ll leave listeners wanting more. Her vibe filled the Zoom call with a warm aura and a hint of nostalgia for the 2000s as she met EnVi with a smile in a comfortably lit room. 

“Everything kind of fell into place. And it was one of those songs that comes so fast to write as well. It was literally two hours,” she recalls, about writing the track. Then, when asked about the reasoning behind the title, Darlington’s claim further proved her distinct take on her artistry, saying, “I’ve never heard the word hiatus used in a song before…I was like, that’s the one.” “Hiatus” is paired with a visualizer directed by Jay Oliver Green, detailing what it’s like to be a young woman going through a breakup in 2024.

Even when it comes to the lyricism of the song, the singer displays her wit and clever word choice through the song’s main chorus line, “Pull the plug, baby, I don’t wanna hate us, I’m done, so I’m calling a hiatus.” In that line, she was eager to bring up the assonance and imperfect rhyme of the “hate us” and “hiatus.” “Come on, wordplay,” she jokes, despite discussing a difficult moment in her recent life. 

Although freshly paving her way into the music industry, Elle Darlington also wants to show a new side of herself, expanding the horizon for everyone to see what she’s capable of. “My first release was ‘wish you were,’ and it’s so pop girl. [The song is] the side of me that’s really happy and excited, and lovable…I just wanted to introduce a different kind of side of me [with ‘hiatus’],” she said. “Wish you would,” co-written by Andrew Jackson, is the ultimate night-on-the-town bop, displaying the singer and friends indulging in a day of diversion in London in its visualizer. Darlington’s openness and commitment to showcasing vulnerability in her music reigns as a testament to her passion and songwriting prowess.

Self Care for the Girls

There’s a movie breakup line that’s played all the time: “It’s you, not me,” but Elle Darlington says, “It’s not you, it’s him.” She holds a cake with the statement written on in the visualizer of “hiatus,” as a message she wants to share with listeners. Cake paired with ice cream or any other “unhealthy food,” is a standard for post-breakup feels, seen in 2000s rom-coms like Legally Blonde, Aquamarine, John Tucker Must Die, and so many others. Darlington uses this and the track to put a special spin on what self-care looks like for her in times of distress.

“I go and get my nails done. That’s my favorite thing,” she recalls as a self-care activity she indulges in. “I just like to connect with myself a bit and the things that I love to do by myself.” Self-care is different for everyone, but Elle Darlington is someone who prefers to feel her feelings fully. She takes space for herself to go through the motions while also leaning on her support system — her friends. “I like to go out [with] my friends, get my nails done, get my lashes done, make myself feel like a baddie again. And then I feel like I’m ready to reintroduce myself into the world,” she adds.

The singer also mentions that part of going through the motions of a difficult situation, like a breakup, could also look like expressing feelings on a piece of paper by journaling. “God knows from that time, there’s a lot of journal entries,” she laughs, recalling what her journal might’ve looked like in that era. This not only serves as an outlet for emotions but it also is a place where Darlington can draw inspiration for lyrics during the songwriting process. “Our emotions are so fast-changing, that we forget in one conclusion that we’ve come to, there [were] ten different emotions to kind of build it up.” 

She wisely shares that in using her own experiences and words straight from the moment it happens, she hopes to provide comfort to others. “I feel like [it’s] so relatable to people because it can give people a new point of view as well, and a new perspective on a situation they’ve [also] had,” Darlington says. The singer strives to provide herself and others comfort while also to give some grace and respect to the experiences she had, well reflected in the song’s lyrics, “I don’t want to hate us.”

Influence All Around 

Darlington’s roots come from rural Wales, and despite moving to London to pursue a music career, the singer takes her upbringing and identity as a Welsh-Chilean with her wherever she goes. “Mostly through my personality and the way I approach situations, a lot [of influence comes] from my dad’s side, my Chilean side, and all my family from over [in Chile]. They’re so loving and caring and really open with their emotions,” Darlington expresses, “And they’re all music lovers, so it all helps.” Where she finds openness in emotion she also feels support creatively, revealing her mom’s career as a painter.

This personal culture of feeling emotion and the Latin love language of music has no doubt impacted who Darlington is as a person, cultivating itself into her life practices and art. It has allowed her to appreciate creativity more deeply, opening her to become more willing to listen and wanting to try new genres of music. 

As many do when they find their favorite song or album, Darlington finds herself listening to albums front to back, as many times as she can. “I’m very much like, once I find something that I really love, I will like to rinse it. I’m going to listen to it constantly. And also try to gain as much insight from that as I can,” she smiles, thinking about what currently is playing on repeat from her playlist, including Ariana Grande’s “we can’t be friends.”

Out with the Old, In with the New

@elledarlington OUT IN 7 DAYS !!!! pretty plsss pre-save in bio 🎀💘✨ #newmusic #popmusic #originalmusic ♬ original sound – elle darlington

Now, Darlington is eager to show off even more sides of herself with her upcoming releases. “I’ve been working on my whole project for the past two years, and nothing came out until October,” a nod to her first single “wish you would.” “There’ll be a bunch of new summer vibes,” she slides in eagerly with a smile.

She wasn’t wrong, the summer vibes arrived early with her latest single “one more night,” released on March 29. This upbeat and fresh pop banger is empowering, inspiring listeners to want to start moving with every beat and note. Pairing an infectious melody with catchy lyrics (and of course dreamy vocals, high-notes galore) takes listeners into the world of being young, having fun, and drawing someone in romantically. The track sparkles (literally and figuratively) and serves as not only the perfect get-ready-to-go-out song, but also a great addition to Elle Darlington’s discography.

So, what is one message Elle Darlington would like to leave for her fans and EnVi readers? “Love yourself,” she says without hesitation, “Put out the energy that you would like to receive. I think it’s a big one. Good Vibes.” Even after going through heartbreak, and overcoming odds by putting herself out there during a global pandemic, Darlington’s loveable and empowering energy shines through, leaving a lasting impact on anyone who crosses paths with her. If there’s anything that should be taken from the experience, it’s to live life to the fullest, and as Elle Darlington puts it, “you only live once.”

Keep up with Elle Darlington on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube

Interested in discovering more up-and-coming talent in music like Elle Darlington? Check out our Artist Spotlight featuring Sion Jung here.