My Life In Music, with Kettle writer Ellie Leddra

For most people, music is one of the most important things in life. It can inspire you, fill you with joy or even make you cry. But different music affects us all in different ways. Each week, I interview one of our writers or editors about the impact music has had on their life. This week, I talk to Kettle writer Ellie Leddra about her life in music. 

Describe your taste in music in three words.

Resplendent, different and exciting.

What’s your favourite musical genre?


Your favourite band and artist?

Carole King is my favourite artist and Rush are my favourite band.

Your favourite song of all time?

‘Happy Together’ by The Turtles. It’s so upbeat, positive, and to me, somewhat dreamy.

What was the first album you ever bought?

The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga. I bought my first album quite late in life; before that my parents would pay for the annual S-Club 7 album.

First gig you went to?

The Jonas Brothers in London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Their special guest was Demi Lovato and they were all 45 minutes late and the set was short, but Nick Jonas was worth any wait.

What was the last song you listened to?

‘Sexual Healing’ by Marvin Gaye. I was listening to it on the tube, slightly smirking.

Which musicians do you admire? 

I have always admired Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland. For me they were big icons of an era I wasn’t born in and I felt that they made me different from everybody else. I also love Nina Simone. Her voice is so rich and full of soul and I think her story is just amazing.

What’s your opinion on music videos?

I’m not really a fan of music videos. I find their concepts a little ridiculous. I respect the people who put the effort in, but I think they can sometimes ruin your interpretation of a song.

In your opinion, what’s the most annoying song of all time?

‘Stay’ by Shakespeares Sister. I hear it on the radio a fair bit and every time it just doesn’t get better for me.

Who do you think is the most overrated artist out there?

Ellie Goulding. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the singles she releases, but whenever I’ve seen her perform live, the quality is not that great. It seems like she spends more time jumping around and has a real lack of projection when singing.

Where do you find new music?

I usually find new music from existing artists. I love that on Spotify you can see related artists, usually from that I find new interesting stuff.

Do you play any instruments?

I played a mean triangle growing up. Asides from that, I’ve always wanted to play the piano.

Rock or pop?

Pop. Though I do love rock. This is a hard question.

Classical or heavy metal?

Classical. I find it really exciting and you can interpret it how you want to.

What song will always cheer you up?

‘Reach’ by Sclub-7. A naff answer I know, but it’s guaranteed to make me and my friends happy whether we are on a night out or not. Singing “I’ve got you and you’ve got me” has never been more fun.

What song always makes you cry?

‘Silver Springs’ by Fleetwood Mac. It’s basically a song explaining how a woman will never stop loving someone and how this someone will never get away from the sounds of the woman who loved him. It’s a lot, but Stevie Nicks is a queen and a queen always knows best.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Barry Manilow. I have never not danced to the Copacabana.

What does music mean to you?

It’s just fun. I just love the idea of loving a song so much you have to listen to it every day. I think there just must be a song for everyone out there.

What do you love most about music?

The impact it can have on a person. I love how music varies and it impacts people in different ways. I also just love dancing and how music can really make a good time.

If you could sit down for a chat with any musician (dead or alive) – who would it be?

There any many musicians who have passed that I would love to talk to, but I would have to pick Carole King. I have so many questions to ask and things to tell her and just absolutely swoon over her. I admire everything about her.

Tell us your best musical memory.

This year I turned 22 and on my birthday Carole King played The British Summertime Festival on the actual day and it was pretty much a dream come true. She performed her album Tapestry and from the second she walked out to the last note she played on the keys, I was just in paradise. It was a real dream come true for me, as I never thought I would see her play live or even experience singing her songs in a sell-out crowd. I also cried, a lot. On my birthday…and enjoyed doing so.

What’s your best musical memory? Tell us about your life in music in the comments below!