“You’ve got the world before you, but you’re blind. Always putting your heart over mind.” I am a firm believer in letting the heart lead in many things but you have to let your mind be the balancer or you make bad decisions..” Ellysa Rose
Ellysa Rose: My parents, especially my Dad, introduced me to music at an early age. My earliest memories are of going to this underground tavern in downtown Tokyo (we lived all over the world when I was younger) to see the best Beatles cover band called The Parrots. Even the bar they played at, Abbey Road, makes you feel like you are at the Cavern Club in the UK. From there, I started classical piano at age 4, Cello at 10 and eventually bought and taught myself the guitar at 15. Songwriting began at 8 with rudimentary songs but I wrote my first full fledged song at age 12 after a big fight with my mom. I had to express myself in words and found that putting it on the page helped release the emotion I had inside. I shared it with my mom and she cried and gave me a big hug. After that, I just had to put my emotions down in the form of a song but all of that is really the back story. I really got my start in music when I moved to LA my senior year of high school for my acting career. To pass the time between auditions, I started to go to open mics. I was shocked at first that anyone would even want to listen to my music. Until that point, I had only written for myself and my own piece of mind. From the very first open mic I performed at in Fullerton the feedback I got was so supportive and encouraging that I began to believe that maybe my music was worth listening to. Then about two months after moving to LA, I was invited to perform at the Wicked Music Festival at the Key Club on the Sunset Strip. It was my first time performing my music on a real stage so imagine my surprise and elation when I won for the Plush Lounge stage (singer-songwriter stage) and took second place overall…only beaten out by a veteran band on the larger stage. That’s when I began to believe I could make a career out of it. After that, I began to get calls from local booking agents and recorded my first demos in the studio.
– Tell me about your song “Blinded”.
My lifelong best friend growing up is beautiful, talented and creative but somewhere along the road of adolescence she adapted a throw caution to the wind kind of attitude and seemed to stop caring about consequences. I tried to reach out but was met with resistance. It was so painful to watch her making bad decision after bad decision that I didn’t think I could even write about it. It was too raw for me. Then, one day while I was in the shower, it just came to me and that’s how I wrote Blinded. The main lyric from this song that I want people to take away is “You’ve got the world before you, but you’re blind. Always putting your heart over mind.” I am a firm believer in letting the heart lead in many things but you have to let your mind be the balancer or you make bad decisions like she did. I am happy to say that my friend is blossoming today. She’s in college and started her own clothing line and I know that “Someday soon she’ll see that she can have everything.”
– What’s the music scene like in your town? Places to go? Tell me about one fun thing you like to do that can be music or non-music related.
I live in LA, the entertainment capital of the world so we have an abundance of things to do. In the music scene there’s everything from intimate open mics to the clubs on the Sunset Strip to the Staples Center or the Hollywood Bowl. From a non music standpoint, my favorite thing to do is hit the amusement parks. I live 15 minutes away from Universal Studios. I have an annual pass and it is always fun to go spend a few hours there. I also have an annual pass to Six Flags in Valencia. That is my favorite place to go because I absolutely LOVE roller coasters. And, of course, there is the Original Disneyland right down the 5 in Anaheim which I go to occasionally as well. (On a side note: My brothers and I have always loved theme parks and grew up going to Disneyland around the world…we lived in Japan so spent a lot of time at Tokyo Disneyland and when we lived in England we made several trips to Paris Disneyland (my favorite of all the Disney parks) And Disney world Orlando is another favorite which I enjoy going to when I get to Florida.)
– What do you like about social media? Have you found any challenges that you’ve had to overcome?
My favorite thing about social media is being able to connect with my fans. I really enjoy that aspect of it. My biggest challenge is how broad it has become and how it is manipulated to be more of an advertising tool which can make it difficult to weed through. So for my fans, I have created my very own fan IntraNet on my site called the Ellysa Rose VIP’s where fans can interact on a more personal level. There are contests where they can win prizes like a skype call with me or signed poster or twitter shout out. There is a lot of VIP only content on there like candid photos, Fan Photos from concerts and exclusive photos from photo shoots as well as behind the scenes photos. It’s also where my blog/vlogs are posted and where breaking news is released first. There’s also a community page for fans to interact with me and other fans as well. (ellysarose.com)
– Why do you think it’s so hard for indie artists to break into the mainstream big markets and gain a solid fan base?
I think the biggest problem that indie artists face is getting air time. Most radio stations are national syndicates that control programming on a national level. Back in the day when radio markets were limited, a DJ could take an interest in a local artist and add them into the rotation. Now, if you want to get played you better be prepared to pay a lot of money. It would be great to see independent stations pop up again or even a segment on the national stations that plays local artists…even just once a month would be a great start and give indie artists a better chance.
– Who is your favorite artist and how have they influence you?
My favorite all time artist are the Beatles and I would love to one day meet Paul and Ringo. My favorite artist of today is Jessie J. She is hands down the best female vocalist of our time. Her control and technique are undeniable. She influences me to challenge myself vocally and to keep improving, striving to match her skill level. We will never be the same as our ranges are much different as is our style but from a technical standpoint she is stellar. I was able to meet her recently during her most recent trip to LA and it was an amazing experience. She’s so inspiring. She encouraged me to keep striving and wished me luck with my career. I hope I get a chance to work with her someday.
– How do you want to be remembered for your music?
True music comes from a place of true emotion. I want to leave the music world knowing that I encouraged people to be open and honest with their emotions and to know that they aren’t alone but to also inspire a generation of singers, songwriters and artist to do the same. I also hope to bring back raw, real musicianship with music that touches your soul.
– Artists who seek to make their art a career often face challenges that question their sense of purpose and creativity.. What is your experience with negative energy?
I have struggled greatly with trying to be what people want me to be and being true to myself. When my music journey in LA first started I had a meeting with a producer who’s vision for my career didn’t match mine but the problem was is that I didn’t quite know how to voice that vision yet. I left that meeting discouraged and the result was birth of the song BE FREE. It has become a motto for many of my fans and the soundtrack to their life. It has also helped me to spur myself on.
That meeting and writing Be Free was a turning point in my career. It made me realize that the only way I would survive in this business is by being true to myself. From that day on I made it my mission to really understand who I am as an artist and learn to articulate that.
– Are you religious? Do you believe in fate?
I believe the only way to succeed in anything is to believe in yourself and to have faith. I am lucky in that I have parents that have supported and believed in me from day one which really helped me when my faith in myself wavered. I am a very religious and spiritual person. I believe in God and in Fate. I believe that what you put out in this world comes back to you. I believe that kindness should be natural and not something that we have to go out of our way to do. I believe that lifting others up is the most rewarding thing that can come from our lives. I wish more people felt this way.
– What are you thankful for?
That is very difficult for me because I am thankful for so much…Nature, colors, for housing, for my fans, for my family for my ‘Frie-mily’, my friends that are like family, for all my supporters, to God for leading me and giving me these talents. I am thankful for art and music, for my mentor Joanna for believing in me and helping me get this far. Mostly, I am thankful for my journey and for all the experiences (good and bad) that have led me to this point. I am also thankful for the path that lies ahead. I know it will be tough but I know that it will be beautiful.
– Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself having released a few albums, touring, developing relationships with other artists, supporting new artists. One of my dreams is to create a label that focuses on young talent and give them the help that so many others have given me.
– What do you want most and how do you know it will make you happy?
Love. What is so great is that I already have that with my family, friends and support system that I have built around me. So many young people think that love can only come from romantic or sexual relationships but that’s just not true. Romantic relationships are great but we need to start valuing the other real and genuine relationships with friends and family that surround us every day. That’s a love that is so fulfilling and it’s right there in front of us if we just look up from our screens and take advantage of it.
– Have you ever stepped back to look at the bigger picture of who you are and where you fit in this world?
Self discovery is the definition of my life. I have always been searching for myself and the only way I found it was through music.
– In your opinion what is the best way for someone to discover what they are good at and or what will make them happy?
I truly believe there is something out there for everyone. Try everything you can that seems interesting. When I was in high school I was on the Field Hockey team (found out I am NOT athletic in any way LOL), I was the president of my class, on the newspaper, in several different clubs and in musicals and plays. Doing all of that made me realize that the time by myself, writing music, was my favorite time. It is still my favorite time!
– How can your life become more rich?
I feel like my life is so fulfilling right now. The one thing that would make my life richer would be for my music to spread and reach the masses. If I can reach just one more person and help them through a difficult time in their life then that would be all that I could ask for.
– How do you handle conflict in your life?
You might be able to guess this answer after some of my previous answers but I handle conflict by expressing myself in song. Sometimes that might be just working out an emotion via the chords on the piano or lyrics on the page. Without that creative element in my life, I don’t know how I would deal with all of life’s ups and downs.
– Do you feel that there is anything that prevents you from living up to your full potential?
Myself is the only thing that can get in the way which is why I am always conscious of getting out of my own way. As the Beatles, specifically Paul, would say… “Let it be.” Let life happen.
– What is your personal definition of success?
Finding something that you love and doing what you love every day. If you can find that and do it, whether it is staying home with your kids, running a recording studio or delivering the mail, if you love what you do then you are a success.
– Do you feel that you have limits to what you can do and achieve? Explain.
There are no limits on this earth. There are no rules, nothing to stop you from doing everything you can. The only thing would be an unforeseen health issue or something like that. Nothing is going to stop me.
-If heaven exists what’s the first thing you would like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“Hello Daughter, I love you. At that point it is about God and his glory and not about accolades upon my earthly life.”
Taking her inspiring music on the nationwide BE FREE TOUR, Ellysa uses her lyrics and melodies to reach out and inspire those around her and hopes to inspire a nation of young people to Be Free enough to reach for their dreams. A breath of fresh air, alternative-pop singer/songwriter Ellysa Rose steps out of the traditional pop mode with her own unique vibe using her refreshingly calming yet powerful vocals to drive her emotive lyrics. This versatile style has won her fans that span generations, gender and genres. You’ll also find Ellysa and her music in the upcoming comedy ‘The Royals’ where she plays a newly discovered singer/songwriter trying to make it in LA. While fictional in nature, the show features original music by Ellysa Rose so you’ll want to tune in!
Ellysa’s musical journey started at the tender age of 4 when she first started playing the piano and now she also plays the Synth, Guitar, Ukulele and Cello. Her songs are full of insightful lyrics and memorable melodies, which is why Ellysa is often compared to some of the greatest songwriters of yesterday and today like Billy Joel, Ed Sheeran, Joni Mitchell and Florence Welch (of Florence + the Machine). Originally from Michigan, she grew up living and traveling around the world and being exposed to a vast array of musical and songwriting styles. It was a great experience, getting to visit more countries than most adults do in a lifetime, however, making new friends only to leave a few years later was not always easy. Music was the only friend she could pack up and take with her…Now she has packed up all of her instruments and moved from Michigan to California to take her career to the next level. She performed in her first festival, the Wicked Music Festival at the Key Club in December 2012, where she won for the Plush Lounge Stage, taking second overall. Since then Ellysa has continued to win awards, most recently WOATV Artist and Video of the year and 3rd place out of over 500 contestants in the the Hard Rock Rising – Hollywood competition. Released in June 2013. Ellysa has played at many of Hollywood’s famous venues including headlining at the House of Blues, artist in residence at the Hard Rock Cafe, Whisky A Go Go and more. The single and music video, “Content With a Memory” left her fans clamoring for more so on October 1st, 2013, she debuted the video for Be Free which garnered critical acclaim and over Half a Million views in one week!