“I grew up in Los Angeles and as a kid, nothing is more of a letdown than when you end up at a healthy restaurant and order some good ol’ pancakes and out comes this nasty multi-grain mushy glob of an excuse for pancakes.”
An L.A. native and lover of good pancakes, Ellington Ratliff is most known for being the drummer in the pop rock band, R5. With more than 25 million fans, R5 has performed all over the world alongside bands such as The Chainsmokers, Panic! At The Disco, and Weezer. However, Ellington’s career began long before R5 was formed in 2009. Having descended from a family filled with successful entertainers whose own careers span the likes of film, television, and Broadway, he had his first audition at three months old. The accomplished dancer, actor, and musician describes himself as one who practically came dancing out of the womb. Having collected various film and television credits throughout his youth, Ellington's passion eventually led him to music.
As a man whose heart and soul bleeds music it’s quite befitting that Ellington Ratliff was named for one of the most famed jazz musicians of all time: Duke Ellington. We asked him how he felt about his name: "I like being named after a Jazz Great. It's a lot to live up to, but at the same time, about every third Starbucks I order on average, I get an ‘Ooo I love that name’. So that’s nice as well." It was in middle school Ellington discovered his knack for music. “Oddly enough I started on trombone. You could start playing in the school band in 4th grade and I wanted to play the drums. We were friends with the band teacher and he discouraged me from choosing drums, saying it was very boring in the beginning and that I should choose something else and then switch to drums after a couple years. I remembered watching some dude slay the trombone at some event my parents took me to, so that inspired the choice.” Although he is R5’s drummer, Ellington’s trombone skills never went to waste. On their last album, Sometime Last Night, Ellington shares, "I played trombone on the song “F.e.e.l.g.o.o.d” and with some tuning, it ended up sounding dope."