Ella Eyre is preparing for pop domination all over again. Two years after her Top 5-charting debut album Feline, she’s back in the upper echelons of the charts, teaming up first with Sigala for their dancefloor igniting single ‘Came Here For Love’ and now Ty Dolla $ign on her own new single, ‘Ego.’ She’s not just lighting up the charts however, and at only 23 she’s been enlisted to judge one of the most prestigious awards in the country, the Mercury Prize. It’s safe to say then that in the tail end of 2017 you can expect to see and hear a whole lot more of Ella.
Before she totally takes over the rest of the year, we wanted to find out more about the journey she took to get here. Notion had Ella in the office recently (more on that coming soon), and we managed to get a little bit extra of her time for an exclusive Mood Board. Documenting how she became the soon-to-be pop icon she is, Ella’s picked out some of the most significant moments in her life/ career to date and let us in on the stories behind them. Scroll through the gallery below.
Me at 3
I think this gives a really great sense of what I was like at a kid. I’m not making any claims that I can, or ever could, play the trumpet, but I loved making noise. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I got hold of it and I made a noise. There’s also a video of me where I’ve found loads of pots and pans and set up my own drum kit in the living room, and you can just hear bashing, and all my mum’s friends getting annoyed at me– but I keep playing and trying to figure it out. This photo is from my 3rd birthday. My mum made my cake for me, she’s a cake designer and because it was an animal-themed party, the cake had loads of different animals on it. She asked if I liked it, and I said, ‘Yeah, but the one in Tesco was better.’ She’ll never let me live that down! It was a really great cake, I really didn’t do my mum any justice with that comment.
Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival is a big tradition in my family. My dad was Jamaican, and my very first carnival was with my mum and dad. I seem to miss it most years now because I’m always away, but it’s a part of my culture, and I try and remember how crucial it was in my upbringing. I’m definitely going this year, I’m making sure of it. My dad died this year, so I feel like I have to go to honour him. He’d be disappointed if I didn’t.
The first time I went to the BRIT Awards was when I went with the BRIT School in 2011. I remember watching Adele sing 'Someone Like You' and watching her pick up all those awards, and that was the first moment I realised, ‘this what I want to do’. Then to be playing it three years later with Rudimental, and for people to absolutely love that performance and still talk about it to this day, is a huge honour. That jump I’m doing was my signature move, potentially breaking my legs! I wanted to make the most of the situation, because I knew I wasn’t just going to be the guest vocalist forever.
I went to school in Glastonbury, so it was a known tradition that when you passed your GCSEs (or even if you didn't pass) you went to Glastonbury. As part of that tradition, I went there when I was 16-years-old. Four years later, to be at that same festival – one of the biggest festivals in the world – but this time performing onstage, was amazing. It was a real career highlight for me.
I’d played Brixton Academy a couple of times before this show, either supporting other artists or doing guest vocals on stage, but this was the first time I’d ever sold out the venue myself, and it was everything I could have wished it to be. The crowd were amazing. One of my songs, ‘Even If’, has the line: “Even if we'll never get it right / I know I'm glad I was able / To be by your side.” One of my fans had printed out hundreds of copies of a sign and handed it out to all the fans before the gig, telling people to hold them up when that song came on. And the signs said, “We will always be by your side.” To have hundreds of those signs looking back at me, during a sold out Brixton Academy show, was so special.
This was the first ever award I received for being an established solo artist. Winning a BRIT was amazing but it was a shared success, but the MOBO was the very first solo recognition I’d been given. I had absolutely no idea it was coming, and it just blew my mind. The competition is just immense and I’d written it off in my mind, so when they announced that I’d won my heart just dropped to the floor. At that moment I could barely hold it together, so I can’t even remember what I said in my speech.
Mercury Prize judge
I know it sounds stupid, but I struggle to consider myself a fully established artist because I’ve only got one album under my belt, and that’s in no way representative of how the rest of my career will go. So to be asked to do this, to judge other people’s music like I know any better, was quite strange but very flattering. As an artist myself, we all dream of being nominated for a Mercury, so to be asked to be in charge of making that decision was quite difficult. But after I got over that, it really fun discovering artists I’d never heard of before, and genres that I hadn’t really invested much time in. On the first meeting, where we whittled it down from 25 to 12, we weren’t allowed to say anything negative about the albums. I thought it would be quite restricting, but it helped me understand why someone else appreciated the ones I wasn’t really sure about. It was good to have that kind of positivity, because I’m not always like that in normal life!
'Ego' video shoot
This marked the start of a brand new cycle, a brand new campaign, and a brand new musical direction. It’s a really exciting video – different to anything I’ve ever done before. It was just really fun and beautiful and everything I could have imagined to launch the first single for my new campaign. It’s really representative of what’s to come.