Stephanie Gautier, the woman behind the electro-pop sounds of Ella on the Run, has never wanted to do anything except music. She went to Berklee where she studied music business and vocal performance. After school, she went to London and started working for labels, doing booking and promotions but the performance bug never left her. Her coworkers weren’t surprised when she made the leap into performing.
She says, “Most of the people that know me, they were really supportive. They didn’t know why I was doing the industry part instead of the music part. I guess it was a certain amount of respect, fear, and the usual self doubt that musicians or all artists have. I think I’m quite balanced on both sides of the brain. I love being super-creative but I am also quite organized. So working in the industry worked out for me as well _ and actually it’s great because when I started I didn’t have a network or a manager, so i did everything myself.
In today’s music market you need the business side along with the talent. Her experience in the music industry gave her an amazing network and she knew exactly where to start when she transitioned into the artist Ella On The Run. As soon as she came up with Ella something clicked. Ella became her stage persona and that became the music she was going to create and the brand as well.
Ella says, “Branding is super important, a lot of artists might not know about or might not be good at it. Their music might be amazing and they might be really talented but if you work in the industry you learn that they look at you as a package deal. They want to see that everything fits.”
Electro-pop often verges onto bubblegum territory, but Ella On The Run is dark and moody. It’s haunting. The vocals are echoey and soft. She says it’s challenging for her to write happy songs without them being cheesy. Those darker themes have always stuck with her more.
She says, “When I started this project, I wanted to do pop but nothing too commercial. I wanted the European influence with the electronic elements. Somehow, all my songs came out quite moody and dark. I’m not actually like that. It’s a way for me to express those harder feelings and more difficult situations. I keep those things in, so I have to let them out in my music. When you hear something darker and more meaningful, it sticks with you more.”
Her new video for ‘Walk Away’ is a song about forbidden love. In the video, she wanted to explore our generations narcissistic tendencies in a mirror on the wall way. Millennials are constantly being scolded for their narcissism but what Ella emphasizes is that it’s just easier now with technology. To quote the famous philosopher Kanye West, we “check our instagram comments to crowd-source our self-esteem.” Our social media is so controlled. We post the photos of ourselves in exotic locations with the perfect filter. Our friends moonlight as photographers and most of our social interactions are based on SnapChat, Instagram, and Twitter. Then there’s the joy of checking who viewed your story, who liked your photo. It can be addictive, and it’s frowned upon.
She says, “I feel like that definitely is a curse of our generation. We’re not as aware anymore of the people around us. Especially today when there’s so much going on_and awful things going on_around the world. People are oblivious because we’re so obsessed with our technology and ourselves and our reflection of that in the technology.” She adds, “We value ourselves by looking at what reaction we get. The life we put out there is not a reflection of our actual life. It’s the life we want to portray. I’m never going to post anything where I look like shit. It’s the perfect filter, it’s the nice backdrop. It’s narcissism yet being so dependent on the opinion of others. Which is definitely our generation because it’s been heightened by technology.”
Follow Ella On The Run on Twitter and watch her beautiful video for ‘Walk Away’: