An Interview with Ellie Kirtley

Interview by Courtney Florence

As soon as I heard your music I could not help but think of Soul, Jazz. You have managed to really express the genre in your voice. When did you start singing and where did the passion of Soul, Jazz come to part?

I was around eleven years old when I started writing songs on our piano at home. I later had Jazz piano lessons which I found really interesting, learning about various different ways of playing chords. I guess this also works alongside how my voice sounds.

My voice has always been fairly low which worked well with the jazz piano accompaniment and because my voice is naturally lower, I learnt how to sing harmonies from a young age.

When did you realise you wanted to start singing?

I can’t remember exactly when I first started to sing, it seems like something I have always done.

When I started writing songs, the vocals always just came with the chords, a lot easier than lyrics. I also enjoyed singing with others and especially singing harmonies.

How regularly do you perform and how often do you want to perform?

I don’t perform as much as I would like to! I find it quite nerve-racking still but I always enjoy it once I get into it and then can’t understand why I don’t do more.

Having opportunities at Falmouth have been great for me and they have helped me to start enjoying it more.

Who would you compare yourself to, in idol form?

Someone I look up to is Tom Misch. I admire his music and his way of playing. I would love to write music more like his.

I am exploring different modes on bass and trying to write some upbeat songs for a change!

I also love listening to music from Will Heard, Elli Ingram and Jordan Rakei.

Were you or are you a music student at Falmouth or did music start as a hobby?

I am currently a third-year Popular music student.

Yes, music has always been a hobby and I chose this course because I wanted to explore different areas of music and have the chance to be creative. It has pushed me to explore new instruments and areas I never would have.

Are you working on anything at the moment that you can tell us?

I am working on my final degree show at the moment which means more new music which is exciting. There should be a few more gigs too.

We all have our individual opinions on music and the current industry but what is your view on the modern music industry?

I think it’s great how accessible music has become. Technology and streaming services have enabled us to listen anywhere and at any time. This is also really important because music has such a significant impact on us all.

After doing my dissertation on Music and the Mind, I have realised how powerful music can be for the young and the old. Just having the opportunity to listen to music is so important.


Ellie Kirtley performed at our live session in October 2018. You can find out more about Ellie on her artist page:

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

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