theaussieword.com meets Ella Hooper, the lead from popular Aussie band Killing Heidi – she’s back, she’s going solo and she’s right here for an exclusive blog interview!
What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
I’m a passionate singer, writer and music maker and have been since I was about eleven. At thirteen, one of my songs won jjj’s Unearthed Competition (in 96) which catapulted the school band I led with my brother, Killing Heidi, into a wild few years of successful touring and record making. Since that journey began and finished I’ve toured the world, started other bands -The Verses- become a radio DJ and TV presenter and the list goes on! Most recently I’ve made my very first solo album, In Tongues, and have just released the 1st single, Low High.
What had you first interested in music?
The expression it allowed me, (I have a lot to say!) and I guess the positive response to my singing which gave me a great sense of place and purpose.
Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
A mix of personal satisfaction and the desire to communicate with others, private feelings and thoughts when shared and explored help me to understand myself better and exorcize the demons so to speak!
Do you have any planned tours coming up?
No, but early next year there will be shows to promote my solo album!
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
I’ve accomplished many of them already, now I’m just looking to express myself truthfully and creatively and hopefully connect with others through doing so. Having said that I wouldn’t mind touring Japan and Europe, which I’ve never done.
What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
A new kind of sassy, smoky, intense Ella that has some new sounds and stories to share! Darker visuals and raw, spiky production is a new feature too.
Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I think the secret is be yourself and highlight what makes you unique. Find your own voice, literally and figuratively. Highlight- sounds a bit tacky but knowing I’ve touched the lives of people who have needed something at the time, and found my music to be it.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Everyone from Bob Dylan to Beyonce. Anyone playing the long game and not going for the cheap shot. Talent matched with drive and commitment impresses me.
How would you best describe you and your music to your fans?
Strong, raw, expressive, sensual, angsty, wry, irreverent, committed, surly, passionate, yearning, learning, reaching.
What can you tell us about your latest album?
It’s strong, raw, expressive, sensual, angsty, wry, irreverent, committed, surly, passionate, yearning, learning, reaching, like me.
Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
Making film clips and visuals with my right hand man, the amazing photographer/director Wilk, and my friends is a new and exciting way to express myself and paint the picture of this side of me which I’ve never shared before.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Multi-tasking hopefully, as I have ‘ants in my pants’ when it comes to industry activities.. I love singing, performing, hosting radio and TV, music, blogging, fashion the list goes on! I’ll hopefully find a way to have them all successfully co-exist. My own multi-platform website or show perhaps?
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders, Pearls, The Preatures, Nick Cave Bad Seeds/Grinder Man, Dirty Three, Paul Kelly, The Magic Mountain Band, The Grates, Bad Thoughts, StillWife, Alpine, Seagull, Seekae, PVT, Kira Piru and The Bruise… and many more!
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?
I’m now independent after being signed to almost every label in this country (how did I get away with that?!), so social media has become more important for me and I’m relishing the increased contact I’m having with fans because of it. The industry will change and mutate always, and I’m just going to ride the waves as best I can and hope for another golden era of inspired music making and satisfactory rewards for those who make it.
Thank you for the interview! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?
Thanks for listening or reading and I hope you enjoy the first taste of In Tongues, Low High. It’s a song for and about those who struggle to maintain a happy disposition, so if you’re having a crap day- put it on, and dance it out! 😉
Stay tuned for Ella’s debut solo album, In Tongues set for release in early 2013.