There’s just one week to go until the return of This Must Be Pop Live, when MDNGHT, Ellie Rose and Max Marshall will be performing at Queen of Hoxton. That means it’s time to get to know the acts a bit better, and first up for a grilling is teenage singer-songwriter Ellie Rose…
You’ve been posting DIY-style music videos on YouTube throughout your career. Why did you choose this approach, as opposed to developing your sound in private and waiting for a record label to swoop in, as some young artists do?
When I was 15, I first recorded a song called Crayons. I wanted to show my family and friends so I filmed a video of myself lip-syncing the song in my garden, on a swing and I didn’t have a YouTube account so I uploaded it on my dad’s. It got a couple of thousand views so I kept making similar style videos on my own channel. I did it as a creative outlet. I like that people can see my sound as it develops if they want to. That’s why I’ve chosen to leave old videos up!
There are some fantastic female singer-songwriters breaking through at the moment. What do you think will make you stand out from those other artists?
In my opinion, a singer-songwriter is anyone that writes their own songs and performs them, such as Carole King, Kate Bush and Katy Perry – they all stand out as they do their own thing. I don’t see it as a competition. I think people can get caught up in categorising artists and I try and appreciate all kinds of music for what it is… I think there’s room for lots of artists doing different things. I listen to a lot of current music.
What’s your top tip for a singer who wants to write their own songs and doesn’t know where to start?
I think if someone struggles drawing on themselves for inspiration, they should look at people they know, or people they don’t. With lyrics I like to cut up headlines from newspapers or quotes I like, throw them on a table or stick them in a book and see what catches my eye…
Have you had any formal training in music and performing arts, or did you learn simply from playing gigs and making music independently?
No formal training but I grew up playing gigs since I was 11 alongside incredible musicians, constantly learning… I was lucky to have entered such a tight circle of artists and musicians in London.
As a local girl, what’s your favourite London venue and where in the city do you dream of performing?
I love so many venues in London: The Bedford in Balham is like a second home, and I love the Troubadour too. I would love to play the Roundhouse one day, I’ve seen some great acts there. Such a cool vibe and history to the venue.
What can we expect from your set at This Must Be Pop Live?
I’m playing a full band show for the first time in ages at This Must Be Pop Live. It should be fun, a bit silly and a whole bunch of new songs!! I’m excited.