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Ella Monnery - MNZ Interview: Cross Section S01 / E04 - Ella Monnery

28 Jun 2023 // An interview by Shannon Coulomb

Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting brand-new interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb.


Ella Monnery is a vocalist/performer based in Auckland New Zealand. Ella is the Director of Powerhouse Entertainment in which she performs at events and shows both in New Zealand and Internationally. Currently Ella is performing with world renowned acts such as duo SACHI and New Zealand producer P-Money. Performing at the biggest festivals in the country (Rhythm and Vines, Homegrown) She is also a familiar voice to George FM listeners, breaking into the electronic music scene with her power vocals alongside local and international DJs.

Ella is also a featured artist for the electrifying sold out show Synthony which tours New Zealand and internationally celebrating house music classics. In 2021, Ella can be seen on The Voice Australia where she reached the semi- finals alongside coach Jessica Mauboy. Ella can also regularly be seen performing in stadiums for various sporting events (All Blacks, Rugby World Cup) In 2020,

Ella debuted her own Diva Tribute shows in which she now headlines on cruise ships all over the world with Blackburn International. She previously worked with the well-known New Zealand band Sola Rosa and is also performing regularly with covers band Ministry of Tone. Ella has been a lead touring vocalist for Coca Cola Christmas In the Park for the last 5 years. Ella has also extended her Powerhouse brand and is working as a Vocal Coach and mentor for young aspiring performers in schools across New Zealand.

What does your creative process look like?

It really depends on the job/what the gig is. I like to think I am super organised, so before any gig/performance I sit down and set out the expectations/what is required for each certain job. Making a list, sourcing material, learning lyrics, figuring out structures etc. Whether that be song learning, creating a show, planning a set list etc. Each process is a bit different for me and it is also dependent on the workload and time frame. As my work is all covers based, I love looking at YouTube for inspiration/motivation with certain material I need to learn. I also listen to rep on repeat - in the gym, in the car, out on a walk.

Do you apply the same creative processes to other aspects of the Music Industry, for example, in your approach to marketing yourself?

I really struggle with marketing myself if I'm honest! In a world where there is such a massive influence with social media - I find it challenging to keep up. This is something I need to get better with and actively promote/marketing myself and things I am doing. I think I get caught up in caring about what other people think, as opposed to just sharing my mahi and being proud!

Is your creative process something you feel to have locked down or does it generally change on a song by song/release by release basis?

It definitely changes, depending on how prepared I am and how much time I have before the gig/performance etc. It definitely all comes down to how organised I am though and how dedicated I am to being prepared.


What qualities do you appreciate the most in other musicians?

I really appreciate musicians who support each other. I think there are a lot of tall poppy in NZ so it is really refreshing to work with others who cheer each other on. Everyone is so unique and talented and there is enough work for everyone - we need to support and turn up for each other. I'm lucky enough to work with really great musicians who are super keen to step up and collaborate together.

If you could collaborate with another NZ musician/band, who would it be?

Probably Shapeshifter! I'm such a lover of electronic music and a massive fan of Shapies and P-Diggs, it would be insane!

How do you keep an eye to the future in regards to your work and work ethic?

Do you generally focus on just the project at hand or are you considering how it fits into a larger plan? I definitely pride myself on being a hard worker. I am always prepared and dedicated to the work I am doing. Especially because my passion is also my job! In saying that, over the years I have learned that it is ok to say no to some projects, in the past I have definitely taken on too much workload and it was too much. I am quite easily stressed out so it's all about time management for me and mapping/planning things out.

Where have you had the most success in terms of marketing to the Aotearoa audience? If applicable, has this translated well to an international market?

I would probably say on Instagram. After I was on The Voice Australia I gained about 7k followers. I definitely find Instagram the most responsive and successful with sharing videos, song snippets, performance highlights etc. Especially these days with fast pace ever-changing technology.

There are so many resources available to musicians in Aotearoa, such as Muzic.net.nz , Music Managers Forum Aotearoa and APRA/AMCOS. Have any of these (or other) NZ resources played a significant role in your journey so far?

I have found APRA/AMOCS has been really helpful. Especially with their online resources and workshops/evenings they run.

Are there any resources that you would recommend to NZ musicians who are coming to terms with the business side of the craft?

Surround yourself with not only good musicians but good people! Makes a massive difference if you have a good support system.


*****

Shannon Coulomb is the co-songwriter, guitarist and producer for Auckland Based band Impostor Syndrome. He also plays bass for Swerve City and is currently the Head of Music at Birkenhead College, Auckland, as well as a tutor for Music Education at AUT University.

Impostor Syndrome:
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Swerve City:
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About Ella Monnery

Ella Monnery is a singer/performer based in New Zealand. Ella is the Director of Powerhouse Entertainment in which she performs at events and shows both in New Zealand and Internationally. Most recently, Ella can be seen on The Voice Australia.

2021 saw Ella covering new territory working with world renowned New Zealand DJ and producer P-Money. In 2020, Ella debuted her own Diva Tribute shows in which she now headlines on cruise ships all over the world as a Guest Entertainer signed with Blackburn International. She is also performing regularly with covers bands Ministry of Tone, 09 Session Band and Rhapsody Music.

Ella has been a lead touring vocalist for Coca Cola Christmas In the Park for the last 4 years. Ella is also a featured artist for the electrifying sold out show Synthony which tours New Zealand and Australia. This year, Ella will be extending her Powerhouse brand and will be working as a Vocal Coach for young aspiring performers in schools across New Zealand.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ella Monnery

Releases

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