In a society that often asks women to choose between motherhood and a promising professional life, pregnancy gave Ella Vos the strength to launch her music career. And a kickass one at that.
Street spoke to the up–and–coming artist via email ahead of her show at the Filmore on March 6th.
She credits motherhood as a driving force behind her decision to embark on a solo career. “Before I had my son, I was a musician in a few different bands…I always had dreams of pursuing my own career as an artist/songwriter, but it wasn't until I was pregnant that I had the courage to do so,” she wrote.
In October of 2016, Rolling Stone named her one of the “.” Comparing her to Imogen Heap, Frou Frou, and vintage Sia, Rolling Stone described Ella’s music as “a warm bath with just you and your feelings.”
Since then, Ella’s songs have received over 100 million streams, climbed to the top of Spotify’s Viral Charts, and been featured in shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Life of Kylie. Let’s face it, if Kylie Jenner is listening to Ella Vos, you should be too.
But that’s not to trivialize her work—Ella Vos’ music is as serious as it is sensational.
Her most popular song “White Noise,” eloquently articulates her battle with postpartum depression following the birth of her son. She described her songwriting process for this hit as happening naturally: “I wrote the lyrics for 'White Noise' when my son was 5 weeks old. I was holding him, hushing him to sleep, and the words just flowed out of me. My transition into motherhood was a bit shocking. I missed my old life, but then felt so guilty for feeling that way. Writing the lyrics to 'White Noise' was the only way I could put into words what I was feeling,” she explained.
Just a few weeks ago, Ella Vos performed at The Fillmore in Philadelphia as a part of her North American tour. You might think that the soft tonality of her music would lend itself to a muted concert. But from the start of the show, it became clear that Ella’s prowess as a musician isn’t limited to her digital tracks. She’s not just someone you want to listen to through your headphones—you want to see Ella Vos live.
“It's a rush,” she said of performing. “It's a really internal experience for me though—sometimes I can't even remember what the venue or stage looked like after a show.”
While her performance was captivating and lively, it was also alluring and smooth, complimented by a mixture of pink and purple lights that emphasized her unique style. The show was also very conversational, with repeated pauses to preface her songs and speak candidly with the audience.
Before playing her song “You Don’t Know About Me,” Vos explained that the inspiration struck from listening to a debate on abortion—specifically, the words of a pro–life man who couldn’t understand the nuances of pregnancy and womanhood. She emphasized the universality and importance of the idea that you shouldn’t assume you know people at first glance, regardless of their views.
Ella’s work has unmistakable political undertones in that her work falls into the post–Trump resurgence of feminism, as well as the rise of the #MeToo movement.
“I feel really encouraged by others and continually inspired to create change. I remember playing my (then unreleased) song 'You Don't Know About Me' in a few record label meetings before Trump was elected, and I felt really uncomfortable…Now, just over a year later, I feel so empowered.”
Ella Vos’ bravery and unapologetic ownership of what she knows is right paired with her bubbly personality is what makes her work so special. She’s battled depression, and approached the balance of family and work with an open mind. She’s humble about her struggles, but she owns them too. Ella Vos is the feminist goddess that you need to know.