Brighton born Elli Ingram is an independent artist who found fame in 2013 when she toured Europe with Drum ‘n’ Bass duo, Chase and Status. She featured on their album ‘Brand New Machine’ and off the back of this released her first EP entitled ‘Sober’ as a free download. This EP earned Elli a Best Newcomer nomination at the Mobo awards.
Fast forward to 2017, and the singer released her first album ‘Love You Really’ on Island Records. Discover editor Sam, caught up with Elli ahead of her UK tour which includes dates in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton and London to chat about life and music.
Who are your musical influences?
Amy Winehose, Lauren Hill and Eryka Badu are people I listen to regularly, I listen to a lot of Cleo Soul and Ari Lenox at the moment too. I’m really passionate about strong female vocalists and lyrics with a story. That’s why I love Amy so much, her lyrics were so raw and honest.
Do you write your own music?
Yes, I write all of my own lyrics and am really proud of what I write because in day to day life I struggle with language and expressing myself, but I feel my song writing gives me a platform to fully express how I feel about things in a way I could never do when speaking, my writing is so much more articulate.
Can you give some examples of songs you are most proud of?
On my first album there’s a song called ‘Bells Club’ which is about when my dad left my mum when I was young and how that made me feel. It’s a very raw and honest song. I have to say me and my dad have a great relationship and I love him very much, but it was good for me to have an outlet to express my feelings from that time. There’s also a song on my new album called ‘Poor Baby’ which is about child abuse. Being able to express myself through my songs is so empowering to me.
Do you like to use your platform to help people?
100 percent. I think it’s so important as an artist to portray a message that’s honest, because sometimes it’s hard for people to connect. It’s really scary to share those stories, but when I do and I hear back from people that it really helped them because I was brave enough to share, it makes us feel less alone. And that is the beautiful thing about music, it can help people to heal and be understood.
So you have an upcoming tour of the UK and one of the stops (November 1st) is at The Concorde in Brighton?
That is correct! I am super excited about playing The Concorde 2, it means so much to me to play there as it’s part of my history and growing up in our amazing city. I am praying that people buy tickets and come along as this is the first tour I’ve done as an independent artist, so it is quite daunting and exciting all at the same time.
Why did you leave your record label?
I was signed to Island Records for a really long time which was amazing, but it became that story you hear about artists who are just on the shelf and I felt like I’d been forgotten about. The good thing for me though is that they let me leave without any hassle. I wanted to be independent and not have a million people trying to dictate and manipulate what I want to do musically, so I feel very lucky to have that sense of freedom now as an artist.
Words by Samantha Harman