The music industry is full of creative minds, but only some stand out like our first Hope Through Music & Friends Interviewee Ella Gregg. By the age of 19, she worked for the infamous concert series Secret Sessions, manages the up and coming band Blushes and started her own Management company. No wonder that a true and kind soul will rise to the top in no second.
We had the honour to interview Ella for our very first Hope Through Music & Friends series and in case you should ever meet Ella at an upcoming Blushes gig, be ready for the biggest hug you’ll ever receive!
Hi Ella! Thank you so much for taking the time for our very first Hope Through Music Friends interview. How are you today?
Absolutely no problem at all, thank you so much for asking me. I’m doing great thank you!
We are starting this series of interviews to put a spotlight on music industry professionals and their journey. Would you mind telling us when it first hit you that you want to work in the music industry?
I’ve been supporting emerging artists since the age of 13 and grown a passion for supporting up and coming talent. I would spend a lot of time discovering and promoting these artists on social media and I think doing that I was subconsciously growing a desire to work within the music industry. I had no plans to work within the music industry. During school, I was convinced I was working towards a career in the police force. It wasn’t until I was 17 and I saw a post on Facebook looking for an intern at artist development platform Secret Sessions that I realised I had to apply for it. Luckily I got the job!
As you probably know, music is our safe space. Would you mind letting us know your first memory that is connected to music?
I’m not sure how old I was but I remember I was given a pink MP3 player for my birthday and that was the first opportunity for me to listen to music independently. I remember I was so excited to try it out and my Dad rushed to put some music on it so I could use it. The only CD I had was the single ‘Downtown’ by Emma Bunton and the CD just had the single and then the remix so for a good 3 months they were the only tracks I had on the MP3. I can confidently say my music taste is now a lot more varied.
You just started your own artist management company “321 Artists” by the age of 19 and are about to start an extremely exciting journey of entrepreneurship. What made you start your own company and do you feel any pressure coming along with it?
I have yes! It’s so exciting but of course does bring a lot of pressure too! I’ve been involved with artist management managing a band called Blushes for almost a year now but not under any company, just under my own name and although that’s been great, I wanted to set up my own company so I can put my own stamp on the work I was doing. I thought it was the right time to do things properly and officially take artist management seriously. I think a lot of the pressure starting up my own company has and will come from myself more than other people. Being only 19, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that it works just as well as people older to prove that I am capable and deserving of success.
There is also pressure as it now makes everything feel a lot more real. But it also gives me so much more freedom with what I can do and who I can work with, and I’ve got so many exciting ideas for the company and how we can involve and support more artists.
The mission of our website is bringing people together with the power of music and letting them share a story to a song that is connected to something special in their life as a song that helped someone might be able to help someone else too. Is there a specific songthat helped you and would you mind sharing the story?
The song that springs to mind is ‘Wonder’ by Emeli Sande. I am completely in love with this song, it’s so incredibly inspiring and motivating. Every time I listen to it, it completely lifts my spirits and reminds me that actually, I can do this. “I can beat the night, I’m not afraid of thunder, I am full of light and I am full of wonder.” I actually had the privilege of seeing Emeli Sande perform live last year and I was so excited for this song because it’s one of those songs you have to dance to when you hear it, but weirdly NO ONE in the arena stood up and my boyfriend knew I really wanted to get up and dance so he stood up, encouraging me to get up and forget everyone else around us. And I think that sums up the power of the song perfectly.
It seems like on the one side there are people who say: “Music saved my life” while on the other people deny that music itself has the ability to save someone. Would you mind sharing your own opinion on this?
I definitely think music has the ability give someone the sense of belonging and understanding and change people’s outlook on life. Being involved with music, for example as a musician, gives them something to work towards and live for. Listening to songs and feeling a connection to the lyrics makes people feel as if their feelings are universal and others understand how their feeling so I think for that reason, music definitely has the ability to save someone’ life.
Before we come to an end. Is there anything you would like to say to people who are struggling at the moment?
I think one of the most important things is make sure you keep talking, don’t keep things bottled up. If something is worrying or upsetting or bothering you, make sure you talk things through with someone you trust. It sounds cliche when people say “You’re not on your own” but it’s truer than we let ourselves believe. Struggling isn’t a sign of weakness, and admitting that you’re struggling is admirable and shows amazing strength.
Again, thank you so much for taking the time Ella and we wish you all the best with 321 Artists!