Get to know Nottingham's own Ella Knight

Following the release of her recent single Q&A, a succession of guest appearances on other tracks and a performance at Dot to Dot festival, we managed to have a Q&A of our own with the emerging Midlands singer. 

Suit by Gerry Weber. Tee by Fendi. Shoes by Clarks. Jewellery model's own

So you're fresh off the back of the release of Q&A. How's the reaction to it been?

To say this was my debut single, it was really cool to receive such a positive response. A lot of people said they have been waiting to hear something from me for a long time, so it was nice to put something out that people could vibe to, something that I worked hard on. I wanted to release a song that was catchy, but also showed who I am as an artist. Releasing the single, has opened doors for me to perform live shows and festivals in the future.

After being active a few years with a couple of features what's sparked your first full solo release?

I’ve been collaborating and surrounding myself with artists and producers who inspire me in London and Nottingham. Working with a range of artists helped me to forge my own diverse vocal style. I shyed away from releasing anything of my own for a while as I really wanted to establish my unique sound first. These few years out, really gave me time to experience things in life, as I wanted real things to talk about in my music. My dad had a huge influence on my artistic identity, being in a band and touring when he was my age, meant that he was able to guide me from an artists perspective.

We know you're from Nottingham and have moved to London fairly recently. How have you found the London lifestyle and the London creative scene as an outsider coming in?

I feel like moving to London from any small city, as daunting as it is, really gives you a stronger sense of purpose, because you have decided to move away from your comfort zone, from family and friends so that you can achieve things that you would not necessarily be able to do back home. As an outsider coming in, it definitely made me realise how focussed and creatively driven people are here. The high pressure of living in the London environment makes me want to work even harder everyday.

Blazer by Fendi. Track pants by Foxdale. Shoes by Nike x Comme des Garçons

RnB and soul seems to have found more of a home in the U.K. over the past few years, whereas before it seemed artists would have to go to America for their work to be understood. Have you noticed an upsurge in acceptance of your sort of music?

Yes, definitely I think there is a massive rise in Neo-soul and jazz in the uk, which is a great time to be involved in it all. I love the fact there are now more festivals focused on this type of music too. For a while I have always struggled finding festivals that put on jazz and soul artists. It is so nice knowing that this increased recognition of this genre, has made it more accessible to audiences.

Music, and soulful music in particular are different to other art forms in that you have to show more vulnerability and lyrics are often about your actual life and emotions. As an artist is this something that comes naturally to you?

I would say it gradually became natural to me. Unlike other creative abilities, I think songwriting is the most personal, and that can be quite hard as you first start, because you are sharing your personal thoughts and feelings with the world. Allowing yourself to become vulnerable is something that gets easier over time. When I write, I try to portray metaphorical meanings in my lyricism, so that I don’t give too much away.

Coat by Stone Island. Tee by Champion EU x Weekday. Trousers by Homme Plissé Issey Miyake. Trainers by Nike x Comme Des Garçons

You just performed at Dot to Dot festival, how was it and how confident are you as a live performer? 

It was so much fun! It’s such an amazing feeling being able to perform all of your material that you have worked so hard composing and writing yourself to then show everyone - playing with the band is a bonus too. I also always like to play unreleased songs, just to see how the crowd reacts.

As with art of any sort, people see your successes but have no conception of the background work you do to get there. What are some of the most challenging things about being a singer?

That’s the thing people only really see the finished product, which is cool, but there is so much more that goes into it. Writing songs from scratch that people can relate to in my opinion is a very skilled craft, and it is easy to get it wrong.The start to any musician's career is the hardest part and I think I speak for a lot of other artists too at my stage. Initially gathering your our own fan base, creating a buzz about yourself and getting people to believe in you before you get there without a label or management can be very challenging 

When can we expect a full body of work or project from you?

Right now I have just finished filming my debut music video called ‘What We Are’ which will be out in July. It’s quite a nervous but exciting feeling. I wrote the song when I was 17 and I’m 21 now so I’ve been itching to get it out ever since I wrote it. I am also currently working on my EP which will be released this year, putting this EP out will be an introduction of who ‘Ella Knight’ is and I can't wait.

And neither can we. Listen to Q&A below and keep up with Ella via Instagram here.

Photography & styling by: Martyn Ewoma

Artist/model: Ella Knight

Assisted by: Jewel Kaye

With thanks to: Bare Vintage

 


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