With her hand on every role, Ella Collier makes sure that her music is a pure reflection of her soul, each step of the way. Yeah, she writes, produces, records, and performs all of it, guaranteeing an integral experience to all of us who’ve been enamored with her powerhouse pop vocals. Ella’s heart is an open book, and she invites us all to read it. Through her stories of love and loss, she helps us to reflect on our own experiences and to connect with our own spiritual nature.
Ella’s newest release, HOLD PLEASE, is the 2nd single out of her upcoming EP, a raw and honest exploration of self-discovery and growth. The song begins with a pensive piano introduction, setting the tone for a vulnerable and empowering anthem for anyone who has ever felt lost or alone. Ella’s vocals grow in strength as the song progresses, delivering a rallying cry for embracing our true selves, even if it means leaving behind past versions of ourselves and unhealthy relationships.
HOLD PLEASE is a reminder that we are all capable of growth, and it is never too late to start over.
WHAT DOES GROWTH LOOK LIKE FOR ELLA COLLIER RIGHT NOW?
Good question… hmm I feel like growth is an everyday choice, one day at a time.
Growth is such an ambiguous, overused term nowadays, I feel like it can be overwhelming to approach it from a larger results standpoint. Growth is in the small wins and decisions that add up over time.
I feel like for me, when I first wake up in the morning I have to deliberately decide to surrender to the flow of life. I also feel like I’ve learned that growth is the art of letting go, I literally have to remind myself every single day to do so, sometimes multiple times a day. It’s being able to be alone with yourself and enjoy it, and when you’re not enjoying it, listening to yourself and finding out why, instead of using external validation to distract you. In the end, that only puts me in the same, or worse headspace.
GROWTH TAKES PATIENCE. HAVE YOU FOUND A SOURCE OF PATIENCE THAT WORKS FOR YOU?
I am not innately a patient person, so patience is difficult for me, but I love a good challenge. I find that a morning practice really sets me off on the right foot, which changes every day depending on how I’m feeling, but it’s some combination of meditation, prayer, journaling, spending time in nature, and exercise. Yoga has been a really great grounding practice for me.
Some mornings call for me to jump right into work, but I seriously try to schedule time every day to connect with myself, my body, and God. It took a long time for me to implement that into my life because I’m an obsessive person, so sometimes my obsession with “the grind” drives me, but it also burns me out. I need to remember to literally be a person.
I also feel like with the technology takeover, I try to stay off my phone before bed and when I wake up. The instant gratification and then downfall of comparison (even subconsciously) on social media is an energy sucker for me, and it puts me on edge, so I really try to limit my screen time and spend time practicing presence. I’m not sure I’ll ever master that, and that’s patience.
YOU’VE SAID “HOLD PLEASE IS AN EMPOWERING MOTIVATION TO CELEBRATE VULNERABILITY & TO GARNER THE STRENGTH TO KEEP GOING” IN THE PROCESS OF BEING WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW, DID YOU EVER FEEL LIKE YOU WERE CLOSE TO QUITTING? IF SO, HOW DID YOU PUSH THROUGH?
Of course, as a human, I feel like we contemplate all options, but I’ve always had this fire in my belly to keep going. I find a way, a new way, even when I get knocked on the ground a few times. Mostly when that happens, I find I need to shift my mindset and be open to the changes that come along with that.
In terms of music, I can’t do anything else with my life. As I said above, I am obsessive. I am obsessed with music. I love every part of it and I feel like I have something to say and share with someone who needs to hear it. I also protect it with my life, for the little girl who always dreamed of doing this, I do this for her, and I’m grateful to her.
Personally, getting sober was the most soul-stripping experience I’ve ever had in my life, but I feel like when I decided to finally get sober, I knew it was a forever decision. I didn’t want to put the people I loved, and myself, through an empty commitment.
I talk about my sobriety a lot in my new music, but it’s more about the emotional sobriety that comes along with it. You are still left with the obsessive thoughts that drove you to that place, but to face yourself head-on and learn the beauty of vulnerability, acceptance, and accountability strips the illusion.
It’s been really hard to be sober working in the music industry, living in Los Angeles, and being only 23, but when I start feeling low or even start contemplating the idea of quitting, I lean on my sober friends for support, my family, and God.
My first call is always to my mom. My mom is my best friend and I’m so blessed to have her in my corner. She knows everything about me and is one of the only people I fully trust. My therapist would say I need to stop being so guarded and learn to trust people more, but I’ve been burned many times before for being so open. That made me want to quit sometimes because I was so hurt.
But the thing about growth is you realize that all of that is just wounding your ego, and the whole point of living is to experience the whole spectrum of emotions so you can learn, and in my case, create art out of it that might help someone going through something similar.
“HOLD PLEASE” IS IN MANY WAYS ALSO ABOUT *LETTING GO*, ISN’T IT? CAN YOU GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING YOU’VE HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND IN ORDER TO BE THIS VERSION OF YOURSELF?
Yes! You are spot on. I talked about *letting go* a little earlier, I feel like it’s a recurring theme in my life. When I first got sober, I was stripped of anything that felt comfortable to me. I’ve had to let go of old relationships that didn’t serve me anymore, which felt really lonely at times.
The biggest thing for me I had to let go of was old habits, and some of them are still clinging on for their dear life. I have the habit of overthinking and searching for validation in the wrong places. I’ve come to realize that the only validation I needed, I had all along, with myself.
We are so scared of ourselves, but when we get to know us, it can be a really beautiful, challenging process. Our inner critic loves to fight us, and some of us, including myself, have multiple voices in our heads. That’s why a spiritual practice and routine is essential for me, to connect not to the external, but to the internal, my intuition, and I can tune into what God has been showing me this whole time.
YOU SAID THAT YOU WROTE THIS SONG FROM “A RESENTFUL PLACE”. WAS IT CATHARTIC FOR YOU? DO YOU FEEL DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THE SONG NOW THAT IT’S OUT?
At the time of writing HOLD PLEASE, I was 2 months sober, and I was so angry that my past friends and relationships could continue on living the same life, while I was rebuilding from the beginning. I came to many realizations and felt used, but I put myself there. It was a really isolating, powerless place to be in.
I also have this habit of coming off really hard, with walls up to the sky. It motivates me, but it also feels like I’m protected. My dad always says, “Your best attribute, can also be your worst enemy”.
The line “I don’t wanna let you let me down” in the song is about how I felt about those past relationships, but it’s also me talking to a past version of myself & my inner critic. Writing HOLD PLEASE was incredibly cathartic and empowering. I do feel differently about the song now that it’s out, I feel like I find new meanings and applications to my life every time I listen, and that’s my hope for the listener. These songs are deeply emotionally and spiritually charged, so my hope is that the music will motivate something in the listener they already knew deep down. It’s time to take our power back, and it’s gonna be messy to get there.
SOME PEOPLE WE MEET ALONG THE WAY DON’T HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND, BUT SOME DEFINITELY DO. HAVE YOU FOUND A SURE WAY TO TELL THOSE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE APART EARLY ON?
Yes! I feel like your gut (or your intuition) always lets you know if you feel safe or not with the person you’re interacting with. It’s different for everyone. You learn from past experiences what to look out for, and that’s why I feel like those experiences are valuable.
I think in the past I used to ignore these intuitive warnings, but now, I say no even when it’s difficult. I also feel like that’s why practicing meditation and spending real time with your soul really helps out in the world. You are more in tune with your instincts, what you want out of your interactions, and what and how much you can give.
Regardless of the interaction, I do feel like everything happens for a reason, and conversations are always lessons.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING EP, PLEASE. ANY TENTATIVE NAMES FOR IT YET? WHAT WILL YOU BE EXPLORING WITH IT?
AH! I am so excited to share this EP with you. I made the whole EP with my producer and close confidant Sam Vendig. Every song on the project is an anthem of empowerment that was born out of the pain of obsession. Empowerment comes in many forms; knowledge, vulnerability, radical honesty, confidence, etc., and we explore the whole spectrum of this project. All these songs were written as I was getting sober and I’m just taking you inside my head and heart.
UPGRADE & HOLD PLEASE are two songs off of it that are out now! I’m sure you can sense a theme when you listen. I’m so excited about not only the storytelling, but the soundscape we have created with this project, it’s a perfect storm.
We do have a name for the EP, you will know it soon (August roughly), so stay tuned for that. Thank you for having me & asking such great questions, this felt like a journaling session!