Ego Ella May: Trip hop meets neo soul
A true musician does not rush their creative process and people with a good ear are willing to wait for a long player from a talented musician. That can be said about Ego Ella May, the South London-based singer-songwriter with a unique blend of trip hop meets neo soul sounds, who describes herself as “a self-taught guitarist, part-time beatmaker and occasional poet”.
She’s been on the circuit for two years or so, was nominated for a MOBO award and has three EPs under her belt. I first saw her play live as a supporting act for Jose James in London last year and was taken by her voice which reminded me of one of my all-time favourite female artists, Erykah Badu.
Her music however is different to the quirky, soulful sounds of Erykah Badu. Ego Ella May rather has adopted a niche blend of trip hop, neo soul and electronic. A mix that was so perfectly laid down with such a scintillating vibe on the ‘Zero EP’ released earlier this year.
Describing her production process, Ego Ella May said: “If it’s a beat I’m working with, I listen to the beat first & try to figure out what it’s making me feel, & then that determines what I’m going to write. I write a lot of short stories & poems so most times I already know what I’m going to say or will have some sort of reference that I can use. I like to record general melodies first though, just so I can figure out a structure.”
Ego Ella May cites Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill and Frank Ocean as her influences, but says she’s in no rush to put out music as rapidly as some commercial artists. On her Facebook page she wrote: “I would rather release quality over quantity music, and over saturating you all with mediocre songs that I’m not really feeling just to stay relevant and in the spotlight is not the route I wanna go down.”
Her debut album is in the pipeline but there is no release date as of yet. “At the minute I guess what I’m working on is an album (though I don’t like to call it that because it freaks me out!). I prefer to call it a “project”,” Ego Ella May told Hunger TV. “I think I just like to take my time and figure it out as I go along. I don’t really know what the next step is. I just know that I love to write and I love to sing and I love to perform so anything in that avenue I’d be pretty happy with. I’m not the kind of artist that says “go go go” or “ I need to be number one right now”. I just like to take my time and know that when I’m putting out music it’s something that I’ve worked on really hard and spent time trying to perfect.”
Ego Ella May says she’s ready to branch out of writing love songs for her eagerly awaited album, unlike some of her previous releases. This month she’s on a trip to South Africa to work in schools and to work with kids. She’s hoping that it will inspire some different material altogether when it comes to song writing. “I just think it will be such a great experience to help and to hear other people’s stories from around the world. I don’t just want to speak about myself I want to talk about other people’s experiences and other people’s’ truths.”
About the Author
Rosalyn Medea is a journalist, creative warrior, intuitive reader and life coach. She endeavours to breathe Life & Soul into everything she does – be it through her musings at www.lifeandsoulmagazine.com, helping creatives to discover their true self and to develop their relationship with their soul at www.lifeandsoulcreatives.com, or honing her psychic skills at www.lifesoulfreedom.com andhttp://www.keen.com/Rosalyn Medea