Freshly arrived back on Australian turf from Toronto, Canada, it seemed an ideal opportunity to share a fresh yarn or two with local musician and performer Ellen Bryant.
It’s been said travel provides one of the most well rounded education experiences possible, and Ellen’s certainly learned a lot, and received quite a few stamps on her passport, since she grew up at Rawdon Island …
Hi Ellen. It’s hard to believe it’s been around three years since we last spoke. You were living and performing with Universal Studios in Singapore then! You’ve since moved to Canada … Where did you settle there, and what did you most love about this experience?
Hi Jo. Firstly, thank you for having me again. Toronto, Canada, is where I was based. Community, awareness and collaboration is what I loved most about my time in Toronto.
How did you find the Canadian music scene, in comparison to Australia?
Well, I’ve not really been a part of the Australian music scene, as of yet. However, being back, I do look forward to learning about the scene here and being a part of the progression and evolution of it.
What do you feel were some of your major achievements while you were in Canada?
Curating my own shows! In total I put on three shows: Foundations, Stages and my last show, Gratitude. With Stages, I had help from my dear friend and female creative Kelsi Gayda (@Kelsi.Lux). The mission was to create a safe space for people to just be present – to bring people together who wouldn’t usually find themselves in the same space. Collaboration is key, and the people whom I carefully chose to be a part of these shows really are doing their art from their soul. Intention is everything.
What made you want to start curating your own shows?
Well, my main idea was to create a space that I personally felt comfortable in with artists who make people feel safe and at home … A show that I would wanna go to, a space that I would wanna chill in. My mentality was, if you aligned with my energy as a person/musically, you would most probably, hopefully enjoy the space that I create with the other artists.
I started the shows because I personally wanted to know and create exactly what these people were walking in to – full creative control. With not many resources, I started that, and made it happen. I can’t wait to do another and explore with different concepts.
Now you’re back in Oz, you’ve decided to move to Melbourne. Why this city … what drew you there?
I’d never been to Melbourne before now, so it’s a new place altogether – which is a struggle, but also refreshing. I’d been told this city has a great music scene, so I thought I would see what’s poppin’ and how I could give to that.
What types of music are you performing these days … and are you still working on your dancing/acting as well?
The intention behind my vision hasn’t changed, but my sound and mindset has evolved, for sure. I will let you decide where you want to place it genre wise, but it’s still along the line of Soul/RnB.
Not so much dancing anymore as in classes/choreography – more just grooving when I feel like I want. Acting, forever working on my different accents ha ha, but acting is definitely something I see happening in my future.
What are your future plans?
Future plans … Short term is to get to know this city, Melbourne. Releasing the new music, starting with the track That’s just how I feel being released as a single in early 2019 – produced by Toronto’s K-Notes (callmeknotes) and Nigel Edwards (@nomvdslvnd), mixed and mastered by Australia’s Becki Whitton (@aphir_). Manifesting new people to work with. Keeping my same family connections in Toronto; create some long distance magic!
Start doing my own show curation here in Australia as I did in Toronto and eventually progress on to be doing that internationally. I have ideas that I am putting into action, and I’m excited to see how they’re all going to come to fruition.
You’re not one to shy away from a challenge, and the “gypsy” travelling lifestyle appears to come easily to you. What advice would you give our local youth, who may be considering a career in the performing arts?
The one thing I always be sure I say at my shows is: know that you are capable and create opportunity where it doesn’t exist.
I would further advise people to not limit themselves with fear when looking at an entrepreneurial career choice. Do it and go hard. Choose to believe in yourself, and I truly do believe that the top five people you spend your time with reflect on to you. So, choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to say no if something doesn’t feel right in your intuition.
Also, if a lack of money is a fear of yours … remember that it can always be made. Certain opportunities won’t always come back to you. Listen to yourself.
Where can we follow your journey/find out what you’re up to these days?
@ellenbryantmusic on all socials and www.ellenbryantmusic.com
Thank you for having me – much love.
Interview: Jo Robinson.