How did you come up with your name?
After a failed relationship, where I changed my name and swiftly changed it back, I moved into apartment 1111. A few months later, I wrote my first song. It was a new beginning in every way. I felt I had to come up with a name that was representative of my “best” creative self, a name I would never change.
I had always made wishes on 11:11 when I’d see it on the clock, but this move was truly the beginning of so many new beginnings. I decided eleven was just a beautiful number…two ONES, separate in height and girth…separate but united, and so it became symbolic to me in the way I wanted to be …independent…free standing ….equal. Also, it had to be a name no one had. So I doubled the E and I doubled the L, and voila, ellee ven!
What’s your favorite song to play live?
That’s a tough one… if I haaave to choose one, it’s going to be UNDER MY SKIN. The minute I wrote it, I felt it was MINE. The lyrics …the style…and it always translates…gets better with time. The recording is straight drum and bass but it’s musical and so open. Lately, SUN UP has been the best add for me and since it includes PRODEJE on it with me, is meaningful stylistically. Prodeje has been so influential to me as a producer and collaborator. Plus the lyrics are also very meaningful to me.
Who are some of your influences?
Number one, is Sade. She’s so unforced and unique. Truly beautiful. Others include Stevie Nicks, Shirley Manson, Debbie Harry, Lisa Stansfield, Prince, Marvin Gaye, and let’s not leave out the Jacksons…all of em:)
If you could tour with anyone who would it be?
I’ll say Garbage or Bruno Mars and recently I am liking Julia Michaels.
Describe your song writing process.
This definitely depends on the songs…sometimes I just hear the melody and we wrote around it but most times, I’ll get beats from my favorite guys and we build from there. Often times I take out a part or add a part, make it faster or slower…just depends what feelings the rhythm inspires.
How did you meet your band members?
Oh gosh, it’s been a process, but the first one to stick was TONY LEE, a producer of mine and my constant guitar player and compadre. He’s really been my glue, and the musical embryo if you will. He’s taught me so much about communicating musically and about keeping musicians together really. Through him, I started working with Prodeje and also found my killer drummer, Jody Giachello. Then came Freekbass who is from Ohio, but we met in Kentucky! He and Jody are the perfect rhythm section. I love them all musically PLUS I’d go anywhere with them. They are fam.
Who’s the dream producer you would like to work with?
Probably Pharrell…he seems sincere and open musically. I feel he’d help expand my ideas versus pigeon hole em.
What do you think musicians can do to make the world a better place?
Be authentic…play for the love of it. Be willing to release songs that speak to them and may not be commercially viable in the instant. Be willing to show growth.
How has music made a difference in your life?
It’s given me a platform to express. My parents were pretty strict. There aren’t many right or wrongs in music and in a non judgmental world, it would be that way too. The stage gives us license!
What’s the one word to describe ellee ven?