Produced by a Girl Artist Interview - ‘
How has your English Literature degree influenced your lyricism?
I am a literature nerd and I am not shy about it! I specialised in Shakespeare, and his plays are full of puns, metaphors and double-entendres that really inspire me. I like to make jokes and turn phrases on their head. Ad I actually do incorporate Shakespeare quotes and references in my songs, you'll have to look out for them. I think to become a great writer you have to learn from the greats, so spending 4 years just reading great literature gave me so much room to learn new techniques and expand my language.
How do you intertwine personal experiences, especially around queer identity, in your music?
When I started out in music I wasn't out as queer, and I always tried to make my music genderless as to include everyone. I do feel like this is important, love and life and all of the things we try to navigate through music knows no binaries. However, what I feel now, is my queerness is essential to who I am, and now I that keep it central in my songs they feel truly mine. Queer people haven't had our voices heard and recognised in pop culture for so long, so I am making a conscious effort to be as raw and honest as possible.
How do your influences like Avril Lavigne and Hayley Williams manifest in your sound?
They're sick!!! Avril was my lifeline growing up, I would listen to Let Go on repeat, so she was really my first example of a strong female songwriter. And then as I got older and heard Paramore for the first time, to hear a female vocalist who was also one of the most skillful lyricists was so inspiring. I definitely aspire to Hayley Williams' stage presence and control of words and rhythm. And I think you can definitely hear I was an Avril kid in the melodies in my songs.
How does your playful representation of the "extra gay emo phase" connect with your audience?
(Ettie circa. 2010) "IT'S NOT A PHASE MOM, EMO MUSIC IS LIFE." No no, I joke I joke. But it's a play on people saying they had teenage emo phases, listening to bands like Paramore and Fall Out Boy and Greenday that inspire me a lot; but also how people have tried to discredit queer people coming out as "it's just a phase, you'll grow out of it." Like, how about... no? My Avril tour T-shirt from 2004 still fits me and I'm still very much a lesbian and that's something I'll never grow out of! And it's that energy that's the essence of my music.
With your growing TikTok following, what upcoming projects or collaborations can fans anticipate?
I am open to anything! Would love to collaborate with more women and queer people in the emo/pop-punk scene. Send me recommendations, I wanna write!
When did you start studying/writing music and do you have an instrument of choice?
I have written songs pretty much since I first heard one on the radio. But I never had any formal training. I taught myself guitar when I was 12 and that's how I've written songs to this day, just me and my acoustic.
Who are you inspired by?
Shakespeare, Taylor Swift, Hayley Williams and Adam Richman from Man Vs. Food (not strictly in that order).
Please explain your creative process.
I get (nearly exclusively) all of my ideas when I am in public or on public transport. It is very annoying but I have to scramble to record them in my phone otherwise I won't remember! But when I get home I get to go through my phone, sit down with my guitar and figure it out from there.
What’s an average day like for you with music?
So so so cliche, but every day with music is different. I work a full-time day job so I can support my full-time music career, so I go to work in the morning listening to my demos/half-baked ideas for songs on the way to work. This is where I also get a lot of my ideas. When I get home I spend a lot of time doing admin and content creation, as social media is such a huge key in promoting music. Then I'll get out my guitar, see if anything decides to come out of my mind that day, and then inevitably crawl into a burrito blanket and rot my brain with a bad but also good TV show (currently Pretty Little Liars). My favourite days are gig days though, I love getting on stage and talking to people about my silly little gay songs!
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music or deeper meaning you want your fans
Aside from the occassional Shakespeare quote, I do like to pepper in super personal details along with the metaphorical and allegorical stuff. There will be small descriptions, or a few words, that mean a lot to me personally. For example, in my last single Miserable Life, I have a line that says "I hope you drop your keys down the drain and you still see them through the cracks", and the hidden meaning behind that is that I'm a petty b!tch.
Do you collaborate with others in the studio? What is that process like?
I collaborated on 'Marty McFly' with Alex from Spit Recordings and that was so fun, getting the sound all together. But I am yet to write a song in a studio, I'm so keen to (anyone reading this who likes my words hit me up!)
I know your fans would love to hear how they can interact with you. Is there a way you
prefer to connect with them?
Through Insta and TikTok! I am most active on there and I love talking to people! (Insta @ettiemusic and TikTok @e.t.t.i.e)
What is your favorite part about this line of work?
Getting up on stage and singing my silly little gay songs and seeing people know the words to my silly little gay songs. It's the best feeling.
What’s your favorite performance been and why?
I performed recently at Katz Space for Burnt Toast Presents. It was a night in support of the Mosaic Trust LGBTQ+ youth charity, and the audience was so fun and full and queer! The room was just beautiful, and the oganisers Izzii and Phoebe know how to put on a show!
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Just focus on the music. Don't worry about the streams, the followers or the analytic numbers, those come and go. Focus on the people who consistently show up, and even if you've impacted just one person, and even if that person is yourself, then you're successful.
Do you have any big projects or shows, tours coming up after your album releases?
I have so so so much music coming out. Maybe an EP, maybe an Album, we'll see if I'll ever stop writing! And you bet that you'll see me on that stage.
What are you working on next?
I can't say much but I can say I'm in the studio tomorrow.
What does the term Produced By a Girl mean to you?
Just a truly phenomenal way to connect women in an industry that seems hell-bent on pigeon-holing and suppressing us.