INTERVIEW: Ella Eyre

Ella Eyre is the British voice behind some of the biggest pop songs that have soundtracked your nights out for the past couple of years. From Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’ to Sigala’s ‘Came Here For Love’ and ‘Just Got Paid,’ to Banx & Ranx ‘Answerphone’ and DJ Fresh’s ‘Gravity’, she has given us some huge floorfiller moments. 

It’s been five years since the singer-songwriter released her debut album ‘Feline’, and ever since then she has been experimenting with a more pop-dance sonic through collaboration while continually growing her live show through huge festival appearances. But it’s time for Ella Eyre to step back into the spotlight as a solo artist, and reintroduce her powerhouse vocals and empowering stance to the world. 

Earlier this year she dropped the sassy break-up anthem ‘New Me’ which signalled a huge return for the 26 year old. Following in its footsteps she unveiled the anthemic ‘L.O.V(e)’ and the playful ‘Dreams’ which cements that she’s not planning on slowing down any time soon, even with a global pandemic in her way.

I recently chatted to Ella Eyre about the creative process behind her new single ‘Dreams’, the connection her fans had with ‘L.O.V.(e)’ in her live show before it even came out, as well as the contrast of vulnerability behind the sassy exterior of ‘New Me’. Check it out BELOW;

THOMAS BLEACH: Your new single ‘Dreams’ is a song about infatuation and not really understanding why. How did this track creatively come together? Was it one that came quickly?

ELLA EYRE: It wasn’t a quick one because ‘Dreams’ was initially written on a writing camp in Jamaica. We wrote the chorus and then broke for lunch. When we came back, we were sort of on a new drip and ended up writing something else. 

So it was unfinished when I headed back to England, but a couple weeks later I couldn’t stop singing the chorus and I couldn’t remember where it was from. It wasn’t until someone pointed it out that it was the song we wrote in the gym in Jamaica and I was like “oh yeah”.

I listened back to the little recording and immediately knew I wanted to finish it, so I reached out to Nat Dunn who was one of the collaborators and we met up in Los Angeles and finished writing it. 

Nat is actually from Australia too and is such a brilliant writer. Her mind works in such an incredible way. She’s one of those people who can really understand the language I speak emotionally, so I really trust her as a writer. She’s exactly the reason ‘Dreams’ was finished.

TB: The current COVID-19 pandemic has seen the release schedule shifting a little, so has a music video been made for it yet? 

EE: Yeah there is actually! I shot it in my living room, and I know that sounds really basic and boring but we had all lights, colouromas, backdrops and all the equipment delivered to my front door and I was tasked to set it up myself. 

We ended up doing an entire shoot day on Zoom, so it was crazy as it was a massive learning experience. I learnt a lot about how cameras work and what goes on behind the scenes of a music video, except it was all me. 

It looks UNBELIEVABLE! It’s not quite finished yet as there is a lot of post production going into it but I’m just so chuffed with the way it’s turned out.

TB: You also recently released ‘L.O.V.(e) which is a song that you’ve been singing in your live set for a few years now. What is it about the connection you have with the song has made you hold onto it and still want to release it after all these years?  

EE: You know what, I don’t actually know. It was always one of my favourite songs that I wrote in that period, and I loved performing it live as it always got such a great reaction. I could get the crowd singing along to it in seconds because the chorus is so simple and catchy. I always really enjoyed that part of the set as it was engaging and got the crowd involved even if they weren’t necessarily a fan of me and were waiting for the next act at a festival. 

So it always went down well, and people would tweet me and comment on my Instagram asking when that song was going to come out. But when I signed to Island Records, it was never in the plans to release it. It wasn’t until lockdown happened and I played a demo of it on my Insta story that everyone went crazy like “when are you going to release that” and I just said “okay, now is the time”. 

I didn’t want to make a show and a dance about it, I just wanted to put it out there for the fans as they love it and I love it.

TB: And I feel like It’s so important to spread some positivity right now and just make people smile and dance, isn’t it?

EE: Exactly! It’s the only thing that I really know how to do. I’m meant to be on tour right now and It’s really sad knowing that we were meant to be up and down the country performing live as that’s one of my favourite things to do, and so many people were looking forward to it as it was my first tour in 5 years. 

It is a really hard time for everyone and I know that I’m enjoying listening to my favourite artists during this time, and hearing them release songs and engaging with their fanbases. So it feels like the right thing to be doing, because what else can we really do? 

TB: Now, I wanted to chat to you about ‘New Me’, which you released earlier this year, and is genuinely one of my favourite songs of the year. It immediately had me wanting to sing it to every ex of mine on a dancefloor with a dance troupe behind me. But while there is a lot of sass and playfulness behind the song, there is also a lot of vulnerability that would’ve led to that moment?

EE: I genuinely love that song so much and love that you love it! When I wrote it I was in a really weird headspace and had a really stressful morning, so I actually nearly cancelled that writing session. I remember it so vividly because I was like “No, you know what, I’m not going to do that today. I’m going to go and distract myself from the situation as much as possible”. And that song came from that session and it was a song that needed to write itself. It has such a different and deeper meaning to me. 

TB: When you finished this song, was it a bittersweet feeling? 

EE: No, I felt empowered because it was actually written quite quickly. And I know that isn’t necessarily always a good thing, but for me if a song just flows out, and the lyrics come to me without having to really try or articulate them, then it feels like it was obviously just meant to be written, which is quite a euphoric feeling. 

Some songs are drawn out over weeks and months, and takes a lot of love and care to finish them, but this song took a lot of love and care in a more immediate way. It was just such a fun track to make as we got silly with the lyrics and stems from an experience that a lot of people have with exes by going back to them and getting stuck in that cycle. So ‘New Me’ is about releasing yourself from that and knowing that you deserve better and deciding that today is the today you finally do that. And that is what that day was for me. 

TB: You’ve only performed ‘New Me’ twice live so far, but I can imagine the pure euphoria and confidence that this song must give you when you perform it. So what has been one of your favourite lyrics to sing?

EE: Yeah I’ve only performed it twice, and once was actually acoustic, so I’ve only really got to do one big performance of it which is why I was so excited to tour the song. But I would say my favourite lyrics is “and my new weave” because people keep thinking I’m seeing “weed”, but I’m actually saying “weave” as in, I have a new hairstyle. 

TB: I thought it was weave originally, but then I googled it and Genius Lyrics said “weed” and I was like “oh cool, I’m down with that too” *laughs*.

EE: *laughs* She rolls like that, I get her *laughs*. But no, it was weave, so I’m sorry to disappoint everyone *laughs*. 

TB: One of the performances you did was with the House Gospel Choir, which transported the track to a whole new realm. What did the creative process look like when you were re-arranging it this way?

EE: It was a really vague experience for me at the beginning because the House Gospel Choir are their own entity and every Monday they have a mass choir come in and they teach them a song, which they then perform throughout the year. 

It was my label’s idea to go along and join in, so it was all planned and they arranged the reinterpretation of the song. Like, they can do that with their eyes closed, they are so incredibly talented and their voices just melt together. 

It was honestly such an incredible and beautiful experience.

TB: The song feels like the older sister to ‘Comeback’ which was such an angsty pop break up song and was so empowering in it’s own way. How important are songs like this for you to listen to when you go through a break-up, or exit a toxic situation? 

EE: Oh my god, they are the MOST important. Music has single handedly gotten me through all of my break ups. There is nothing more powerful than somebody you don’t know saying something you’re feeling. 

Like having one of your idols, somebody you look up to or a voice that you like listening to, say words that you directly relate to is an incredibly powerful thing. And it’s why I got into music and why I started writing lyrics, because I wanted to have that impact on people. 

It’s so important for my songs personally to be relatable and to come from experiences that I understand, because that’s how you bring people together. 

TB: It really is so powerful. Like, I have so many break-up playlist’s on my phone ready to go *laughs*

EE: *Laughs* You know what, I haven’t had a break up in 4 years and I’m starting to feel like I will need to manipulate one so I have some amo *laughs*. 

TB: You’ve been working on your highly anticipated sophomore record. So reflecting on the journey of ‘Feline’ to where this new music sonically, lyrically and soulfully sits, what would say is going to be the thing that is going to surprise people the most? 

EE: To be honest with you, I actually don’t know yet. I am working on an album as such but I’m putting more of a focus on getting songs out as it’s been such a long time since I’ve released music regularly. 

I feel like we are in a completely different market than we were before. I’ve always wanted to be an album artist and release full collections, but because it’s taken me so long to release solo music again I just want to get back into the swing of things and get a real feel of what it is I want the album to sound like. 

Like, I have a fair idea of how I want it to sound and feel, but my test is live shows. I love to perform live, try new songs out and just get a feel for it. So I don’t know what the most surprising thing about this album is yet, but I guess 2020 and Coronavirus has been the most surprising thing that has stopped me finding out. 

TB: And I have to ask, will we finally get an Ella Eyre Australian tour with this new album? 

EE: Oh my gosh, I really hope so! I loved Australia when I came over, so I really do hope I can come over soon. 

TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions! Are you ready?

EE: Yes, absolutely!

TB: The TV show I’ve binged during isolation is…

EE: ‘Love Is Blind’!

TB: When I think of Australia, I think of…

EE: Sushi, weirdly *laughs*. When I went to Australia I had the best sushi, it was amazing. 

TB: My pre-show ritual involves…

EE: 10 press ups on the side of the stage before I run out during the intro so I don’t get nervous.

TB: The emoji that best describe my new single ‘Dreams’ would be…

EE: Maybe the little genie man!

TB: Pineapple on Pizza is…

EE: Something I used to have, but now I wouldn’t, so I would say it’s a hell no!

‘Dreams’ featuring Yxng Bane is out now!