Exclusive Interview: Unraveling the Vibrant Journey of Ell Murphy
From 'Emotional' inspirations to cross-genre collaborations!
While Ell Murphy's super-hot track 'Emotional' sets the charts on fire, our super-exclusive Fizzy Mag interview takes a deep dive into what makes her music so lively and awesome. From bringing back the cool dance beats of the 90s to adding a fresh modern spin, Ell spills all the beans. Get ready for a musical adventure as exciting as her tunes – check it out below!
Congratulations on the release of your new single 'Emotional'! Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind this soulful and high-energy dance song?
I was inspired to write "Emotional" after I’d been listening to a lot of classic 90s dance pop. This was the music that I grew up with as a kid in the 90s, and I had a longing to write a big dance pop track with the same classic feel as something like ‘Dreamer’ by Livin' Joy, ‘There’s nothing I won’t do’ by JX, and ‘Saturday Night’ by Whigfield. I wanted to pay homage to this incredible era of dance music, with a contemporary twist.
The main hook just came to me one evening last summer, when I was going through a break-up and wanted to pour my heart into writing something to help process what I was feeling and make something positive out of it.
The song is about navigating the shock of heartbreak and not being afraid to show your true emotions to someone, which I think is something that everyone can relate to.
You've mentioned that 'Emotional' pays homage to the 90s dance music that you grew up on. How did you manage to infuse that nostalgic vibe into the track while also keeping it fresh and contemporary?
I think it becomes such a natural process because all of the music that I've listened to throughout my life, that has inspired me, is almost ingrained in my mind and finds its way out into the melodies I write. Also, working on the production with Giulia helped to give it that fresh, contemporary feel. She came to it from a slightly more Italo twist, which worked really well in the production idea, creating this fresh take on a classic sound.
Collaboration seems to be a significant part of your musical journey. Could you share your experience working with Giulia Tess as a long-term collaborator on 'Emotional'?
Collaboration is definitely a crucial part of my process, and I feel like it often helps to unlock and nurture ideas, taking them to a whole new level. Besides being good friends, Giulia and I have worked together on tunes before (last year's collab on her He.She.They EP 'I Feel You'), so I already knew she was an incredible talent in the studio. It was such a fun process working with her on 'Emotional'. I brought her the sketch of the song – the vocal, beat, and bassline – and then the track really went on a journey over several sessions at the start of the year, shaping it into the finished result.
Giulia is incredibly patient and attentive to detail. She really listened to what I was trying to create with the track and translated those ideas into the production, while also adding her own sonic mark onto it.
Your B-side track, 'Need to Know', features classic piano house and is produced by Medlar. How did this collaboration come about, and what elements of classic piano house did you want to incorporate into the song?
Medlar and I met a few years ago through mutual friends and instantly clicked in the studio. After deciding to do some sessions together, we began making house music, which eventually evolved into our duo project NITEWORK. This introduction led me to the underground dance scene back in 2019. 'Need to Know' was actually a tune we co-wrote during one of our first studio sessions. I'm really happy to finally release it!
You've performed at notable festivals such as Glastonbury, Love Saves the Day, and Amsterdam Open Air. Can you share a memorable moment or experience from one of these festivals that has had a significant impact on your artistic journey?
I think playing festivals like these—especially Glastonbury—has been a real seminal moment for me as an artist.
Having a platform to reach a much wider audience at these festivals also gives you the opportunity to play to a bigger crowd and really push yourself as a DJ and performer. Halfway through my Glastonbury set, I actually felt close to tears. I was so moved and overwhelmed by the crowd's reaction. I hadn't expected so many people to turn up for my set, so it really helped to instill a sense of confidence and belief in myself as a DJ.
With a busy summer schedule and a mini tour planned for September, how do you manage to balance your live performances, studio work, and other aspects of your career?
I’ve always juggled working a full-time job with creating music and being an artist, and it's often a balance between having the time to make music versus having the money to survive in London. It’s not easy, but when you have limited time in the week, I find it also makes me use that time more wisely and create space for music outside of work. I’m also lucky to have a job that allows me to be flexible when I need time off for studio sessions and DJ gigs, so this helps a lot!
Your music seems to span different sub-genres within the electronic music scene. How do you approach incorporating diverse elements into your tracks while maintaining your own signature style?
I think my vocal style and lyrical content are what keep my music consistent even when I’m jumping between different genres. I love the freedom of being able to try my hand at any genre I feel like, and I never want to be pigeonholed into one style. I always want my music to be genuinely honest, relatable, and sincere, with longevity and the ability to stand the test of time. Writing significant vocal hooks is also part of my signature sound. As a raver myself, when writing a song, I always picture what I'd want to hear on a dance floor that would get me going. Then, I try to translate that energy into the song.
As an artist, what do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the creative process, especially when working on a project like your upcoming EP?
I think the most rewarding part of the process is when you realize you’ve written something really strong, especially that moment when you finish the track and feel like it’s ready to be released. One of the most challenging aspects of the creative process is dealing with writer’s block. There are times when you can't seem to finish the new ideas you're starting. I put a lot of pressure on myself to constantly create and produce something I can be proud of. So, when I can't do this, I feel like I’ve failed or maybe I’m not good at what I’m doing. That's when it's important to take a break and remind yourself to cut some slack.