Stonnington Classics with Ella Hooper

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Stonnington Classics with Ella Hooper

You’ve seen Ella Hooper front a pop band, kill it behind a radio mic, and rule at hosting. But has she ever fronted an orchestra? Well, no, not until now anyway. Fronting the free event, Stonnington Classics, on February 27, she will be backed by the Stonnington Symphony in a performance not to be missed.

“I’ve had an orchestra play on my songs before on a few different recordings, but I’ve never sung with one live,” says the singer known as the front woman for ’90s pop sensation Killing Heidi. “I guess the closest I’ve probably got is playing with a big band.”

Hooper is as affable as you’d expect from the beloved media personality. When we started our conversation, she commented that recording it was a good idea because she “talks so fast”. That rapid energy didn’t let up at all as she spoke about why she’s looking forward to performing with an orchestra.

“For me as a pop song writer, I write pretty simple songs, you know? I’m not jazz and I’m not orchestral. I’m not kind of an arty-farty songwriter. I like to write songs that connect with people quite quickly and are quite simple, even though I think they’re well written,” she shares.

“When you add so much scope to the highs and lows and the contrast in sound and production [with an orchestra], that’s when you can really get some different effects and emote that simplicity for something more complex.”

Always pushing the envelope with her creativity, Hooper is undoubtedly versatile. Citing her decision to go independent as a career highlight, she is looking forward to bringing some new tunes to Malvern.

“I’ll play some brand new stuff …I am really going to be as kind of open minded as the crowd. I don’t really know what it’s like singing with an orchestra. I’m hoping I’ll be able to front them as I would a band, and sort of treat it like a band,” she explains.

As a follow up to her EP Venom, the singer is currently working on a double EP called New Magic, loosely scheduled for a late March-early April release. “It’s definitely a lot more upbeat than Venom,” she says of New Magic. “It was sort of important for me to get Venom out of my system…literally, hence the name. I was always keen on turning the corner quite quickly for a much more sort of upbeat, warmer sounding batch of songs.”

If you miss Hooper as the slightly punk/goth front woman of Killing Heidi, then chances are you’ll want to hear her new EP, because she says it is implicitly ’90s in flavour.

“It sort of sounds like the music of my child hood that I used to listen to on triple j,” says Hooper. “A lot of sort of programmed sounding drums, guitar loops, synthesisers, keyboards. There’s a lot of piano. It’s more of a piano EP than a guitar EP which is new territory for me.”

A self professed “sun bunny”, Ella will be taking the stage later this month as the city of Stonnington bids farewell to summer, and she can’t wait to see you there.

“I think writers can be a little bit inward looking and a little bit depressive. So summer gets us out of our shells and we play the music that we write all winter.”

Where & When: Saturday 27 February, 7pm – Malvern Gardens, High Street, Malvern [Free event]

Written by Jessica Morris

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