Signing Story: Bryan Ellis



Singer/songwriter Bryan Ellis’ story of how he arrived at a label deal isn’t a short one. It began several years ago when he was a teenager in Cincinnati and was offered a production deal. Later he moved to New York City, and after laboring for nine years he scored a publishing deal. Feeling depleted, however, he was on the verge of abandoning Gotham when he got a call from a friend who told him that Title 9 Productions was interested in him. It was the perfect call at the perfect time.

“It was a moment of complete confusion and surrender,” Ellis recalls of his signing. “That’s what allowed it to happen. I’d spent a lot of time in the studio doing what everyone told me I was supposed to be doing. I wrote song after song and made myself open to any kind of collaboration. It drained the music out of me.”

“I was literally packing my bags when a friend who was working with a producer called.”

After a stretch in New York, he was ready to skip town. But then the fateful call came. “I was literally packing my bags when a friend who was working with a producer called. He told me that someone wanted to sign me. I didn’t believe him at first, but it allowed me to develop myself.”

The timing of the deal couldn’t have been better. “I was at a point where I didn’t know how to bring out the music anymore; I thought I’d exhausted it,” Ellis explains. “The more I tried to make it happen, the more it escaped me. What’s odd about this whole thing is that it didn’t happen the way I wanted or assumed it would. I got the deal when I was ready to give it up. That may have been part of the reason [it was able to happen].”

Ellis’ EP, The Cloud of Unknowing, was released last year accompanied by lead single “Strange Days.” His full-length album, The Wayfarer’s Songbook, is planned for release sometime in the first half of 2014. Title 9 is affiliated with Universal Republic.

-Rob Putnam