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Laurie Charlesworth

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Who The Hell Is Ellictt

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Who The Hell Is Ellictt

Photo Credit: Kamil Szczucki

It is no secret that Perth loves D&B, and after watching artists from across the globe gush about its parties on social media, it’s clear to see that D&B too, loves Perth. Don’t get it twisted though: This was no happy accident. Like every scene, there are key players responsible for this wizardry. There have been many producers, promoters, artists and DJs who have helped the Perth D&B scene flourish into the beautiful raving city that it is today. Ellictt is by all means one of them.

Energetic and bold with both her DJ sets and production style, Ellictt is the epitome of relentless dancefloor energy. From mixing up a selection of treats alongside the likes of Pendulum, Andy C and Dimension, to crafting bangers in the studio, she is a force to be reckoned with and credited widely for her work within the Australian D&B scene.

Following on from her debut release last year, Ellictt’s second release ‘Ghost’ has just dropped on Riot Records Uprising: Vol 1, an album showcasing some of the scene’s most exciting new talents. We jumped on Zoom with Ellictt to find out more.

Ellictt! You had your debut release ‘Love Me’ out on Georgie Riot’s label Riot Records last year. How did you meet Georgie and become affiliated with Riot?

I actually had no affiliation with Georgie prior to the release. I was producing on and off for a few years, released a few bootlegs and whatnot on Soundcloud but that was the first original track that I thought wasn’t that bad. I was trying to finish it around International Women’s Day last year, alongside this, I was also preparing a tracklist for a mix I was doing on radio for IWD, which is where I came across Georgie’s release on UKF. I started digging deeper and saw that she had so much music out that I thought was sick, consistent releases in a similar style to what I like. Once I’d finished the track I thought I’d shoot my shot and send it to her for Riot Records. I remember her email back being like ‘This is cool. I’m keen to sign it!’. I was then lucky enough to meet Georgie in person when I supported her at a show she did in Perth last year that was run by my friend sammythesinner. Releasing through Riot Records was great, especially as I’d never released onto Spotify before. Georgie was really helpful. We went back and forth on a few changes to the track, she gave some constructive feedback, I finished it, and then she helped me with the whole releasing aspect too. All of the other artists on the label have been so nice too. I’m so far away here in Perth that I can’t connect with a lot of people in person so it’s nice to have a community online. We’re sort of in our own little bubble out here, so it’s hard to make connections outside of Australia. 

How does being in that Perth/Australian bubble affect your connection and involvement to the wider scene?

It’s funny because you can meet everyone and progress really quickly here. If you’re good, you’ll get booked and if you’re really good, you’ll get booked for great slots. People know who you are, you’ll have that respect. For me, I’ve been doing it long enough that people consider me as a veteran of the Perth scene, but then you do just hit a ceiling. Unless you produce and you produce well, it is hard to break out of Perth. I’ve witnessed that a lot. A few people do it, but it’s hard. If it wasn’t for social media, I don’t think I’d have many connections outside of Perth. Social media has been good for me because I can show a lot of people what I’m about, but I can also see what’s going on in other parts of the world. I would never have known about Georgie and Riot Records if I didn’t have social media. So yes, there is that disconnect but it makes it even more special when you do feel connected to a community so far away. You’re not physically there, but you are contributing.

Are there any Perth-based drum & bass artists that you’re really loving at the minute?

My friend sammythesinner is definitely someone I want to shout out because not only is she a drum & bass DJ and producer, but she’s a promoter as well. She’s really established herself over the past few years. She’s gone from running small events to big events to festivals. Sometimes I don’t know how she does it! When I realised ‘Love Me’ she promoted the regional tour that I did too. She’s been super supportive of me. There are a couple of other really strong female acts in Perth too, Ren Zukii and WYN, both have had releases uploaded to UKF so I’d say from a female perspective, they’d be key players. Then there are all the guys too. It’s still male-dominated but the guys are great, I have a lot of male friends here in the scene.

Taking it back to your Soundcloud days, how did you first get into D&B and production in particular? 

I started DJing about 10 years ago now. I first started getting into drum & bass when I was a teenager, around 2010, there was a lot of great music coming out on channels like UKF at the time. It was a big time for bass music. During High School, my friends would play drum & bass and dubstep at parties so naturally, when I turned 18, the first two events I went to were drum & bass events. I think the first one was Logistics in a small bar in Perth. It was the time when artists like Wilkinson were playing much smaller capacity venues, like 500 people in one room. I started DJing a few years later when I was at University. There was a DJ club there called the Electronic Music Appreciation Society. I made heaps of friends and learnt heaps of skills! Perth is small enough for you to network and make friends pretty quickly. I entered a few of the DJ comps, met a few of the promoters and started getting booked for gigs from then. That was a long time ago now. In terms of production, I did a music production course about 8 years ago now. I dabbled a bit after that but I didn’t really get anywhere with an original release. There were a few tracks that I did bootlegs of but I wasn’t getting anywhere with anything original until the last 2-3 years where I’ve been in the right space in terms of a studio and had the right people around me, people who are also honing their production skills. I’m more confident now. I can start and finish a track and know that at least someone will like it.

It’s all about the journey, or so they say! All of our favourite artists started somewhere.

Exactly, and I spend so much time listening to drum & bass artists that have been producing for 20 years so it’s disheartening when you’re trying really hard and you’re just not getting there when you’re always comparing yourself to people who have been in the scene for decades. As a DJ, I’m super critical of the music that I play. I always try to pick quality music, so when you have high standards like that, learning to produce can be frustrating because you want it to sound as good as the music you play out.

That’s so true. That is quite a unique difficulty for people who start out as DJs first.

It really is. Every week I’ll listen to new releases and you get to a point where you know what’s good, you know what’s subpar. Each to their own, of course, but it’s hard when that’s your benchmark as a producer. It’s like ‘Why won’t it sound the same!’. A lot of that frustration is down to the mixdown, which I am getting better at over time. Your perception of things is always different to how other people see you though. I always think, the fact that I can even finish a song and it actually sounds like a song is ridiculous. If I could tell myself 8 years ago that I would have a track on Spotify, I don’t think I’d believe it.

You’re about to feature on a various artists album on Riot Records, talk to me about your track!

My song is called ‘Ghost’. It’s a bit of a funny one as it was supposed to be a Ghostbusters parody bootleg. It originally had a Ghostbusters sample that said ‘I ain’t afraid of no ghost’, and the track grew around that. I started throwing in all these spooky-sounding samples. I sent it to Georgie and she liked it and wanted to release it on the various artists album. Which I was really happy about. I didn’t know who else would be on the release or how much of a big project it would be but I was keen to get more music out there, especially with Riot Records again. The track is of a similar style to ‘Love Me’ so there’s some consistency there too. When I first sent the track to her, it had the original Ghostbusters sample in there. I wasn’t sure if I could release it because of the sample. I asked loads of people and they said it was a grey area, so I found a different sample and replaced it. It turned out for the better in the end! It’s sort of a spooky dance floor tune. I’m super excited about it. 

The album is to promote up-and-coming talent that Georgie is really rating at the minute. Who else can you big up from the album?

There’s heaps of incredible artists releasing on the VA. Feed The Fire is great, one day I hope to do a collab with him if we get the time. Then there is BRIGSY, who is originally from New Zealand but he’s been working in Western Australia. BORN GLOBAL, they’re really good too.

Aside from your DJ and production skills, what other things do you think helped you stand out and get yourself noticed in a saturated market?

Networking at University definitely helped me. I used to volunteer a lot, running events, working the door at festivals, and hosting DJ lessons. I also entered a lot of competitions. Back then, in-person mix competitions were really great if you wanted to meet new people. One competition, in particular, did a lot for me as it got me my first gig supporting an international headliner. After that, I started getting better set times. If you’re starting from scratch, it is competitive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete. Buy yourself some gear, rent out some studios twice a week and start building up a collection of music. Find out what makes you different. Then, it’s seizing an opportunity when it arises: playing in a bar, playing at a friend’s event. Everyone has to start somewhere. Take baby steps, but if you want to do it, you can. All in good time.

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