A young local from Madisonville is quickly rising up in his musical career.
Wyatt Ellis has been making a name for himself in the realm of music through his interest and talent in bluegrass, playing his mandolin as well as other instruments such as the guitar and fiddle.
“The mandolin is the center of bluegrass music,” Ellis said. “It holds all the rhythm and drive together.”
Now 13, Ellis stated that his interest in the mandolin started when he heard Bill Monroe play.
“I started playing right before I turned 10, so I’ve been playing for about three and half years,” he noted, before speaking about his musical goals. “One of my big dreams is already coming true, which is having an album, and it will have all original tunes that I have written with some of my heroes ... I’ve been writing more and more music and I would like to play on some of the stages that my heroes have played on like the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry.”
Another goal Ellis has is being able to play alongside other musicians.
“There have been a few bands that I have played with here locally like the Monroe Troubadours, I played on the stage in Etowah and I have played with some young people my age. We have a little band and we played at Bluegrass Underground, which was really cool,” he expressed. “That was one of the best experiences I’ve had so far.”
Ellis reflected upon his musical journey that led him to where he is today.
“The pandemic locked everything down and I really couldn’t do much so that is how I really started learning,” Ellis said. “I was able to work really hard and got an apprenticeship with Sierra Hull during that and that was really great. After the pandemic I just really wanted to get out and play with people ... Going to festivals was a big thing that I hadn’t done before the pandemic and I really wanted to go play at them and through that I met a lot of the people that I play with now.”
Ellis hopes to participate in more local events and shows.
He also shared some advice for anyone interested in pursuing their own musical career.
“You have to put in a whole lot of work and just go to festivals,” Ellis said. “That is a big part of it and you get to meet people. You also need to listen to your heroes. The more you listen to who you want to sound like and use your ear to learn their music then the more your style will kind of blend.”