Currently recording her debut EP at Powerstudio, Ella M grew up in Reading, moved to New York, and recently returned to London to work on her music.
Her first single ‘Don’t Know You’ is out now. With her soaring voice and the lilting guitar, ‘Don’t Know You’ sounds as heavenly as the emotion she describes in the song. Its heavy atmosphere makes the song as strong as it is.
We caught up with the promising debutant and spoke to her about her musical background, and how her new single came about.
Valarie – Welcome, Ella M. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
Ella M – Thank you for having me!
Valarie – What drew your attention towards music that made you want to become a singer / songwriter?
Ella M – When I was really young, at school I would always try to find a way to get up on stage and perform my stuff. I would use music classes as a time to write, even though they were terrible songs, I would harass the teacher to let me perform them at the assembly. Being dyslexic, I was never an academic and the only thing I really enjoyed and excelled in was music. I guess writing and performing my music was a way of proving to myself and others that I was capable and talented in something.
Valarie – Originally, you are from Reading, England but you actually moved to New York to pursue music at a young age. And now you’ve moved back to London. How would you say making these constant shifts have affected your career as a musician?
Ella M – I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately. I had a really hard time adjusting to New York City when I was 13 as I was going through puberty and I was totally out of my comfort zone. Once I started getting into the flow of things in the city, I realized that I had an edge on some other musicians as I came from a different culture. My mid – Atlantic accent would always spark up conversations and served as a great ice breaker. Moving to London put me right back into the space of total ‘out of comfort zone–ness’ which felt weirdly good. It forced me to dive head first into my music and inspired my writing in a huge way. I think most artists whether it be a painter, poet, dancer, or whatever, are addicted to the feeling of the unknown as it indirectly inspires their art.
Valarie – With the New Year, comes new material including your newest single “Don’t Know You”. What was the inspiration for the song?
Ella M – This song always seems to have different meanings for me depending on what is going on in my life but, when I wrote it I was inspired by the complications of relationships. I was in the middle of making the decision to move to London and I had a lot to leave behind but, a lot to look forward to. I don’t regret making the decision that I did, and when I did. With distance in friendships and relationships, it’s natural for people to lose touch and become a little unknown. This song is just me expressing my fears of losing touch with people who I loved. Luckily, this has not happened and everything has worked out but, at the time It was terrifying to me.
Valarie – You’ve been working with Benny D., who’s an award nominated producer, writer and founder of the London Artist Development program and the CEO of Powerstudio recording studio located in London. How did you come to work with him and his team and what has that experience been like?
Ella M – I spent a couple of months in the summer at his studio messing about with songs and writing, nothing serious but, things just clicked. Once it was time to go back to New York, I realized how much I had progressed musically and I didn’t see any reason for it to end. I didn’t want to drop out of college (University) so I applied to King’s College London to study music while working on my music at the studio. As I said before, I am not an academic so I thought my chances of getting into King’s would be slim but, the universe was kind to me and I got in! Things just seemed to fall into place. I have now been working with him for two years and he inspires me daily.
Valarie – You’re currently working on your debut EP. What can we look forward to?
Ella M – My goals are to finish four other songs before summer. I will release them once I am happy with the final cut but, I am definitely on track to finalize them before June.
Valarie – Speaking of music, this isn’t your first taste of the music industry. You’ve collaborated with other artists, DJ’s, etc before releasing your newest single. Is there anyone you’d want to work with & why?
Ella M – I would LOVE to collaborate with Mahalia, her lyrics are so relatable and she really resonates with me musically.
Valarie – Going into 2018, what can we expect this year? Touring? Live shows?
Ella M – I’m going to be doing live shows basically every month. You can find more information and tickets on my Instagram or Facebook. I would expect a lot of new music, once those songs are out, I will begin touring for sure.
Valarie – Being exposed to music at such a young age, name 5 artists that we should be keen on (past or present)?
Ella M –
b) Anderson .Paak
c) Lianne La Havas
d) Ari Lennox
Valarie – Thank you, Ella M., for talking with us here at T.H.E – Music Essentials. It’s been an absolute pleasure! Good luck with everything!