Jack + Ella are a country duo based in London, UK. Their music is rooted in country, with infectious and catchy pop rock hooks.
Their influences include artists like Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, John Mayer, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line and Taylor Swift.
Both Jack and Ella are rock guitarists at heart and love to integrate the sound of rock n roll and male-female vocal harmonies in their country songs.
Jack + Ella met when they were 16 at a young talent competition that their dads had taken them to. Years later, in May 2016, they re-connected after recognising their musical and personality similarities over social media!
They realised very quickly that their writing and playing styles complimented each other too well for them to keep pursuing their own music without each other – and so their official partnership was formed!
The duo are gearing up to release their debut single ‘Hometown’ on 3 April 2017, with an EP entitled ‘Ready’ to follow two weeks after on 17 April 2017. They will then be playing shows across the UK for the rest of the year as well as starting work towards their first studio album.
CITY BEATS INTERVIEW – JACK + ELLA
How would you describe your music ?
Ella: I’d say we’re a fun mix blurring the lines between country and pop/rock. We’re both heavily into modern country music; my Spotify is constantly playing Keith Urban! But we both grew up playing in rock bands and love playing guitar solos and riffs! We both love strong melodies and hooks and hopefully this shows in our writing…
Jack: We also integrate components of other electronic music – not heavily, but enough to put a noticeable spin away from conventional country music! One example would be electronic drums, synths and they often make a good shell for a verse before a big pop-rock chorus.
Tell us about your new single ‘Hometown’ ?
Jack: Hometown is one of those songs that I think bridges two ways of life and captures the duality of the adventures of the outside world whilst also emphasizing a love for ‘home’ and where you come from. For me, one thing I’ve always loved about country music is the songs about roots, small town life, regular people, and non-glamorous stories. But at the same time we also live in the 21st century where more and more people, ourselves included, are exposed to the outside world, multi-culturalism and (if you’re lucky enough) the ability to travel. Essentially when writing this song, we wanted to capture a picture where the romanticism of meeting ‘the one’ and settling down with them meets the fun, buzz and experience of a slightly more crazy fast-paced life. And I like the juxtaposition in the lyrics.
Ella: Yeah, and even if you just break it down to simple levels, it’s quite universal. Hometown is basically a love song. You can be anywhere in the world but if a place and/or a person have your heart, that’s what matters really.
Do you get anxious before a live gig ?
Ella: I’m actually more nervous about an hour before… I go really quiet and don’t want to talk to anyone as I want to play it cool and pretend I’m totally fine! But as soon as it’s a few minutes away, I can’t wait to get up there, it’s such a buzz. Jack is never nervous! He’s way too manly for that…
Jack: Ella – Forever the joker! No, honestly – if I get too nervous my performance goes down the toilet, so the more relaxed I am the better it is for the band. But of course, nerves come into play a bit. I think nervousness / fear is a good thing as long as it’s controlled. The moment you start thinking about something too much or ‘worrying’, that’s when performances go down the toilet.
Do you compose your own songs ?
Ella: I think our songs are a massive part of our identity and I feel that if we didn’t Jack + Ella wouldn’t be ours in a weird way. Our songs are our life experiences and our thoughts and melodies and that’s pretty awesome to me. I started writing songs when I was 10 (they were terrible) and it’s been a big part of my life for so long now.
Jack: She’s absolutely right. Without our songs, in my opinion we wouldn’t be artists – we’d just be performers. They show who we are, what we think, how we see things and what we’ve been through in our lives. I love music and I love story-telling, so it’s no great mystery why writing country songs is a passion.
Song-writing also means we can better show different sides to us. It’s not always the same mood / about the same thing. I’ve got songs about my dad dying when I was seventeen and wishing I could tell my mum how much I loved her one more time. But on our EP we have a song about just meeting someone you have a mad crush on and having an awesome day with them. It’ not deep. It’s not complex. It’s just fun. I like to think there’s something for everyone in our music, at least in relation to what the songs are about.
What do you like to do when not working on music or playing live ?
Jack: If I’m not working on Jack + Ella, I’m producing SOMETHING, so music doesn’t stop … Ha. But if I’m not doing something musical related you can usually find me at the gym, hanging out with friends, or taking the odd jaunt somewhere else in the world. I love America. And I love Bali. It’s so relaxing there.
Ella: He really does love the gym! Haha. It may sound totally lame, but I really love sleep – anytime I can grab a cheeky twelve hours I definitely take advantage of it! I’m also a typical girl in the sense that my favourite pastime is shopping!
Jack: “A cheeky 12 hours of sleep”… She’s so rock n roll it kills me !
What makes your music unique in the market ?
Jack: When you look at girl-guy country duos that sing together like we do, people often thing of Lady A, The Shires, or Scarlett and Gunnar in Nashville. But where we’re different we think, is the slightly more rocky element. Guitar solos. Riffs. Red hair. Ripped jeans.
Ella: I can’t wait to see Jack dye his hair red!
Jack: Never happening! … Obviously we love to strip it back and sing softly with one acoustic guitar. There’s a time and place for that. But with our band stage, I just remember that where I came from was bands like Good Charlotte, Blink-182 and Sum-41, and Ella likes to let out her inner Avril Lavigne.
Bridging these two styles is something I don’t believe has been done before by a girl-guy duo. We hope people take to it. But if they don’t … well, hey – we are what we are.
JACK + ELLA ONLINE