The Mancunion

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Interview: Ella Eyre

We caught up with BRIT-award winner and upcoming songwriter Ella Eyre.

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Ella Eyre is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment. Having established herself as an outstanding vocalist on Naughty Boy collaboration ‘Think About It’ and coined her first number one with Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’, she released her solo debut the ‘Deeper EP’ in December to much critical acclaim. I caught up with Ella amidst the madness to hear about her aspirations for the future and upcoming show at Manchester’s Gorilla.

Considering her fast rise to fame, I’m immediately taken aback by Ella’s humility and grace in reflecting on her recent success. This ethos was learnt during her attendance at performing arts institution/pop-artist conveyer belt, the BRIT school. “The most important thing I learnt there wasn’t anything about the Industry, but a lesson that no-one’s going to do anything for you in life. You have to do it yourself. It was the best character building lesson I could learn in the pursuit of a solo career.”

Her schooling did however, provide her with an unusual background in Musical Theatre. “It taught me to be dramatic, although theatre didn’t allow me to be creative enough. I found that playing a different role, someone else’s character, didn’t allow me full freedom of expression although it taught me how to bring passion to onstage performance” – a theatricality that allowed her to steal the show at the BRIT Awards this February.

She comments “neither of my parents come from a musical background and so I only first started experimenting with my own artistic style in my last year of school.” I ask her if this was behind the decision to use the artist name Ella Eyre, as opposed to her real surname of McMahon. She explains “apart from the fact that McMahon is a horrendous surname, I wanted something with a ring to it. My nan had told me at the time that Eyre is a surname somewhere in my family heritage so I went with that… no offence dad!”

Ella continues to describe her style as “ultimately Soul Music with hints of R&B and an underline of pop. I wouldn’t put it in one particular genre as I like to experiment but Deeper was deliberately a short EP so that I could establish myself as a solo artist before a full album release.”

In fact, all of the tracks on the EP are based on personal experience. “Deeper was based on a past awkward scenario in which I was seeing someone and they dropped the three word bombshell.” Although drawing on personal experience helped rather than hindered the creative process. “All the tracks are based on my past and ‘Love Me Like You’ references a recent relationship, I don’t find writing songs hard as I write them quite a while after the experience. In fact, I don’t think there was anything hard about producing that EP. Having toured with Rudimental as their vocalist for 7 months prior, I was itching to produce music at the time. The EP was produced by Two Inch Punch who really understood what I was trying to achieve. It was mainly a vibe. In fact I didn’t intend on doing an EP until we’d written Deeper and we realised we had to release it straight away!”

Referencing childhood heroes Basement Jaxx, (of whose track “Good Luck” showcases her incredible ability as a vocalist), Ella has big aspirations. “It’d be a dream to one day work with my childhood heroes such as Basement Jaxx and even further in the future, with someone like Pharrell. That’s the big dream.”

Closer in the future however, Ella graciously explains her desire to reward the fans that have supported her thus far. “The show at Gorilla is going to be intimate but it’s certainly not going to be timid. I love getting the audience involved and am really looking forward to spending time with the people who went out of their way to get tickets so early on in my career”. We’re sure it’ll be a show to remember.