Elsa Lila was born in Tirana, Albania. Her father was a singer of the former Albanian state choir, while her mother was a violinist, so both of her parents raised her close to the music and the theatre, giving her a great love for the arts. Elsa had shown her singing and acting talents ever since she was a child in Albanian state television shows, and won the Albanian national song contest 2 years in a row while she was in her teenage years. She's also known for originating the role of Satine in the Albanian-language version of the musical Moulin Rouge. In 2014, Lila was a judge on the fourth season of The Voice of Albania.
In 1996, at the age of 15, Elsa won the Albanian national song contest, and won the Albanian public award through televoting. In 1997 she repeated herself, and won the Albanian national song contest, and public award. In 1998, she was noticed by all of Europe when she won Albania the Varna international song contest in Bulgaria, where 14 other countries participated. In the same year she represented her country in Lisboa Expo 98, holding a concert. In 1999, at only 18 years old, Lila was elected "Albanian singer of the century" by the national poll of the Albanian state radio television.In the same year Elsa won the first competition of Kenga Magjike. In 2001, she was awarded "Ambassador of the Albanian Music in the World" by Rexhep Mejdani, President of the Republic of Albania. She was recognised also all around Asia, and America when she modeled for various magazine covers in New York City, and sang at the famous Avery Fisher Hall to the American State Secretary, in 2005, and in China she sang the jingle of the popular Chinese television program CCTV while she was a guest there. In 2007 She takes part at the 57th Sanremo Song Contest with the song “Il senso della vita” that precedes the album coming out at springtime. In December 2008 she was the host of 47th Festivali I Këngës in Tirana and she sang a song with the famous Italian singer Enrico Ruggeri, and it's the soundtrack of the upcoming movie of director Gjergj Xhuvani.