Artist Spotlight – Adam Ellis
Alias: Adam Ellis
Real Name: Adam Ellis
Hometown: Sheffield, England
Profession: DJ, Producer, trainer by trade
Hobbies: his cat Jangles, amusement parks, teaching the art of producing
Affiliations: In Trance We Trust, Kearnage, Armada, Ellicit, MJR
The music industry, the glitz, the parties, the glamour, so many people forget that in the end of the day, it’s a still a business
Many talented kids and young adults are thrust into this world because of their talents and many are not ready for the harsh realities it may bring. Adam Ellis is a fortunate one to have been young and made silly mistakes that almost became detrimental to his career. Learning humility and learning from those mistakes, Adam has spent the past few years rebuilding, branding, and making his second chance count. Learning from his experiences and passing it on to the next generation, Adam is starting to carve out a path ahead that looks to be successful is an earnest of his desire to show he has grown. I wish him all the best and hope he continues to both reach and teach.
Welcome back to California, what is your favorite part of playing in SoCal? Traveling a lot and often, do you ever get to enjoy the cities you visit? You are currently on tour, how is that going?
It depends really. Sometimes you have to deal with layovers and that. I was in Minneapolis for a few days, because I didn’t have a show till Thursday. So sometimes I do, but not often. My favorite part of touring, is just meeting people. I get to talk to people, and play trance. I love playing trance. I am spreading my passion and I am very lucky and fortunate to be able to do it for a living. So yeah, I love it, so that is why I do it, ready to spread good music to people. And seeing people dance to my music is one of the best feelings in the world.
What makes Southern California so special?
The sun! The people obviously. The people and the sun.
In the past 4 years, you have had seven number 1 records, congrats on that accomplishment. Do you feel pressure of having to produce number 1’s every time now? If so, how do you work through that pressure? If not, how do you avoid it?
When I was younger, when I was just 17, I absolutely felt the pressure. Now, I have just taken a real step back and decided I am not going to worry about that kind of stuff. I just want to make good music for people. So I do not feel the pressure anymore. In fact, when I started out, I was at this massive agency and I did feel a bit of pressure you know? Now a days I do not feel any pressure. There was a point maybe three years ago where I hated making music because of the pressure, and I felt like it took a toll and I had to go out there and make a number one record. Now I just go in there and make good music, and that it is all about. If it charts that is great, but in reality the charts mean absolutely nothing. It is about seeing the people on the dance floor and enjoy it. And that is all I care about now.
You have spoken very fondly over the Amplifyd platform. Why do you feel it is important for artist to connect with fans? How does Amplifyd stand out in this aspect?
I mean Amplifyd is just a great way to connect with your fans. I sell from things to like t-shirts, gift packs, artwork, it’s a chance for a lot of people a chance to be closer to the artist in real life. And Amplifyd is a really good way to give back to the artists as well. Because I will be honest with you, there is no money what so ever in music. Like you said, seven #1’s that probably is like $3,000.00 if that in the last 5 years. So Amplifyd is not made with money in mind, it’s made with connection in mind, it is a better way to earn a little bit of money for the work we put in. With the use of Pirating, and what labels pocket, there is no money, I said none, but there is a little bit, but Amplifyd is all about giving to the trance fans, and allows them to get closer to you and allows you to make a little bit more from your hard work. So it is a win-win. It’s not money oriented, and Dan [Wills] and them are absolutely brilliant. And they have been absolutely fantastic. It is good for the scene and join John Askew, Bryan Kearney, all the big names are getting involved with it you know. So they obviously see a lot of worth in it, so it is great for the scene and great for the fans.
Courtesy of Adam Ellis
You launched your own record label “Ellicit” live on ASOT. Since then you have had five releases on the label and two remix contest winners congrats again! How has this journey gone? How have you adjusted to becoming an owner of a record label?
It is going pretty good. It has not been easy. It has been a lot of work. I am very fortunate enough to have a major label help with things like the contracts, the legal side of things. But even with that, I still have a lot of work, and I am very hands on. I have a big involvement in the art work. And yet, I have a good team around, and it is a lot of work, but rewarding you know. I feel we are putting out some very good tracks. We are a brand new label, we are a baby label, yet, and people want to sign with us. I am looking forward to the future. We are going to build it up and take our time. And the best thing about it is because we are not a massive label, a lot of the published producers want to release on the bigger labels, which I fully get, I am the same. So I get to find new talent and through my tutorials and my one on one lessons with people I am finding really good talent. I signed 4 of my clients in the last year to the label, and look I am very very very particular, so to get on the label it takes a lot of. I am not picking myself up here, I am just saying these guys are B****ing. They are working their butts off. And they are good enough to be on the label which is fantastic. So I just sick of releasing on multiple labels and not having a home. I never really felt like I had a real home until now. This is my home, but I am still releasing on labels like Karnage and ITWT. And working with these guys. Because it is important that you keep relationships solid. It is really going well, and I am excited for the future.
You have gone from producer, DJ, tutor, to a record label owner. How has that evolution taken place? What can one person get from the Adam Ellis Music Institute?
It is just a natural progression. For me I have never reached a point where I can earn a real good living from just DJing. So without sounding like cliché, you have to have your fingers in a lot of pies. So I kind of came up with a unique, one lesson, one tutorial business. And the Adam Ellis Music Institute, I have not really done much with that…, because as I was launching that, Amplifyd started up. So we kind of put that on the back seat for the moment. I do want to [continue] tutoring for my fans though. I want to teach. I currently teach about 50 clients all around the world at the moment. I started when I was 20. I am now 31. I’ve been there I have been around. It is really nice to help these guys skip all the s**t I went through and get to a point where they are not messing up. To be completely honest with you, I have f****d up a lot in my career doing a lot of silly things. And looking back in hindsight I wish I had someone to tell me not to ruin relationships; and yeah it can alter the course of your career. So it is really nice to be that tutor [to be able to say], “Look, this is where you are now and this is what I can teach you,” and [hopefully] help avoid them 10-12 years of mistakes and issues. I am teaching them how to do Social Media right, how to approach record labels, how to deal with agencies, how to deal with fans. It is great, and I love it, I love teaching. It is so rewarding and giving back to my label I love it. I am very proud.
I have learned from my mistakes, and I am happier now. I have a good business teaching people. I have been teaching now for 5 years now. So sometimes I have to take a step back and realize how lucky I am. As a DJ or a producer you always want to reach out.
What makes more fun for you – playing in big venue or playing in a club for smaller audience?
Without a doubt smaller audience in a club. The big venues are nice, make you feel like a super star. But in reality the small venues are the energy and the vibes and seeing people up close. I like high-fiving people. Nothing beats the smaller venues to me. And you can ask any DJ and I guarantee you they will say the same thing as well.
If you could only live by one motto, what would it be?
If you don’t succeed. Try and try again.