Good morning music lovers. I’m getting the day started with a brand new song from Ellysse Mason, a Manchester-based singer/songwriter.
When I first heard ‘Something Good’, I immediately knew this was something I wanted to hear all the time and if I felt this way about this song, I’m sure there are many others who would too. Ellysse sings so beautifully that she puts a smile on my face. With the release, Ellysee also gives us a video filmed at home during lockdown which you can see below
I got the opportunity to interview Ellysse where she tells us a bit more about the song and how she’s coping with the pandemic and we found out a bit about her upcoming album.
Peep the interview below
Tell me about yourself, how long have you been involved in music? What got you started etc?
OKAY! I Have been playing guitar since I was about 13 and writing songs since about 2 days after I learned my first cover which was ‘I kissed a girl’ by Katy Perry. Katy Perry, amazing as she is, was not what got me started in music though. I was on a family holiday not long before I started playing guitar and my grandma put on a DVD of Jack Johnson playing live in Hawaii (or somewhere sunny) and I thought to myself, “that’s what I wanna do’. Back then, that meant not just ‘I wanna be a musician” it also meant “I wanna play acoustic music”. That’s where I started off, over the years however as you can probably tell from this single my taste and writing style have moved a bit toward the more electronic end of the spectrum.
What inspires you?
Recently I’ve been pretty inspired by space and sci-fi, at least visually. I love old sci-fi movies especially from the 80s. And I have even found myself watching some old NASA stock footage recently, some of which is really quite beautiful. I think this current fascination has definitely shaped the sound of my upcoming album, in terms atmospheres and even 80s synth references.
Tell me about the new single, ‘Something Good’, what is it about?
To be honest it’s probably hard to tell from the sound of the track as it’s quite happy and uplifting, which IS partially what it’s about. But it’s actually about the ups and downs/highs and lows of depression and sometimes being misunderstood because of it. It’s about the struggle or search for that happier feeling when you’re low I guess.
What was it like making the video at home with your flatmate?
Well It was a bit mad really. This song wasn’t even going to be the first single from the new album. Lockdown hit right in the middle of the recording and mixing process, so we had to re-think everything. That included being able to work with a photographer or videographer,. I chose to release this song because it seems (weirdly) to resonate quite a bit with what everyone is going through at the moment, and I had originally planned to find someone to help me make a stop-motion style video for this in which I would be in a flying saucer and crash land on the moon..! (I will leave that description there in the hope that I get to make that video one day). I then had the idea of just filming myself doing the same thing over and over again around the house and sticking it all together (originally was gonna be time-lapse), because that’s pretty much what we’re all doing at the moment. I think what we managed to film captures that feeling of boredom and repetition and madness and finding fun in stupid things (like flipping pancakes). It was pretty chaotic and disorganised because my flatmate has never filmed anything before and we just kind of made it up as we went along, point and shoot with my old canon camera, but when we stuck it all together it seemed to make sense. I’m really quite proud of it for what it is. Just shows how quick you can learn new things during the apocalypse!
How are you coping with everything that has been happening in the world right now?
Well I’ve pretty much been working on this release the whole time. I’m writing a lot. Also thinking about what I can do for the next video (if that happens while we’re still in this situation). Keeping up with friends and family on social media. Doing the odd live stream which has meant learning some pretty interesting covers. Learning to juggle (which I’m keeping people up to date with on insta). And drinking lots of Whiskey.
You have an album coming, and you wrote and co-produced all the tracks for it. Tell me how was that process for you and what can we look forward to hearing on this album?
So Lockdown has put that whole process on pause for the moment. I’m co-producing the album with Mathieu Garcia (Corsican genius based in Manchester). I’ve had all the tracks written for a while but finding the right person to help me translate that (audio) vision into reality took a while. Mathieu really understands what I want to achieve sonically (even if I’m using sound effects from old 50s sci-fi as references) and I can’t wait to get back into Red Sand Studio with him again to finish everything up.
What has been the most challenging experience for you as an independent unsigned artist?
It’s a pretty all encompassing job being a musician and at the this level you have to be a jack of all trades. When you start out you think “I’m gonna write songs and play gigs” but pretty quickly you realise that a whole lot more goes into it than just 3 chords on the guitar. I think one of the toughest parts for me has been balancing earning money with all the time I need to focus on my music career. Even social media seems like a full time job in itself these days. But that said I wouldn’t change it for anything, I wanna do this for the rest of my life and I’d chose over this any other job on the planet (but maybe not in space).
What advice would you share with your fellow independent artists who are trying to make their way in the industry?
Work hard, form good relationships and grow a family of people around you who you trust. Always try to help and connect with other people without expecting anything back, it’ll come around eventually. I think this is something I’ve learned from the Manchester music scene which sets it apart from other cities where the attitude can be a bit ‘everyone for themselves’.
Lastly, what one word would you use to describe yourself?
PS (for juggling updates follow @ellyssemason on insta)
Check out the track on Spotify and make sure to keep your eyes and ears on this young talent.
Ellysse Mason on Facebook