This Month's member of the month is Ella Joy!
We interviewed Ella Joy, an ACM student who recently came to our attention after posting a Producer Project, to find out her inspiration, how she’s finding the site, and what she’s looking for in a producer.
Tell us a bit about yourself, what style of music you make and who inspired you to create music.
I’ve been passionate about creating music since I was 14, and have since been honing my craft in terms of vocals and more recently, production. I released my first EP; Lucid Living, on the 1st September this year in on the Cold Hill label, which, if we were to categorise it, I guess we'd say it is downtempo, electronica, and soulful, ambient music.
Recently I’ve been moving even deeper into a more experimental sound, similar to the style explored within my song 'I Need You' on the EP. Experimenting with unusual sounds really appeals to me, and it’s so exciting to be finding new tracks from musicians around me that are executing this so well.
The inspiration for the EP was taken from many different angles; spirituality, self-expression, self-exploration, and contemporary artists such as London Grammar, Glass Animals, and Alt-J. More recently I’ve found myself listening to artists such as Sevdeliza, FKA Twigs, Thom Yorke and John Frusciante. This is a really exciting time for me as I feel like I’ve established a freer, more open and creative ground from which I can enjoy experimenting with making music. Discovering artists that are new to me who are doing something that I feel is really new and unique, is something that I’m taking a lot of creative influence from at the moment. My focus has shifted on to production much more, so I’m constantly listening to a lot of electronic producers, soaking up their music and learning the craft from as many angles as possible, and the work that these artists have released is really inspiring.
You've posted a project to find a producer, what kind of like-minded professional are you looking for?
I’m looking for someone who is equally inspired by creative expression and pushing traditional boundaries within music. I love music that goes places that you didn't expect when listening from the start of the song. I’m also looking for people who want to make music simply because they love pushing themselves and creating sounds that inspire themselves as artists. I think that is so important — to be constantly developing and moving towards as much creative freedom as possible.
What attracted you to use Music Gateway for your search?
Music Gateway appeals to me because it’s almost like a spider's web connecting like-minded musicians together. After pitching for a few projects myself, it felt like a natural progression to put my ideas out there too. Being able to put a project forward to a large audience and receive feedback from all kinds of sounds and different elements of the diverse industry is such a gift. Music Gateway is an efficient way for me to connect with other artists and with so many users to reach out to, it was a no-brainer for me. I feel that this platform makes it so much easier to find people to work with, and the fact that you can reach people directly is wonderful.
We can see that you're an ACM Student, how have they helped you progress your skills & career?
My time at ACM is still very fresh; I’m only on my 5th week in but I’m already experiencing the benefits from it. The instant benefit for me is just being surrounded by so many people who are passionate about music. I’ve really enjoyed hearing everyone's sound, and connecting with so many people who are starting the same joinery as me but from so many different directions. On top of that, my experience with the tutors has been wonderful so far. They’ve all been so excited to hear where we’re at, and they've been able to connect me with the perfect people that can help support me during this time. On top of that is the fact that all of the lectures/sessions are so relevant and have been genuinely character building and motivating.
I’ve been having sessions with producers and production tutors to improve my knowledge and skills, and I’ve already learned so much. I’ve also started a few collaborations, which means some new exciting things are on the horizon. There is something called the Discovery & Development scheme that is set up to support artists and connect them with managers and other industry professionals and I’ve just been accepted on to that project, which is really great.
How do you believe Music Gateway can help further your musical development?
I can see myself using Music Gateway frequently in the future, as I really feel that it has the potential to connect various aspects of the music industry together, which is so important and could have a huge impact on anyone’s career if used to its potential.
What are your plans for the future?
I have an EP of remixes of the Lucid Living tracks coming out before the end of 2016. I've been so lucky with the great artists that have been doing the remixes. I’m currently writing and recording an album which I’m planning to release in the Spring of 2017, again on Cold Hill. This project will be a development and progression of my sound, possibly with the use of collaborations with other producers too. I’m also planning more music videos; something I find really creatively fulfilling. I also get really inspired by the idea of immersive live shows, so with the potential of gaining a larger fan base that would want to attend these events, I really hope to be creating some creatively expressive and experimental live experiences.