A Profile On: SUTTY
‘Is it Ella?’ I wonder as the smiling 22-year-old bounds towards me, a friendly image far removed from the voice behind the empoweringly sharp lyrics featured on the upcoming Manchester/Wales-based vocalist and songwriter’s debut EP Is It Ella.
Ella (aka SUTTY - hip hop and bass music’s next big thing) began her journey into music when her mum dragged her to flute lessons (see the interlude at 01:25 on ‘Oops There I Go’ to hear those flute lessons come through) and found home when she moved to Manchester with the impetus of discovering her sound.
“When I moved to Manchester I thought I’m just going to be myself and if people don’t like me then they don’t like me - and I’m really pleased I did.” She explains.
“When you’re in secondary school I think it’s hard to shake off the image that you have. People see you as one way from year seven and that sticks forever. Then you go to college - but college was a bit of a weird time for me because I didn’t have any mates there for a while. I studied music in London but it was just the wrong environment for me – I was 18, had just left home for the first time. I was writing music that I didn’t believe in. I was gigging most nights round London, getting no audience and it was pay to play. It just all felt a bit seedy and wrong.”
After a realisation post-witnessing IAMDDB at Outlook in 2016, Ella turned her attention from commercial writing to shaping her authentic sound. “Her performance completely changed my perspective on the music I was writing - I realised that I wasn’t writing music that I would listen to. I saw her and realised you can actually do something different! She was just so far ahead with her sound.”
The singer-songwriter dropped her carefully curated four-track EP last month, in collaboration with her hometown friend (“I used to sit next to him in philosophy”, she laughs) and Chameleon Audio affiliate JakeBob.
“I think I felt like I had something to prove. I was reaching four years at uni and hadn’t released anything because I’d always felt like I wasn’t being true to my own art. I just wanted to put out something that I really rated so I held off a bit, broadened what I was listening to and wrote every single day.”
If Ella’s intent was to create a timely likeness of the modern female through melding unabashedly raw lyrics with genre-defying bassy beats then her point stands proven. With Jakebob’s production steering the EP from tight trappy hi-hats (‘Anything There’) to classic garage bops (‘Brand New’) and everywhere in-between, Is It Ella stands as an authentic reflection of the influences (Syd, Kilo Kish, ROSALÍA, SZA - to name a few) Ella embodies.
With more studio sessions in full swing, new music on the way and her first oversees show having been secured for December, 2018 is truly just the beginning for SUTTY. Watch her rise unfold across her Facebook and Instagram and listen to the full 'Is It Ella?' EP here.