Ellis Johnson Talks of His Art with Music!


U.K. singer/songwriter ELLIS JOHNSON has a style that blends acoustic and pop together to create a sense that is breezy yet cool. Two single's have been released so far with new music in the works as well. Ellis himself goes on to talk about his music and why he is the artist he is.


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

At present, there is only me in the 'band' and I don't wish to talk about my member, at least not until I know you better.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

I wanted to pay tribute to both of the families from which I spawned. My last name is Ellis and most of my friends call me Ellis. My mother's side of the family are Johnson's (so to speak) So I put the names together, it sounded good to me so, here I am! Also, my real name is Adolf, so I had to do something. (It isn't really)

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

The band is based out of me, and I hail from Manchester. The music scene is great in Manchester, we're blessed with a laden history of great music, partnered with it's ever influential culture; it may be decades ago that the whole Madchester/brit pop scene was was the heartbeat of the city, but the veins still gush blood of the epoch. It is certainly present in my blood. I ran an open mic night in the city center for 5 years and this is where I met Guy Garvey from Elbow, he told me I have a "cracking set of pipes" and to me that man, optimizes the warmth of the city, someone that plays in front of thousands at arenas, but still has time for the small fry like me, just trying to turn some heads!

There's a lot of current local bands out there making some decent noise, It wouldn't be fair to highlight one and miss out a big list of others, because Manchester is a city that approves of all genres. From Matt & Phreds, the famous Jazz club, to the Indie pumping Night & Day Café and the Metalhead Mecca of Grand Central. I've played in tons of different bands, varying in genres, so I'm fortune enough to say I've played a lot of these massively important venues to different audiences, It's difficult to actually pigeon hole Manchester with a defining 'scene' because in truth, it has many scenes. Whether you like wearing musty charity shop tweed, but you're happy to pay top dollar for a pint in one of the many, amazing venues in the northern quarter, or you like dressing up to the nines and heading to a club for £2 vodka redbulls, Manchester has the perfect juxtaposition for you. I think that should be on a poster somewhere.

4. How would you describe your style?

Well, right now I'm wearing worn out shorts and a smile, but sometimes I also wear scruffy clothes. My music however, is I guess Indie/Pop/Rock/Acoustic. I have some songs that are layered with hooks and harmonies but I have some that need to be stripped bare to the steel of acoustic strings and vocals. I guess I write songs, without knowing if they're gonna be 'my songs' or not. The lyrics are always personal yet sometimes a story. It differs. I think some of my music would fit in the Indie Rock bracket, and some of it owes its origins to general pop music. Like if the Foo Fighters had a three way with Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

 I've released two singles this year so far, 'Ghosts' & 'Waves' Both of which have been really well received, which makes me happy to say! Mike Sweeney on BBC Radio Manchester said 'Waves' is "Fantastic" and I recall Janice Long of BBC Radio Wales was very fond of 'Ghosts'

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

I certainly do! I have much music in the works. I have another single coming out on the 18th of September called 'Something Criminal' I'm really excited to hear what people think about it. I also have so much more music in the making as well as finished pieces to fire out.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

Well, apparently there's been some sort of pandemic or something, i'm not sure. But I've gone from 15 - 20 gigs a month, to entertaining the grout and tiles of my shower. I hope things normalize soon, for everyone of course, but from a personal point of view, I've missed performing. I have been recording personalized versions of songs for key workers throughout the pandemic, and making music videos for said songs. I wanted to keep busy whilst giving something to those who are/have been working so hard throughout the pandemic to keep us all as safe as possible. So far I've done 17 requests for key workers all over the uk (from social workers to nhs staff to lorry drivers) which doesn't sound like much, but I've recorded full versions of songs from scratch, so it's taken a while! I have another 15 or so to complete!

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

A band would be nice. But before that, I plan on writing and performing as much as permitted, hopefully one day i'll swing on the chandelier of a swanky hotel after a sold out arena gig, but before that I really should see a chiropractor and get more fans.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can listen to my music on Spotify, iTunes etc etc... And I hope that you do! Spotify link as follows, https://open.spotify.com/artist/5zIxNQhXrR2EEgKDBKEQUh?si=O_SEAFffTZORG1JTuz7sWA  (Or just Search Ellis Johnson and you'll find me!)

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

My name, probably. There's so much music out there, its so easy to skip to the next track on shuffle and forget whom you just listed to! But also, if the listener can relate to the lyrics and find warmth or otherwise from the music then that would be splendid as well.

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