We get to know Ebony, a young songstress out of Sydney who dropped her solo debut ‘Skin & Bones’ last year.
But we’re not here to talk about last year, we’re here to talk about this year; Ebony has just dropped a fresh new single entitled ‘Sleep’ and a rather absorbing music video to complement it.
We’ll stop waffling on, however, while you get to know Ebony.
01. Name : EBONY.
02. Where are you based? Sydney, Australia.
03. How did you get your start in music? Growing up I actually wanted to be a writer, but when I started high school, everyone in Year 7 had to pick between studying an instrument or singing lessons and I chose singing, just because I always loved music and singing around the house and thought I’d have fun and take the piss. I kept it up and became so obsessed with it though, it just took over and I wasn’t interested in writing books anymore, just lyrics and music.
I got to a point where I wanted to learn how to produce music so that I could turn the compositions I’d written into finished songs and give them all individuality. So during the HSC I went into Kings Cross every Saturday morning for a few months and had production lessons at Ableton Liveschool. Since then I’ve just learned from and worked with all different kinds of people and spent hours on end researching, improvising, practicing and now here we are.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Never taking myself too seriously.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. Somewhat brooding, gentle, solemn, atmospheric. I try not to make my writing too process driven and just generate what comes out naturally. For that reason, a lot of the time what I write is unintentionally centered around the tone and range of my voice because most of my initial ideas come from singing random melodies. I leave my Ableton template pretty bare so I’m not subconsciously persuaded to take the song in a certain direction or make it a certain structure.
I change it up but generally start with just the bare bones of a track – chords and a kick drum, then I write the lyrics and the rest of the production follows. If most of the production is done early on in the process, my lyrics are swayed by the tone and character of the instrumentation. I prefer to write lyrics to a fairly rough template and base the rest of the production around the mood of the lyrics.
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? When I was three or four I “wrote a song” called ‘Sparkly and Shiny’. It goes like this :
‘Sparkly and shiny, sparkly and shiny, makes the world go round and round. Sparkly and shiny, sparkly and shiny, welcome to my spin around.’
And that’s all the words. I used to sing it all the time with my little lisp, it’s featured on almost every home video.
07. Who have been your musical influences? Absolutely no one beats Jeff Buckley. The emotion behind his voice, that insane vibrato, even his onstage banter. I think he was a genius. As well as him I have too many to count – Amy Winehouse, Fleetwood Mac, Anthony Kiedis, James Blake, AlunaGeorge, the list goes on…
08. What are your favorite songs of all time? Singlehandedly the hardest question in the world. But here’s a few:
‘Dock Of The Bay’ by Otis Redding, ‘Master Blaster’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Under The Bridge’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers, ‘Last Goodbye’ by Jeff Buckley, ‘Lite Spots’ by Kaytranada and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ cause it’s just ‘that song’.
09. Where’s your favorite place to listen to music? Live music, always live music – at festivals and also the really intimate shows at smaller venues with great acoustics like The Enmore. Otherwise I love listening to music in my car, especially long road trips or sometimes I’ll just drive to a headland and chuck my feet up on the dashboard and listen to music and look at the view.
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling: Happy? Sad? Introspective? Exhausted?
Jamiroquai are great for when I’m happy or want to make myself happy. Kaytranada for every mood, Frank Ocean when I’m sad and/or introspective, for exhausted probably Kllo or a lot of the time I’ll just type a keyword into Spotify and let Spotify do its thing.
11. What was the first album you ever bought? I remember buying the Chili Peppers’ ‘Stadium Arcadium’ album when I was about 11 because I thought my brother was cool and he loved Red Hot Chili Peppers.
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I used to be a lifeguard.
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? A psychologist or a psychiatric nurse.
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? ‘If you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter if you’re successful or not’ from my Mum, the best woman in the world.
15. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? Beyoncé.
16. Tell us about your latest release. ‘Sleep’ is about a nightmare that won’t go away, and I think everyone can relate to that concept in one way or another.
After the first session of production and writing the first verse, I got an idea of where I wanted to go with it and decided I wanted to make it more of a full on project, not just a song on its own. I just thought the plot and largely atmospheric production it would really suit having a visual element to go with it, so planning the music video became just as important to me as finishing the song. Throughout the process the song and video evolved hand in hand.
17. What do your future plans involve? I’m off to Vegas this week so hopefully I have a future that extends beyond that.
18. Where can our audience catch you live? I can’t say yet, but keep an eye on my socials for when I can.
FACEBOOK : www.facebook.com/ebonymusic
INSTAGRAM : www.instagram.com/ebonymusic
TWITTER : www.twitter.com/ebonyaus