Cello teacher and vintage clothes curator, Bronte Ellis, wowed The Greek Herald readers on Saturday, September 18 when she performed live on our Facebook page. Clutching her ukulele, she sang in multiple languages including Greek, Spanish and French, and showcased her unique ability to connect with people from different multicultural communities.
In saying this, we sat down to speak to the 29-year-old about how she became involved in the music industry and what advice she has for other aspiring artists.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My father is Greek and my mum is Australian who lives in The Netherlands. My Yiayia and Pappou met each other in Alexandria, Egypt when they were just 12 years old. They fell in love soon after and came to Australia just before my father was born. I grew up in Balmain in Sydney and went to International Grammar School from Preschool to Year 12.
2. When did you first start playing the ukulele and cello / singing?
I’ve always sung so I can’t remember exactly when I started but there is a very sweet photo of me singing into a microphone as young as two years old. I started playing the violin when I was four years old and then I told my parents I didn’t want to stand up in orchestra anymore, so they gave me a cello. It stuck and I love that it’s my instrument. I first played a ukulele in high school. My friend taught me ‘Sea of Love’ which I sang in my live set and I fell in love with the smooth, relaxed sound of the instrument.
3. Do you have any musical highlights or performances which made an impact on you?
Growing up I went to lots of Greek weddings and christenings. I fell in love with the vibrant atmosphere. Everybody dancing in perfect unison with so much joy. That’s how I came to love Greek music and my Greek culture. Playing in a traditional Greek band had been a dream of mine for many years so I count myself lucky that I get to play the cello and sing for The D Strings with George Doukas.
4. What do you love the most about performing?
I love the nervousness at the start of every gig. It’s a rush of excited energy that builds up especially in the final hours before going up on stage. I’ve been performing since I was a child, so I feel very at home there. To add, I simply love to create music and I’m thankful for every single opportunity I get to share my music.
5. What would you say to someone else who wants to start playing an instrument or singing?
I would say, it’s never too late to start! My oldest cello student is 78 years old! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, don’t put any pressure on yourself to be perfect straight away, and embrace the journey.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you to The Greek Herald for giving live music and local talent a platform while we are all in lockdown here in Sydney.