- Words Solly Warner
- Photography Byron Chambers
- Production Studio Notion
Rising singer-songwriter, Ella Grace, unveils her joyous debut album ‘Reverence’ and tells us why Sexuality, Identity, Spirituality and Mental Health are the pillars of her new music.
Officially releasing herself onto the musical world in 2017, Ella Grace has shared a handful of emotionally driven singles and blissful covers up until now. The London artist embodies an innovative bridge between the old school and the new age, having built an online community through a blog that sought to provide a safe space of self-expression and liberation for women.
Having made her musical breakthrough with popular songs like “Wild Roads” and “Here We Are Again”, Ella has continued to develop her community of hundreds-of-thousands of women both online and offline through podcast series, retreats and courses. These safe spaces of exploration, expression, growth and taboo-breaking conversation translate into her music and more recently the launch of her own record label ONEONEONE. Earlier this year Ella even received a grant from The Shawn Mendes Foundation for her work and dedication to the empowerment of women, which will further support the development of her label.
The 25-year-olds latest single “She Looked Like Me” was created as an ode to these women, born from the unspoken, and sometimes overlooked, female bond. The track is about seeing the power in every woman and hoping that these women will discover and reconnect with their own unique power one day.
Ella has now unveiled her stunning debut album ‘Reverence’. The 11-track body of work is a captivating journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Honey dipped vocals, sweet catchy melodies and beautiful, honest song writing make this warm debut offering an album to be cherished. The record shares heartache, longing and liberation, with Ella coming to terms with her own sexuality; it’s raw and empowering.
Already receiving much critical acclaim for her music and with her new album set to take things to the next level, this is just the beginning for Ella Grace.
Notion spoke with Ella about what her debut album represents, why her podcast followed her own journey of personal growth and how she wants to inspire more self-understanding, acceptance and joy.
How has the last year changed your approach to music, the relationship that you have with it and what do you hope to take forward?
I think the last year has put me in a position wherein I am much more committed to making music. Whilst the world around me was out of control and shut down, music was still totally accessible to me. It’s a medium I can rely on in my life and so I feel my relationship with my music making has blossomed. I’ve been practicing my guitar more than I ever have in my life.
When did you start working on ‘Reverence’ and what sparked the creation of a new album?
I started working on Reverence last year around March just before the first lockdown began in the UK, I made a last minute decision to drive up North to the studio I work in with my producer Jason Odle. I had made the intention when the New Year rolled in to create an album this year but thought it would be a compilation of all the Folk songs I’ve written over the years. I was wrong haha. Once I got into the studio for the first time in 2 years (I’d been living in Cape Town, South Africa) I found that I yearned to make music that was less melancholic and more fun and sexy. I think that desire is what sparked the creation of my new album.
What does this new album represent and how does it differ from your previous music?
My previous music was made in the super early days of me even sharing my music with anyone outside of my bedroom. I was so surprised when they blew up and did so well and never toured with them or anything, I definitely had a whole lot of imposter syndrome running through my system. So this album is kind of the counter balance to that experience as I spent every second during the production of the album in the studio with Jason, learning and inputting. It was a much more hands (or ears) on experience. This new album represents the moment where I merged with my musical destiny I suppose. I felt before this that I was sharing my diary entries with the public which was raw, vulnerable and gorgeous. But with this album I’ve felt a full embodiment occur and my imposter syndrome has mostly vanished.
Do you have a favourite track from the album, and can you tell us why this song particularly speaks to you?
My favourite track from the album changes but at the moment it’s definitely ‘Strawberry Kisses’. This song really feels classically old school in it’s sound and melody and that brings me a lot of joy as I really respect and relish in the sounds of the 70’s.
Can you talk to us about your record label ONEONEONE? Why did you decide to take this specific route and what do you hope to achieve with your own label going forward?
Sure. So this year I decided to self release my album and start a record label to achieve that. It’s been a HUGE learning curb and honestly that’s why I took this route. I feel so many new artists can rush into label deals without having a lot of knowledge about what happens within the industry. I think knowledge is power and when it comes to my art I’m not willing to give that power away easily 😉
My music aside, I also wanted to find a way to support other young musicians in the ways I wasn’t. So my focus with the label outside of my own music is to see if I can play a role in shifting culture for women and non-binary artists in the music industry.
You have received a grant from The Shawn Mendes Foundation to further help support the label. How does it feel to be recognised for your work and dedication to the empowerment of women?
I did, what a special thing! It feels really rewarding and is definitely a great honour to receive a grant from such an incredible artist. I’m currently working on getting this grant distributed to help young musicians who need it!
You also recently performed a few of your new songs on a stage presented by whynow and The Fifth. How long has it been since you had that much stage time and how did it all feel?
Honestly? It’s been forever. I’ve never really played live, aside from a few small gigs here and there over the years. To be on stage is totally electric for me, I can’t describe how at home I feel.
Having built up such a special community of women online, what does your podcast, ‘ReWilding’ mean to you and how have you experienced your own personal growth during the recording of the episodes?
ReWilding has been a gorgeous trip! I’ve spoken to literally millions of people through it and get such beautiful messages from them telling me how listening to my experiences growing up has been healing and affirming for them.
The Podcast really followed my own journey of personal growth very organically, if I experienced something big in my life I’d be straight on there sharing it with everyone. It was a very transparent, vulnerable, important part of the last 3 years of my life.
In a time where it has been impossible to meet fans face to face, how has it been for you being able to maintain that intimate connection online?
I find I quite like the distance if I’m honest, having never toured with music I’m sure that would change once I have. I like my space and I feel as if I’m able to connect with my fans very easily via platforms like Instagram!
You’ve explored topics such as Sexuality, Identity, Spirituality and Mental Health. How do these topics feed into your new music, and what is the main goal you’d like to achieve by sharing these important areas of discussion?
I mean.. these topics are really the PILLARS of this Album. The album is a musical culmination of my journey in all 4 of these spaces. I’m hoping to do a bit of a lyric breakdown of each song soon so I can really share the meanings of the music on this album for me. And in terms of what I want to achieve by sharing about these topics is honestly just to inspire more self understanding and with that acceptance and joy!