SXSW With: Only Girl

Only Girl

Words & Photos: Elena Katrina 

I discovered Only Girl a few years back and I don’t really recall where or how, I just know that her vocal was mesmerising. Not long after I managed to see her play to a very small group of people at a very small and very wonderful independent festival. Since then not much, until now. SXSW has given us the chance to catch up after a few years and learn some of what is happening now for singer-songwriter Ellen. Welcome to your SXSW with Only Girl…

Tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to leading up to SXSW and how you came to be here this year.

ELLEN: So yeah, in the last few months I’ve been putting my EP out gradually. So it’s like a 3 track EP and we’ve been doing it one single every 4 or 5 weeks. So the two singles, Mountain and the duet with James Vickery called Fault, is out at the moment. Then the final track drops on the 6th of April. So it’s been quite good having that leading up to SXSW.

So that’s on Lemon Records, who are a really cool little label based in London. Yeah Just got to SXSW by applying on the website and being “yeah so this is me”. They e-mailed me at the end of last year and invited me to play. I decided to apply for the PRS Foundation funding and see what happens and then …. I’d already got the Momentum fund and thought they probably wouldn’t fund me for this as well but then they did so you never know. You just have to try. It’s been really great having their support behind it. With Momentum as well, it’s going to fund all my releases this year. And then like the International Showcase fund is perfect as it helps pay for my band to come over cos it’s such a big expense as an independent artist to get here. Then you feel like you’re part of a little PRS Foundation crew which is really nice.

How are you finding SXSW so far?

ELLEN: It’s just been amazing here. Surpassed all my expectations of what I thought it would be. I knew it was going to be amazing but when you’re walking on 6th street you’re like “oh my god this is so cool!”.

We had a really good day yesterday (Wednesday). We did a show at the convention centre and a little acoustic one. We did a little filmed acoustic version of a song out in the sun for this channel that wanted to do one and that was really nice. As it’s nice to do extra things as well.

It’s nice to meet really nice people who just come up to you afterwards in the street and tell you how much they enjoyed your show. That’s why you have to wear outlandish clothes, so people remember you (laughs).  Yeah it’s been amazing really. Doing all the things at AWAL house. Listening to people in the industry talk about, you know, their advice and stuff. You learn a lot from that side of it as well. So I’ve definitely been sensible and not just been partying madly. I mean after today I probably will as it’s our last show.

What’s the post SXSW plan, you’ve got the single coming, anything else? 

We’ve got a video coming. It’s actually a one take video with dancers. It’s something I’ve never done before. It’s not like street dancers, it’s like contemporary dancers. It’s going to be really cool. But that’s going to be the video for Bittersweet so that’s going to come out in April.

Then basically the Momentum fund was to do two EPs so following that I’ll probably do a single in the Summer and then the second EP will come after that for the later half of the year. I’ll probably do another big headline show at the end of the year to close the year off. So it’s nice when you have a budget, as you can plan for the future more. It’s nice to have a plan. It’s sort of your own business you’re running so rather than just going around not knowing what you’re doing, I’m like “I’m getting organised this year!”

Ultimately just putting out music on  a really regular basis. Because I think now-days people want that immediacy and that continuous stream of music rather than one single every six months.

Then next year I’d like to put out an album. Hopefully I’ll come back here next year and play some bigger stages and have something more behind it.

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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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