Since surfacing in August 2013, Ella G has fast gained a reputation as one of the most exciting Drum & Bass DJs in South Africa. She has being playing for only four years and she is also a producer. We think her aesthetic and music are sick, so as this chat we had with her.
Hi Ella, let’s start this chat talking about your music. Listening to your SoundCloud I feel you have a very complex and different approach in comparison to most common dj’s. When this passion came up and how did you get into the music scene?
I grew up with parents who worked in the music business so there was always an interesting musician hanging out at our house and always an incredibly diverse range of music playing. That was my very first introduction into music. But it wasn’t until I met my boyfriend and started going to more drum and bass parties that I entered that world of music. He taught me how to DJ, something I just wanted to learn for fun but that eventually turned into a career.
Since you are from South Africa, do you think the cultural background influenced your taste in music in some ways? Can you describe your defining experiences you connect with your home country?
Of course it does. Usually when I play hip hop /experimental sets I usually throw in local and often – iconic – tune and nothing gets a dance floor going then something you grew up listening to. The most defining experience is definitely being lucky enough to have grown up in Johannesburg one of the most diverse cities in the country, there are small venues in the city that are almost microcosms of South Africa where you will see and meet a person from every background and of every race. I am extremely lucky because of that.
In this issue we deal with “aesthetic fetish”. What comes into your mind when you think about this term? Do you have any secret fetishes regarding both your personal life and your music?
I think of all the aesthetic fetishes I have! In terms of my music I’ve always put in an effort to have an aesthetic when I’m on stage. Being an aesthetic fetishist myself there is nothing like watching or dancing to a person on stage who has a dope look or something that catches your eye.
From my understanding you are a dj and a producer of hip-hop, drum and bass. Did you start DJing or produce first? What do you feel is more fulfilling?
I started DJing first, although it is something I am passionate about it is definitely the fun side of music (not that production isn’t fun) but it’s where you get to be out, have a party and do what you love, what could be better [laughs*] I always say DJing one of the only professions where you can drink on the job. But at this stage in my career production is something I am focusing a lot more energy on, being able to play your own songs and seeing people respond to something you put your soul and passion into is so fulfilling.
What do you do outside the dance music scene? I can see from your aesthetic and style that you’re a very extravagant person.
Most recently I was doing freelance styling my aesthetic fetish lead me to an interest in fashion of course, and I love to eat nice food.
You recently moved to London. What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Right now I am just experiencing London and the personal growth of being out of your comfort zone. In ten years I hope to have a dope production studio, doing creative styling, learning more, having many dogs, cats and rats and of course DJing as much as possible!