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Interview: Helena Ellis has the best job in the world

You may recognise Helena Ellis from headlining events around Sydney such as Marco Polo, Establishment and Marquee Sydney to name a few. Helena has made her impactful presence known in and beyond a new stream of Sydney-based DJ talent taking on a global stage.

A standout local favourite, Helena has also been working closely with London-based house label Sonica Records for its single and house remix releases – raising the bar for not just her well-known house sets, but her own musical releases having been involved in the art of both dance and pop for many years. Previously part of the group Cherri and having toured for a year with the group before realising her solo career, Helena Ellis is well anchored in the creative and performing arts of pop, house, RNB and hip-hop genres.

With a plethora of projects in music production, song-writing and solo artist releases in addition to her well known presence on decks in Sydney, Ellis is on the path to becoming one of Australia’s biggest female house DJ and musical names. 

Djanemag: Helena Ellis is you real name, isn't it? A lot of Djanes use nicknames! Why did you deside to use your real name becoming a Dj, but not a nickname?

Helena Ellis: Ellis is actually a short version of my real last name. Im greek so we have very long last names hahah so I decided to shorten it and make it my Dj name, as its still a part of me.

Djanemag: Being a female DJs, how it looks like?

Helena Ellis: It’s the best job in the world. I couldn’t ask for any other job.

Djanemag: What challenges have you faced being a female DJ and how did you overcome them?

Helena Ellis: I'd say the beginning was hard as you have to gain respect and show people your a serious Dj. Of course it's a fun job but I always felt being a girl I had to work that little bit harder than all the boys so I could prove myself. Now I feel I’m finally at a stage where I get a lot of props from fans and industry people, and people can see this is real to me and I'm here to stay.

Djanemag: Could you describe your feelings when you play music?

Helena Ellis: The energy is like nothing I can explain. I feel like music is a language we can all talk and when I play I feel we are all connected as one and just enjoying the music and having fun.

Djanemag: What’s the most difficult thing about your job and what is the most enjoyable?

Helena Ellis: The most difficult thing would be missing my family when I travel, and the most enjoyable thing is definitely when I’m up there on the decks playing to a big crowd who are all going crazy.

Djanemag: What style of music do you play? What style of music do you listen at home?

Helena Ellis: In clubs I play hip hop and house music. Generally I like to play everything, I hate being confined into one genre. Music to me is a feeling, so I want to be free to play whatever I want and however I feel. I don’t want to say I’m only a hip hop Dj or only a house Dj. At home and in my car I always listen to hip hop.

Djanemag: What are your biggest sources of inspiration when you are mixing or producing music?

Helena Ellis: I always visualise the crowd in my mind. That inspires me a lot. I'm a very visual person so I see things as I make the music. Depending on what genre I’m making, I’ll listen to what's current, I’ll also have a listen to old school songs of that same genre and see if I can sample anything. I can’t say I have one main source of inspiration as I’m inspired day to day from the smallest things. It may be some lyrics that come to mind, or simply a small sound sample that I hear which inspires me to create a new song.

Djanemag: Do you have any exclusive news for readers at this moment you wanna share?

Helena Ellis: Of course! I have a big year ahead that I can’t wait to get into. I’m going on Tour in January-Febuary around Australia and New Zealand, and internationally during the year, so I’m currently working on that doing all the press and PR for that soon. I'm also working on new music to be released in the next few months which I’m very excited about! Lots of great things on the way so make sure you all follow me and keep in the loop)