The 19-year-old singer, Ellise, rose to fame after featuring on an iHeartRadio Rising Star competition. Now, her singing career is really beginning to flourish. Although her music is becoming increasingly popular, there’s a lot more to Ellise. She’s big on social media too, and with a following of nearly 160k on Instagram and rising, the beautiful young singer is set for stardom.
We spent the afternoon with Ellise at La Peer Hotel, and found out more about her blooming singing career, the songwriting experience and her biggest achievements so far…
“There have been a lot of obstacles but it’s good, because every time you accomplish something, you find it in you to keep going and find the next thing to accomplish.” – Ellise
Taylor Magazine: Tell me a little bit about you and what you do.
Ellise: I’m 19, I’m a singer and recently, I’ve been really getting into writing a lot more. Last year I went through a phase where I was signed to a publishing company and couldn’t do any music. I finally got out of that in December 2017 so since the start of the new year I’ve been writing so much and have probably made close to 40 songs since January.
Taylor Magazine: How did you get started with singing? Have you always wanted to do it?
Ellise: I’ve always loved to sing my whole life, but I started singing properly in elementary school. My music teacher got me into it and encouraged me. I never really knew that I had a talent for singing and he opened my eyes to it. Ever since then, I joined choir and always did musicals. When I first came to LA, I realised that I didn’t want to do any other job.
Taylor Magazine: How did it happen for you?
Ellise: I definitely found it difficult, it hasn’t come easy. So many people are all trying to do the same thing. When I came here, I didn’t have any friends or family which was a struggle. Then, I started making friends who are mostly in the entertainment industry. It’s really cool because we get to talk about our similar feelings with each other.
Taylor Magazine: What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
Ellise: This won’t sound like an achievement but for me releasing my most recent song, Love Made Me Do It, was such an achievement. I actually recorded that song when I was 17 – I’ve had it all this time and since the end of 2016 until now, I’ve had people tell me it wasn’t a good song or that they didn’t believe in it, but I always did. Finally, releasing it and having such an overwhelmingly good response to it has been such an amazing achievement for me.
Taylor Magazine: Talk to us about this song in particular – what is it about it that’s so special to you?
Ellise: Love Made Me Do It is so special because it’s just one of those songs that I instantly connected with. It’s very vague, so people can interpret it in different ways. For me, it’s about how love can make you do crazy things. Whatever that means for you, love can make you do things that you never thought you’d be able to do otherwise.
Taylor Magazine: How do you find the process?
Ellise: I love songwriting. I would say I love it equally as much as I love singing, but I wasn’t always like that. I write from personal experience sometimes, but I also love to write fiction. Even when I was little I would write little snippets of fiction. I’ve written songs about robbing a bank, just random stuff I’ve never done or I’ve written songs about a problematic relationship when I’ve been completely single! It’s fun to make things up in your head and roll with it. I was told for so long that I couldn’t write by various people so getting into writing was really difficult for me because of that. I felt insecure because I was made to believe that my ideas were bad. After getting with some really great writers and practising, I’ve become really comfortable with it.
Taylor Magazine: Is there a dream person that you would love to collaborate with?
Ellise: I have so many! My biggest inspiration in music and just generally career wise is Ariana Grande – doing a song with her would be crazy! Ever since she started making music, I’ve looked up to her. I always looked up to Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Rihanna too. They are always so cool on stage and they carry such a presence. I’d also love to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar and I love Anderson Paak – I have a bunch!
Taylor Magazine: You found living in LA a struggle at first, but how do you find living here now?
Ellise: I absolutely love it now! I definitely get homesick but I’m from San Francisco, so it’s quite easy for me to visit my family. I’ve found a really great group of friends and they’re all so supportive of me, but we always hang out and LA is such a fun city and there’s so much to do – it’s great, I’m loving it.
Taylor Magazine: Talk me through a perfect day for you.
Ellise: I would go to the beach and go snorkelling or something. I absolutely love being in water – I’d go to Cabo in Mexico and just relax.
Taylor Magazine: What do you enjoy most about your career?
Ellise: There’s a lot to enjoy – it’s so cool and interesting to have a fan base. You have people listen to what you have to say who always want to see what you’re doing. I always make sure I’m relaying positivity and showing the importance of self-love to my fans. If you’re someone’s idol and you try to tell them that they’re great, that is going to be so fulfilling for someone. A lot of people my age struggle with insecurities and a lot of people are obsessed with making themselves look perfect and having this perfect image – that’s just society, but it makes girls and boys feel like they’ll never look like this person with a million followers. So, it’s just good to let people know that it’s totally oka not to be perfect.
Taylor Magazine: That’s exactly what we’re all about. So, what would you do if you were having a low day? How would you pick yourself up?
Ellise: First, I would let myself cry. After I cry, I feel so much better. I would call my mum and talk to her, talk to my brother. I live with my little brother and he’s my best friend, so having a night in and watching a movie would be ideal. Just relaxing and having me-time.
Taylor Magazine: What’s your favourite all-time book?
Ellise: My favourite book ever is Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews – it’s so sad, but it’s a really good book!
Taylor Magazine: What advice would you give someone that wants to get into the entertainment industry, in particular singing?
Ellise: My number one thing would be keep people’s opinions in the back of your head. Definitely take constructive criticism, but don’t get too offended. Always put your opinion first.
“Don’t let setbacks tear you down – there will always be setbacks and nothing goes perfectly. Just learn from it.” -Ellise
Taylor Magazine: What’s coming up for you in the next six months?
Ellise: My music video for Love Made Me Do It is out which I’m so happy to have released! After that, I’ll be releasing another single and a video for that… Just lots more music!
Taylor Magazine: Long term goals – where do you hope to be in five years time?
Ellise: I’d love to be touring, seeing the world, meeting new people and having loads of new experiences. Hopefully I’ll have lots of music out and get to shoot videos. Visuals are super fun, I love that part of what I do just as much as performing music.