Born in South London and raised on welfare by her single mother, vocalist/lyricist/musician/ composer Ellie Lawson is an artist whose compelling voice and rich sonic landscape reflect a life journey of personal determination and self-discovery. With musical influences ranging from Kate Bush to A Tribe Called Quest, Tracy Chapman to KRS-One, Nick Drake to the Fugees, Ellie has invented a unique musical world that is both beat-driven and organic, lyrical and edgy, thoughtful and entrancing.The songs on The Philosophy Tree, her debut album, were largely composed by Ellie in her bedroom in her mother's council estate house. "This was my escape," she says. "My mum would be screaming and shouting, and I'd be on my 16-track writing songs - making my own beats and melodies, inventing harmonies."While she collaborated with producer DJ Lethal on the final album (with contributions from William Orbit on two tracks), The Philosophy Tree has grown entirely from Ellie's imagination and individualism - a collection of captivating songs marked by principles and beliefs."I always felt I was different from other singer/songwriters because I started out by writing conscious rap lyrics," says Ellie. "My writing has always been about me having something to say rather than about me writing catchy pop songs, but I've ended up doing both on this album."