theaussieword.com special interview with Ed Wells.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I’ve always had a love for music. My parents used to have different records on all the time at home and I’ve had an instrument of some sort in my hand as long as I can remember but I started learning piano properly when I was 6. In terms of singing and writing that came quite a long time later, when I was about 18 and I’ve been hooked since.
I don’t know if it’s the music industry in particular that I’m attracted to rather the outlet of actually writing and performing music. Particularly during live shows, I find the atmosphere really sharpens you and it is a real buzz for me.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Really, it’s a way for me to document experiences I’ve had throughout my life. I find myself thinking a lot about things I’ve seen or felt and it’s much easier to just get it down!
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
I really try to not look too far ahead to be honest. I obviously have things which I want to achieve but the main thing is to carry on creating music which people connect with and that I enjoy making.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
The EP, which GMT will be on, is coming out early next year so with any luck there’ll be some live shows to go with it!
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
GMT is kind of my reflection on modern life and how we are often focussed on the future and living on the clock. I think being able to unplug from time to time is really important so I guess the song is my nod to that.
In terms of the sound, I’ve always been influenced by soul/jazz harmony and I’ve been heavily influenced by the soundscapes from people like Bon Iver so GMT is probably some mix of soul/pop.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
I’ve found that I usually have to be really to write my better material. I think that’s mainly because it gives me some substance to write so if I’m sitting around doing nothing, I find it quite difficult to write anything (that I like anyway)!
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
No, not really. I’m never too upfront with my lyrics so I usually rely on metaphors, but I want people to be able to understand what I’m trying to say so I hope I don’t make it too difficult.
Success, what is the secret to it?
Hard work, without a doubt. It’s true for anything really, not just music. I think with the prominence of social media it can be easy to think that ‘successful’ musicians have come out of nowhere, but it would be very rare for that to happen without that person having put in years of work on developing their sound.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Some of the shows I’ve played back in Sydney have been really special. When people have come to see you and really listen to your songs that has to be the highlight.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Matt Corby is someone who I have really admired, mainly because of the work he puts in and the way he is keen to explore new ideas and sounds. I’ve been lucky to meet him a couple of times and he’s a really humble guy so I’d hope I can model myself on that.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
I’m already starting to write some more material for after the EP but nothing’s set in stone yet with regards to a release date!
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
It’s really hard to say, at this stage I’d love to be able to keep releasing more music and playing as many shows as I can.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
Definitely that I get to meet and work with a lot of incredibly talented and creative people. One of the most exciting things about making music is when you click with someone (either writing or playing live) and that translates into creating something that you like.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword really. On one hand it’s much easier to make and release music yourself but obviously that means there’s a real saturation of the market so being able to stand out becomes more difficult. Personally, I’m pretty terrible with social media but it’s something that I’ve tried to get better at using because I think it’s a great way to connect with fans.
How do you plan on cracking the international market?
I’ve been lucky that I’ve been spending a lot of time in the UK, and London specifically. Again, I think it is a matter of hard work and just playing and releasing as much music as possible.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I used to work more or less alone on songs however over the past few years I have really appreciated working with some incredibly talented people. It makes the whole process much more enjoyable and I think it’s really valuable being able to share ideas with other people and combine them. I’d love to work with James Blake. His production is always fascinating
What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
I guess the main thing is to not focus too far ahead and enjoy the process of making music. It stops it becoming a job! The other main thing is be open to trying new things. I’ve met so many people with different ideas that I’ve been so grateful to work with. I think moving out of your comfort zone is massive because you end up making something that could be really valuable to developing something original.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans?
Just a massive thank you for all the support to anyone who’s been to a show, streamed the music or messaged me about the songs. I try really hard to reply to all the messages and comments I receive so anything on Instagram or Facebook is probably the best way to get in touch!
Any last words?
I really hope you’ve enjoyed the music so far! There is more to come!