Ellajay – Clocking Out

Ellajay – Clocking Out

Ellajay – Clocking Out

ARTIST NAME: Ellajay

 

SONG TITLE: Clocking Out

 

ALBUM TITLE: Clocking Out

 

RELEASE DATE: 6/24/21

 

GENRE: Pop, Alt-pop, Singer-Songwriter, Bedroom Pop

 

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Ellajay is an indie singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. She draws listeners in with ear-candy hooks interwoven with raw and earnest lyrics.
Originally hailing from small-town Georgia, Ellajay’s sound is a unique blend of pop, indie, alternative, embedded with folk and rock roots.
Ellajay’s influences roam everywhere from Lana Del Rey to Tom Petty, St. Vincent to Nirvana, Elton John to Billie Eilish, etc. Ellajay released her debut singles “Monsters” and “Skydiving” (produced by Adam Tilzer) in the fall and winter of 2020.
Her third single “Clocking Out” (produced by Tiger Darrow) kicks off the summer right, celebrating a fresh start with a fresh sound!

 

 

LYRICS:

 

Verse 1
I just wrote another song with lines
About how I am done this time
I’m walking away, walking away, mmm
You don’t pay me half the mind
You keep me waiting on your time
And I’m not gonna stay
Not gonna stay, mmm

 

Pre
I’ve been patient
I’ve been waiting for you
But you’re not coming through so I’m

 

Chorus
Clocking out, walking out, talking bout
You can have all your doubts
Hold em close to yourself
So they keep you warm at night
I’m clocking out, walking out, talking bout
You can have all your doubts
Hold em close to yourself
Hope they keep you warm at night

 

Verse 2
I’ve put in a lot of time
With my heart on the line
At the end of the day
It’s the end of the day, mmm
I’ve got to head on home
To someone, I can love
Who’s not gonna sway
Not gonna sway Mmm

 

Pre
I’ve been patient
I’ve been waiting for you
But you’re not coming through so I’m

 

Chorus
Clocking out, walking out, talking bout
You can have all your doubts
Hold em close to yourself
So they keep you warm at night
I’m clocking out, walking out, talking bout
You can have all your doubts
Hold em close to yourself,
Hope they keep you warm at night

 

Bridge
It’s 5pm on this loving
I’m not gonna stick around
Waiting forever
It’s 5pm on this loving
I’m not gonna stick around Waiting forever

 

Chorus
I’m Clocking out, walking out, talking bout

 

You can have all your doubts
Hold em close to yourself
So they keep you warm at night
I’m Clocking out, walking out, talking bout
You can have all your doubts
Hold em close to yourself
Hope they keep you warm at night

 

Outro
Mmm, I’m clocking out
Mmm, mmm

 

 

Tell us what your fans are saying about your music.
I often get told that my songs are quite catchy and get stuck in people’s heads. Here are some direct quotes: “Ellajay’s voice is incredible and we were immediately hooked on her warm tone and her art of handling words”; “‘Clocking Out’ couldn’t be more catchy and you’ll probably find yourself nodding your head all over the place”; “the melody is made to stay in your head, you won’t forget it”; “it’s a sunny alt-pop anthem about newfound freedom”; and “she doesn’t hold back” with her “clear, straightforward message”.

 

Tell us the factors you consider when writing a song.
Lyrically I try to be as authentic and true to myself as I can, while still making sure I can connect with others. This isn’t to say everything I write is autobiographical, but many times it is. I want to be specific in the details, but have it still be accessible and easily able to generalize or project yourself onto, so that the song can feel like a shared experience. I usually try or tend to write melodies and hooks that are catchy, but smart. I want the melody or the progressions to be interesting or I might add a unique element to spice it up. I also typically write in the format of verse, pre, chorus, verse, pre, chorus, bridge, chorus – but not always. That standard format is definitely tried and true, but I’ve also started being a bit more out of the box and exploring more.

 

Discuss the production of the song.
The phenomenally talented Tiger Darrow produced this song. I had written this poppy anthem and I was familiar with Tiger’s work as a producer/musician/songwriter. I knew she’d have great instincts about this song so I showed her the demo and we got to work right away, having some of our first production meetings over Zoom. She had great ideas of adding clock-ticking sounds as a layer of percussion as well as her brilliant string playing giving that extra pizza! I’m pretty sure it was that very first meeting that she added the ‘boob drums’ (see BTS footage on TikTok) and I knew we were off to a good start ha-ha!

 

Tell us your best mood to create a song.
I often start writing a song because it is the way I process emotions, so a lot of times this means when I’m sad, upset, frustrated, or just going through something I’m not even sure how I feel yet, I start writing lyrics or play through chord progressions on the guitar or piano that feel right for where I’m at. Then I might start mumbling a melody, forming lyrics by the shape of the sound, or looking through old lyrics to see if anything fits. Sometimes though, a melody might come first and it could have a happy upbeat vibe where I then might write something more loving and sweet. That being said, I tend to find it much harder to write a happy song. I think a lot of songwriters say that, and it’s true for me too. I feel like we need music most during those times where we feel utter sadness or anger and tension so that it can be released through singing or playing music to have that catharsis and come back to a calm state.

 

Tell us the names of artists or musicians you have worked with, in the past.
In the studio, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of musicians. Adam Tilzer produced many of my songs (past and upcoming!) and played on them. We had Brian Delaney on live drums for ‘Monsters’, we had Tiger Darrow, who produced “Clocking Out”, play strings on my single “Skydiving”, and on “Clocking Out” as well as on some upcoming stuff that you’ll have to stay tuned for! We also have Maxfield Gast playing baritone sax on an upcoming single (to be released July 30th!). Also on the upcoming single, we had a slew of amazing artists sing harmonies and backup vocals, including Giselle, Kirsten Marilyn, Paola Bennet, Ann Marie Nacchio, and Jordan Popky. (Jordan and I also have a co-write in the works!) I’ve been really lucky to have all of these incredible musicians play on my songs!
When I was playing live, prior to the pandemic, I had the joy of sharing the stage with America Jayne, another up-and-coming indie artist. We would sing back up for each other’s sets. Then even before moving to NY, I had amazing opportunities to play with brilliant players in Athens GA, as well as in Charleston, SC. Very grateful for these early experiences performing on stages with talented people through college, grad school, and beyond!

 

Tell us about your experience performing on stage for the first time or recording in the studio for the first time.
As a child, I always loved being on stage, mainly to sing but I also grew up doing theatre. One of my very first memories of being on stage was when I was about ten or eleven years old – my voice teacher’s band was playing and she let me come on stage to sing some Sheryl Crow. Then my first performance as a singer/songwriter was in my hometown (Rome, GA) at this cute little coffee shop bar on the main street in town. My friends and family came and it was so special. I’ll never forget that night or that place. I was sixteen years old. I had just learned how to play guitar that year, which unlocked so many songs for me. I had always been writing songs and singing them a cappella through my house, but once I could accompany myself, it snowballed into constantly writing songs. It became my favorite thing to do and it still is! I started out performing at those little coffee shops and bars to playing around Atlanta at places like Eddie’s Attic, then in various venues during college in Charleston, SC, and then all around Athens, GA, all the way to now in NYC, performing at venues like Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, Pianos, The Well, 11th Street Bar, etc.! Once the pandemic hit and I couldn’t perform anymore, I was sort of forced to finally go to the studio. I always wanted to record my music to have it exist more permanently outside of live shows, but I had to overcome a lot of self-doubt and self-criticism.
For me, 2020 was the time where there was no other way to be a musician but to finally step into the studio and start recording and releasing my music to share with the world! Now that I’ve started, it doesn’t seem like I’ll be stopping any time soon.

 

Tell us how you approach songwriting.
Songwriting, for me, is my lifeblood. I have been writing music and lyrics since before I could remember. I came up with my own little notation system before I knew how to read/compose music just so I could hold on to my ideas. I usually process my emotions through songwriting. It’s my first resource to work through things. Putting it into a song container not only makes it make sense outside of my head, but it allows me to see it and mold it and shape it to what I want it to be. The process of songwriting and how it is naturally therapeutic for me led me to become a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) as well (I practice part-time in NY!).

 

Tell us your opinion on blending genres or experimenting with sound.
I think I pretty regularly blend genres or have one song in one genre and another in a completely different genre. I have such a wide range of influences and I think it naturally comes out in what I write. Sometimes I write a very folky song that could be orchestrated with mandolins and fiddles and the next day I might write a pop-punk anthem. Sometimes a song is more jazz or R&B influenced and sometimes I could hear one as an EDM song or even 80s disco! It’s actually been one of the things I’ve had internal battles over because a lot of people think that artists are supposed to be just one thing, stick to one genre, and that just feels too rigid for me. I think people will find a through-line with my voice or with my lyricism too though, and hopefully, people will appreciate the range. The next single coming out on July 30th for instance is a bit of a genre-bending pop/R&B song and I’m very excited for it! You know, hopefully, nothing I put out sounds too wildly drastic from one another, but on the other hand, maybe that’s fun anyway!

 

Elaborate on what compels you to go into music.
Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up around it – my dad was a drummer in a classic rock cover band and they’d practice in the basement of my house. I would sneak down to listen to them outside the band room doors and get so inspired. I was always singing and making up songs and melodies until I finally learned to accompany myself on guitar (and piano) as a teenager. The music itself can cut through deeper than only words can. It can take you on a journey or help contextualize life events or emotions and it can be there for you to help you not feel so alone because some songwriter is writing about the same thing you’re going through. Music is healing in a lot of ways and I definitely love it for that and use it for that.

 

Discuss how you record your vocals.
“Clocking Out” was recorded in Tiger Darrow’s studio. She was the producer for this track and we recorded all the parts in her tiny Brooklyn bedroom! Then the vocals and all the music were mixed by Adam Tilzer where he ran it through his analog gear and made the sound even bigger and clearer! It was amazing to get to work with both of them on this song!

 

Tell us the software you use mostly for recording.
When I’m tracking demos (if I’m not using my tried and true voice memos app, I’m using Logic Pro). My producers Tiger Darrow and Adam Tilzer both use ProTools.

 

Elaborate on the song.
This song came out of feelings of frustration about a situation where the narrator loved someone who was not reciprocating that love, and unable to show it back. She tried for so long to be patient and make it work but eventually had to make the really difficult decision to walk away. As wildly depressing as it feels to walk away from whom you think is the love of your life, I decided to make the song have a bit of a sassy spunk to it and breathe life and joy into the concept of walking away, and make it sort of a celebration anthem. When I wrote the chorus “I’m clocking out, walking out, talking bout you can have all your doubts…” I knew it needed to have that fresh feeling of being as free as a bird, celebrating finally walking away from something toxic!

 

Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
My artist name, Ellajay, was born out of two different things. First, the names of two people who are not only some of the most important people to me but were also the most influential in my becoming a musician. My dad’s name is Jay and he has been a musician all his life, playing in bands when I was growing up, introducing me to all the greats, especially classic and southern rock, and teaching me how to play guitar. He has always been so supportive of my music and gets very enthused whenever I write a new song, always telling me how they get stuck in his head. And Ella comes from my maternal grandmother, Marcella, who lived with us when I was growing up. She was the first person I would show most of my songs to and she was the most encouraging, supportive grandma that never tired of me singing my songs to her, fully a capella mind you (LOL), and asking me to sing it again and again. I felt so encouraged by her support to keep going with songwriting, but eventually, I realized not many others would want to hear me singing a cappella on repeat, so I decided to learn guitar when I was sixteen and start actually practicing piano.
Then the second of the two things is that there is a quaint little apple-picking town by the Blue Ridge Mountains and near my hometown called Ellijay, GA. So it’s a nod to my roots in the south, plus I always loved the name of it.

 

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