SHN Interview: Ellie Williams
by Claire Silverman
Ellie Williams is an LA based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist whose soul-pop sound and lyrics “allow her music to live in both today’s world of pop and a world reminiscent of 1960’s Motown” —Early Rising. Inspired by the styles of R&B and Pop artists, Ellie creates music to tell her audience what is on her mind.
CS: Hi Ellie! You were the first of SHN’s Quadio Spotlight artists, so I’m very excited to have the chance to sit down with you.
EW: Hello! Thank you so much for having me! Very excited to be able to chat with you.
CS: You’ve released four singles this year. What’s it been like putting out new music?
EW: It's always fun releasing music and seeing people's response to it and especially for me with these four singles, I had written them years prior so to finally have them available everywhere was really fulfilling and I'm so happy to have been able to share all it of it with everyone!
CS: Do you have a favorite single from this year? (Mine is "Perfect Playlist," your vocals on that track are stunning!)
EW: Thank you! I think my favorite single is probably my most recent one "Clueless." That song was just so fun to record! I got to have some really good friends of mine to come into the studio and play on it which was such a good time.
CS: What was your writing process like for Clueless?
EW: I wrote Clueless sometime during my Junior year of high school and at the time I had a huge crush on one of my close friends and had been dealing with that for awhile. There was one time this friend and I had hung out and I came home feeling especially confused about how I felt/the whole situation. When I got home, I sat down and ended up writing the entirety of Clueless. It's a very honest song to me and there truly wasn't a lot to the writing process for it.
CS: I mentioned earlier that SHN features you as a Quadio Spotlight artist. What drew you to Quadio?
EW: My good friend Maddy Davis had known about Quadio and mentioned it to me a couple times in the beginning of my freshman year at USC. I think it's a really genuine platform for college creators to connect and share their music, It's been super fun posting my songs and listening to what other people are doing too.
CS: Because you’re currently in college, how do you balance schoolwork and classes with your music career?
EW: It's definitely been hard, especially now during a pandemic. I think for me it's been important to look at everything I have to do and really consider which of those will be most worthwhile to do. I've had the opportunity to do some great writing sessions which means some assignments may not beturned in or on the opposite side, turning down other music opportunities when I really need to focus on school. Definitely a task though.
CS: How did you get started in songwriting? What drew you to music?
EW: I grew up in a very musical family. My dad used to sing my sisters and me to sleep and we'd all play guitar hero as kids and write songs together. But I think my biggest push into songwriting was my guitar teacher Ashley Davis. I came in for a lesson one day and she had lyrics of her own song taped to the walls. She was trying to figure out the best order for the lyrics she had and she was kind enough to let me help out. I think she could tell how fascinated I was when I walked in the room. But I left that day knowing songwriting was definitely something I wanted to explore further with my own stories.
CS: Who are the artists or bands that inspire you?
EW: As a kid, I studied a lot of older R&B/jazz artists like Norah Jones, Michael Jackson, Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole which I think subconsciously has definitely played a role in my music taste/writing. Some more modern artists that have inspired me would definitely be Alessia Cara, Julia Michaels, and Theo Katzman.
CS: What have you been listening to recently?
EW: I can't stop listening to 'nothing else I could do' by Ella Jane and also 'I wonder' by Sally Boy and 'love affair' by UMI. Also 'peter gabriel' by kid sistr!!! Those songs live rent free in my head.
CS: I've been listening to kid sistr a lot lately too!
EW: They are so great, my friend Becca is the drummer! So so talented, all of them.
CS: Are you working on any new projects you can hint at? Any new music coming next year?
EW: Absolutely! I'm always working on new music and projects, I'm planning on releasing something soon after the new year!
CS: It’s been lovely chatting with you! I hope the end of your semester wasn't too bad. I’m very excited to hear what you release next!
EW: Thank you so much for reaching out, this has been super fun! Thanks for having me and Happy Holidays!
WHERE TO FOLLOW ELLIE:
QUADIO: ELLIE WILLIAMS
YOUTUBE: ELLIE WILLIAMS
SPOTIFY: ELLIE WILLIAMS
Originally published on Instagram @shnradio on December 30, 2020