Ello’s risks pay off in music

2015-09-08 06:00
Angelo “Ello” Bagley (27) says leaving a day job to pursue a career in music was a tough decision that is now paying off. He now teaches less fortunate children to read and play music.

Angelo “Ello” Bagley (27) says leaving a day job to pursue a career in music was a tough decision that is now paying off. He now teaches less fortunate children to read and play music.

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A young musician is determined to give back.

Angelo Bagley, known as Ello, is a singer and songwriter from Lentegeur who has just released his second single.

Following the success of his first song on local radio stations, Ello is gearing up to launch his second song in the next few months.

At just 27, he gave up a steady paycheck to pursue his first love, music.

“That was the biggest and riskiest decision I ever made,” he says.

“But I can say, so far it has paid off.”

Although he does not have a formal music education, he is passing his knowledge to the younger generation through music lessons.

He explains he fell in love with rhythm and music at a young age.

“I started knocking on the arms of the couches with my palms from a young age and fell in love with music without knowing it,” he says.

From the age of 13 he became more seriously involved in the industry and performed at school functions and grabbed any opportunity he could find.

“As a pupil, the only career option I thought of considering was music production. After completing high school, I found I couldn’t afford the tuition of any course and started a range of day jobs,” he explains.

In 2011, while still working, he paid his way through a two-year course at the Cape Music Institute.

“In 2012, I made a life-changing decision and swore never to work for a boss again. I took the risk of leaving a fixed income, to teach music to less fortunate youngsters at resource centres, churches and schools across the city. In the same year, I got the privilege of performing with Grammy-nominated, Cape Town-born artist Jonathan Butler,” he says.

This was also the year Ello wrote his first song. “I was on the bus to Port Elizabeth when I started writing my first song. This was a very inspiring trip,” he says.

Last year, he met with Sama winner Claire Phillips, who features on his first single “Heaven’s the after-party”.

Phillips also mentored him on the do’s and dont’s of the music industry.

“She asked me to join her for some performances, the biggest of which was opening for her Up close and personal show at Artscape, along with another Sama winner, Loyiso Bala,” he says.

Ello says he is focused on one single at a time: “It takes about two months to complete a single and then the marketing and promotion starts. It looks like I will be doing one a year.”

He encourages young musicians not to give up and not to be afraid to learn from bad performances.

“I started at open mic sessions and that got me into the industry. Educate yourself and remember having bad performances builds character,” he says.

“Keep knocking on doors. Knock even when your knuckles hurt, because if you don’t ask, you won’t get anything.”

In the meantime, Ello is enjoying being a working artist and is available for lessons in all instruments and entertainment bookings.

Contact him on 079 599 4814, angelodevan@­gmail.com or angelobagley@ymail.com. Follow @ELLO_ZA on Instagram or @iam_ello on Twitter or visit his Offical: Ello page on Facebook

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