A Juicy interview with hot up and coming country act Jack + Ella
Jack + Ella are a country duo based in London, UK. Their music is rooted in country, with infectious and catchy pop rock hooks.
Their influences include artists like Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, John Mayer, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line and Taylor Swift.
Both Jack and Ella are rock guitarists at heart and love to integrate the sound of rock n roll and male-female vocal harmonies in their country songs.
Jack + Ella met when they were 16 at a young talent competition that their dads had taken them to. Years later, in May 2016, they re-connected after recognising their musical and personality similarities over social media!
They realised very quickly that their writing and playing styles complimented each other too well for them to keep pursuing their own music without each other – and so their official partnership was formed !
The duo are gearing up to release their debut single ‘Hometown’ on 3 April 2017, with an EP entitled ‘Ready’ to follow two weeks after on 17 April 2017. They will then be playing shows across the UK for the rest of the year as well as starting work towards their first studio album.
Juicy Jukebox had a chat with both Jack and Ella and the results can be seen below.
How would you describe your music ?
Ella: I’d say we’re a fun mix blurring the lines between country and pop/rock. We’re both heavily into modern country music; my Spotify is constantly playing Keith Urban! But we both grew up playing in rock bands and love playing guitar solos and riffs! We both love strong melodies and hooks and hopefully this shows in our writing…
Jack: We also integrate components of other electronic music – not heavily, but enough to put a noticeable spin away from conventional country music! One example would be electronic drums, synths and they often make a good shell for a verse before a big pop-rock chorus.
What’s the story behind your new single ?
Jack: Hometown is one of those songs that I think bridges two ways of life and captures the duality of the adventures of the outside world whilst also emphasizing a love for ‘home’ and where you come from. For me, one thing I’ve always loved about country music is the songs about roots, small town life, regular people, and non-glamorous stories. But at the same time we also live in the 21st century where more and more people, ourselves included, are exposed to the outside world, multi-culturalism and (if you’re lucky enough) the ability to travel. Essentially when writing this song, we wanted to capture a picture where the romanticism of meeting ‘the one’ and settling down with them meets the fun, buzz and experience of a slightly more crazy fast-paced life. And I like the juxtaposition in the lyrics.
Ella: Yeah, and even if you just break it down to simple levels, it’s quite universal. Hometown is basically a love song. You can be anywhere in the world but if a place and/or a person have your heart, that’s what matters really.
Tell us about how you create your sound ?
Ella: With writing, it really does vary. For the EP we co-wrote in the same room together in the early days of Jack + Ella. The EP features the first three songs we ever wrote together actually. We were still getting to know each other (we’re literally brother and sister now!) and just vibing off each other!
Normally, either Jack or I will come up with a melody idea and send it to the other one as a voice note and then work on it from that point together. I’d say normally Jack is the production and lyrics man and I’m the hooks and initial melodies.
In terms of software and producing… Jack’s the man! We pride ourselves on producing our stuff – it’s a massive part of the process for us as musicians and creating from the ground up is super important to us.
So who plays what in Jack + Ella ?
Ella: Jack and I both sing and play guitar. We try to play everything we can get our hands on though. Jack has got a banjo recently that he loves and I’m always asking our drummer if I can play at the end of a session !
Have you worked with any big names in the biz ?
Ella: I worked behind the scenes on The X Factor for a year in 2012, I spent all of my days with the contestants for that year (James Arthur, Union J, Rylan etc). It was incredibly hard work (I assisted with anything music related – making sure songs were cleared for broadcast, helping with song choices, making sure the contestants had their backing tracks to rehearse etc), but I feel extremely privileged to have worked behind the scenes on such a big part of UK culture with a number of really talented people, in front of the camera and off. I’d spend my Monday in the studio with people like Gary Barlow – how freaking awesome is that! I had to pinch myself a few times when I’d casually just walk past Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift in the corridor at the studio, or be on the red carpet at a film premiere !
What was the first song you ever played or learnt ?
Jack: I think it may have been either All the Small Things by Blink 182 or Teenage Dirtbag by Wheetus.
Ella: Of course it was! Wouldn’t have expected anything else haha. Mine was Busted – Sleeping With The Light On.
Jack: Wouldn’t have expected anything else, either.
Juicy Video suggestion – Jack + Ella – Hometown
Jack + Ella online at http://www.jackandellamusic.com