We had the good fortune of connecting with Keelan Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keelan, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Growing up with my dad being a guitarist, I was naturally listening to his favorite bands as a child and one day at 5 years old I went on stage for the first time and gave singing a try and felt a rush that nothing else can replicate. Ever since that moment I wanted to get back on a stage and get that same fix in my system. I sang at every school talent show and played in cover bands in high school before playing original music which is a whole other beast, but with a greater satisfaction. I’ve been chasing that feeling of getting a reaction from the crowd ever since that first moment and that rush has never changed to this day.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am just one of millions out there trying to follow my dream of playing music for a living. The only thing that seperates me from everyone else out there is that there is only ONE me. Only ONE Keelan Ellis, well apparently there is another Keelan Ellis out there who writes homosexual erotic novels and I guarentee there are friends out there who have discovered this waiting for me to explain my side project to them at some point, but unfortunately I have to let them down and say that is not me. ANYWAYS No it is never easy to achieve any dream in life. You have to earn it and work hard for it. You never know when the success will come, but success does come when opportunity and perseverance meet. I’ve learned that at the darkest, most stressful times in my life where I feel like I am once again lost, a bright light of opportunity shows up and pushes me one step closer to my goals. Manifesting is a REAL THING! It sounds nuts, but it’s true! I set goals to work with certain heroes of mine in life and the next thing I knew, that person was waiting in line in front of me at the mall and I HAD to say hello. 2020 was a great time to focus more on myself and prepare for the next opportunity. I have now narrowed down my style of music with much help from my friend and producer, Jake Hays, and always my friend and guitar player Mihailo Lukic who is always willing to drink a white russian with me and watch The Big Lebowski. All I want the world to know is I’m coming for you! I am very much looking forward to playing more shows than ever very soon and introducing the new songs we have been working on. I really hope everyone enjoys what they hear and if they don’t, well, that’s just like, your opinion, man.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If someone trusted me enough to take them around town I would take them to Harriet’s on Sunset which I think the best view of LA with an amazing venue that has a 1930’s feel to it. Almost like you’re on Main Street at Disneyland but without the crowd and screaming children. Then as it gets dark I like to go to my favorite bar, Burgundy Room on Cahuenga. It is a dark bar and plays my favorite kind of music. I also enjoy Golden Gophers and Monty Bar in Downtown if we headed that direction. I can’t leave out my favorite burger joint, which would be Jake’s Roadhouse in Monrovia, they are known for their delicious BBQ and I never skip it when I am out in that area. How many days of this week long vacation have I covered so far? Let’s enjoy the rest of it with a cocktail at the beach! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is both easy AND difficult to answer because everyone in my life has helped take me where I am today. First of all my dad, Jeff Ellis, for introducing music into my life. Without his passion for playing music himself, I would have never discovered that insane rush of a feeling performing in front of a crowd.
Alan Waddington was my music teacher at Citrus College sitting me down when he saw I was lost in life and he told me to get rid of those nerves I am feeling and to ride that wave of pursuing music not knowing where that wave will take you, but not to worry or fear and just keep going.
Gilby Clarke told me if one person can do something that means so can you.
Ricky Vodka has always been there for guidance when I am unsure of what to do with myself and he reassures me that everythign is going to be great and that I am doing the right thing. One of the most positive and truest friends I have ever had.
Honestly, like I said before, everyone in my life has played a very important role in my path to music. I am still only just at the beginning, but I feel like I have learned so much on my way and it’s from all the people I centered myself around with and I cannot thank them enough for putting up with the noise in my head.
Live Shots taken by William Greenberg @willtorock Still Shots by Demi Pinkus @dmpnks and Styled by Angelica Rojas @stylexangelica