Ellie Kamio is the 21-year-old singer-songwriter in the London-based pop trio Sälen, completed by bandmates Simon Milner and Paul Wale. With a host of musical influences - Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, The Neptunes, Jazz, Techno - Sälen’s sound is both their own and of this age, and since their beginning in just 2016, the band have come to hone a sound that is heavy with 808 beats and indeterminable sounds, with Ellie’s self-described deceptively innocent vocals layered beneath. With lyrics that speak of 'relationships that are hard to be in, sugarcoated in sass', Ellie hopes each Sälen listener will be inspired to unapologetically be themselves, consider sex less of a taboo subject and know that being in touch with your perceived weird side is no bad thing.
When you create music, you’re creating a feeling too.
Writing seductive songs to me feels like someone kissing the back of your neck. I’ve always been a very visual person - as we’re writing a song, I’m already thinking about the video to accompany it in my head. I take inspiration from literally everything and anything, whether it’s a conversation, an experience, memes, Instagram, books, poems, films, documentaries or articles.
A beautiful energy to witness is one where people come together to change things for the better.
A combination of people from all different kinds of backgrounds come together to protest against racism, sexism, homophobia or politics is something that takes my breath away. You can’t help but feel powerful when you stand with others, even in situations where we are made to feel powerless.
My mama and Eileen Kelly are two of my female icons.
I’ve been following the sex blogger Eileen Kelly for a few years and I think she’s wonderful. It’s so refreshing to have such a young and clued up woman who’s taken it upon herself to educate people across the world on sex and puberty. Femininity to me means to always stay true to what you want and what you need as a woman, to feel vulnerable and own yourself at the same time and to never compromise for anyone who doesn’t appreciate your beauty.
I think there's a huge responsibility for this generation to bring up their sons and daughters equally.
It's not fair for a young woman to feel shame on her sexuality and it's not right that all young men be labelled fuck boys. All of our songs that are out are mostly about relationships that are hard to be in, but we're trying to write more songs with a positive message which you'll hear on our first album. One of my favourites is a celebration of promiscuous women.
Japan is one of the most special places in the world to me.
I’m half Japanese but as it’s so different to the Western Society I’ve been brought up in, I think it’ll always feel a bit unfamiliar to me. I like learning about how its history has shaped Japan’s society today, which I think fascinates people all around the world. I’m interested in how it’s also a fucked up place, which people aren’t always aware of because of the people’s humble nature and the kawaii aesthetic.