Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Team Ella Is Looking Great ... ; David Sue Talks to the City's New Urban Prodigy, Lisa Ella

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Team Ella Is Looking Great ... ; David Sue Talks to the City's New Urban Prodigy, Lisa Ella

Article excerpt

IF someone told you about precocious school kids spontaneously breaking out into song and dance routines in the middle of maths lessons, then you'd probably think they were referring to the latest episode of Glee.

However, if you were a former school friend of Lisa Ella - Manchester's hotly-tipped urban-pop starlet - then such incidents were all part and parcel of academic life.

"I'd give music performances in the classroom," Ella smiles, over drinks in a Northern Quarter bar on a brisk autumn afternoon.

"I'd use the teacher's desk as a little stage and perform to everyone.

"I'd actually perform my own songs; I'd bring them in on a CD and say to my friends, 'hey, wanna hear the song I did over the weekend?'. I did like showing off like that."

Ella, as you have no doubt surmised, has never been found wanting in the confidence department. Indeed, time spent with the Prestwich- raised 24-year-old songstress is akin to a particularly rigorous consultation with a life coach.

Her speech is peppered with phrases like, "you need to have complete self-belief", and, "live life to the fullest - embrace it".

If Team GB are in need an extra motivational coach for the Rio Olympics, then Lisa Ella would make a very fitting candidate.

For now, though, Ella is more than comfortable with her current position as Manc music's most in-demand urban-pop star.

In the same way Katy B and Jessie Ware have assimilated the club soundtrack of contemporary London and taken it into the pop mainstream, so it seems Ella is doing the same for Manchester's urban clubland.

A propulsive mix of R&B hooks, bashment beats and euphoric house glow, Ella's music seems precision-engineered to capture those early morning dancefloor epiphanies.

Born to parents of Barbados heritage, Lisa Ella remembers a joyous, creative childhood growing up in Prestwich. The family household was forever booming to the sounds of Lionel Ritchie, Michael Jackson and the reggae compilations so beloved of her parents.

Most importantly, there was the influence of her older brother of four years, Sean, a similarly precocious child who would later find fame as one quarter of acclaimed Manchester band Kid British. …

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