How Ellise's first EP came to life
18-year-old Ellise may be a small town girl from Danville, California, but she sure has L.A. sized dreams. The up-and-coming singer graduated high school tow years early to pursue her dreams.
Since moving to Los Angeles Ellise has taken off on the world of social media with her music. After posting a cover of Adele's "Hello", she quickly got attention.
This year, Ellise released her single Dominoes, and plans to release a full EP before the year is over. We had the chance to sit down with this inspiring musician and talk to her about everything from songwriting to social media.
Check out part one of the interview below!
#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Ellise, click here.
How did you first fall in love with music?
I've always sang my whole life and when I was in 4th grade I was in music class in elementary school and my music teacher spook a special interest in me, and pulled me aside one day and told me that I should sing a solo at the back-to-school concert. I was so nervous -- I had never sang by myself befor, but I agreed. I chose to sing 'Because of You' by Kelly Clarkson, and I remember going on stage and being so nervous, my knees were shaking and I was so scared, there were 100 people watching but it felt like 1000. I just remember as soon as I started singing all of my nerves went away, and it was just this crazy moment where I realized that I loved to sing and perform, and that it was what I wanted to do.
When did you begin songwriting?
I've always been thinking of writing songs. All of my notes in my phone are verses and lines I think of, but I really started songwriting alongside producers and other writers about 6 months ago when we started writing for my EP. I just really enjoy writing and I hope to write on every song I ever do.
What has it been like exploring songwriting the past 6 months?
It's definitely been interesting! I've learned a lot from the people that I've gotten to write songs with because I've gotten to write with some amazing producers and writers, and they've taught me a lot -- it's been a lot of learn-by-doing. It's been very cool experience.How often when you're songwriting do you pull inspiration from your everyday life?
It's something that has kind of actually happened that way -- like when they say 'Based on a true Story'. Something has to inspire me, or maybe I'll go through a situation where I think this will make a good song. I basically think of what happened and how to put it into a song.
Was your latest single "Dominoes" inspired by a real experience?
Yeah. Dominoes came about from a past relationship I had that was just not a very good relationship, and we both knew it had to end, and it was a toxic relationship, so that's how Dominoes came about.
So what was it like bringing that story to life -- either in the studio or creating the music video?
It was definitely crazy and so fun. The music video shoot was one of the best days of my life. It was so fun, and all of my friends were in the video. Paul Boyd directed the video, and he's just an amazing music video director. It was just a great day and it was cool getting to bring the story to life. I was a little because I feel like the person I wrote the song about knows it's about them. It's kind of obvious, but that's okay.
What about the rest of the songs on your EP? What can your fans expect from the EP itself?
One way to describe it would be just variety. There's a lot of different types of songs on the EP, and we'll have guest features. I can't reveal their names but that will be cool. There are a lot of upbeat, dance songs and then a few on the ballad side of things. It's going to be a really cool mix of songs.
How long did it take to create the EP?
I was in the studio almost everyday from November until probably the end of March.
How have you seen your songs develop on the EP as time has gone on?
I've seen them develop in the way where you start out with a track, or a line you like and then you build off of that and watch the song come to life. Then you start testing out vocals and you go into the studio and end up making changes, like 'what if we changed this to this melody instead'? Things you never even thought of before. Or sometimes someone else happens to walk by and throws something in, and it ends up being a great idea. It's just crazy. It's a lot of different inputs and a lot of exploring and trying things over and over again in new ways until you find the fit. It's a cool process.
What's your biggest takeaway from working on this EP that you'll take to your next album?
Learning more about writing, since I'm pretty new to the songwriting world. I would also like to see how I can continue to learn more about that world and work with more producers and expand my horizons. I'm excited about that.
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