An Interview with Ella Michel

“I just loved singing, I literally always sing. When I was little I would play a lot of music.”

 

This week’s interview is with Ella Michel from Madrid in Spain. She sings and plays the Piano, “Basically I’ve sung all my life, because everyone sings. I started Piano when I was 7 and I went to a conservatoire for five or six years and that’s where I learned Piano and I learned Guitar on my own in my house, watching YouTube videos.

I was interested to know when Ella thought of singing as an instrument, as I did not really class my voice as that until recently, “It doesn’t really feel like an instrument. I just really liked singing, everyone I knew was like “you’re a really good singer” and then in my last year at school I joined an acapella group at my school and even my music teacher was like “you are really good” and then I deferred a year and got my grade 8 vocals – I hadn’t done my other grades. After getting my grade 8, that’s when I started thinking I might actually be good.

Ella identifies herself as Jazz/Soul. I was curious to know how she ties her instruments into those styles “Basically when I write songs I accompany myself with chords but I’m not a professional on Piano, I just use them to give life to the songs because they can’t be acapella… At first I had to learn from a lot of Jazz songs and what chords they used but you get an ear for it and what it should sound like.

It is not just Jazz and Soul that Ella listens to though, “I definitely like listening to all types of music, in the sense that I like listening to Dub-Step but I don’t know that much about it. I listen to a broad spectrum of music, I know strange songs that other people don’t know but I don’t fully know the whole of that genre, just a couple of songs. I was bought up in a country with Spanish music and what the charts are but at the same time my parents are English and they showed me a lot of 60s, 70s, 80s music… I like a lot of different people. I was into a lot of Adele, Amy Winehouse and similar stuff but I also like Eminem, Fleetwood Mac and Stormzy. I listen to Stormzy because my friends have listened to Stormzy, that’s how I got into it. It’s the same with Fleetwood Mac, my parents used to listen to it. I’m a kind of Ed Sheeran-y, Amy Winehouse-y sort of person. I like soul but I like pop as well. My brother used to listen to a lot of Eminem so that’s how I got into that.

She also writes her own songs, “I initially sang covers but then I wrote my own stuff. I was 15 or 16 when I started to write a lot of songs and they’re not that great but I do it anyway because I like it. Before that I used to play covers and stuff… Basically I write lyrics or hum the melody. Then if I write lyrics I’ll create a melody for those lyrics and put chords to that. Or if I have a melody I’ll write lyrics that sound nice in that structure.”

I asked her what she thinks about collaborating with musicians, “I prefer working with other people because if you’re working on your own you are in your own bubble but sometime it can go really wrong. With other people they can say “no, change this, change that” and it’s normally for the better… Collaboration can change the music radically. I wrote a song that was heartbroken-y, really sad kind of thing and I went into a studio with this guy and he made it into a really uplifting, nice, life-is-worth-living thing. There were literally the same lyrics and the same melody, it was just the background music that had changed it into a positive outcome, it was pretty incredible.

As for her hopes for the future, “I don’t feel like I’m going to be a famous singer but I’m not chasing fame. If I can live off music that would be great.

You can read the full interview here

If you want to find out more about Ella then visit her Facebook and Instagram pages:

www.facebook.com/candela.ela.7

https://www.instagram.com/candela_michel/

Matthew Woolley

Matthew Woolley

Matthew Woolley is a musician and Falmouth University student from Shropshire. His main instrument is Folk Fiddle but he plays several others and likes almost all types of music. Matt came up with the idea for Fern Sessions after wanting there to be more opportunities for 1st year music students in Falmouth to get their music heard. He plays under the name Quantum Penguin (he likes Penguins!) and you can check out his music at www.quantumpenguin.co.uk

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