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Big voice, big hair. Meet the fantastic Ella Eyre… S

ophisticated, powerful and smart with a voice that’s raw strident and seducing 2014 is primed to be Ella Eyre’s year. Not only has this 20 year-old Londoner already bagged a BRIT Award for her killer soulful vocal on Rudimental’s drum and bass stomper ‘Waiting All Night’ but she was also named runner up of the Brits Critics Choice Award was No.2 in the BBC Sound of 2014 as well as being tipped across the board by everyone from Vevo, MTV, Billboard and 1Xtra. Now she’s about to release her debut single, ‘If I Go’, a big sexy rousing stormer of a track out on July 6.

“I’ve always wanted to hit people in the face with my music, rather than tickle them,” says Ella. Fierce and fearless, with a number 1 feature on Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’ to her name, her new breed of soul is here. With an ear for the past and a foot in the future, led by a voice exploding with power and passion, brawling and bawling, Ella’s songs speak to us while we dance. Already tipped as the artist to watch by media across the board the voice of 2014 is sure to have a spectacular year. Appearing on Naughty Boy singles, laying down tracks with TinieTempah, Wiz Khalifa and Bastille, it’s obvious Ella Eyre waits for nothing. Born an April Fools baby to a Rastafari father and a knitwear designer mother, music was always the driving force in this Londoner’s life. You might even say she was a born performer – or, at least, “I was always a show-off,” she laughs. Named after the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, she’s drawn to powerful women and soulful men with something to say, like the music she grew up around, Lauryn Hill and Gil Scott Heron. “I’ve always been into punchy, loud songs – passionate, with a message. And I’ve always been really lyrical – I love the idea that someone has felt the same as me. I love honesty, brutality and rawness.” A dancer from the age of two and a drummer at school, she’s always had a physical and lyrical need to express herself through music. Singing backing vocals in a band when she was 14 uncovered a voice of such raw power and potential her path was laid before her. She started writing songs and quickly found what she was looking for. Her music teacher tipped off a few music execs on the ‘best voice in her school’ and soon they were clamouring for her; she was signed to Virgin on the back of two incredible songs she’d written and she was still only 17. Brought into the studio with a thenunknown Rudimental, she laid down the vocals on the track that would really introduce her to the world and following its success toured the world with the quartet, playing prolific festival slots as well as support shows for both Bastille and Naughty Boy. Song-writing was something that came naturally to her. “I wanted to share my experiences in a way that when someone hears it in a car they go, ‘That’s exactly how I’m feeling!’ So they feel they’re not alone.” She knows what she wants: “To empower people. As an artist it’s my job to hit people emotionally.”

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Her debut EP is led by title track ‘Deeper’, a collaboration with ubercool producer Two Inch Punch, an incredible marriage of northern soul and dance. It’s got stomp and it’s got swing, her performance hinting at all she’s capable of. “If I was to describe my music as a colour, it would be red – it’s loud, energetic, brutal, brutally honest at some points, and vulnerable, too.” She’s searched the experiences she’s had because, “I want to affect people. Make them happy, sad, ultimately empower them by the end of listening to the album and making them strong. Almost as if someone has been listening to you, but really you’ve been listening.” Looking like a mini Beyoncé, with the power of Aretha and the sophistication of Jessie Ware, she proves the new cool is the new truth: big songs by a big singer saying big things. As the voice that became the soundtrack to many people’s nights out last summer, Ella starts a national tour this month and will once again be wowing the crowds at several festivals.

ESP June 2014  

ESP Magazine June 2014

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