WW: Hi Elllie, how are you? This is Jimmy, of
EL: Hi Jimmy!
WW: What sparked your interest in music?
EL: I had already been writing poetry at school but then
I started listening to mix tapes of hip hop from my
boyfriend at the time. The first instrumentals that I
wrote over were Nas -It aint hard to tell and A Tribe
called quest -relax yourself -and I started writing mad
surreal lyrics over the top, which led me to a revelation
that I could write about anything over these beats- I
could tell my story so far- I could change the world.
You know. It was great and from that moment I was
obsessed with finding music that made me feel
emotional and provoked me to write at length- and I
still do that now along with writing my own music.
WW: What type of music did you enjoy while growing
EL: My mum used to listen to mad irish music- she was
really into emotive singers playing acoustic guitars and
she liked the doors and she liked kate bush- who I eventually rediscovered for my self. We had a record player but that was my mums so I didnt really get into music until later (bar the odd record) when I was bought a hifi by my grandad. It was then that I started buying rap records.
WW: Where do you draw the inspiration for your lyrics?
EL: My lyrics are mostly based on reality and the sentiment and feeling is always real. I dont sit there and think- I must write a song- I think that must be a horrible way to write. I always like to get settled and if I havent already got something on my mind I will think about where I would like to "go" to today- how would I like to feel today and I will always let the music dictate the way. When Im writing music (I do that before I write lyrics) I like to set a mood and when I write lyrics I like to ride it. I like to feel that I am at one with the music and Im usually trying to find a solution to a current problem like in 'gotta get up from here' Im feeling like everythings going wrong and I dont know what to do-the answer- get up and move on! or at least remember that you have the free choice to get up and move on.
WW: Tell us about your other interests, such as playing guitar and how you discovered hip-hop music?
EL: So I am obsessed with creating things and seeing where it goes. I always did that with painting at school- I loved to paint with acrylics or draw from my imagination and see what happens. Thats what I do with music- so its like a playground for me. Learning the guitar was such a great step for independence. Before I had to rely on other peoples music but once you can play 3 chords you can write songs-it also means you have the basics for learning other instruments. I always loved the piano and its possibilities and would love to write a whole album on one. One day I want to own a piano- that is my dream. So I produced 2 tracks on the album and co produced others and I have had quite a bit of experience 'in the studio' so I feel at home and always have tons of ideas so my goal is to produce other people as well as mself. I want to get a really great engineer with a huge library of sounds and samples and get really creative and do a side project with old recorded spoken word footage-message based, heavy beats and real strings. My interests are musical but I also have an interest in social issues and anything 'real life' I studied communications and audio visual production as a degree and am still interested in documentary making and short films.
WW: Can you tell our visitors about the unique story of how you were discovered?
EL: I had my bedroom demo which was original in sound but far from polished and I sent it to a few people who I was waiting on when my friend said that he was moving to New York and asked if he could take my demo with him. I said yes and didnt think about it as he is in the computer business and didnt think he would be able to help me. My friend flyered manhatten offering computer consulting and a top music lawyer happened to pick up a flyer and needed his services. My friend played the demo to him and he liked it and he is now my manager. The lawyer/my manager set me up with his partner DJ Lethal and we re recorded my bedroom demos and wrote a few more songs. This new demo then got me signed to Atlantic records!
WW:Tell us about your latest song, Gotta Get up From Here.
EL: I wrote 'gotta get up from here' whilst attempting to give up smoking
(again) and feeling really vunerable. I didnt have my own place to live and I was feeling lost and like everything was wrong in my life. I wrote this song like a diary and was able to remind myself that there are worse off people than me and that I had better get up and get on with it. People have told me they can really relate to this song and I must admit that I feel those lyrics ringing true pretty often myself!
WW: How would you describe your music?
EL: I call it Urban/folk/pop. Maybe it could be called conscious pop? I can't bare to call my music rock/pop- because its not and I dont like 'pop' or top 40 as that doesnt distinguish it. I would also describe it as uplifting and positive music from a real place.