Q&A: E L L A

Published January 16, 2020

ELLA has been involved in Malmö’s music scene for several years organizing parties and DJ:ing at bars and clubs in the region. Her sound is signified by minimalistic, bouncy beats and playful high hats and is known to raise the energy on the dance floor. On the night of Friday 24 January she’ll be playing Black Box along with Romanian star Cristi Cons. We asked ELLA about Malmö’s current techno scene and what she looks forward to when playing Culture Box.

Why do you do what you do? Why electronic music and DJ:ing?

Music has been my no 1 passion for as long as I can remember. I grew up listening to all kinds of music, ranging from The Beatles and The Doors, to Donna Summer and Daft Punk. I have my father to thank for my broad knowledge and interest in music. He used to be a DJ in the 70’s, playing disco, funk and soul, and he’d tell me stories about how he went to Julius’ vinyl shop in Lund to order the latest records from New York and Detroit — music and genres that no one had heard of back in Sweden. I thought it sounded so cool and often dreamed about living in the 70’s so that I could be a DJ at ”discos” like Studio54, haha! So I think the idea of DJ:ing has always had a nostalgic value to me.

When I was 10 or 11 years old, I was introduced to 90’s trance and techno and completely fell in love. I’d sit in the basement with my best friend and listen to classics like Faithless, Robert Miles, and Binary Finary. It was something about the heavy beats and monotonous sounds that spoke to me.

I’ve explored many genres since then, but I always end up in the house music genre — it’s what comes most naturally to me. I always feel the most creative when I work with music related stuff, so I guess it’s just something I’m supposed to be doing.

You’ve been involved in the festival Backyard Sessions and organising parties and DJ:ing yourself mostly in or around Malmö. How is Malmö’s house and techno scene doing right now from your point of view? Will you put some words on the community?

I would say that it’s slowly gaining ground again after having been pretty silent for a while. The police has been shutting down most underground parties leaving little room for creatives and music enthusiasts. But luckily, we have many talented artists and DJ:s in Malmö who find ways around the roadblocks. New clubs are popping up and I think that places like Inkonst, Plan B and Backyard Sessions have played an important role in keeping the electronic music scene alive over the last couple of years. 

What’s more, Malmö has always been a heavily techno infused city, but I feel like more and more people seek out house music nowadays — which, of course, makes me very excited! All in all, I’d say that the future looks pretty bright for Malmö’s house and techno scene, much thanks to the great community behind it.

Do you have a particularly memorable night playing recently? How come?

That would be my gig at Kiloton in October last year. Not only was it my first time playing at Inkonst, which is one of Malmö’s bigger clubs, I was also thrilled to be invited by Per Hammar and Kajsa Lindström who I’ve followed for a long time. They’ve organized parties for years and always with big headliners, so getting invited by them was really cool. The vibe was great and I was filled with energy for days after the gig. Definitely one for the books!

What do you look forward to with regard to playing 24 January with Cristi Cons, Alin, MHM One and Løwenstein? 

Wow, where do I even start? I’m stoked! Playing at Culture Box feels like a milestone for many DJ:s in the Malmö-Copenhagen area and to share lineup with Cristi Cons, who’s a big inspiration, makes it even better — and a bit nerve-wracking to be honest, haha! It’s my biggest gig so far. Alin and I know each other from before and I’ve always loved his style, so I was really happy when he invited me to play — especially to the Black Box. It’s tight and intimate with great sound.

Where do you find your musical inspiration? and what motivates you to make music?

Lately I’ve found most of my inspiration just browsing the web. I love digging for hidden treasures and up and coming artists. I’ve been very inspired by Romanian music in the past year — it has a kind of quirky and unique sound that I like. And there are tons of great Romanian producers. When it comes to my motivation, it, honestly, comes and goes. I think it’s like that with most creative things — you need to charge your batteries every now and then. But having gigs that I look forward to always motivates me a lot. I also have some exciting music related stuff coming up this spring, so right now, music is the only thing on my mind.

Other than your own music of course who would you recommend to give a listen, recorded or live? 

Ida Daugaard for sure. I love her sound! I haven’t seen her live yet, but it’s definitely on my to-do list for this year. Her sets are always very smooth and dreamy — just how I like it!

We look forward to discover ELLA‘s catching musical and performative energy Friday 24 January.