Get to Know Ella Rosa [Interview]

Ian Hansen

Ella Rosa has done something that not a lot of people could even dream of. She traversed the world from her birthplace of England to New York City and has brought her infectious energy to Los Angeles to make a career out of music. She draws inspiration from the likes of Erykah Badu and Nina Simone to craft her own sound that makes for a great listen. Get to know Ella Rosa below:

Being born in England, take me through moving to New York City and what that was like?

I grew up in England and moved to New York when I was 11 or 12. I lived in New York for about 10 years then I moved back to London to finish my studies and do a bit more recording there. I came to L.A. for a writing camp and loved it here. I had to move.

What was the biggest adjustment to being in the United States?  

The language barrier. There is like a culture and language barrier I would say. There weren't a lot of similarities even though we do speak the same language there were culture differences that I found hard to adjust to.

Coming out to L.A., take me through your head when you first got here?

I think that because I was young and naive, I felt like there was a sense of rush and wanting to meet as many people as I could. Some of the relationships that I made weren’t that organic. It was a learning curve I realized when I first got here. I needed to put my head down and really work so I got into as many writing sessions as I could, made as much music as I could, and it was a heavy grind.

What got you into wanting to be an artist in general? What influenced it?

I was really scared to take the leap, but then I realized people were really liking the music. Honestly, it was my friends and family telling me I should try and do this. I realized there were a lot of people who were doing the same thing so it was a bit more accessible for me.

Now you’ve just released your EP, EFF OFF...I’M FINE. What is it like seeing people receive your work?

I think about it every day. I do everything that I do to keep up with that. I want to keep releasing stuff so people can stay updated. I feel like I have so much to say that it’s not in one project. I haven’t said enough in a song.

What is the sonic direction of  EFF OFF... I‘M FINE how does it feel to have it out?

It honestly is very emotional because I remember seeing “A Colors Sessions,” “Mahogany Sessions,” and “Tiny Desk.” That is what brought me toward that sonic aesthetic. People like Cleo Sol and Jorja Smith were kind of the inspirations. I wanted it to sound similar to them. I think we achieved that. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the producers and writers who helped me on the project. I was so infant, and there were so many big writers and artists and rappers on the project that brought it to crazy heights.

You have 24hrs on the project, how did that happen?

That was wild. I literally just dm’d him and was like, “I love you. Please be on my project.” I had a song on the last project called, “24 hours.” I thought it would be funny to have him on that too. He just drew to “Just Me,” and he did it. I didn’t think it would happen until I got the Dropbox link.

What does the title, EFF OFF...I’M FINE mean and where did it come from?

I just wanted to nod my head to the Brits, because it is very typical to be like, “Eff off.” Then, the “I’m Fine” part of the project is about moving around a lot, break ups and make ups. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.

What’s next for you? What kind of goals do you have moving forward?

I’m dying to do an opening tour. I love traveling, and I love working. I just want to travel and work. Being on a support tour would be absolutely incredible. I am working on releasing my next project which I am really excited about. I just want to keep on collaborating. I just want something bigger and better. I want to strengthen the relationships I have right now. Friends and family are like the most important thing to me, so I am trying to make the friends out of the family I have right now.

Who would be a dream person to open for?

Jorja Smith. I would die. It would work. The dream dream dream that wouldn’t be far off is Hiatus Kaiyote. I love them.

Where do you grab inspiration from?

I look at a lot of athletes honestly. I love their work ethic. I listen to a lot of, “NPR - How I Built This.” CEOs of massive companies really inspire me. I think it’s really similar to how music is because there is no one-two-three step. You have to hustle and do it or it won’t ever happen. Sonically, Erykah Badu, Jorja Smith, SWV, and when I’m working, I love classical music. I grew up in opera.

What hobbies do you have?

I work out a lot and meditate. I love doing arts and crafts with friends. It really brings me out of my head. It’s so gorgeous.

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