BioD’Nell don’t have a work-life balance. Thirty-one year old producer Dan Jones and twenty-seven year old singer Ellie Hajee, work together, live together and sleep together. Dan’s vast hordes of vintage synths, technical equipment and computer gadgetry threaten to overwhelm their small bedroom in West London. But their story doesn’t begin in the capital.
The pair both lived on Station Hill road, in the town of Brixham, near Dartmouth and Torquay. Their brothers were best friends but the two younger siblings never met. Ellie was part of a musical family and her parents were in a band. Mr and Mrs Hajee still haven’t forgiven their daughter for losing the only copy of their debut seven inch record.
When their two brothers met up at the studio, Dan and Ellie decided to combine their talents. The result was This Thing with Ellie providing the smoky vocals over Dan’s crisp beats. Dan’s best friend Leeroy designed the sleeve and they only sent out one copy to a DJ – who happened to be Gilles Peterson. Gilles loved it, playing it five times over successive weeks. From then on other DJs started to pick up on it. Norman Jay bought a copy and it appeared on the Electric Soul 2 compilation. The track eventually made number twelve in the Worldwide Winners chart on Radio One, beating the likes of Kelis and Amy Winehouse.