Ella Fence: The AWMA Emerging Artist Nominee On New Music And The State Of The Industry

Written by Jesse Chaffey
Category: Music Published: Friday, 27 September 2019 11:48

The Australian Women In Music Awards (AWMA) will unite women across the country from all walks of life, to celebrate their achievements in the industry.

Held in Brisbane, the event features 15 award categories spanning First Nations and multicultural performers, classical music, songwriting, music photography, newcomers, music journalism, and more.

Queensland's Ella Fence is nominated for Emerging Artist. The electro-pop performer is buzzed from the recent release of her new single 'Don't Feed The Monster'.

We chat to her about her music, what it means to be nominated, her thoughts on queer representation in the industry, and more.

You're nominated for the Emerging Artist award at the AWMAs. What does this nomination mean to you?
Being acknowledged by my industry and peers in this way is huge, I feel very proud and am very much looking forward to celebrating with everyone at the ceremony.

Any plans on the backburner for celebration if you take the trophy?
Ooh good question! Well I’m heading to Melbourne for the weekend afterwards for more music, adventures and to spend time with my beautiful cousin, so if I win I imagine there will be a lot of celebrating (but we’ll be celebrating anyway regardless, because sometimes you’ve gotta celebrate the almost wins too right?)

What are you most looking forward to about the awards ceremony?
The live performances! I LOVE watching other women on stage killing it, it’s so inspiring.

You've recently released 'Don't Feed The Monster'. Tell us a little bit about the track.
This track is about not feeding negativity or toxicity – whether it is societal, in a relationship or internal. In the film clip we used a body double to focus on the internal monster, and the push/ pull between what you want, what you do, what you project to the world.

What's in the pipeline for you re music releases?
Next up I’m releasing ‘Love Me On Purpose’, the second single from my debut album, it’s an empowered track about not being played around with. The lyrics “love me in the daytime” are my favourite line from the track – because fleeting and flakey “love” (in my experience) tends to be fuelled by the evening – when there’s alcohol and the vibrancy of the night. Something about wanting to be a part of someone’s day life feels different to me than only wanting to be part of their night life.

You've performed all over the world. Where is your favourite place to perform, and why?
My favourite place to perform was honestly right at home on the Gold Coast, at the Commonwealth Games Festival 2018. Supporting living legends Kate Miller-Heidke and Regurgitator was such an incredibly rewarding experience. I’d say my second favourite place would be Berlin because the arts scene there is WILD, or Toronto – they are also so very wild.

Do you have any comments to make about the state of the music industry when it comes to the queer community, as someone who is part of it?
In my experience people have been supportive. But it’s often unclear how much of a strong effect unconscious bias can have. I would say, sadly enough, the most challenging thing I’ve come up against, is not being heard when I’ve been the only female voice in a room. I’ve felt silenced or dismissed, or felt the need to defer to a male in the room in order to be listened to (even when I’ve been the person with the most knowledge on a situation). This is not a reflection of all of my experiences, but I’ve definitely had more experiences like this than I could even count for you. It can take an exorbitant amount of unnecessary effort. I’ve learned to actively not surround myself or associate myself with people who treat me or other women in this way.

As a nominee for Emerging Artist, what advice do you have for people who are wanting to be musicians but are perhaps feeling apprehensive about kicking things off?
Very big question. Like anything you’re going to commit every day to, there are going to be very rewarding and shiny moments, and there are also going to be incredibly challenging moments. But life is big and layered – find things outside of music that also inspire you, they will ultimately feed back into your craft and you’ll create stronger art. Also, seek out and connect with people who inspire you and ask them questions and observe the way they operate – community is key, particularly as a solo artist.

Ella Fence is nominated for Emerging Artist at the Australian Women In Music Awards, which takes place at Brisbane Powerhouse on 8-9 October.

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