Carwyn Ellis

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Carwyn Ellis
Birth name Carwyn Meurig Ellis
Born (1973-08-09) 9 August 1973 (age 43)
Origin United Kingdom
Years active 1999–present
Associated acts

Carwyn Meurig Ellis (born 9 August 1973) is a Welsh singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, music producer and multi-instrumentalist. He is also known as the frontman of British alternative band Colorama[1] and as the electronic artist, Zarelli.


After a nomadic early childhood moving from town to town, Ellis' family settled in Anglesey, eventually moving to London where he studied at the Royal Academy of Music and worked with numerous bands through a myriad of genres.

Among the artists that Ellis has collaborated or performed with are Edwyn Collins, Sarah Cracknell, The Pretenders, Oasis, Shane MacGowan, UNKLE, North Mississippi Allstars, James Hunter, Roddy Frame, Paul Cook (Sex Pistols), Thee Hypnotics, Barrie Cadogan (Little Barrie), The 2 Bears, Alex Kapranos and Nicholas McCarthy (Franz Ferdinand), Romeo Stodart (The Magic Numbers), The Drums, Ian Siegal, Pete Molinari, Fabienne Delsol, Gemma Ray, Quruli and Lay Low.

After having established himself as a session musician in London, in 2008 Ellis moved to Cardiff, emerging as a frontman in his own right and calling his band Colorama. They released their Japan-only debut album Cookie Zoo on Noise McCartney in April 2008, and released their debut single Sound via Redbricks Recordings in July 2008.

In 2009, Colorama announced that their double bass player, Ellis's best friend David Fletcher, had died at the age of 37 on 29 June, from a heart attack suffered in his sleep,[2][3] just days after Colorama’s appearance at Glastonbury Festival.

September 2009 saw the UK release of Colorama's album Magic Lantern Show on Redbricks Recordings, featuring songs in Welsh and English. Magic Lantern Show was enthusiastically received with extensive radio play on XFM, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Wales, C2 and BBC Radio Cymru.[4]

Early in 2010, Ellis joined forces with Shane MacGowan, Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie, Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones, Glen Matlock, Paloma Faith, Cait O'Riordan, Johnny Depp, James and Robert Walbourne, to release a charity single covering the Screamin' Jay Hawkins hit I Put A Spell On You. All the proceeds from the single went to Concern Worldwide to provide assistance to the victims of the earthquake that devastated Haiti.

In autumn 2010, Ellis released Colorama's third album BOX on Noise McCartney / Bad News Records (Victor Entertainment) in Japan and via See Monkey Do Monkey Recordings in UK.[5] Shortly afterwards, they released a Christmas single, Cerdyn Nadolig (Christmas Card), which garnered them the Welsh Christmas Number 1 on the BBC Radio Cymru chart.[6] BOX was also nominated for the inaugural Welsh Music Prize.[7]

Amid other projects, Ellis produced and arranged Italian artist Emma Tricca's album Minor White, which was released on Finders Keepers / Bird Records in the UK, and he worked with French artist Fabienne Delsol on her album ON MY MIND (Damaged Goods), also Dan Sartain's album Dan Sartain Lives (One Little Indian Records), The Keys' album - Fire Inside (See Monkey Do Monkey Recordings) and Edwyn Collins' album Losing Sleep (Heavenly Recordings).

In October 2011, Colorama released Llyfr Lliwio (Colouring Book), which was their first predominantly Welsh-language collection. During this period Ellis was a member of Roddy Frame's touring band.

August 2012 saw their fifth album release - Good Music, produced by Edwyn Collins and Sebastian Lewsley, and released on Collins’s new AED Records label, followed by a 12-inch single, Hapus? (Happy?), on Aficionado Recordings in November 2012.

In autumn 2012, Ellis toured Asia playing keyboards, guitar and percussion with the Pretenders.

In 2013, Ellis focused on studio work, recording with Edwyn Collins, Gemma Ray, Roddy Frame and in early 2014, Japanese artists Quruli. He also produced and arranged the second album, Relic for Emma Tricca, released by Finders Keepers / Bird Records in May 2014 and co-produced the first album by Nev Cottee, Stations (Roleplay Records).

In 2014, Colorama released a new EP, Heaven's Hotel, a new album TEMARI, followed by a split single, Yn Rhydiau'r Afon / Forget Tomorrow with The Joy Formidable.

A compilation of all of Ellis's Welsh songs as Colorama was released in November 2014, entitled Dere Mewn!, on his own, new Agati label.

Ellis collaborated with Edwyn Collins and Seb Lewsley on the soundtrack to the film The Possibilities Are Endless, composing much of its original score, which opened in October 2014 to great critical success, winning the Mojo 'Film Of The Year' Award.[8]

February 2015 saw Ellis release his first album as Zarelli, Soft Rains on the Seriés Aphōnos label [9] – a mostly instrumental synthesizer record, featuring the voice of Leonard Nimoy reading the Ray Bradbury short story There Will Come Soft Rains.[10] Soft Rains received a nomination for the Welsh Music Prize 2015.[11]

In June 2015 the LP Red Kite by Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne was released, which was co-produced, co-written and arranged by Ellis. A single, Nothing Left To Talk About (featuring Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers) reached Number 1 in the UK vinyl singles chart on its release.[12] A collection of instrumentals from the album, Kites, was released in September 2016, also on Cherry Red Records. [13]

Early in 2016, Ellis began presenting an ongoing weekly radio show, X Marks The Spot on Soho Radio in London.[14] He also presented a series called Antur Sonig on the welsh language station BBC Radio Cymru Mwy during the autumn of 2016.[15]

A Welsh language collaborative album, Bendith made by Carwyn Ellis with the folk trio, Plu was released on Ellis's Agati label in October 2016.[16] [17], followed by a five track EP which was released on the Aficionado Recordings label in February 2017.[18] [19] A documentary film about the making of the album, Bendith: Yn Fyw O Acapela was broadcast on S4C in November 2016.[20]

Ellis's collaboration with Sarah Cracknell continued into 2017 with the release of Saint Etienne's critically acclaimed Home Counties album which featured two songs co-written and co-produced by Ellis. [21]

He continued to work with Edwyn Collins through 2016 and early 2017 on new recordings, including a collaborative song, Fulmar due to be released in August 2017 as part of the Avocet Revisited EP, commissioned by Earth Recordings as a companion piece to Bert Jansch's 1979 album, Avocet.[22]


Studio albums[edit]


Year Title Format Label
2014 Dere Mewn! Album Agati
2014 TEMARI Album AED Records
2014 Heaven's Hotel EP AED Records
2013 Do the Pump Single AED Records
2012 HAPUS? Single Aficionado Recordings
2012 Good Music Album AED Records
2011 Llyfr Lliwio / Colouring Book Album See Monkey Do Monkey
2010 Cerdyn Nadolig / Christmas Card Single See Monkey Do Monkey
2010 BOX Album NOISE McCARTNEY / Bad News Records, See Monkey Do Monkey
2009 Magic Lantern Show Album Red Bricks Recordings
2009 The Music Sounds Better With Huw: Vol. 1 Compilation Wichita Recordings
2009 Mannequins Compilation Kartel
2008 Sound Single Red Bricks Recordings
2008 Cookie Zoo Album NOISE McCARTNEY / Bad News Records


Year Title Format Label
2016 Bendith Album Agati


Year Title Format Label
2015 Soft Rains Album Seriés Aphōnos

Edwyn Collins & Carwyn Ellis[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2017 Avocet Revisited EP Earth Recordings

Edwyn Collins, Carwyn Ellis, Sebastian Lewsley[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2014 The Possibilities Are Endless Album AED Records

With Edwyn Collins[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2013 Understated Album AED Records
2010 Losing Sleep Album Heavenly Recordings
2010 Losing Sleep Single Heavenly Recordings
2010 Do It Again Single Heavenly Recordings
2008 Home Again Single Heavenly Recordings
2007 Home Again Album Heavenly Recordings

With Saint Etienne[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2017 Home Counties Album Heavenly Recordings

With Sarah Cracknell[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2016 Kites Album Cherry Red Records
2015 Red Kite Album Cherry Red Records
2015 Nothing Left To Talk About Single Cherry Red Records

With Gemma Ray[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2016 The Exodus Suite Album Bronzerat Records
2014 Milk for Your Motors Album Bronzerat Records
2014 Death Disc Single Bronzerat Records

With Nev Cottee[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2015 Strange News from the Sun Album Wonderfulsound
2013 Stations Album Roleplay Records

With Emma Tricca[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2014 Relic Album Finders Keepers Records / Bird records
2010 Minor White Album EMI
2009 Minor White Album Finders Keepers Records / Bird records

With Quruli[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2014 THE PIER Album Victor Entertainment

With Roddy Frame[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2014 Seven Dials Album AED Records

With Shane MacGowan & Friends[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2010 I Put A Spell On You (Haiti Charity Single) MP3 IRL

With Dan Sartain[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2010 Dan Sartain Lives Album One Little Indian Records

With Fabienne Delsol[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2010 ON MY MIND Album Damaged Goods
2007 Between You And Me Album Damaged Goods
2006 The Best Of Fabienne Delsol & The Bristols Album Damaged Goods
2004 No Time For Sorrows Album Damaged Goods

With The Keys[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2010 Fire Inside Album See Monkey Do Monkey
2009 Christmas EP EP See Monkey Do Monkey
2009 Le Mans EP See Monkey Do Monkey

With Lay Low[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2009 Farewell Good Night's Sleep Album Nettwerk
2008 Farewell Good Night's Sleep Album Cod Music

With Pete Molinari[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2008 A Virtual Landslide Album Damaged Goods
2007 A Virtual Landslide Single Big Bertha Records

With James Hunter[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2006 People Gonna Talk Album Rounder Records

With Simon Scott[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2006 Rhythm Guitar, Shakers and Tambourines Album Diamond D Records

With Proud Mary[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2004 Love And Light Album Redemption

With John's Children[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2007 Steve Marriott Tribute [Box Set] - One More Time For The Old Tosser Album Wapping Wharf Records
2005 Steve Marriott Tribute [Box Set] - One More Time For The Old Tosser Album Wapping Wharf Records
2002 Mustn't Grumble - The Steve Marriott Memorial Concert 2001 Album Sanctuary Records

With North Mississippi Allstars[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2003 Polaris Album ATO Records
2001 Shimmy She Wobble EP Blanco Y Negro / Rough Trade Records

With Southern Fly[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2000 High Album London Records
2000 Maybe It's The Right Time Single London Records
1999 For Real EP London Records
1999 Monkey Talel Single London Records

With Unkle[edit]

Year Title Format Label
1999 The World Is Not Enough Single Radioactive, MCA Records


John Stammers[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2017 Waiting Around (Colorama Colorific Remix) - John Stammers Single Wonderfulsound
2013 Idle I'm (Colorama Coloured In Remix) - John Stammers Single Wonderfulsound

AM & Shawn Lee[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2013 Two Times (Colorama Remix) - La Musique Numerique Album Park the Van

Soundtracks / scores[edit]

The Possibilities Are Endless[edit]

Year Title Format Label
2014 The Possibilities Are Endless Album AED Records

The World Is Not Enough[edit]

Year Title Format Label
1999 The World Is Not Enough Album Radioactive Records


External links[edit]