THE first interview of the weekend is with Ellzo…
who has been talking with me about his latest track, Agnostic, and what the story behind it is. With his E.P., Time Travel, now out; Ellzo has been chatting about that. I ask which artists and albums are important to him; how influential London is to his sounds and directions – Ellzo recommends some rising artists worth looking out for.
I was keen to know what comes next and how he got into music; if he unwinds away from music and whether he has advice for musicians coming through right now – Ellzo ends the interview by selecting a great track.
Hi, Ellzo. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. It’s been a real’ good week. Just came back from an interview with BBC 1Xtra.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
So. I go by the name Ellzo. I’m a producer (and, I guess, singer now) from London. I produce a lotta bouncy Futurebeats music and R&B mainly.
Agnostic is your new single. Is there a tale behind the song?
In social interactions, I’ve been known to be indecisive on expressing my own opinions from fear of being judged. The line “stuck in the middle” refers to my mental state being torn between choosing to express my opinion or not speaking at all. I tend to go with the latter.
It is from the E.P., Time Travel. Are there particular themes and ideas that inspired the work?
Time Travel, as a whole, sums up my development in music over the years.
You were born in West London. How important is the area regarding your sound and work?
One thing I will say is that a lot is happening right now in London for the SoundCloud scene and I’m grateful to be situated here. I live very close by to my workplace, so it’s cool that I can just come straight back home and work on music.
In terms of influences; which musicians did you grow up around?
I would say The Black Eyed Peas, Pharrell; The Roots and Timbaland were key influencers for initially developing my sound. My dad was a D.J. so I heard a lot of that stuff. My guilty pleasure would have to be S Club 7, too, but don’t tell anyone (smiles).
How did you get into music? Was there a particular moment when you knew it was what you needed to do?!
I’ve always been music minded. However, as a kid; I never had the equipment to express it. But, once I was acquainted with GarageBand back in 2008; I knew this music thing would be what I wanted to do for life.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I’d like to work with one more artist and potentially release a few more singles. 10k followers on SoundCloud would be great also. Haha.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
It’d have to be this time when I was doing a live D.J. set down at a club in London, Birthdays. I was stuck on right till the end (2 A.M.) but there were still a good amount of people waiting around for me. I started playing and, as soon as I dropped a banger, the crowd started chanting my name. It was a surreal experience that I will never forget.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Sam Gellaitry - Short Stories
As it was the first vinyl I ever bought. He’s also my number-one producer like, ever, so it’d have to be his first E.P.
The Roots - How I Got Over
It was on-repeat when it first dropped. It has a special place in my heart, particularly as it got me through some long-ass car journeys. I never got tired of it and now it has a very nostalgic feel to it.
Flying Lotus - You’re Dead
It was the first time I was introduced to the legend. It blew my mind. I’d be lying if I said his use of stereo space didn’t have an influence on my sound today.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It’d have to be Anderson. Paak. That dude is wild! I’d be filling up the backstage green room with champagne and Sour Skittles. Bean bags are a necessity, too.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
You can’t do this on your own (well, you can, but it’s 100x harder). Reach out to other likeminded musicians. If your music is good or they see potential, the nice ones will be willing to support you.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Sadly not, but if you know anyone willing to book my sorry ass, let me know.
IN THIS PHOTO: K, Le Maestro
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Olswel is one to look out for. At this point in time, he hasn’t got anything on Spotify so you’ll have to look him up on SoundCloud. K, Le Maestro is a local friend who’s got an incredible Boom-Bap vibe. Also; myself. I’ve got some crazy new music in the pipeline.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
When I’m not making music, or working down at the bar, I’m either drinking up at a pub somewhere, lifting at the gym or binging on T.V. boxsets. Oh…and an unhealthy amount of YouTube videos.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Well, thank you. Holiday by rysk, please. Have a good one!