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Leland Gets To Know: Ebony Bones



Leland talks to roster artist about being a women in the music industry, mentors, her dream music video directors and more

Leland Gets To Know: Ebony Bones

We know Ebony Bones for her raw and undefinable music, her skills as a producer, and how she transcends music, fashion and visual media.

In the second instalment of Leland Music's series of artist interviews they wanted to know, with a new album in the works, more about her influences and trajectory. 

Read below to discover more about the artist for yourself. 

Q> You are a self-taught musician and composer, creating a unique sound combining a variety of genres.  Performance seems to play a big part in how you express yourself as an artist. Can you tell us a bit about your journey into music and your influences? 

Ebony Bones> My earliest experience with performance started at the age of 12 when I was enlisted by Oscar winner Mark Rylance for his production of Macbeth. At the time I was studying at The Sylvia Young Theater School alongside Amy Winehouse and Mark was the artistic director of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. Growing up my favourite artists were females who in their own way redefined  femininity, from Siouxsie Sioux to Grace Jones, Kate Bush to Missy Elliott and Yoko Ono. Later I had the opportunity to collab with Yoko when I was enlisted by the art legend to re-work her song ‘No Bed For Beatle John’, which was for her first album in 9 years ‘Yes, I’m A Witch Too’.

Q> Have you had any mentors during your career? If so, what were the most important things you learned from them that you still use to this day?

EB> I've never really had mentors as such, but I did become friends with punk legend and drummer Rat Scabies, from 70s punk band The Damned.  He gave me my stage name and taught me a DIY punk ethic and “trial and error” approach to making music.  It’s perfection comes from its imperfection, In an age where human flaws are erased from music, the imperfect can be very striking.. I uploaded an anonymous demo to MySpace, an Orwellian-themed track called “We Know All About U,” which was picked up and premiered by BBC Radio 1 Dj Zane Lowe, as ‘Hottest Record in The World,’


Q> The Music Producers Guild reported that only 6% of its members are women. Nevertheless, a growing number of female producers and engineers are starting to get the recognition and support they deserve. Who are the female producers or engineers that you have collaborated with? How do you think we can overcome the ingrained patriarchy within the music industry? 

EB> Although only 5% of solo music Producers and Engineers are women, I’ve had the huge pleasure of working alongside the industry’s very best, including New York’s Grammy award winning mastering engineer Emily Lazar of Lodge Mastering and Grammy award winning mastering engineer Mandy Parnell, who also worked alongside me on the previous album ’Behold A Pale Horse’ which featured The Mumbai Symphony Orchestra. Its an exciting time to be creating and I believe with time and persistence there will be change.

Q> Have you personally had to overcome prejudices as an artist and producer?

EB> I think there will always be challenges when anyone goes against the status quo, and speaking to fellow female producers such as Grimes, Linda Perry and Tokimonsta. I think we have all had to face individual challenges. 

Being among a frighteningly low proportion of female solo producers—It's important to me to push myself as a producer and leave the door open behind for more female producers to enter. 


Q> Do you think about general current trends in music, in the holistic sense? If so, what does today's landscape look like to you and where do you think its going?

EB> I try not to follow trends, the problem with trends is when they finally go away, so will you.  However with today's current climate it’s encouraging to see more artists speak truth to power in their art. 


Q> You have worked a lot with fashion and your music has been used by brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Haig Club. How do you decide which brands you are happy to collaborate or associate with? 

EB> Music and fashion have the power to galvanize people, and its great to work with reputable brands like YSL, Ray-Ban or Diageo. Personally, I’m always honoured when people gravitate to my music (through brands), it gives the music an opportunity to be heard to a larger audience and in that sense music supervisors are the new A&Rs.

Q> You have talked about collaborating with film and visual media. Are there any specific film directors who would be your dream to work with? 

EB> There are so many amazing directors that I draw inspiration from. I admire the work of too many to mention from Steve McQueen to Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle to Avu Duvernay.

Q> Everyone in the office has been looking forward to a new Ebony Bones for a few years now. What plans do you have for future releases? 

EB> Very excited to release my new album this summer, July 20th. The first single 'Nephilim' was recorded alongside The Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra in China and is out May 4th


Q> And what of your own record label, 1984? Can you tell us about your vision for the label and can you give us any early insight into the releases to come? 

EB> In addition to wanting to help the careers of artists I believe in I hope to shape culture and open up more doors for artists by putting out quality music and art that will inspire. We’re a small company but we put a lot of care into projects and look forward to releasing new acts, some of which are already well known.

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Leland Music, Tue, 08 May 2018 11:24:31 GMT