Who’s Ellysa Rose?
I’m an outgoing, boisterous, 17 year-old singer/songwriter.
How did you get started in the music scene?
I started writing music when I was 12, but didn’t pick up my first guitar until I was 15. After teaching myself, I started performing at local fairs and summer festivals in my home state of Michigan. Just as I turned 17, I moved to LA and started doing lots of open mic nights, performing anywhere from 2-5 times a week. I was asked to play in the Wicked Music Festival at the Key Club in Hollywood, where I placed 2nd, which really put me on the map as an artist. I’ve been booking and playing shows at places like Whisky a Go Go, Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, and Saddle Ranch at Universal Citywalk ever since.
What are your music influences?
The Beatles, Billy Joel, All Time Low, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are my main influences. I have a very broad taste in music, so I draw upon my eclectic music library to add elements of many genres into my songs.
What’s the message you are looking to spread with your music?
Be free. A lot of people use the term “be yourself”, but being a young person, you often don’t really know who you are, as I really explored in my song “Color Outside the Lines”. One thing I’ve learned is that if I just let myself be free, I can explore the ups and downs of life, look at all the paths I can take and truly be free in myself to make my own decisions. Being free helps us all develop the person we are and who we want to become.
So you are working on a new music video. Can you give us any details/insights about it? Any official release date?
The video for “Color Outside the Lines” is still in post-production, but I am very excited for it! It tells the story of a young girl who is trapped in a small town, working hard at school and earning money for college but truly wants to be a singer. The only problem is that her mom does not approve. This is not my autobiography by any means (I’m lucky to have very supportive parents), but my inner conflict between taking the safe and expected path or breaking the mold and following my dreams. Release date will be posted soon on my Facebook and website!
There’s a new single to be released. Can you talk to us more about it?
The next single off my forthcoming EP “Stop Waiting” is called “Unbreakable”. This song is very personal, because it’s about a time in my life when someone told me in not so many words, “You’re not good enough.” In the lyrics, I go from realizing that I’m being too hard on myself to taking the negative and letting it be my motivation to improve even further. I think a lot of people can relate to being knocked down, I just hope this song helps my listeners pick themselves back up again.
What are the PROs and CONs of being a young musician in the scene?
Only being 17 (and looking about 14…) usually means people do not expect much from me or the songs I write. That said, the feeling I get when I perform and the audience is surprised that they enjoyed my music is incredible. Being so young also means that I’m out there performing alongside musicians who have years of experience that I haven’t. Also, being under 21 and being under 18 means I’m limited to the venues I can perform in. On the bright side, I get to have my best friend and number one roadie, my mom, alongside me every step of the way.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
Each song is different, but most of the time something will happen in my life or occur to me in my thoughts when I grab a pencil and lyrics spew from my mind. I then look back at whatever I wrote and decide what will be the chorus, verses, and bridge. Since the words often have a melody of their own, I find what works best musically on guitar, piano, or ukulele, and go from there. Other times, a chord progression or melody will be stuck in my head for weeks or even months before I develop the lyrics. No matter what order I write a song in, what always remains the same is the meditative state I delve into during the process. Songwriting transports me to another place.
What has been one of the funniest moments you have been or took part while touring?
I was at a show once at a venue where my audience was very stoic and serious about music. I walked onto the stage, adjusted the microphone a bit when it dropped to the floor, making an awful noise. With a deep breath, I picked up the mic and said, “I just did that to prove I’m a real MC.” Everyone laughed, the crowd loosened up and the show was great from then on!
Are there any plans for the future we should be aware of?
I have many upcoming live shows in the LA area including Whisky a Go Go on January 27th at 7pm (tickets available at ellysarose.com). Also, my EP “Stop Waiting” will be released this spring!
Where can we find more about your music?
For more about my music, you can head to my website, www.ellysarose.com. All links to other social networking sites, blog posts, and ticket sales are on there. Also, if you “like” my Facebook page (Ellysa Rose / facebook.com/likeEllysaRose) you can receive updates about release dates and upcoming shows! I’m also on Twitter (@ellysarose), Reverbnation (reverbnation.com/EllysaRose), Youtube (ellysarose / youtube.com/ellysarose), and Myspace (myspace.com/ellysarose).
Do you feel like you’re moving on the right direction?
I’m writing constantly, recording in the studio, and most importantly, spending lots of time on stage. Things are only getting better for me, and I could not be happier with the direction I’m heading.