Ella Fence has delivered a passion-evoking and emotional piece of composition through the incorporation the bold sounds of synthesisers and programmed beats that engage the body and mind. This reflective six-track EP plays on ideas of lust, broken promises, indulgence, desire and flamboyance. This shift in Fence’s style is expressive of her worldly experience and is present in her captivating powerhouse vocals, so we caught up with her to find out about her songwriting process.
I feel a little out of my depth giving songwriting tips to other songwriters, because the process is always different and I’m still (and always will be) learning and growing, but here are a few things that work for me.
When Vinnie LaDuce and I started working together, I didn’t know we’d be writing and recording my whole second EP (released later this year), I just loved his music, thought is was a cool dude and wanted to learn more about songwriting by collaborating with him. But when we were writing Dancer (the latest single and first track we wrote together), the process was seamless and fluid. I worked with a lot of different people before Vinnie and I started working together, but this creative professional relationship was by far the one where I found myself most in sync with the other songwriter.
We honed in on how I truly wanted to represent myself as an artist and I believe we’ve achieved that. I’ve learned that if one collab doesn’t work, just to keep searching for that right match. What also works for me is jamming with my band members, Aquila Young and Lily Budiasa, as they’re hugely inspiring women and that triggers the songwriting muscle to kick into gear.
- “I just want to be happy and I want the art to be good”
This is advice I received from Isabella Manfredi when we were talking about the creative process and how to find balance as an artist and this is by far the best advice I’ve received to date. This hit me really hard, because I was getting so caught up in emails, and social media and all the other by-products of being a musician, instead of the actual art itself: the songwriting, the music, the stage show and performance. After that, I began to look at and prioritize things very differently, I truly feel like as though that’s when I started to full take creative ownership.
- Take action to get inspired.
Do something random, go somewhere random, talk to someone random – the more extensive your experiences, the more you have to draw on as a songwriter. I watch and am involved in a lot of live music yes, but I’m also a lover of visual arts, live theatre, dance, cabaret, circus, film, martial arts, stand-up comedy – the list goes on. Really pay attention and be present where you are and take it upon yourself to be actively engaged with the creative community as a whole, you never know what you will pick up to bring back to your own craft – for your stage show, or film clip, or even where your next collaboration will lead you.
- Make your iPhone Notes and Voice Memos your best friend.
Wherever I am, whatever I am doing – if I have an idea for a song or a melody line to some lyrics I’ve been writing, I capture it straight away. Most of my songs begin with the lyrics and often I capture them in this way. Once I’ve got those initial thoughts down, I’ll go back and piece them together and begin to build a song from these ideas. I make a point of revisiting old voice memos and phone notes regularly for inspiration or to build upon and finish off.
- Just start. Like right now.
It’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed when you’re not sure where to start or ideas aren’t coming easily. Whatever headspace you’re in, just start somewhere. Write some words down, pick up an instrument, listen to a track you love – as long as there are action and intention, you will begin to step towards results. A great place to start is with ideas that you’ve captured in the past, picking up where you’ve left off (this is where Phone Notes and Voice Memos come in handy!).
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