13th July 2022
Interview: Amy Bell
Maria Ellis is an up-and-coming pop/R&B singer, songwriter, and producer from New York. Ellis started her musical journey at the age of 6, writing and performing self-written originals on her piano and guitar. Continuing her journey Ellis attended and graduated Berklee College of Music, receiving a bachelor's in Music Business.
While studying music she met her now frequent collaborators. After graduating Ellis began to post frequently on TikTok, gaining interest in artists such as Madison Beer, and Astn while gaining over 5.7 million views and 75,000 followers. While continuing to grow her audience. Ellis has received over 215,000 Spotify streams on her first single of 2022 Imagination with Ryan Nevis, while also making her Spotify Editorial debut on the "New Pop Picks" playlist. Her latest release Royalty is her "first real statement as an artist" in her own words. Royalty has already garnered over 630,000 views on TikTok, with the sound being used daily by users on the platform.
Hi Maria! Thanks so much for talking to ReVamp, how did you get into music and did you always want to pursue music?
Thank you for having me! Music was constantly around me as a child and I was naturally so in love with it. I started playing the piano when I was three and began writing songs at six. I always wanted to be a songwriter, but the older I got, the more I began to love singing and being an artist as well.
Would you say you grew up listening to music and what was the first CD you bought?
I grew up with all types of music! My dad would play Led Zeppelin and DMX, and my mom would play 80s music like Duran Duran and Pat Benatar. Growing up, I would play all the infectious pop music that was new at the time like Britney and Beyonce. My first CD was probably Hilary Duff’s “Metamorphosis”. Weirdly enough, that was the first vinyl I bought in my 20s!
Your new single ‘Royalty’, why the song title?
I believe titles are so important to a song, especially as a new artist. I really wanted to tell people what they were getting even before they listen. Royalty just sounded to me like it encompassed the vibe entirely.
Check out the music visualizer to 'Royalty' by Maria Ellis
How would you describe ‘Royalty’, and the back story behind the single?
I would describe Royalty as an r&b female-driven song, that is meant to exude self-confidence and independence. I was extremely inspired by artists I listened to growing up, that gave me confidence within their music, such as Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.
Would you say over the years, that you have tried different sounds, and have now found the sound you are happiest with?
I’ve tried so many different sounds because I love so many different types of music. I’ve definitely found my own pop sound but have been lucky enough to be a part of songs in different genres such as EDM, Reggaeton, and House too.
Tell me, what was the recording/writing process like and how long did it take you?
I was in my last semester at Berklee College Of Music in 2019, and had written the first verse/hook by myself in my apartment. Instantly, I thought of a super talented friend of mine, Trey Kams, who also went to Berklee, and I messaged him asking if he would produce and co-write this with me. He really loved it so we started working on it and had the song done within 4-5 sessions. I recorded my vocals back in New York with an amazing Vocal Engineer, Jim Annunziato, and sent them back for Trey to mix, and Stephen Kaye mastered it.
What are your hopes and dreams for future endeavours?
My dream is to keep creating music, whether that’s singing, writing, producing, and also creating more opportunities for women producers. I’ve been extremely blessed to work with incredibly talented women that need more representation in such a male-dominated industry. My dream in my career is to have an audience that hears my music, and feels instantly elevated and confident. I’ve received so many amazing messages from other women of how Royalty has made them feel, so I already feel so grateful already.