Exclusive Spotlight Interview with the talented singer 'Alice Ella'
Alice Ella's debut single 'summer sun' was successfully crowdfunded by a Kickstarter campaign and used for a Roland/boss vocal pedal advert. This was then followed by her second single '24 obsession' with a sold-out headline show at the hospital club London.
Currently the voice of the Mc Donald's advert across America, Alice also recently starred in the new Yamaha advert across social media. She also sang the title song 'motherless child' for the feature film 'grand piano' starring Elijah wood and john Cusack, acting as Kerry bishé's singing voice double. She also duetted with Emeli sandé for the brit awards campaign 2012 and following this was then booked as the opening act for Jessie j.
Where are you from? I am from West Sussex, I moved to London around 7 years ago to pursue my music, and then moved to Brighton last year!
When did you start making music? I have always sang since being a little kid (I mean I was literally on stage at Sydney Opera house as a fetus when my mum was performing there!) LOL! When I was growing up I actually wanted to be a dancer and did lots of productions and pantomimes and all sorts where I danced and sang, but I didn’t truly know what I wanted to be a singer until a little later on in life. At the age of 14, I got sick with glandular fever. I was a healthy teenager up until then and just wanted to perform but all of a sudden everything changed for me. I had to leave school and just about managed to take a few GCSE’s from my bed. Then as my health got progressively worse I was diagnosed with M.E. and Crohn's disease. I then spent several years wheelchair bound and unable to walk, talk, or even watch tv etc. As the years went by and my health started to improve, on my good days I would try to get downstairs to the piano and that's when I wrote my first song. It was called Keep On Keeping On (something my mother would often say to me) and listening back it was bloody awful.. but we all have to start somewhere huh! So from there I would sit and write and it was my therapy. Then after years of physio etc. I was finally able to move to London and start writing and recording sessions with various co-writers and producers! I also started gigging and loved performing so much that I worked as a wedding singer for a few years!.
How do you describe your music? I would describe my music as being dark ambient pop… with a hint of R&B! Its hard to fit it into one box and I feel like my sound is constantly changing as I write more, and as work with new producers. But I finally feel like I have found a sound that I love and I want to keep developing that!
Who is your biggest musical inspiration? Back in the day, my first big inspirations were Beyonce, Destiny’s Child and Christina Aguilera - I was obsessed of course! Then it was Jessie J for a number of years - her voice!! MAN!! She kills EVERY performance she does and really knows how to connect with the crowd and her fans! But now I would say that my biggest musical inspiration is NAO- I love her unique sound - vocally and the production. Her music really helps me escape from my head (which we all need to do sometimes right?) and she also gives me confidence in my vocal sound - she has gone to show that you don’t have to have this big ‘belty’ pop voice to be able to make music. I have always struggled with confidence when it comes to my voice because it is a ‘lighter’ ‘breathier’ sound - but artists like her really give me that boost that being or sounding different is a good thing. Own it!
What is your producing software? I do my vocal production on Logic Pro X and record my piano parts on there too.
What other things do you do besides making music? Nap mainly! And eat!! - To be honest, all I do is write and record music whenever I can! I submit a lot of music to various pitches for other artists and adverts/films etc and also work on my own music. I also sell my merchandise for an M.E. charity - MEAction and love designing the merchandise and sending it out to customers! Another thing I love to do is film vlogs which I upload to my youtube channel! I am hoping to film more of these soon!
What is your best-producing tip?
I’m no producer, but I do love to record and edit my own vocals. I think one of the best things I have learned while producing my vocals is to edit them the next day with fresh ears!
Favorite moment from your career?
Ooh good question! I think one if the best moments of my life was being booked to support Jessie J back in 2012…. Note how I say ‘being booked’… At the time I was literally her biggest fan, and I cried with happiness when the news came through that I would be opening one if her shows! But then the day came, my band and I all travelled down to Wales and did our soundcheck, to then be told that Jessie couldn’t make it down to the gig anymore and it was cancelled! Talk about highs and lows!! Oh and it was also pretty cool when Emeli Sande came and sang with me for the Brit Awards advert too! Singing with one of your idols is pretty damn cool! And she was so lovely and down to earth!
What is your favorite track of all time? Wow, now THAT is a question… ah, there are too many!! Ok so if I had to pick one… I think it would be Big White Room by Jessie J. I think mainly because it helped me so much during such a dark time, and because I relate to it so much - She wrote it about a health condition she has and when she was in and out of hospital a lot - it is so honest and heartfelt and her vocals are just beautiful. It is so therapeutic to sing along to and made me feel less alone.
Why did you start making music? As I touched on before it has been like therapy for me. No matter what I am going through in my life I write about it. I really hope that my music and lyrics are relatable and that if even one person listens and feels something or some sort of escapism I am happy with that!
What are your goals for the future?
I am planning on making a documentary about living with a chronic illness whilst trying to make it in the music industry! I try to raise awareness and understanding of chronic/invisible illnesses and of the condition M.E. too, especially on my social media (Instagram: @aliceellagram) and I also plan to continue to sell my merchandise for the charity MEAction and hope that I can make some new garments soon! I plan to release new music as soon as I can too and am currently working on an EP with one of my favorite producers Sam Skirrow. I can’t wait for you guys to hear what we have come up with!
What advice can you give for the young music producers/DJs? I think that patience is very important. Your goals aren’t going to be reached overnight, but with every day the more you keep working on it the closer you will get. I love the quote ‘one day or day one?’ As sometimes you can feel so far away from your dreams and like you’ll never get there, but making that little bit of progress each day is so important and to look back and see how far you’ve come is so necessary. I also spent a lot of my time going to networking events and meeting other artists, writers, and producers- collaborating with as many people as possible is definitely so important!
Please write a message to your fans: I have a little handful of fans who mean the world to me! Without them, I think I would feel a little lost in this big old industry! I am so lucky to have their support and I try to chat with them on my social media / Instagram as much as I can! It’s like having a little group of super supportive friends who have your back! I appreciate them so much and can’t wait to be able to give them more music soon!