Pop singer Ella Vos’s career began to take off at an unexpected time. She thought she would live her days working as a hired musician, playing keyboard and singing backup vocals. But once she realized she would soon be a new mom, Vos knew she wanted to break out on her own.
“I think something about being pregnant gives you weird superhero powers. It makes you really feel like you can do anything,” Vos says.
She was prompted to put her feelings into concrete emotions and lyrics, something she had never done before. Her debut solo album The Words I Never Said is as straightforward as it sounds. Before writing the record, the non-confrontational Vos says she would approach music from an abstract perspective and only dabbled in writing in lyrics, even though she had played piano since she was five years old.
“I was obsessed,” Vos says. ”Classical piano was my focus through college.” She liked to sing, too, but was far too shy because she thought her friends were much better singers. It wasn't until she joined a band that she started singing after being pressured into a duet with the lead singer.
On Words I Never Said, Vos found herself writing about deeply personal feelings such her struggle as a new parent on “White Noise,” wanting to give up on her marriage in “Down in Flames,” and her distant relationship with her brother in “Little Brother.” Vos says writing these songs forced her to confront her own feelings toward other people.
“It’s pulled me out of the shell….It’s made me less scared of being open and sharing. It broke a silence that I had, so now it’s a little bit easier to say things out loud,” she says. “It’s a muscle now that I know that I have.”
She also built her performance muscle. Her current tour is the first she has done solo.
“I’ve been taking really good care of my health, exercising, doing all of these homeopathic—I’m taking the weirdest vitamins right now. Just trying to boost my immune system and then practicing the songs on the piano,” she says.
She got to "know the songs inside and out," she says, so once the tour began, she could relax and not have to think of anything. Her Denver stop at Lost Lake will be a month into the tour, so Vos should be a well-oiled machine for the sold-out show.
Professional life aside, Vos is growing as a mother.
“When I meet any other mom, I’m like, ‘Okay, so how do you do it?’. ... It's hard to find someone who is having the same experience I am. It’s a search.”
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.