If you're only first hearing of Ella McMurray, you're going to want to keep East London's unbelievably multifaceted, naturally talented and emotionally vulnerable artist on your radar from here on out. With a list of collaborators including Maverick Sabre, James Vickery and Sophie Faith, and the effortless ability to write, produce, engineer and DJ, Ella is the ultimate musical force. Sixth Sense, "a panic about life" in the form of Ella's latest single will grip listeners just as much as her prior releases, which have over five million streams combined. The stunningly poetic lyrics exude honesty and capture the overwhelming feelings we experience when we're caught up in a cycle of doubt. "But despite the noise," Ella explains, "it touches on moments of lightless when I manage to find more clarity and peace."
Last week, only a couple days before the release Sixth Sense, Ella hopped on the bus to Hackney for a photoshoot and conversation with F Word.
Emilie Louizides: Hey Ella! Massive congratulations on your new single Sixth Sense! If you had to assign a temperature, a colour and a taste to Sixth Sense, what would they be?
Ella McMurray: Thank you so much, I’m so glad it’s finally here. That’s a great question, very fitting for Sixth Sense! I think temperature wise it’s definitely in the minus region. Although the nature of the track is pretty stressful, the video and the general mood gives me coollllldddd. Colour has to be either dark blue or neon green, again based on the video. Has me very unsettled. And taste hmmm, definitely sour. Really sour like toxic waste I recon.
EL: What are you hoping people will take from Sixth Sense?
EM: To be honest I don’t have any particular hopes from this track as it’s more of an implosion of my own mind. Personal reflection of my thoughts and panics over my early twenties. If anything, then maybe a mutual understanding that we are all moving in the dark and don’t really know what we’re doing. So, I guess finding peace in that and learning to enjoy the unknown. Also maybe getting people to know I actually really produce music. Oh and for the video to show what you can do with no budget and four creative friends!
EL: What genre could you see yourself experimenting with for a future project?
EM: This is interesting and actually quite difficult to answer because I’m as indecisive with my writing and production as I am with my food and clothing choices [laughs]. But, I have a LOT of music ready for potential future projects and it honestly exists somewhere amongst R&B, folk, pop and indie genres. Who knows where it will end up.
EL: Out of all the artists featured on F Word, who would you most like to collaborate with?
EM: F Word has featured so many sick artists so it’s tight. Hak Baker for sure, his music and voice speak to my soul! Got a proper home-like aura. Also he just seems like a wicked guy. Joesef is incredible also. I feel so many emotions when I listen to his music. Also sorry one more. Rosie Lowe. I actually haven’t listened to a huge amount of her music but, Birdsong is a real anthem of mine. It’s ridiculous, makes me feel so powerful [laughs].
EL: Fuck, marry, kill: album, EP, single?
EM: [Laughs] I love this. Ok if we’re talking strictly musical releases I’m gonna say fuck a single because when they hit they come in hot, we all love hot. And they’re short enough for the world to take in in one go. I’d marry an album because they hold so much weight and have the ability to take you on such a journey. I cannot wait to drop an album! And kill EP - no shade to EP’s. Not a huge reason for this, they’re just not my fave, gotta be done at some point though. Drip feeding the people.
EL: If you had to choose a new career completely outside of anything having to do with music, what would it be?
EM: I could literally choose about a thousand because there is so much I love doing outside of music. But at the top would definitely be being a either a Dancer or Ski Instructor. Or some kind of Athlete. Or an Actress! I recon I’ll do that when I’m about 50 though haha. Big plans.
EL: What’s bringing the most joy to your days lately?
EM: Definitely the gym, it gives purpose to my days, makes me productive and I just love the staff at my gym - they’re always jokes and keep me in check. Also promo for Sixth Sense, like sticking QR code stickers in places I shouldn’t [laiughs]. Anddddd, editing the BTS from the Sixth Sense video shoot, I can’t wait to share it. It was probably one of the funniest weekends of my life, those boys are hilarious.
EL: What advice do you have for yourself for tomorrow?
EM: Get up! There’s always something to do. Put some music on and get going. Stay consistent with all the things I know I love doing and I will be more consistently happy. Also don’t be afraid to tell people I have music coming out! And defo make more lists. I forget everything.
EL: The world would be better without...
EM: Sneaker Heels. Big No.
EL: The world would be worse without...
EM: Hot water bottles. Girls imagine, what would we do. And anything containing sugar. Absolute fiend.
EL: What is your favourite F Word?
EM: It’s gotta be Fuck [laughs]. I say it too much! Think I say it at least 10 times in Sixth Sense.