The Award Certainly Goes to Ellajay For This Release

Ellajay, a sensational singer and songwriter, is back in the spotlight once again with a beautifully crafted alt-pop release titled “And The Award For Best Performance Goes To…”. The song is a cinematic self-reflection about the lengths one goes to pretend they’re fine in a post-breakup situation when they’re really, actually not fine at all. 

Find out more about this incredible artist and her most recent release.

Photo credits: Jordan Popky

 

What is your real name?

My real name is Stephanie Schecter. I put out music a long time ago under my name, but once I became a board-certified music therapist, I thought it best to have a stage name to separate the identities.

 

What’s your official stage name (showbiz name)?

I chose the stage name Ellajay because it combines the names of two of the first people to really encourage and support my musical endeavours. Jay is my dad’s name and Ella comes from my maternal grandmother Marcella. There is also a town in Georgia not far from where I grew up called Ellijay, so the name is also a little nod to my southern roots.

Follow Ellajay on: Website, Facebook, Bandcamp, and Instagram.

 

What do you do (fashion, music, comedy, art, dancing, etc.)?

I am a musician in the indie rock and alt-pop singer/songwriter vein.

 

How did you get into what you do (music, modelling, art, dance, etc.)?

I grew up around music with my dad being the drummer in a band that would practise in our basement. I would sneak downstairs to sit outside the doors and listen to the singer wail old classics like Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet” and I knew I wanted to do that, to be a singer and lead a band. Then I begged for voice lessons so I started having the time of my life with that when I was around 11. In high school, I trained more seriously, learning classical opera and musical theatre at the local college. I also sang in choirs and a capella groups through high school and college and was steadily performing my own material. As for songwriting, I don’t think it was ever a clear choice I made, in that I sort of have been writing at least little verses or hooks of lyrics and melodies for as long as I can remember. I created my own little musical notation system before I could read music so that I could remember my songs. (Now I mostly use voice memos and my notes app unless I’m charting the song for my band). Eventually I started writing full songs, which led to me learning guitar because I realised only my grandmother (who part of my stage name comes from) would listen to me sing my songs a capella over and over again, but that wasn’t quite the vibe for nearly everyone else haha. Plus, it helped that my high school boyfriend had started bringing his guitar to school. So, once I could accompany myself by 16, these songs started flowing out of me more and more and that’s when it really hit me like, oh I’m a songwriter! I ended up studying music theory/composition in college, which I still very much geek out on music theory any time I can. Now that I’m based in NYC, I play with my incredible band at various venues and have finally started releasing music with a very talented producer over the last couple years and have so much more to come!

Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?

My influences are all over the place. I grew up primarily on The Beatles and Nirvana. Then it was female singer songwriters of the 90s/00s that were my JAM. And now I’m constantly inspired by the indie rock artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Charlie Hickey, Samia, Dodie, and a bunch of new acts that are popping up. I also am definitely influenced by Lana Del Rey, Radiohead, Nirvana still, and oh the list goes on.

 

What was your first project and the people you worked with and in which year?

My first project as Ellajay was my debut single “Monsters”. It was produced by Adam Tilzer, who’s amazing, and features Brian Delaney on drums and was mastered by Serge Espitia over at Tiny Thunder Audio. I played that song with my band at the show when I met my now producer/guitarist. He was like “I want that song!” We had an initial meeting about working together and then the pandemic happened. We were luckily able to start working on it by late summer and I released it in October 2020.

 

How many projects do you have so far?

So far, I am focusing solely on Ellajay, but that’s not to say that there isn’t music I’m writing that might one day end up in different projects 🙂

 

How long have you been doing what you do?

I’ve been playing guitar and performing as a singer/songwriter since I was 16 and writing songs and singing pretty much my whole life.

What do you look out for in this line of business?

There are unfortunately so many scams of people making all these false claims about streaming numbers and growing your social media accounts. Otherwise, I think it’s just really important to trust your gut and do your research to know who you want to work with, who’s the right fit, and who’s really looking out for you. Because this business is not easy. It’s pretty important to build a team of people who’ve got your back.

 

Have you won any awards or been nominated for an award? Or in short, any achievement? both in and out of your career path.

Funnily enough, my latest release is a song in which I sing about deserving an Oscar for being so good at pretending I’m fine with our “situationship” when I was not fine at all. As for receiving a real Oscar… (or Grammy for that matter), we’re still manifesting that 🙂

 

What is this new release about?

More specifically, the song is about being in a relationship/situationship where you’re both too scared to fully commit, but your feelings are so strong so you have to essentially put on an act to pretend that you’re fine with things not being serious when truly that’s all you want. It’s a dramatic unrequited love song full of frustrations and sassy little quips. That’s why the music video is us at the Oscars with full glam, acceptance speech, the whole nine. It was a lot of fun to work on. My team did an amazing job (Giselle Bellas: director; Ryan Brooks: DP; Briana Chapman: makeup artist

 

Who and how many people worked on it?

I wrote the music and lyrics and it was produced by Adam Tilzer again. He also played guitar, bass, and some of the piano and synth pieces on the track. The gorgeous strings were played by Tiger Darrow. And then my drummer Danny Bradley played drums on it to bring the electronic drums to life. It was mastered by Serge Espitia again at Tiny Thunder.

 

What can your previous and new audiences anticipate from you in the future?

I am working on an EP and starting to plan a little tour so be on the lookout for that! Follow me on Instagram to stay updated and reach out if you want me to come to your city! 🙂

Christian
Christian
Young and vibrant man I am, God fearing, warm at heart. Music is bae food is life. If you've seen this then you know me!!!
Distrokid

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