ElyOtto, the face of hyper-pop
Elliott Platt aka ElyOtto became well known on social media when in 2021 his song "SugarCrash!" went viral on Tik Tok. After a remix with Kim Petras and Curtis Walter, a debut at number 30 on the Billboard Hot Rock and Alternative Songs charts, a contract with RCA Records, ElyOtto is definitely the face of hyper-pop.
For the 17-year-old teenager, this is just the beginning. He's set to release his debut EP which will eventually lead to create a solid fanbase. We're here to witness his success and here's what he's told us.
SugarCrash! went viral a year after the song was made. How did you cope with the success of it?
I was really freaked out, and it didn't hit me for a week just how big the song was growing. I do remember the first day I released it – I kept refreshing my page and the lights kept coming in, and I thought, oh my god this is, this is big, this is going to be huge. I was just pacing across the platform because I was on my way to go see my girlfriend by train. Just crazy. I think when it was at its peak, it was really overwhelming for me and it was too much. Call me a one hit wonder, but I'm really enjoying myself now that it's toned down a little bit and people are getting a chance to see the person behind it. I've got more stuff on the way so people can be excited about that.
You have Kim Petras and Curtis Waters on the track. How did you guys get together?
My team emailed me about Curtis Waters first and I thought, oh my goodness, I know this dude from that one song that everyone knows him from. I felt a little bit “huh” because he makes regular pop music, I didn't know he could do hyper-pop. But he certainly can because he sent me this excellent extension to ‘SugarCrash!’ and I thought ‘this is amazing, get this on the release right away’. Then Kim Petras jumps in there, the icon! I love her and I thought okay, a fellow trans artist, this is going be crazy. So we jumped on the track and she laid down some absolutely iconic verses, the energy is top tier! When I heard it, I got goosebumps.
You started releasing music on Soundcloud in 2019. How did you become passionate about music?
I actually started sharing music in late 2017. The tracks are deleted now, but I've been doing this for very long time. I started feeling passionate about music in fifth grade when I heard a really good song in an anime. Then I started writing my own songs, but I didn't show them to anyone except for the people at church camp. Then I realised GarageBand exists, and if I can figure this out, I could make something really good.
I heard this song later on in 2016 called ‘Hello Bye’, it was really popular in elementary school. I heard that and thought I need to make something like that… so I did! And it worked, so I just kept on doing that until my music progressed further and further into hyper-pop.
Your EP is supposed to be released this year. Can you tell us more about it?
We have some really solid demos down, and I’m continuing to work on a couple songs, but I keep coming up with new ideas, it's a dilemma! Every time I think I've made progress on one song, I keep losing focus because of my ADHD. But what we have sounds so good. I think that people are going to be shocked that it's not a ‘SugarCrash!’ version two, but I think people are going to like it. It's a more authentic approach to what my music usually would have sounded like. I think it's going to solidify that I'm not just in this for the money, otherwise I would be making mainstream pop. Yeah, people are going to love it or hate it, and either way I'm happy to share it!
TikTok made your song viral. What is the key of becoming successful on social media?
I would say timing. What you need to do is just pretend that success is never coming to you. I didn't know this was going to happen at all. I honestly just released a video when everybody was craving hyper pop and just said ‘Hey, look, come check this out!’ It wasn't just my mutual followers and friends that checked it out… it was the entire damn internet! Maybe it was a fluke of the algorithm to be honest. I didn't exactly put effort into getting it out there, but sometimes it only takes a little step like that to really get going. Either way, you’ve just got to persist because regardless of streaming popularity, if you've got music that you want to show the world you better show the world because that's something good. And we need more of it.
As fun and catchy your songs are, the lyrics are very interesting and deep. Are they personal?
I think at the time of writing my most popular song ‘SugarCrash!’, I was just writing exactly what I was feeling in that moment. Boredom, discontent, disappointment in myself for having all this sugar and feeling like utter sh*t on my bed. I think it was subconsciously a cry for help. Honestly, it's very dark and it can be interpreted in a way that's much darker than I originally intended. And I think that's great that it's got a double meaning. It can be skin deep or deep as the ocean, depending on what the listener wants to perceive it as. That’s part of making a good song, double meanings and up for interpretation.
What’s next for you now? What’s your dream?
To be honest, I don't think I was cut out for A-line fame. I could definitely pull it off, but I don't think I was cut out for it. I'm okay with being an underdog and remaining expressive and authentic in my music. I'm hoping that people who seek it will find me easily with this boost in popularity from ‘SugarCrash!’, and I'll be able to have a really solid fan base.
You’re open on social media about being transgender which is amazing. What would you say to all the kids who are struggling but are scared to open up about it?
There's a lot of things I wish people had told me about the journey, because it's definitely tough. This is about you, this is your identity and if people are going to go out of their way and get worked up, then that’s their behaviour. Don't even think about it, they're just being jerks for the sake of being jerks.
SugarCrash! is out now.
Words by: Sal F.