Written by Jill Sheets
If you are a fan of the band R5, then it is hard to miss Ellington Ratliff. He is the drummer and singer of the group, which has been together for eight years. Read on and learn more about him, R5’s new album, and five things you may not know about him.
R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start singing?
E: I grew up in an entertainment family. My grandma is a dance teacher (still teaching, now on her 71st year), Mom’s a choreographer, and Dad produces shows in Japan, so it’s safe to say I was born into the industry. I’ve been singing and acting since I can remember.
R: Tell us about your new album New Addictions. What are some of your favorite songs from this album?
E: Picking a favorite song is like picking a favorite child, but I do like “Trading Time” and “Red Velvet” a lot. Even though it’s not technically on New Addictions, our new single, “Hurts Good,” is out and it’s definitely one of my favorites.
R: Where can people get your music?
E: Everywhere. Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube, etc. If you have a computer, you can listen to R5.
R: What is it like working with R5? What has been your favorite memory so far?
E: We’ve been a band for eight years, so there are too many memories to have a favorite. I always love being in the studio or on the road. I think that’s where we gain the best stores. We are very lucky to be able to do what we love and to have fans coming to see us all over the world. We are very grateful.
R: You play the drums. How long have you been playing and why did you decide to play them?
E: I didn’t pick up the drums until I was eleven, but I’ve loved them ever since. They’re a great way to put out energy–like if you’re having a bad day or if you’re extremely excited about something, drums are always there to be hit. I didn’t start drumming every day seriously until I met the guys (and girl) in R5.
R: Are you currently on tour? If so, how long is this tour?
E: We are currently on tour in Europe until late October, and then we head to South America. You can check our website for all tour dates.
E: I love being able to travel and experience other cultures and meet fans from around the world who have been touched by our music. Being on stage is also great, especially when a show is electric and the fans are totally in it with you, there’s nothing better.
R: You are also an actor. Is this something you would like to do more of in the future?
E: Yes, I’d love to be on a comedy series like Parks and Rec. Whenever I’m on a set it seems like so much fun.
R: Who is your biggest influence?
E: I look up to people who succeed in all types of entertainment, especially people like Donald Glover, who has his music project Childish Gambino. He’s also playing Lando in the new Star Wars film.
R: What are five things people may not know about you?
1. I was named after the famous jazz musician Duke Ellington.
- When I was thirteen, I did the workshop and LA company of 13: The Musical by Jason Robert Brown (famous composer in the theater world). Later, Ariana Grande did the same show on Broadway.
- I can juggle.
- I started out playing guitar before I got fully into drums.
- I’m an avid music finder.
R: Do you have a girlfriend?
E: Yes, I do–she is the keyboardist in R5 and her name is Rydel. She also has a YouTube channel. You all should check it out. It’s about all things, from baking to tour life.
E: It wasn’t necessarily towards me, but while doing a signing after a show somewhere, a mother of a fan asked Ross to give her the gum he was chewing. We were just like, “uh…no.”
R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which one and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?
E: I’m on Twitter and Instagram under @ratliffR5, and new episodes of R5 TV are back on the R5 YouTube channel. R5 TV pretty much is our POV of what our everyday life is like on and off the road.
R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
E: Thank you for listening to our music and coming to our shows. We wouldn’t survive without you guys, and we’re going to keep releasing music, so stay tuned!
Photo Credit: Valentina Socci