Posted On 22 Aug 2017
Meet the brand new artist, Ella Rae who recently dropped her debut single “Someone Else,” which NYLON described as showcasing her “veteran level talent”! The track is a soulful bop inspired by a night of ‘drinking too much bacardi’ and wanting to be someone else. It was produced by Doug Schadt (Maggie Rogers, Wet) and mixed by David Oversby-Powell (Years & Years, Ellie Goulding) and Ella is the latest signee to New Torch Entertainment (Betty Who, COIN).
Learn more about Ella Rae in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you? Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
2017 is going really well. We released my first single ‘Someone Else’ in July. I’ve spent the first part of the year mainly writing between New York and Nashville and now we are focusing on having the songs produced. I have just been over to London and Spain to do some shows/ festivals too which was a lot of fun.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
I am currently sitting in one of my favourite bars in London called Bentleys and Sinatra is playing in the background. If I’m anxious about something or stressed, I always listen to Oscar Peterson’s ‘I got it bad and that ain’t good’. This piece of music is therapeutic and never fails to calm me down. I would strongly recommend it.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I was living in Cornwall in England and at 19 years old, I decided I wanted to move to London to pursue my musical career. So I packed up and got on a bus and moved to Soho. I remember the first night there very well. I walked into Ronnie Scott’s the famous Jazz Club in Soho and asked the band if I could sing a song. To my surprise, they let me. I had always wanted to go to Ronnie Scott’s but never thought they would let me play there! It was a very positive start to my move and on I won’t forget.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
I have no clue actually. Although, I do think I could have been an astronomer because I’m fascinated by stars and planets. I spend hours sometimes by myself just staring up at the sky trying to figure it all out.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
I grew up in a city called Birmingham in England. When I was 16, I did my first gig in a Pizza Express in a town called Sutton Coldfield. I saw that they had live Jazz on so I went up to the manager and asked her if I could have a resident night there. She told me to come back the next day and audition. So the next day I turned up with a CD player and a mic and sang Nat King Cole’s ‘Let there be love’ to the restaurant. She gave me the gig and I became the resident singer till I was 18 when I then moved to London. This was my first real memory of playing music publicly and realizing I wanted to be a performer.
What was the inspiration for your debut single “Someone Else”? How do you think this song prepares listeners for you and your music? How long have you been wanting to release this song?
Someone Else’ is a song written for the ‘free spirit’. However, it portrays a sense of sadness and trouble at times. It’s about how sometimes we just simply ‘don’t know how to be’. I want listeners to be able to relate to this feeling but to also know that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. It’s okay to feel lost at times. We don’t always know how to ‘Keep it together’ but that’s okay. In the end, we are just human and figuring all this all out as we go along.
When do you hope to release more new music and a full EP or album of new songs?
We plan to release new music very soon. Stay tuned!
I’d love to know more about why you choose to run/walk to all of your studio session in New York City? Where do you think your fear of the underground (subway/tube) comes from? Do you think that this fear comes through in your music at all?
I once got stuck on a tube in London when I was going out in Camden one night. It stopped for 20 minutes in the tunnel and I had a very bad panic attack. Since then getting on the tube/subway has become a real challenge for me. When we were working on ‘Someone Else’, I had to get to Brooklyn as the producer’s studio was over there. I spent two days there and I walked there and back every day. I clocked 34.5 miles walking in 48 hours to get that song finished! Recently I have been trying to fight my fear and do small journeys on the subway. Just small steps but getting better at it.
What are your plans for the rest of this summer? Do you have any plans to play out live at all?
Yes we are currently setting up some shows now. I just played Benicassim Festival in Spain where Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kasabian were headlining. That was great and now I am in London doing a week of shows and heading back to New York next week.
How do you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you hope to be a good role model for young people today?
I get a lot of joy from what I do. I am grateful for the fact that I get to focus on my writing and in general just being creative. The songs are my ‘babies’ and there is no greater feeling than watching them develop and the take them out and sing them live. I give all my energy to them and it will always be this way.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
When I write a song, it kinda just happens. I never feel like I have any control over what I write. I always say my songs know more about me than I do. I listen back and I’m like F**k, I had no clue I was feeling that! I think I would go mad if I couldn’t channel any of this stuff.
I wrote a song recently called ‘Monsters’. It focuses on fear and toxicness in many different forms. Writing this song was like therapy for me. I can only hope the listener feels that too and takes something away from it.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
The music business is tough. However, deep down, I love it. I let the knockbacks become my biggest motivation. You have to do that otherwise it would slowly chip away at you and the most important thing is keeping your energy up. I would be lying if I said I woke up everyday and found all this easy. Sometimes I get frustrated and disheartened. However I strongly believe persistence pays. Also never stop the HUSTLE. Hustle is a big part of this game and should never be let go of. Just believe in what you do and enjoy the journey. Focus on remaining focused and all will be fine.