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The renowned Grammy-nominated composer, MBE awarded artist and co-founder of production company Sisters Grimm, Ella Spira MBE, collaborates with Singaporean Rebecca Toh for her new Single and Music Video launching 17th October 2022

Ella Spira is an internationally acclaimed, award winning artist. Known for her groundbreaking global artistic collaborations which spotlight different cultures, her work is celebrated by millions. In 2021, she was awarded an MBE by His Royal Highness Prince Charles at Windsor Castle this month, for Services to International Trade and the Creative Industries.

“What is it like to be you?” was written as Ella spent time in Singapore after a difficult 8 months. Discovering an unexpected bond with Singaporean photographer Rebecca Toh this song is a reflection of the deep collaboration that has developed between the two artists. Both in their mid-thirties, both part of the LGBTQ community and both striving to understand the true nature of others.

The arrangement is deliberately cinematic with ethereal choral parts, building piano, cello played by Singaporean Cellist Olivia Chuang and sounds Spira recorded in Singapore including the shutters of Rebecca’s Camera’s, wine glasses, Hybrid cars and thunderstorms. Her lifelong business partner and ex-Royal Ballet ballerina Pietra Mello-Pittman provides the spoken word taken from a piece written by Claire Turrell.

The lyrics of the choruses ‘Come step outside, see what lies ahead, look through my lens, to never forget’ intended to be both metaphorical and literal, in and of the collaboration between Ella and Rebecca and translate the importance of self-help and finding solace.  

The music video features Rebecca Toh’s photography, documenting Spira’s time in Singapore, telling the story of an artist hungry to understand the known and lesser known fundamentals that make up the identity of the county and its culture. Continuing Sisters Grimm’s approach to opening their doors for all, they are sharing the process of Ella’s artistic practice. 

The music video will be part of Ella’s Global Landscapes Singapore series Exhibition at Raffles Hotel at the Art Now Gallery open to the public on the 4th and 5th of November.

‘What Is It Like To be You’ by Ella Spira MBE in collaboration with Rebecca Toh