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Model-Turned-DJ Ella Darr Tells Us How She Does It All

In the age of social media, most successful people do more than one thing. And Ella Darr is no exception, seeing success as both a model and DJ, gracing covers of international fashion magazines and dropping albums on G*High Records. Last week, Darr was kind enough to take a break from her hectic schedule to come by and talk with O.N.S about DJing in New York, creating her own tracks, and why she prefers to go out in Brooklyn rather than Manhattan.

Since you started DJing in 2015, what’s been your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job as a DJ is listening to the music and being connected to the people! Music makes me happy and takes all my problems away.

Outside of New York, what’s your favorite city to DJ in?

My favorite city to DJ in is Tel Aviv! It’s my home town and there is nothing like dancing with Israelis to the best underground music!

In New York, do you have any favorite spots to work?

My favorite place to work is on rooftops in New York, where you can really feel the vibe of the city. And there is nothing like playing underground music in clubs.

What about going out on your own? Where do you like to go?

I like to go to Brooklyn where all the best shows and parties are. I started hanging out in Brooklyn recently, after seven years running to castings around Manhattan, at places like The William Vale, TBA, Output, and House of Yes. Every time I go to Brooklyn, I get this fun, youthful energy and inspiration.

You play a lot of house and  it’s really popular right now. What do you think it is about house music that’s so enduring? Why does it still hit so hard almost 40 years after it was invented?

I feel like house music can be very commercial or very deep. It’s fun to have a versatile genre to play with when you need to. I feel like more people are aware of house music and not as scared to play it as they used to be. I was stopped from playing house music many times just a few years ago and had a hard time getting bookings to play house music. House music is dance music. It keeps everyone dancing no mater what you play, if you really love it.

In addition to DJing, you’re a songwriter and producer who makes her own tracks. What’s your creative process like when you start out to make a new song?

I never make music when I am feeling lost and I don’t need to get lost to make music. I wait until I get inspired and then start writing new music. I wish that feeling never stopped before I’m able to finish a song, but unfortunately, to finish a song the right way takes a lot of time and sometimes the music just stays stuck in your head. I am still looking for a good producer to work with. It’s not easy to find someone that is on the same page with you. I guess I will have to wait and find one when the right time comes.

Of all the tracks you’ve created, do you have a favorite?

My favorite songs are the ones I never published because I don’t know how to finish them. I had one of them remixed and released on Beatport using my vocals from my favorite song called “Yours.”

You put out an EP called “One” recently. What was it like to create a little project like that? How did you end up working with G*High Records?

It was super fun and exciting to work from home on a project and felt like I have a real job. My fav place to work is at home, I feel focused and relaxed when I’m by myself. I am happy I finally released the tracks as a DJ and producer. Thanks to G*High Records. One of the hardest things for me is to finish a song, so thank you Richard Gray!

Do you have any new music coming out soon? What’s next for Ella Darr?

I am back to work with my old band, 17 Gravez, on our next EP and we will be releasing a new song soon. I will also be releasing a techno track called “Girlfriends” on Beatport and hope to keep having new ideas and inspiration for writing as much music as I can.

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Be sure to follow Ella Darr on IG here.

Photography: Emanuel Hahn


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