Q: Hi there! I’m loving the sultry vibe of “If You Want Me To.” Your vocals are so mezmerizing and the instrumental is so catchy! What was your favorite part in creating this track?
ELLAKATE: My favorite part of the process of creating this song was actually the very start. I was messing around with chords on the piano like I usually do when I start to write a song, and I accidentally played a C major 7th. I had little to no knowledge about music theory at this point, so I didn’t even really know what it was, but I absolutely fell in love. If You Want Me To is the start of my (very much in progress) music theory education and my obsession with major 7th chords.
Q: Can you walk me a little through your production process of “If You Want Me To”? It sounds so flawlessly produced!
ELLAKATE: The song was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with a producer, Alex Devor, who I had actually never met before this recording session. We listened to a few of my original songs and chose If You Want Me To. Alex is incredibly creative and really brought the song to life. My original idea for the production was to keep it minimal, but we decided to up the tempo after the first verse and create something cool and interesting. I love the way the song builds and the production definitely supports and helps convey the emotion I felt writing the song.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about the music industry and how has it helped you navigate through your journey thus far?
ELLAKATE: The best advice I have received is to stay true to who you are as a musician. There are so many types of music and differing opinions on what makes a song “great”. Hearing criticism and ideas for my songs is extremely helpful, but it’s important to understand that a critic is only one opinion. Being able to navigate which suggestions to take and which to brush off has been crucial in developing my music and sound.
Q: Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, how is the music scene out there? Do you have any advice for other up-and-coming artists?
ELLAKATE: Atlanta has a rich musical culture. I especially enjoy the diversity of music and musicians I have been exposed to. There are so many different types of concerts here that I have experienced, from the Jonas Brothers to Idina Menzel, and experiencing a wide range of styles has helped me find my own. Anyone pursuing music should find their own personal groove. Stay true to the type of artist you want to be and make music you love. I feel the most important thing is to embrace your originality and create the way you want.
Q: Who would you most like to collaborate with, if it could be anyone in the world?
ELLAKATE: My biggest influence is Lana Del Rey, and to be able to work with her would genuinely be a dream come true. She has such a unique tone of voice and is an incredible writer. I could learn so much from her and to create something with her would be such an honor.
Q: Tell everyone what’s coming next for you! What projects are currently in the works?
ELLAKATE: My next single, It’s Not My Fault, is coming out on January 13th. The song is pretty different from If You Want Me To, and I love it just as much. It’s sassy and has some rock inspiration, which I feel showcases a different side of myself as a musician. I wrote It’s Not My Fault after a friend I had known for a while confessed their feelings for me, leaving me incredibly frustrated. I made it clear at the beginning of our friendship, I did not want anything romantic. Nonetheless, he was still upset at my rejection, and the only thing I could think was, “this is not my fault”.
Q: What would you like to tell your supporters out there?
ELLAKATE: First off, thank you so much for listening to my music and supporting me! Being able to see my songs come to life and share them with you has been life-changing. I appreciate you so much, and I hope to meet you all someday!
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano