Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Ella Hooper

Ella Hooper

“I’ve always done some writing alone, but never felt like making a whole album out of it. Here or there, I would use one of my solo tracks as a b-side or bonus release in previous bands. So I have a bit of experience, but have always been shy about committing to it. I feel it was important to me to get the balls to step up and share everything.”


After fronting rock group Killing Heidi, frequently guesting on ABC’s music show Spicks and Specks, and embarking on a career as a radio presenter, it was finally time for Australian singer-songwriter Ella Hooper to release an album of her own. On November 21st, Hooper dropped her debut In Tongues — a ten-track record she released via PledgeMusic. To learn about the creation of the album, amazing Aussie artists, and her obsession with the smiling poo emoji, we recently gave Ella Hooper a call. Enjoy our conversation below!

AMBY: Hey Ella, cheers for having a chat with me today.

Ella Hooper: Thank you for taking interest!

AMBY: My pleasure. You released your debut solo album In Tongues in November – congrats! Tell me a little about the record and your experience recording it.

Ella Hooper: It’s been a long time coming for me to do a solo record; I’ve been making music since I was thirteen and releasing music since I was fifteen. My first band was kind of rock-pop and then I had a few other projects, but I never ever got around to doing a solo album. Over the last three years, I kept thinking it was the right time to come of age. It’s been a really exciting and challenging process for me. I finally, finally, finally finished it and am really proud.

AMBY: When you look back at the creation of the album, which moments were your personal favourite?

Ella Hooper: I think I loved the first couple of days in the studio, actually. I really love it when you take an idea – that you had late at night on the guitar or that you’ve been humming into your iPhone – and all of a sudden it sprouts wings and is a real song. That’s so exciting for me to see or to hear. It’s basically making the rough edits, that’s my favourite bit.

AMBY: As you mentioned, this wasn’t your first time in the studio or going through that creational process. When it came to recording the album, being your debut solo piece, how did you find writing alone rather than with other bandmates?

Ella Hooper: I’ve always done some writing alone, but never felt like making a whole album out of it. Here or there, I would use one of my solo tracks as a b-side or bonus release in previous bands. So I have a bit of experience, but have always been shy about committing to it. I feel it was important to me to get the balls to step up and share everything.

AMBY: I read that you had gone through a few hurdles when creating the album. Do you feel having a background in TV and radio had an impact on recording at all? Was that a bit of a confidence booster when at times of doubt?

Ella Hooper: [laughs] I think it has been great for my confidence! I’m very lucky to have several things that I do because it used to just be music and was quite high-pressured. Now that I’m independent and making music on my own terms, and have control over those parts of my life, I feel like it’s very complimentary and helped me creatively.

AMBY: You’re very confident and open with you fans, which I love – you’re always sharing tons of photos and even funny little messages like “I just LOVE the poo emoji”.

AMBY and Ella Hooper: [laughs]

AMBY: If you had to describe yourself using an emoji, which would you use?

Ella Hooper: That’s brilliant! I’ve recently become addicted to emojis [laughs]. Even though I love the smiling poo emoji, I like the red dancing dress lady because I feel like she’s on her way and she’s having a good time.

AMBY: There has been an incredible wave of Aussie artists lately. Which would you suggest our readers check out?

Ella Hooper: We are so lucky right now. We have Laura Jean who put out an incredible record and Courtney Barnett who is getting a lot of press lately.

AMBY: She’s fantastic. I interviewed her a couple of months ago.

Ella Hooper: We also have Jack Ladder who put out an album recently. There are so many good ones at the moment. There’s a big swing-back going back to “dullwave” which is sloppy pop rock. I quite enjoy that as well.

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about yourself that most of your fans don’t know yet?

Ella Hooper: Maybe they don’t know that I suffer from restless leg syndrome…

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Thank you Ella Hooper, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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