After the rousing response to his much-loved debut LP 'Portrait Of A Pig' back in 2021, fast-rising UK artist Ellis Evason is now kicking off his 2024 in style with the release of his eagerly-awaited sophomore album 'SINS OF THE FATHER'.
Featuring the previously shared offerings 'LAUNDRY DAY' and 'CORE', this new seventeen-track collection makes for an incredibly rich and emotive listen. With his warm and poetic flow layered across a broad and diverse array of production throughout, he is continuing to cement himself as one of the more exciting names on the rise right now.
So with the new album available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has been inspiring him most lately.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
I’ve always been pretty crazy about brass. I love saxophones specifically. There’s a grand feeling to any great sax solo that is very unique to that instrument and its history. Probably explains why I use a lot of horns in my music. The only instrument I can play though is a little bit of piano.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
I remember hearing Rizzle Kicks as a kid and kind of being shocked that music could feel that fun. I’ve also always been a Dolly Parton fan and I love soul music and some classic jazz albums, again, mostly because of the horns. I was also just always on top of pop music as well, we didn’t get internet in my house till I was a teenager so I remember watching repeats of music video charts on tv all the time.
What was the first album you remember owning?
I used to ask for CDs for Christmas, it probably wasn’t my first but I distinctly remember getting Rizzle Kicks first album and having it on repeat for the next 3 or 4 years.
As an adult the first album I bought on vinyl was Kendrick Lamar’s “To pimp a butterfly”. It seems like a little bit of a cliche but at the time I just thought “if I’m only going to buy one album to start off with it has to be this one”.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Probably “Bread Song” by Black Country, New Road. I think that whole album is amazing but that track in particular always floors me to the point where I really want to make something that feels as raw as that.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I listen a lot to beats, samples, drums or little chord progressions I made. These will have just been things I’ve found or been sent or made when bored. I’ll often listen to a beat through like 10-20 times before I start writing lyrics to kind of get familiar with what you’re working with. I also just listen to brand new stuff that excites me. Kristin Hayter’s 2023 project “SAVED!” Is so completely separate from the music I have been making but there’s something so uncomfortable about it that it inspired me to try new directions.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
At the moment, it’s Young Fathers, Bjork and The Prodigy, I could not tell you why that’s what I’m choosing to mix but it’s been a fun start to the year taking in some things I’ve not heard before.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I went to a JPEGmafia show once and he’s such a great performer and the audience is always really amped up for whatever’s coming. I think I’d have a lot of fun performing for a crowd like that that just wants to embrace new sounds and have a good time.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
I’ve had some people tell me privately about how my music has helped them in some way or changed their perspective on something they went through. I think the bigger announcements can be validating but it’s probably just knowing my music affected someone that sticks with me.
And what is the most frustrating part?
I don’t know. That there are so many people who want to be musicians and are also great at it? I think because there’s so few routes to “break in” to the industry it ends up creating a kind of competitive thing between artists. I think if the music industry focused less on trends and started looking at music that is resonating and affecting people we’d all find much more interesting stuff to listen to. I get most frustrated when I find smaller artists who are making genuinely fantastic music and only have like 20 listeners. It feels disrespectful haha.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Probably just keep going? It seems to be the most reused bit of advice but a lot of other stuff has never sat right with me. I’ve been told to make 50 choruses and only make the ones that your friends like into songs. I’ve been offered opportunities that would require me to turn my music into mainstream pop. And I’ve always found that I just keep going with whatever it was I wanted to do in the first place. Boils down to believe in what you’re making and keep going I guess.
Ellis Evason's new album 'SINS OF THE FATHER' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.