We caught up with indie singer-songwriter Ella Jane and talked to her latest single "Party Trick," creating authentic music, and everything else in between.
We were so stoked to listen to your new single “Party Trick” which is hands down an absolute anthem. How was this song born?
Thank you!!! This song went through a couple different iterations - it started out in a session I had last summer with these writers Steph Jones and Jenn Decilveo. Unfortunately it’s pretty rare in this industry to be in a room with only women, but when it happens it’s just an incredibly easy environment to be vulnerable and honest in. So we got to talking about something I was experiencing at the time - the strangeness and newness of hooking up with someone you’ve just met; the fleeting nature of infatuation - and the song started to come together. We churned out that first draft in a couple hours, and I think we all fell in love with the chorus. Months later I ended up re-writing the verses, but the core of what we started that day remained.
On TikTok you’ve talked about your song “Calling Card” and what inspired it. When writing songs, how do you draw from your personal life while also making them relatable to people who haven't had those experiences?
It’s funny you choose “Calling Card” for this example, because on a surface level it’s my least relatable song. I mean, if you just skim the lyrics it’s about falling for someone who turns out to be a serial killer! But all my writing is rooted in authentic feelings and experiences, and so really the song is about this guy I was into who used his charm to manipulate me and a lot of other people. Which is infinitely more relatable. That’s the general philosophy I use when I write: if the feeling behind the song is genuine, people will see that. I think for me, that’s the beauty of songwriting, this idea that most people can find themselves in any song. For example, you don’t have to have been cheated on to understand betrayal; you don’t have to have experienced some great romance to understand love. So while I really don’t write my music with other people in mind (songwriting is truly just an outlet for me), I hope that listeners can see themselves in some of my transparency.
You just came back from being on the road. What was the biggest lesson you learned from touring that isn’t related to music?
Oh man… a couple things. Podcasts are your best friend on long drives. Neck pillows are indispensable. And take pictures of everything!
A lot of your songs reference New York, including one of my favorites “The City.” What's so special about the city to you?
I grew up in a small suburb of New York, just a short train ride away from Manhattan. Growing up, I think the city represented freedom for me; maybe adulthood, or the future. Even though “The City” was really an allegory for losing a friend and how to make peace with that, there’s no doubt that the metaphorical “city” I referred to was New York. Honestly I’m getting emotional writing this, because I’m moving to LA in a few weeks! But New York City has become even more special to me this past year because I’ve been living in Brooklyn, and the people I’ve met during my time there as well as the environment I was in left a deep impact on me. Being surrounded by the diversity and queerness I felt deprived of in my hometown has completely changed how I view the world and in turn, myself. I think it’s made my songwriting a lot more honest. So no matter how long I’m away, New York will always be home to me.
What is a piece of advice you would give to young female artists trying to enter the industry?
Your opinion, your voice, and your perspective are not only valuable but invaluable. Don’t let anyone gaslight you into thinking otherwise, because they will. Fend off self-doubt, and trust your gut. It’s worth it.