Parties come in both big and small packages during the Abu Dhabi F1 weekend. One of the more intimate and exclusive gatherings is the Amber Lounge, running on Saturday and Sunday at a purpose-built waterfront venue at Yas Links Golf Club. A series of glitzy soirées held at various grand prix – including Monaco, Singapore and Mexico City – Amber Lounge is renowned for hosting a bevy of celebrities, movers and shakers and music artistes. Headlining the Abu Dhabi edition is British pop star Ella Eyre, who will take the stage to perform her string of hits, including chart-topping 2014 single Waiting All Night in addition to the new track Came Here for Love. She talks to us about her knack for successful music collaborations and the state of pop music today.
You last performed in Dubai as part of the RedFestDXB pop festival. This time around it will be in a relatively small and intimate club. Do you have a preference for gigs?
Not really. It is really all about giving it your best and making sure the crowds are up for it no matter where you are. For me, personally I think this is very exciting because this will be my first time in Abu Dhabi as well as at an F1 race. The best part of it all is that I am taking my mum with me. She is a huge F1 fan so when I told her I was coming to Abu Dhabi for the last race I just couldn’t come here without her.
You released two singles this year, the Sigala collaboration Came Here for Love and Ego with Ty Dolla Sign. Are you working on an album?
It has been a long time coming, to be honest. I would have released music quicker but that’s how it is sometimes. The reception has been great, particularly the song with Ty Dolla Sign. We are great friends so the fact that people love that song is extra-special for me. He is a great and talented artist and we work well together. As for an album, it is something that we have in mind and we are working towards something.
Your voice is powerful. Would it be right to call it theatrical?
That is fair. I did study acting and I always love things that were more dramatic or on the stage. I love The Lion King and the big voices in pop, particularly music from the Motown era. I love how there were big stories within those songs and that is something that I want to bring into my music.
It has been a big year when it comes to female pop artists, with the likes of Taylor Swift and Lorde dominating the charts with their albums. Do you think your male counterparts are struggling at the moment?
I think the women you listed have a great show and their records are well received, but I kind of disagree with that. I think men are trumping the women when it comes to pop music; you have got Ed Sheeran whose album has been doing great, and now you got Sam Smith whose new album (The Thrill of It All) is blowing everyone out of the water. Then off course, you got Shawn Mendes who cleaned up the MTV (European Music) Awards this month. So if anything, it is at best very even at the moment.
Does it also mean that pop music is in a healthy state?
I think the meaning of pop music has changed over time. The genre has now changed to include anything from drum'n'bass and Afrobeats to Spanish sounds. There was a time when all these sounds could be treated individually but now everything is mixed together so pop music has become more successful because there is something for everyone.
For tickets to Amber Lounge, email email@example.com or call +377 97 77 1634. For more details go to www.amber-lounge.com