By Nicholas Jason Lopez
From a start as an opera singer in Henley-on-Thames, England, Ella Rosa has undergone quite the transition to R&B/pop, as it culminates in her latest earworm, a cover of Sting’s “Englishman In New York.”
Personally influenced by powerhouses like Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill, the jazzy-fiddled track will be featured on the British singer-songwriter’s upcoming EP.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with her about what she’s been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Ella Rosa – I think I am most proud of the fact that despite the moments where I could have taken the easy route and given up on the pursuit of music, I carried on with a smile on my damn face.
Music Bugle – What creative advantages do you feel come with being a singer-songwriter?
Ella Rosa – Okay, this is a dope question I’ve never been asked before. I think with being a singer-songwriter, I get to lead into my imagination a little more than most people. I get to imagine the wildest things in my head and try to turn them into beautiful stories. It’s a really fun task.
Music Bugle – What was the most difficult part of transitioning from opera to R&B/pop?
Ella Rosa – I think the fear of veering away from something that I had done nearly my whole life to do something I was very new at and not that confident at.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your new EP?
Ella Rosa – It was one of the most healing experiences I’ve had. I – finally! – (laughs) broke up with my long-distance boyfriend and it was a really lonely and telling time for me. Writing my EP really let me leave those feelings in the past.
Music Bugle – What made you want to cover Sting’s “Englishman In New York”?
Ella Rosa – I first heard Sting’s “Englishman In New York” after moving from Reading, England to New York City. The transition was a lot harder than I thought, as I assumed there wouldn’t be many differences in the U.S. culture compared to the U.K. culture, but was I wrong! This record helped to put that experience into words for me.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Ella Rosa – I always have Hiatus Kaiyote, Jorja Smith, Erykah Badu and Herbie Hancock on heavy rotation.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ella Rosa – Luckily, I have not gotten it, but it was definitely a shock at the beginning, so much so that I went back to England for a couple of months to get away from the city.
Music Bugle – What do you think is the biggest thing that you have overcome?
Ella Rosa – Self-doubt and being embarrassed by putting myself out there.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?
Ella Rosa – I try to go on a lot of runs. It could literally be anywhere, but the act of running really gets me out of my own head.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for from the rest of 2021?
Ella Rosa – I hope for continued inspiration, more shows, more rehearsals and more writing!
*Photo Credit – Sophie Hurr*