You already know the name Ella Hooper. Be it from her regular radio gig (maybe), dark-pop music (probably) or past life as the Killing Heidi frontwoman (most definitely), hers is a name most people recognise with a nostalgic smile.
It’s been nearly 20 years since her ‘Weir’-singing days, so unsurprisingly, Ellla Hooper is trying to step away from her Killing Heidi past. (Which, for the record, is near impossible. They were awesome).
But it’s clear Ella has successfully redefined her sound to something a little more grown up. It’s due in no small part to the fact that she’s been writing this whole time.
“I never actually stopped. I’m always writing. I see the world through a musical lens, so I build up a back catalogue of songs that I’m constantly writing. When the amount of songs boil over, I know it’s time to make a new EP. ”
And that she did. Next month the singer is set to release a strong double EP, Venom/New Magic, which Ella describes as “yin and yang.”
“Venom is charged with more negative energy, whereas New Magic is filled with much more positive, moving on, turning the corner-type of stuff.”
Along with the double EP, Ella has released merchandise that’s a little cooler than any we’ve seen so far. She’s dropped two nail polishes: one silver and one blood red.
“At first I was thinking green for Venom, along the lines of poison and envy. However after consulting a friend, she saw Venom as blood red. We had a bit of a pow-wow and I’m so glad I changed it. The New Magic shade is a delicate, soft silver. They look really awesome together.”
That said, Ella is more of an SNS girl herself.
“I love SNS. I’m blessed with my mother’s strong nails and they grow so fast, so I love to chuck on some SNS. I wish I could have them long and pointed but I play the guitar so I have to chop my nails all the time.”
With a preference for claw-like manicures and cosmetics over standard merch items, we wondered if perhaps Ella is a little more high maintenance than she seems.
Trying to suss if she’s an undercover diva, we asked how long it takes her to get ready in the morning.
“On a gig day, I’m famous for changing my mind at the last minute. But on a normal day it doesn’t take long. I’ve gotten to the point where I like everything in my wardrobe anyway.”
As for the worst trend she’s seeing around Melbourne right now?
“I’m a bit over normcore to be honest, but I know it sort of suits everyone. The same with plain white sneakers that every girl in Melbourne wears. Anything that goes to ‘uniform proportions’ drives me a little insane.”
Chatting to Ella, we can see there’s this non-conformist spark to her; something a little more rebellious. Seeking to push that button, we asked her for the naughtiest thing she’s ever done.
“Back in the day when I lived in the country, I used to say that I was going on work experience in the city. But I was really just visiting my boyfriend and staying with him all week. Sorry Mum.”
Of course we had to ask if there’s a Killing Heidi reunion on the cards.
“Probably no. No reunion. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learnt to appreciate that time and those songs, but I’m very much a person that looks to the future.”
Venom/New Magic is out in June. Melburnians can catch Ella Hooper at The Gasometer in Collingwood, performing every Wednesday in May. Stay tuned for national tour dates.
This article was originally published in Fashion Journal issue 157. Read the mag here.