As part of The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women.
Our twelfth featured artiste is Ellis. There’s just something about Ellis. She is at once funny and wise, thoughtful and uninhibited, and her captivating voice is matched by her uplifting lyrics. After her Feb 2013 appearance on A Prairie Home Companion, Ellis’ music charted in the Folk Top 100 in iTunes and Folk Top 20 on Amazon.com. She also received hundreds of messages from strangers including, “you exude pure joy”, “I heard you and fell in love” and “I was stopped in my tracks by your music and captivating laugh” as well as “Yours is a voice we all need to hear.” Ellis’ performances are transformational; she leaves her audiences better than she finds them, with softened edges & opened hearts.
A winner of several awards and honors, Ellis has been recognized both for her songwriting skills as well as her engaging performances. Many folk festivals have “audience choice” awards, and Ellis has claimed those honors at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Moab Folk Festival, and Sisters Folk Festival. She also won the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Contest in 2013, the Midwest Mountain Stage New Song Contest (US) in 2011 and the award for the Just Plain Folks (International) Best Female Singer Songwriter Album in 2009.
Ellis contributed her song, “You Are Royalty To Me” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.
Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project.
I have been blessed with many strong women in my life, including my granny (the inspiration for my song), my mother, my partner and my daughter. Women are leaders, creators, and inspirations to me. I’m excited to be a part of any project that champions the health,happiness, and safety of women.
Why is ending violence against women important to you?
I long for a world where my daughter can grow up and be seen and respected as an equal human being, safe from all objectification and abuse. A world where she can be free.
In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?
I think music is a powerful tool. It can open people’s hearts and move them. That is how I believe all change and real connection is created; through open-heartedness.
What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?
I think the first step is to look at how we treat ourselves and others. Not just in our interactions, but also how we speak about others in our songs. Unfortunately we live in a culture that often treats women and girls as objects. What we need are leaders who challenge that.
The “Music For Pixels 2014” charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne.
The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.