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Raised on the scripture of Billie Holiday, Carole King, and her namesake, Ella Fitzgerald, music was always a part of ella jane’s destiny. Having played piano since she was four, and written her own songs since age eleven, she never wasted any time vaulting toward it. “I was obsessed with the mechanics of songwriting,” she remembers. “The second I started realizing that I could write about everything I was thinking and feeling, that’s when I really got into it.”
In between studying her lyrical heroes and shaping her own sound, ella tapped into her internet savvy to accumulate an audience -- first by posting covers of popular songs on Instagram, and later, by mastering the art of TikTok, which became her main social outlet when the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on her senior year of high school. “A driving factor [of all the self promotion] was the fact that I was in quarantine and stuck at home... if I’d been finishing senior year in person, I don’t think I would have wanted to promote myself that hard.” Instead, she amassed a following of over 150,000 (and counting) viewers, fully documenting her pursuit of a music career as something that started as aspirational and became achievable.
It’s a sentiment that comes full circle upon the arrival of her debut EP THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!, out September 10th via FADER Label. Comprised entirely of material ella wrote in high school prior to her viral success (including singles such as “nothing else i could do,” “bored&blind,” and “The City”) the EP traces a period of self-discovery with incisive wisdom and whimsy. “Each of these songs come from a different phase of my life,” ella explains. “Yes, high school is such a short period of time, but so much changes throughout those few years. This project is a record of those changes.” A harmonious amalgamation of folk, soul and indie-pop, THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! not only demonstrates ella’s impressive sonic range, it also asserts that it’s just the beginning of what she’s capable of.