Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.
Henry David Thoreau
'Concept artist.' As the present races into the future, the idea of an artist who holds just that - their art - paramount above commercial aspirations seems more and more like a relic of times past; a privilege relegated to the musical icons of the 20th century. Any musician who chooses to finance their own career, competing neck and neck with giant corporate labels solely to ensure the integrity of their music, is taking a risk few would bet their livelihood on. But then, Los Angeles chanteuse ellee ven has never been one to play it safe, ever since she traded a life as a teacher and wife for the allure of the stage. And with the level of talent ellee displays on her three independent releases to date, such a gamble becomes a sureshot.
Born Jessica Kunin, she graduated from Pepperdine University with a Masters degree before a 'moment of clarity' spurred her to start Hot Sauce Records, her Hollywood-based independent label through which she personally manages her career, and reinvent herself under the moniker of ellee ven, a play on the number 11 which represents two equals in perfect union. "I was feeling bad about some of the choices in my life, and then all of a sudden with the ellee ven thing it was like I could create this totally different persona," ellee explains. Her roots lie in vocal jazz, but her lush, luxuriant fusion of rock, rap and soul (a mixture she has dubbed 'groove tonics') has earned her glowing comparisons to artists from Bjork and Lenny Kravitz to Diana Ross and Prince. Her collaborators include Adrian Peritore a.k.a. Guy Perry of The Motels, Terral "Terry" Santiel of Rose Royce, DJ Swamp (DJ for Beck, Fuel and the Chemical Brothers) and Prodeje of South Central Cartel.
Songs from her 2001 debut album The Eleventh Hour have been placed on CBS's Judging Amy, and MTV's The Real World, Road Rules, Undressed and Extreme Road Rules. "Wasted" and "Feels Like Something New", two singles from her sophomore opus Mind Control, charted high on MP3.com and commercial A/C charts respectively upon its release in 2003. ellee ven's upcoming release, eleven by ellee ven, is a double-disc set which will include a new album of tunes as well as 4 x ellee ven, a DVD-disc shot by three-time MTV award winner Eric Zimmerman (the director behind videos for Nine Inch Nails , Eminem and Soundgarden), which also comes complete with 7 more songs. eleven by ellee ven is slated for a March '04 release on Hot Sauce Records with distribution from Select-O-Hits. With an ethnic background (Spanish, Greek, German, Russian, and Italian) as diverse as her music, this artiste, businesswoman and universal goddess is poised to make an indelible mark on the face of contemporary music.