A musician’s touring lifestyle is not suited for everyone.
But singer Elle King says she was born to do it.
“It is such a massive release for me,” the four-time Grammy-nominated singer says about touring. “I feel like that is what I was put on this earth to do: perform, create and make music, and bring joy.”
King is preparing to “bring joy” to Phoenix when she plays the Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday, February 16, with opener Lola Kirke, the daughter of Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke.
The “Ex’s and Oh’s” singer is excited to return to the Grand Canyon State so she can see her father, actor-comedian Rob Schneider.
“My dad lives in Arizona, so it’s an added bonus that I’ll get to see family and my little sisters and play a show there,” King says. “Arizona is so beautiful.
“I will never forget the last time I was in Arizona. I was there to play a private show for someone, and it was a really fun show, and it was the last time I saw my grandmother.”
Her grandmother was staying with Schneider for several months.
“The last night I spent with her we were staying at the Four Seasons, and it was beautiful, and we ordered a bunch of food,” King recalls.
“We sat with my grandma, and we just played music with her while she sat and danced while I sang. That was the last time I got to be with my grandma, so I will never forget that.”
Entertainment is in King’s blood, so she was attracted to the lifestyle from a young age.
“I had an interesting childhood,” King says. “I knew that I had the bug, and I knew that I wanted to perform.
“I did a lot of musical theater. I had taken lessons with different musical instruments, and I just love being onstage. I didn’t do well in school. So, the only times I was celebrated was when I was in a play or musical or a music or arts class.”
At age 15, King used a fake ID — with her mother’s blessing — to “stay out late and play in bars.”
“I knew that I loved doing it, but I didn’t know that when I started performing that it would end up being my whole life and create this beautiful career that I have now,” King says. “I just knew I wanted to perform, and music was the best way that I could express myself and be myself. It’s beautiful.”
With the world on lockdown, King took the time to focus on other things.
“It was very interesting to see my kind of routine waking up in a new city every day and just my whole routine of touring (go away),” King says.
“I didn’t know how to be in one place or how to make my house nice and keep a house. Now it’s been a beautiful blessing because I was able to have a pregnancy and have a baby and I’ve had time to be a mother.”
Her son, Lucky, will join her on the tour.
“It’s hard to be away from your family, your friends and your home,” King says. “That’s why the people that you tour with, your band and crew, it’s so important that you have a good attitude and that you get along together, because they become family.
“Most times, you live on mobile bunk beds with these people in very close quarters and it can be tough. Now I am a new mom, and my baby will be coming on tour with us.
“I know that there are difficult things about touring but you kind of have to be made for it or not. If you’re not made for it, you’re going to be miserable and you’re probably not going to be touring very long. I definitely was made to do this, so I genuinely love and enjoy being on the road.”
‘Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)’
The jaunt — dubbed the “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” — is named after her Grammy-nominated duet with country star Miranda Lambert. To say she didn’t expect the nod is an understatement.
“I feel like kind of an (expletive) for saying this, but I didn’t even know that the Grammy nominations were coming out that day,” King admits. “I couldn’t have thought that I was further away from being in the running.”
She found out about the nomination when her friend sent a congratulations text message.
“I was knee deep into changing diapers and cleaning up frickin’ baby puke, it just wasn’t even on my radar,” she says.
“I just sat in disbelief for probably 45 minutes on the floor just staring at the wall because I couldn’t believe it. It was a beautiful thing to come out of an insane and very intense couple of years.
“When you get nominated for a Grammy, it’s like winning. It’s so cool just to be nominated and to have your peers in music. It makes you feel really seen. Win or lose, it’s such an incredible experience.”
Elle King w/Lola Kirke
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 16
WHERE: Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix
COST: Sold out