Ella Fence ignited her dark and quirky songs onto the music scene back in 2015/2016 with her Debut release, ‘Unknown Water’, scoring her video of the year and song of the year at the Gold Coast Music Awards.
Since the release of her critically acclaimed debut EP, ‘Wanderlust’, Ella has toured and performed at a plethora of events in Australia, USA, Germany, France, England and Canada which included The Great Escape Festival and Canadian Music Week, wowing both fans and critics alike.
Ella Fence has kept smashing out hypnotic trance like masterpieces with lyrics like; “I wanna do cocaine in a photobooth, I wanna be downtown too, I wanna be just like you, I wanna drive away to things I’ve never done before, get high on the backseat and rob a liquor store..” from her hit single, ‘Cocaine’;
“Intoxicated, cause you keep me waiting holding onto my breathe, heart is a racing cause I wanna taste it, anticipate what’s next, show me run on water, take me down down to the water…” from ‘Unknown Water’; it’s lyrics like these intertwined with the unique constant beating drums throughout and the voice which truly tells the story to take you on that journey with her in each and every song.
Ella’s latest single, ‘Hollow Drum’, has also received high accolades and high rotation from major radio.
Since the release of ‘Hollow Drum’, 2018 has been seen as her biggest year yet, growing her live shows and band as well as a string of events including performing at the Commonwealth Games Festival 2018 supporting Kate Miller-Heidke and Regurgitator as well as recording her highly anticipated debut album. Her latest single ‘Call Girl’ came out last week…
We asked Ella few questions and this is what she had to say;
MT: The first thing I just have to ask is, where do these lyrics come from; how do you think these stories?
ELLA: Most of my writing comes from personal experience, conversations and scenarios within my own life, or at least the initial idea of the track comes from that place. I don’t think I’ve ever written about anything fictitious, but it’s something I’d be interested in exploring, writing from outside yourself, I think the process would be really different though.
MT: Who thinks of the visuals and ideas for your video clips?
ELLA: I worked with different teams on all three film clips that I’ve put out so far. The process is usually very collaborative but the quality of the clips very much came down to working with absolute legends – on Unknown Water I worked with Gold Coast based Double Deuce, who ended up winning Gold Coast Music Award for Best Music Video 2016 and then I worked with some Brisbane creatives on the Dancer film clip, which ended up making the 2018 Longlist for UK’s UMA Awards for Best International Music Video, which was so incredibly crazy and unexpected.
MT: I suppose you have heard this a few times, but there is this dark quirkiness about your music and your visuals that also go hand in hand that creates this incredible package that is ELLA FENCE. Have you always been unique in this way from your school days?
ELLA: As I’ve grown the project has grown, I’d say there are definitely qualities that have carried through from school, because I was singing as young as 5 and have always been a prolific writer. I’m a very deep thinker and have always been very curious of the world, so those things have stuck.
MT: How important is it to be yourself and not to fit into a mould?
ELLA: Very. Except when it comes to wearing unnecessary hats indoors and at night time because that’s fun sometimes and you really only do that so people think you’re cool #fashion.
MT: What’s your favourite part of the song writing process?
ELLA: Writing the lyrics and talking through ideas, it’s like therapy. I also love when you’re working collaboratively with someone and you can feel in a moment together that you’re onto something with a particular part, or line, or section – that feeling is absolute gold.
MT: Do you play any instruments?
ELLA: Sure do – keys and guitar and I used to play flute in school. I’m keen to learn the drums and traded a set of DJ decks for a 6 pack of beer ‘cause I want to learn to DJ too. Looks like heaps of fun but I hear it can be super stressful actually.
MT: When did you begin singing and song writing?
ELLA: I began singing when I was very young. My mum still had a drawing I made when I was 5 that when I grew up I wanted to sing in front of 1,000 people (which to a 5 year old meant the whole world really).
MT: Do you have a supportive network of friends and family?
ELLA: My friends and family are diamonds.
MT: You have clearly placed a ‘stamp of your own’ with the sound of your music; Having so much space, yet it’s so full of character and depth. How did the ideas for the unique sounds of the constant beating drums, your vocal characteristics/performances and this trance-like feel come about with your music?
ELLA: I listen to a lot of music, I’d say my biggest influences are Banks, Billie Eilish and Halsey. I’m inspired by the strength in their direction, their character and their music.
MT: What was it like to support Katie Miller-Heidke and Regurgitator?
ELLA: Supporting Kate Miller-Heidke and Regurgitator at Commonwealth Games Festival 2018 was a dream come true – I accomplished the intention I set when I was 5, to sing in front of 1,000 people (in fact there were roughly 3,000 people at the show, so that was hugely a humbling and rewarding experience).
MT: Do you have a preference between recording and playing live?
ELLA: Definitely playing live – it feels more in the moment and spontaneous. I love when you’re recording and you get to the end of the day and think, “wow, this did exist before today” – that’s always a really crazy feeling.
MT: What’s a typical day for you when you’re not writing, recording or performing?
ELLA: I don’t really have days that aren’t music related. It would feel weird. Even when I’ve got a lot of other stuff on I’m always writing or rehearsing or working on a new musical skill. I do like the beach though, and spend a lot of time with friends and family. I also like to party haha and I’ve started learning Spanish.
MT: Just have to ask, do you love shopping? If so, what’s your favourite store or item? i.e. shoes, coats, tracksuits, jeans…(the only reason I ask this, is that I see you wear a lovely fur coat in a few of your video’s, and all girls notice the clothes. Lol)
ELLA: Absolutely not, shopping centres are the devil. My two favourite brands are shuturp and Amy Crow’s future = female. I also wear a lot of band shirts (my current fave is by FeelsClub). The most signature thing I wear on stage is the (faux) fur coat which I bought for the Dancer film clip and that look just kind of stuck. I now have 3 fur coats for stage.
MT: I would just like to go back to the days of the ‘Motel Tour’. Whose idea was it to gig in a motel room? And were all the guests invited into the one room in the Motel? Tell us more…it sounds quite fascinating.
In May 2017, I invited fans on what I called the Motel tour, where they got to hear the unreleased tracks from the EP I’d been working on with Vinnie LaDuce, performed live Australia wide. The show was performed live, fully amplified, to fans inside Motel Rooms in secret locations in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Byron, Sydney and Melbourne.
We took over the rooms, leaning the beds against the walls, moving out the furniture; turning it from an ordinary Motel experience, into a live music venue – with champagne, a stage, lighting, a dance floor – all done without the knowledge of the Motel owners…
My artistic intention behind the Motel Tour, was to offer fans a very unique experience that gives insight into the life of a travelling artist – a life which can often be very random and transient, but also lots of fun, inspiring and full of surprises.
MT: This year has been a great year for you, what can we expect from your debut album? Like is there a theme?
ELLA: At the moment I’m writing a lot of power-femme songs and that’s the current theme, but there’s going to be a lot of layers in there, a lot of light and shade. The album will reveal itself more as the project deepens but for now I’m setting out to write honestly from the heart and see where I end up. I’m planning to do a lot of travelling and try new things over the next six months (with the aim to strengthen my tolerance for uncertainty), and so that will dramatically influence my writing.
MT: Can you tell us who produced the album and where you recorded it?
ELLA: It’s not made yet! But I plan to collaborate with a range of different people who inspire me, to draw out different elements of artistry.
MT: Any tours on the cards?
ELLA: Sure do – I’m heading to Sydney early November to celebrate the launch of the Call Girl single, performing at Australian Music Week at Low and Lofty’s Cronulla, Friday 9 November and Lazy Bones Lounge Marrickville, Saturday 10 November.
Check out Ella’s brand new single