Paul McCartney 12/12/2018

I’ve worked for LIPA 4:19, an academy for 4 to 19 year olds thats run within The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts since October 2015 but this term, I took over their Singing Company. These are more advanced classes for those who want to focus more on their singing.  For the first term, I just decided to throw some really complicated arrangements at them and see what they could do and they didn’t disappoint! Now, I’m so glad I did that because on Friday evening, I got a very exciting phone call…

Friday evening, I received a phone call that Paul McCartney had requested our Singing Company to sing along with his famous Christmas song ‘Wonderful Christmastime’.  As you can imagine, it took me by total surprise but when asked if I thought we could pull it off in the extremely short amount of time we had, I had no doubt we could!  Thats where this adventure began!

The next day was the last teaching Saturday of 2018 and our staff night out. It was also the day I received the sheet music for our Paul McCartney gig, of course, I still went out!  At one point the song came on and we all got a bit excited, I couldn’t relax completely because at 1:15pm the next day I would have our first and ONLY two hour rehearsal to teach 20 children 4 part harmony and get them comfortable with the arrangement. We would be performing in front of 11,000 people in a sold out Echo Arena! Paul McCartneys  long awaited homecoming gig! NO PRESSURE.

On Sunday morning, I woke up at 7am to start learning the arrangement and becoming comfortable enough with the harmonies so I could teach them quickly and have enough time to go over the whole song multiple times.  As I suspected, they children  (and their parents!) were so excited but ready for action! We learnt the whole arrangement in 1 hour and, thankfully, we had plenty of time to sing the whole song through lots of times.  Everything ent to plan, but that didn’t stop me from worrying for the next 4 nights…

IMG_0273 2

It felt like weeks had passed before Wednesday finally arrived and we all met at LIPA, the atmosphere was electric.  We didn’t have a rehearsal before we left and tried to have a sing on the coach journey, not the best plan as we couldn’t hear a thing.  That just made me worry more.  The next time we would sing it would be on stage with Paul McCartney at his sound check. NO PRESSURE.

IMG_0280

We arrived at the Echo Arena and were met by Paul McCartneys manager, who gave us all our backstage passes.  I don’t know who was more excited, the staff or the chidren. Definitely the staff!  We were told to wait on the bus so we could watch Paul arrive and things got even more exciting as he got out of the car.  We were then shown to our dressing room, complete with a table full of treats for us.

Soundcheck next and I wasn’t sure what to expect from the super famous man we were about to meet but he didn’t disappoint in the slightest! He made sure he shook hands with every single one of us and chatted at length to me about how he wanted the choir to sound “like a party on the stage”, even joking that he was trying to make himself feel better when I said I was relieved he didn’t want them to be “perfect”! His band were more than accommodating and made us all laugh with their sense of humour, especially his amazing drummer who was dancing around as we were singing.  We ran the song a number of times as they were using 17 mics, an amazing feat by the tech crew, even though we did experience a very loud episode of feedback at the beginning, ouch!  II had a lot of crew and management team express how they though the choir sounded great and a lot of thanks was given to the whole team. Such a fantastic feeling, we really pulled it off! Now all that remained was the performance in front of an actual audience.

IMG_0284

As we arrived back to our dressing room, there was a knock on the door. “Sir Paul would like you to have these.”  We were all given a t shirt each from merchandise and pizzas were ordered for everyone while we waited as we wouldn’t go on until the very end.  The staff took it in turns to take some children to watch the show from the back of the arena and it went so fast! Before we knew it, we were lined up ready to be escorted to our position at the side of the stage.

48085911_947562828783128_751001437164535808_n

In a blink of an eye, the children were on stage in front of 11,000 people.  Thats when it started to snow and I got a tear in my eye and pride just poured out of me, the children had never sounded so good and the crowd went wild!  I will never forget that moment. It has to be one of the best moments of my life. And here they are…

And in a flash, we were boarding the bus back to LIPA.  At this moment, I felt drained but of course, the children absolutely buzzed all the way there!  I drove home, poured a glass of Prosecco and thought “Did that REALLY happen?!”.  All of the worry and pressure  I put on myself, not only over the last few days but throughout my time working in this industry feels worth it.  And I would do it again in a second, call me any time Paul ha!

48197891_946819905524087_1605036382391107584_n

‘Let It Fly’ release, BBC Introducing and playing live.

Wow, it feels like so much has happened since my last blog and it’s only been a month!

First of all, Let It Fly is OUT NOW!

Let It Fly

You can listen to this via all major streaming platforms! The Spotify link is below;

 

Whilst I was in Glasgow writing and recording some songs for an upcoming collaboration with Lillias Hobson, I found out I had been featured on BBC Introducing in Merseyside with host Dave Monks describing ‘Let It Fly’ as a “stand out track”.  You can listen to the show for the next 7 days: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06hb7br

Lillias and I recorded two tracks whilst I was up in Glasgow, one of them we wrote and recorded during the weekend!  We hope to have a release date ASAP, right now the tracks are being mixed and mastered by Tobi (@producedbytobi) and are sounding amazing! If you haven’t already, you can follow our project on instagram @katieandlillias and you can check out Lillias’ solo music here https://open.spotify.com/artist/1CegSl6V33EQjSAtJk6q0V?si=RhpUOvWBTUevJKFRoSlGjg

IMG_5504

Lastly, I performed with my band on Wednesday at the Lamplight Sessions in Manchester! With a last minute line up change and a 10 minute (Ahh!) rehearsal with a different bassist, the show must go on and it couldn’t have gone any better! The audience response was amazing and we absolutely loved it! Massive thank you to Jordan on guitar and Arran on bass, couldn’t have done it without you! Midweek Music Club Manchester posted these amazing comments the day after the gig, thank you so much!

IMG_5490

 

 

As well as being my band they have their own music under the name Sino, they’ve recently released a song called Numbers which I can’t stop playing! Check it out!

 

I’ll leave you with the performance of ‘One Reason’ (from my EP ‘These Little Words’) from Wednesdays gig!

 

As always, let me know what you think of the new song! Comments and messages really do mean a lot to me!

Thanks for reading!

 

Katie Ellen x

 

Folk On The Dock 2018

On Saturday, I performed at Folk On The Dock, a music festival held at The Royal Albert  Dock in Liverpool.  I played on 2 stages with my band, on The Stan Ambrose Stage and The Liverpool Acoustic Stage and we had so much fun! Here are some photos from the day thanks to Fat Badger Photography for coming along!

fullsizeoutput_845

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Both sets went so well and I feel like Im really starting to enjoy being on stage again after a long time off!  The song that got the most reaction of the day was definitely Cowboy Song, I definitely plan to record it ASAP!

If you were in the audience, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Don’t forget, you can watch the preview fo my next single ‘Let It Fly’ here…

 

And pre-save on Spotify here…

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/katieellen/em78

Thanks for reading!

Katie Ellen x

Have you listened yet?

Wow, it’s been a little over a week since the release of ‘Yours’!  Doesn’t it feel like longer?!

I thought I’d check in with a blog and share all of the links to listen to ‘Yours’ in one place and share the amazing reviews and press that it’s had too!

OUT NOW!

You can listen to ‘Yours’ on (Click on the word!);

 Spotify

Apple Music

iTunes

Google Play/YouTube

Amazon

Deezer

Tidal

Napster

 

‘Yours’ has attracted lots of attention from indie music bloggers and magazines.  Heres all the links to what they had to say about my first ever totally DIY release (plus help from @producedbytobi 😉 )

https://carpecarmina.blogspot.com/2018/06/single-review-katie-ellen-yours.html?m=1

 

https://bongminesentertainment.com/katie-ellen-yours/

 

http://indiemusicwomen.com/page-2-feature/song-review-katie-ellen-yours/

 

https://www.musictalks.xyz/single-post/2018/05/28/Katie-Ellen-I-Am-Yours

 

http://www.klefnotes.com/music_reviews/katie_ellen_yours_pop_uk/

 

http://blog.bimm.co.uk/behind-the-track-katie-ellen

 

https://magazines.jilster.com/pageflip/?widgetCode=298c85d0ce90053b6c7a245ae81e8bdd&fullscreen=true#page/53

Thank you so much to all of those who’ve reviewed and featured me! I have been busy answering questions for various interviews too so more to come!

Also thank you to https://thepremiumblendradioshow.co.uk for playing the world premiere of ‘Yours’ and ranking me number one of the show!

35228435_10156984967613484_4879736233040805888_n

 

What do you think of ‘Yours’? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Thanks for reading!

Katie Ellen x

 

 

 

Behind The Process: Yours

Hey Everyone!

What a beautiful day it is here! Im currently writing this from my garden lying on a hammock, I can think of worse things to be doing!

IMG_4480

It’s 5 days until the release of my next single ‘Yours’ so I thought I’d share a little behind the scenes of the writing and recording process!

‘Yours’ started life as three chords that I was playing in between session at my job as a singing teacher.  Its not the first time this has happened and realising you’re on to a good tune then having to wait to write it is quite frustrating but when I got home, the whole song was written in practically 20 minutes!  Usually, I will leave a song for an hour and go back and develop it further but the version being released the exact song I wrote first time and I feel it is quite a special one.

Wanting to develop my DIY recording skills, I thought why not record a rough version an share it on my social media! So I set about recording it with my basic set up at home.  My condenser mic was nearly 15 years old and had seen better days and I was using GarageBand. But after I had spent all night (literally, Im the kind of person who as to finish something once I start and I will never learn that if I start something at 11pm I will be up all night until its complete!) recording just the voice, harmonies and piano, I shared it on my Facebook page.  I have never had so many messages about a song with so many positive comments. So, although I knew the song was special to me, this made me think it could resonate with others too! It had to be my next single.

YOURS

Being a worrier and a perfectionist in many ways, I didn’t think my recording was good enough due to equipment and skill level. So I had 2 choices, invest in better equipment or book a recording studio and engineer.  I chose to continue my journey in to becoming a fully DIY musician, I went out and bought a new mic, an interface and started recording.

IMG_4171

While I’m diving in to recording and producing my own material, I know my limits and approached Tobi (@producedbytobi) to mix and master it once everything was recorded.  He brought an extra sparkle to the piece that I just couldn’t have done myself!  He also helped my figure out Cubase and has been giving me tips on recording and getting the best sound.  We’re planning an album over the coming months, I can’t wait!

My debut single ‘Can’t We Just Be Friends’ (https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/katieellen/c7gi) and EP ‘These Little Words’ (https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/katieellen/c9L8) are massively important to me and I’m so proud of them but ‘Yours’ is a different story altogether. ‘These Little Words’ had other musicians playing and someone else producing.  ‘Yours’ is completely my work, I played the instruments, recorded it, even the artwork was taken and edited by me in my garden (the neighbours must have been wondering what I was doing!) it makes me even more nervous to hear what people have to say about it.

It really helps calm the negative voices inside to read reviews and comments like these…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So THANK YOU to everyone who’s heard ‘Yours’ and made time to tell me you love it. I think a lot of creatives carry a lot of self doubt and I’m no exception.  Writing a song is like telling everyone your secrets.

You can pre save ‘Yours’ on Spotify via this link https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/katieellen/dt5i

And check out the preview and competition to win a free EP and handwritten lyrics on my Facebook page here…

 

Now it’s time to get the BBQ going I think!  Have a wonderful sunny Sunday!

 

Katie Ellen x

Yours-4

The reviews are rolling in and now you can Pre Save ‘Yours’ on Spotify!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to share this link so you can pre save my single ‘Yours’ on Spotify!

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/katieellen/dt5i

Following this link helps me get noticed and also makes sure you hear it first!

I’ve had some amazing responses to the song so far and more to come!

Klefnotes.com said:

Read the rest here http://www.klefnotes.com/music_reviews/katie_ellen_yours_pop_uk/

To be described as “one of indies favourite artists” is a huge compliment. I’m proud to be independent and I’m navigating my way through technology and becoming more and more “DIY”.

Yours was recorded entirely in my home studio with equipment I saved and worked for. It was a massive learning curve for me so this release is a little more of a risk than the last one. I’m always so, so aware of things sounding unprofessional so I enlisted the help of Tobi, a producer I’ve connected with online, who has mastered and mixed it and gave it that little twinkle that is still beyond my capabilities! He’s been great, with not only my constant questions “Tobi, why can’t I get my mic to work with Cubase!? Oh it’s muted 👀” but with the promotion and helping me get reviews!

This morning, I received a beautiful email from a reviewer who told me she loved the song so much she has written a review coming out on Monday. This person usually doesn’t do the reviews herself so I’m very grateful! As soon as the review is out I’ll share the link! My favourite part of the email she sent is this…

Isn’t this what we want as musicians? To take people on a journey so comments like this make me proud. More so than comments about my vocal ability or musicianship. It’s why I write AND release music, even when the song is very emotional, like ‘Yours’.

Three weeks until the release, time is really flying!

As always, I love hearing your comments and feedback so let me know what you think in the comments, or send me a message!

Katie Ellen x

‘Yours’ OUT 15/06…

It’s exciting times here because ‘Yours’, my next single is out in just 4 weeks (and 1 day!)

Yours-4.png

Its been busy few months, with lots of writing and performing.

I even got to meet and talk to one of my idols, KT Tunstall.  She was very inspirational and had some amazing advice! She even took a photo and signed my journal.  The page is now framed and with my collection of autographs! Im so luck to have been able to connect with and meet some of my favourite songwriters like Lucie Silvas and Liz Longley! I even have a photo with Sir Paul McCartney in my collection! All help motivate and inspire me when I feel like things aren’t going to plan, I love the memories attached to each one!

Ive been playing more live music, Ive been to open mics, played a few small gigs and I’m falling in love with performing once again. I do suffer from nerves but once I’m comfortable, I really enjoy it!

32475776_1818129898207077_6861424398134411264_n

So back to ‘Yours’…

This song isn’t like anything I’ve recorded before.  When I wrote it, I know it was a special song and I knew I wanted to release it so I recorded it myself and sent it to a producer to mix and master and he (@producedbytobi) did a super job! So heres the preview…

I’m looking for reviewers and bloggers to write a piece about it too, if you’re interested, get in touch!

Thanks for reading!

Katie Ellen x

Fleetwood Mac Live Cover

Hey!

So last night I played live for the first time in what seems like ages!  It was in a great venue called Base Mcr, little bar with a batting cage in it! Yes, as in a baseball batting cage! Cool, right?

I covered a Fleetwood Mac classic, one of my all time favourites you can watch here!

 

It’s a dark video and any loud noises in the background are baseballs being hit (ha!).

I love Fleetwood Mac and my love of harmonies has definitely been inspired by their music as well as The Eagles and other bands from that era! One of my favourite things to do is to put Rumours on my record player and listen to it from start to finish.

Last night was so much fun and I’ll be sharing more videos soon!

Thanks for reading!

Katie Ellen x

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 13.29.57

New techie stuff, new song and a new EP?

Well after a good 10 years, Ive replaced my trust old condenser mic. No more static or poor recording quality, hooray!  The old one was a USB mic and I’ve gotten a bit cocky and bought an interface with this one so I can record mandolin (yey!) and guitars! The only problem is that it will probably take me another 10 years to figure out how to use it properly! Ha!  I’m not that tech savvy as you can probably tell!

When I start recording myself, time just seems to speed up and I can never find the perfect mix or sound and end up in a downward spiral at 4am. Not great if you’re working to a deadline or have to be up early the next day.  I’m not a morning person either by the way!

I feel like I’m turning a corner though, fingers crossed everything is falling in to place!

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 13.33.32

Yesterday, I shared a new video of a new song called ‘Without Me’.  I wrote about the story from the perspective of the person who’s left behind.  It just seemed like a story thats hardly been told.  You can watch it here…

 

The last song ever to be recorded on my old mic!

If you’re a budding producer or tech wizard and have any tips, then please throw some advice my way! (If it sounds like I’m begging, I AM! I can use all the help I can get!)

Tomorrow, I’m off to York for one night to explore! But when I’m back, the first thing I’m going to do is re-record Yours and add some little extra bits and that will be the start of my next EP!  I think this time round, my sound will have changed and be more piano based but we’ll see, who knows what might come out in the process! Which of the new songs do you want to see on it? I’d love to know!

tumblr_nm7dzmNLmw1u9w1tlo1_1280

Have a lovely Easter break everyone! Eat loads of chocolate and spend loads of time with the ones you love, its the only way to do it!

Thanks for reading,

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 12.57.56

Katie Ellen x

Ps- Kacey Musgraves new album ‘Golden Hour’ came out today and it’s definitely going to be my Easter weekend obsession, superb!