Let’s face it, the pandemic is gradually taking over our culture, and the lockdown has accelerated this process. In his latest EP, ELLiS-D latest EP is practically talking to himself, blurring the line between chaos and reality to carve out something profoundly personal.
ELLiS-D: I wanted to create a record that spoke to myself more than anyone else. An attempt at coming to terms with deep-rooted generational fears of worthlessness and self-doubt. Something about songs of a bleak personal nature seems to put my mind at ease – the comfort in knowing no matter how you feel, you are never truly alone.
How did the lockdown affected you and your creative process?
ELLiS-D: I’d like to believe that the past year has helped me mature. The extra time has allowed me to reflect on aspects of my life that I probably wouldn’t have time to do otherwise. On the other hand, the withdrawal from social contact can create a vacuum for the kind of doubts and anxieties about oneself that, when left to fester, can quickly overload your mind. Once you start tumbling down that rabbit-hole, it can be tough to get out of it. From an artistic point of view, I think it would be naive to assume that the past year hasn’t had a significant effect on me and how I go about creating. I see lots of artists at the moment coming out to say that they don’t want to make a ‘lockdown record’. Personally, it seems impossible to ignore the elephant in the room.
It is fascinating listening to our favourite track, the explosive ‘Secret On Your Sleeve’, on Bandcamp and then watching the video. It does feel like peeping into a cardboard box, where another Ellis-D lives, alone. And for us, it is that contrast that makes ‘Isolation Sessions’ unique and painfully intimate. How did the lockdown affect you and your creative process?
How do you think these last years affected your scene and the music industry as a whole?
ELLiS-D: Underground music is a shadow of itself without the opportunity for people to come together. And, while a lot of artists have embraced live-streaming, for me, it just doesn’t feel the same, and gigs can’t come back soon enough. It’s hard to say whether the music business as a whole has changed significantly throughout the pandemic. We were already deeply entrenched in the numbers game of streaming services and social media before the first lockdown. While it has exacerbated that fact, I feel it was likely to continue on that trajectory anyway, but at a slightly slower pace. Nevertheless, DIY music will always be around for as long as people want it to be. There will always be a scene available for those wishing to express themselves in different ways. Now with the promise of a return to the gig circuit on the horizon, if only Johnson and his merry band of cronies could find it in their cold tin chests to negotiate a deal with the EU for touring musicians, we’ll be right as rain.