Ella Collier is a rising pop artist -originally- from Atlanta and currently based in L.A. Ella takes care of it on every front. She sings, writes records, and has now begun producing her own music in a statement of pure female empowerment. Her powerhouse vocals have been described as suited to “Arena Pop” due to her sheer epic strength and versatility.
Ella Began her journey through Musical theater at a very young age and would pick up the guitar at 11, writing and performing her own songs on stages across Atlanta, Nashville, New York, Austin, and Los Angeles just a year later.
Her most recent release is a music video/single titled ‘GIRL NEXT DOOR’, an ominous but wickedly fun Pop banger detailing a real-life romantic betrayal with painful consequences; in it, Ella narrates how she find out her “not-so-lover” wasn’t just cheating on her, but he was literally cheating on her with the titular Girl Next Doo.
“The music video for GIRL NEXT DOOR! transforms narrative archetypes that traditionally oppress women into empowering characters. The housewife, the femme fatale, and the other woman all feature in the film-noir-inspired story of salacious betrayal. We watch Ella investigate her lover’s mysterious absences, only to realize that the truth may be worse than ignorance.” – Cassie Howell Director
Thoughtful, interesting, and more than talented, we got the chance to talk to Ella just a little while ago, and this is what she had to say:
“Girl Next Door” is based on a true, personal story, right? Did the song help you heal or do you feel like that was done long before?
“GIRL NEXT DOOR!” is based on a true personal story and my experience of a stab to my expectations. When I created this song, I was in a lot of pain, which quickly turned into anger. Why aren’t we allowed to be mad? Why aren’t we allowed to give the underdog an honest narrative? People expect women to shut up, and get over it, in this classy cool way, but that’s just not reality. This song encapsulates a brooding rampage, as a reaction to staying quiet and hopeful for too long, but this is exactly what helped me heal.
I thought playing with the phrase & concept “Girl Next Next Door” would be an interesting narration given the Girl Next Door is usually known as an innocent and trustworthy character. When even this loyal character teams up with your intimate lover & goes behind your back, I see that as the ultimate betrayal. When you can’t trust anyone and are expected to stay cool as a cucumber, it leaves you in a vulnerable spot.
Literally or metaphorically, most people have experienced what it feels like to have the paranoia inside their heads manifest into a brutal reality of human betrayal. Nobody can validate the discomposure of feelings one feels at that moment, but I feel like this song does.
Any Lessons or takeaways you think you can share for anyone who finds themselves in a similar position as the song’s narrator?
Yes! We have all been there, and I think these hard moments are what end up empowering you later. It’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to let yourself feel the whole spectrum of emotions. If you don’t, they will fester up into other parts of your life. If there’s one thing I can say, it’s to listen to yourself. Maybe you already had a hunch you were being betrayed, this is a lesson in listening to your intuition, or maybe you didn’t. Regardless, champion your experience, and your emotional and spiritual process, and you will come out as a more wise and more peaceful person, even if you lose what you had before. It wasn’t meant for you anyways.
Ella, “Girl Next Door” is the first song you actively produced. How did it feel once it was all done? Will you be trying to self-produce more often in the near future?
“GIRL NEXT DOOR!” is the first song I actively produced! It was really cool to do especially with this song because I feel like the soundscape tells a specific story on itsown. From the bouncy, crunchy soundscape, to the euphoric melodies, I feel like they grab the listener by the neck. It creeps into the listener’s subconscious, repeating over and over long after the song has ended, just like the repeating anxiety in the story in this song. I feel like the musical makeup mirrors the charged message, and I couldn’t have done it without my collaborators Eli Bramnick, Johnny May & Sam Short.
In an industry filled with male dominance, it feels really empowering to be able to rely on my creativity and vision throughout the whole process of creating a song. I have been working on my production since and am very excited to share with you the music I’ve been working on.
The Music video is truly awesome, and very fun too, all things considered. Did you have fun shooting it? Where did the idea for its visuals come from?
Thank you so much! I’m so glad you love the video and feel the underlining satire and hilarity that came with the concept. I had SO MUCH fun working on this music video. Performing is one of my favorite parts of all this, and in an ironic way, I feel like filming the video and acting out as the Girl Next Door was healing as well.
I owe it all to The director, Cassie Howell. I had been posting the song on TikTok, not sure about releasing the song yet when on a random Wednesday, Cassie texted me a whole entire treatment she had made for the video. I was baffled at the time, work, and creativity she had put into a possibility. I felt like if the song inspired such a talented filmmaker to conceptualize a whole video, then it could inspire more people in many ways, and that’s ultimately what pushed me to release the song. The crew was amazing and it was incredibly inspiring to have a female directing this video. I feel like the whole process of bringing this video to life also encapsulates the message of empowerment, which is why we all do what we do at the end of the day.
I’d like to ask a little bit about Ella Collier. What do you get up to when you’re not busy writing songs or recording?
Good question, I feel like music seeps into every part of my life, so when I get a chance to just be creative and produce on my own or get back to basics writing on my guitar, you will find me there in my free time. I genuinely love creating music and challenging myself to get better at it.
I also call my mom a lot, she’s my best friend, and have recently gotten into binge-watching Friday Night Lights, my comfort show, it’s my nighttime routine recently with a fun snack always. I love fitness and spirituality, so you will often find me doing yoga or running sprints on the treadmill often. I love to read, journal, and meditate. Living in LA has opened up all different forms of nature, so I try to go to the beach or on a hike as often as I can. When I give myself the space to connect with myself, the earth, and God, that’s where I feel the most at peace and able to create, show up for the people I love, and perform the way I do. I would not be able to do any of this if I didn’t give myself time to listen to myself and what God is trying to tell me, which I guess is the lesson of this whole interview.
How do you see yourself at this stage of your career? What parts of you as a musician are you developing or exploring?
I honestly just think of myself as a 23-year-old girl just trying to figure out what’s for dinner haha. As long as I’m working to serve my purpose as an artist, writer, and collaborator, I feel like the rest comes. I keep myself pretty busy and realign my goals often, but I stay open and thankful and try not to be jaded by the constant grind.
I feel like the beauty of being a song maker is that we are constantly developing our craft and tediously chiseling away at the nuances of creation. Every day I am blessed to learn and practice more, through collaborating with incredibly talented producers and songwriters, rehearsing with my band, or working with people like Cassie who bring the music to a visual medium. My mom would say to practice guitar more.
If we were to take a look at your playlist right now, who or what would we find at the top spots?
Oooo, I LOVE this question. Right now, I’m bumping The Internet, “Ego Death”, is one of my favorite albums, SZA’s new album (obviously), specifically “Seek & Destroy” right now, I also am bumping “Gimme More” by Britney Spears (a classic), Solitude by M83, & I recently discovered this fun song “When You Say My Name” by Chandler Leighton that I play on repeat in the car. Oh and obviously, “GIRL NEXT DOOR!” By Ella Collier (haha.). I listen to a wide range of music which serves my creativity, especially my production, which I feel pulls from many different genres. I also make a monthly playlist with my picks for the month, it is therapeutic and cool to look back at.
What are you up to this year? What’s your next move?
I’m always up to something that’s for sure. I’m already in the studio preparing for my next releases, and have a lot of new music coming your way in 2023, which I am so excited to finally share. I feel like I’m finally ready. My music is intended to take people through my spiritual process, so each song has a different vibration, zooming in on very personal experiences in my life that I feel like many people go through, but aren’t talked about enough. I plan to have lots of visual content as well for my supporters and to continue to garner that connection.
I write for a lot of people as well so many releases are coming out of songs that I have written on! I also have some performances coming up, stay tuned, and I’m just gonna keep going, making music. Thank you for listening & taking the time to read this!