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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST ELLA BLEAKLEY

Hiya Ella thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music was the thing for you?

I don’t think there was one particular defining moment. I think creativity has always rescued me, as it does for many others. It picked me up one day, and hasn’t put me down since. I’ve always loved words and I think I get that from my mum. Writing has had a place in my heart since my childhood, writing love songs about imaginary heart break! I also think i’ve always been quite sensitive so writing and putting words to melodies has soothed and nurtured that part of me.

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

‘Every time we say goodbye’ Ella Fitzgerald, who I was named after. 

What part of the creative process do you enjoy most?

I think my favourite part is enjoying the music once it’s finished. Creating music feels like therapy to me, so when I listen back on something I’ve done, I’m able to reflect and appreciate the journey I’ve gone through. It’s restorative for me. 

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

I feel so blessed to be part of such a dynamic and talented industry. But to tell you the truth I’ve never felt like I’m actually in the industry as weird as that sounds, and I think that’s maybe because I see music as a passion rather than something I’m trying to commercialise. When I make music, I’m not thinking about the success it’s going to bring me or where its going to progress me in the industry, I’m just kind of wrapped up in the creation of it. That’s probably why I’m still very much an underground artist!

Any tips on promoting yourself on socials?

I think as underground artists there’s always this kind of pressure to follow a certain formula when releasing music to gain maximum listeners. They say release singles, then eps, then albums once you’re blowing up etc, and whilst there’s definitely merit in that I feel like its really important to never lose sight of what you’re doing this for. Sometimes a project can be so important and so relevant to you at a certain stage of your life, that it would be inauthentic to hold it back just for the sake of marketing. I think the catch 22 of streaming services is that they’re so accessible which on one hand makes your music widely available, but some of the intimacy of it gets lost in translation. It used to be that you’d release your tape on a CD or Vynl and the listener would actively sit down and listen to the piece of work from start to finish, it’s just not the same anymore.

I think my best advice is to create a marketing campaign that is just as much of an experience as the music. Reinforce the message you’re trying to convey through visuals or share some of your creative processes. Just always remain authentic, because your art is so much more than just an algorithm. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

Hmm okay.

I’m a terrible drawer 

I’m an average cook

And I’m an incredible football player!

How do you think the pandemic affected artists? 

I think it affected so many different people in so many different ways, it’s hard to make a generalisation for all artists. For some people it was the making of their career,  thanks to social media but it had the opposite effect for others. So many artists suffered. It’s still effecting lots of people across all creative industries which is why its so so so important to actively support artists and not just be a bystander. In a age where we’re more connected than ever, we have an opportunity to be more than just a consumer. We can connect and support the artist with little effort and yet that contribution makes all the difference.



What was the craziest thing you bought during the pandemic?

A surfboard!

What’s a piece of advice you live by!

My mum always said work to make your corner of the world the best place it can be, and the rest will follow. I think that helps me in day to day life but also when I’m thinking about my success as an artist. I don’t get set back by where I’m at because I know I’m having both an intimate and direct effect on the people close to me who have been supporting the cause since day one, that’s who I do all this for. 

Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about. 

I’m a university dropout!

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

I think that’s for other people to decide! 

What was the worst experience on stage?

Just your average panic attack!

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

Yes, I do! My debut album ‘somewhere green’ will be out on the 4th of march! It’s a 7-track tape. I could tell you what the themes are etc but I think the music speaks for itself. This project is so special to me, it was made with a lot of love and I hope it’s received in equal measure. 

I love your title track somewhere green, can you talk about the process of creating that?

The process was kind of crazy. It technically started back when I was in school, I wrote this song for a girl and It never really materialised into anything. So I kept the song and rewrote it. I think when I was about 16 or 17 I took it to a producer, we recorded it, etc but it didn’t really ever get finished.

I think after that experience I kept the song to myself for a while and continued to work on it. I think because it continued to remain relevant to my past, present, and future, perfecting it became like a therapy for me. I was able to channel so much into this one piece of work, I feel like the song absorbed a lot of my trouble/pain/experience.

Fast-forward a year I joined uni, I met some very talented people and I felt ready to record it properly and release that energy that I felt was built into the song. 

So that’s what I did. 

And it took quite a while to make actually. But I really loved that process, and it healed a lot for me. That’s what music does for me in general, it acts as a healer.

So you’ve been sitting with this song for a while now!

Yes, a very long time!

Talk me through the thought process of creating the rest of album.

Well in those 2 years, I wrote and recorded songs that were the ‘prequel’ you could say to the song somewhere green. As I was doing that I realised I was kind of telling a very personal story (as you tend to do with art) and I felt like I needed to share that. I think the story is mainly one about self love. 

What I love about art is that you can interpret it in multiple ways, and you might listen to some of the songs and think ‘oh that’s about heartbreak or that’s about a relationship’ but to me the songs are about the relationship I have with myself. Working for my own love. Releasing the disruption my own ego causes. Finding peace in being solo, and working towards entering an inner space that benefits your truest and highest self. Somewhere green is a metaphor for that inner place. So I hope it can encourage people to go on their own healing journey etc. 

Do you have a favorite song on the Album?

I don’t have a favourite song on there, I think each song speaks about a different aspect of my life and what i’ve been going through so I give each song equal recognition and appreciation. However having said that, somewhere green is very special to me.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Always trust the process, and trust the people you’ve chosen to help you create the art. I’ve been lucky enough to work with amazing producers, artists, and photographers and I think allowing myself to share my vision with them (even though it was very personal) benefited the overall outcome of the art. I’m so blessed to have such an incredible support network. 

What advice would you give to young aspiring artists?

I think to always speak from the heart and tell your truth. People connect to authenticity, we like honesty and rawness, so don’t ever be afraid to express ourselves with sincerity. Art allows us this incredible rarity to communicate what’s at our core, so my advice would be to dig deep and always remain connected to your truth and tell that truth unapologetically. 

Is there anything else you would like to say to the world?

Trust yourself and all you are capable of….oh and please go listen to my music! 

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