Ellis Moss swung by to chat about his early days in the scene, ghost producing, working with Toolroom, and landing a release on Experts Only.
While Ellis Moss might be one of the newer names in the scene who is making some major headway with his music, his story begins long before his recent alias. Turn back the clock to when he was 14, and you’ll find him beginning to craft music in his home studio after being inspired by the likes of deadmau5, Pendulum, and The Prodigy. His passion early on led to a ghost producer taking him under his wing in 2017, effectively catapulting his abilities in the studio and transforming him into the artist he is today.
Since beginning the Ellis Moss project, he’s become a prominent figure at Toolroom with tracks like “The Shake,” “All Night” with Yasmin Jane, “Critical,” and “Emergency,” helping define his signature sound. Additionally, he doubles as a production engineer for the imprint, using his innate skills in the studio to help others take their tracks to the next level with added dancefloor energy.
More recently, Ellis Moss made the biggest splash of his career yet by releasing his massive track “Calling” on John Summit’s Experts Only. The track picked up momentum quickly and rose through the charts, backed by its blend of sophisticated house and raw techno that is infectious at its core.
The future is brighter than ever for Ellis Moss as he begins to gear up for 2024, and we caught up with him to chat about his beginnings in the scene, his recent successes, and what’s to come in the future. Additionally, he graced the EDMID Guest Mix series for its milestone 400th episode, so make sure to give it a spin and read on for the full conversation!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 400 || Ellis Moss on SoundCloud:
Hi Ellis, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today. Your story begins long before releasing music under this alias. Can you tell us about your earliest days making music? What helped you develop a passion for electronic music?
Thanks for having me on! I think most musicians’ love for music starts at an early age, and it wasn’t any different for me. Both my parents were very musical people; my mother was the front-woman in a band, and my dad was a music journalist who had a radio show on the Brighton airwaves. He also managed a ska band called Los Albertos and took me touring with them when I was only little!
I started making music when I was about 13, being super into deadmau5, Pendulum, and The Prodigy. The first track I ever made was a bar-for-bar reconstruction of deadmau5 ‘Seeya Next Tuesday’ – just an exercise to see if I could actually do it. The final result was pretty damn close to the original, and I think that gave me the confidence to believe that I could actually do this properly. I probably still have the project file somewhere!
Everything changed in 2012 when I saw the electronic duo Justice at Reading Festival in the UK. None of my friends knew who they were, but I was dead-set, so I went completely on my own with just my youth and a newfound freedom. To this day, that was the best live show of my life – those French dudes just absolutely crushed it. There was a brief moment during the set when I looked up at the stage and saw these guys dressed in leather jackets, playing synths and pushing buttons – and making every single person in there go feral. At that moment, I said to myself I was going to do the same thing, and I haven’t looked back since!
Prior to splashing on the scene as Ellis Moss, you created some tracks as a ghost producer. While we know you can’t share which ones, can you speak to what your experience was like and how you feel it might’ve helped your career?
I had a lucky break in 2017 and landed a position as the apprentice to one of the industry’s most prolific ghost producers. That’s when everything started to change fast, and literally overnight, I found myself working in the very center of the UK house music scene. It was a crazy feeling because often I would walk into that studio, and sitting at the desk would be an artist I had been listening to for years. I made so many friends and became a great house producer very quickly, and I’m proud to say I’ve made a name for myself as one of the top ghost producers in the industry.
This year has seen you drop “Emergency” and “Get Mad” on Toolroom, a label you’ve called home for years. What has it felt like to receive such great support from this legendary label?
The feeling is crazy and still hasn’t worn off! I’m blessed to work so closely with such a fantastic group of people – the Toolroom fam really do it best. I’ve had a ton of releases over the years with them, and every release has its own story that we try to get across to the fans. I’m not one of those artists that release music every other week – I only ever release those tracks that make me want to scream, “This is fucking fresh!”
Aside from releasing on Toolroom, you also work there as a production engineer. Are there any fun stories on tracks you’ve helped push to the finish line? How do you balance your time between this and your work as Ellis Moss?
I often find myself yelling, “Just turn it fucking up!” at the artists when they’re struggling to get the tracks sounding right, and it’s become a bit of a catchphrase of mine, mostly because I do genuinely find myself spending most of my time just turning everything up. We’re not making shoegaze here we’re making fucking EDM!
I’ve also been known to throw in a ragga vocal sample in situations that definitely don’t need a ragga vocal sample.
Your most recent single, “Calling,” is an absolute stunner and was released on one of the hottest imprints in the scene right now, John Summit’s Experts Only. Let’s dive into the story behind this tune. What was the production process like, and how did you get the demo into John Summit’s hands?
Thank you! Calling was one of those tunes I knew would be a hit the second I laid that bassline over that vocal. I wasn’t making anything for any specific label, but I just wanted to make something tough and euphoric.
I laid down a 16th bass patch with two layers, one low-end with rich harmonics for the sub-bass and another for the gritty, clawing top-end. The vocal is a re-sing of a relatively unknown record from 2004 that I found. I’ll leave you with that.
John has been absolutely incredible throughout. He replied to my email 30 minutes after I sent it out, saying he was all over it and would play it that weekend, which was at his now-legendary show at ARC in Chicago. He came back saying the crowd went crazy, and that was that. He also happened to be in London on the release day, so I offered to meet up, and we went on a bit of a mad night that Friday! [Laughs] Absolutely chuffed to be working with such a great team and much more to come.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other artists who are currently rising through the ranks of the scene?
Keep working on it, and do it for yourself only! Don’t listen to anyone who says you need to change your sound or the way you look. If you make the music for yourself first, then the fans will connect with it. And say yes to absolutely everything you come across – you never know where it might take you!
Just for fun – When we come to visit you in the UK, where are you taking us for a night out on the town?
Oh, that’s easy – dinner at My Neighbours the Dumplings in Clapton, drinks at Grow in Hackney Wick, then we’ll go to see whoever’s on at Fabric (I don’t care who’s on, just take me to Fabric).
Finally, with the end of the year quickly approaching, what goals do you hope to achieve in 2024?
2024 is going to be the biggest year of my life! Everything’s moving so fast, so I can’t say where I’ll be by the end of it, but I know I’ll be in the right place. Thanks for having me on!