Canadian Country singer-songwriter Elyse Saunders recently talked to ai love music via email about her musical journey, inspiration, and the meaning behind her newest release, the EP Free. Check out below what Saunders said what are the main themes of the EP. Also, read about how was the EP produced and what sounds were incorporated. While reading, make sure to listen to the EP. Let me know what you think in the comments!
For those who don’t know you, can you please introduce yourself?
Hey there! My name is Elyse Saunders and I’m a country recording artist and singer/songwriter currently based in Toronto, Ontario. I love entertaining and can’t wait to meet you at a stage soon.
What music genres or artists inspire you and your music?
I love all types of music and believe that a good song is a good song, no matter the genre and it all influences my own style and sound, but the industry peers and icons that have and continue to be my go-to of inspiration are Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, and Garth Brooks. They’re all so talented, grounded and create an amazing experience for their fans through their songs and live show. I also love getting inspiration from pop melodies and bringing my own flavour to every song I release.
What got you into music? And how has your journey with music since then been?
It’s always been a part of my life. I started songwriting at a really young age after being inspired by my mom who was an at-home hobby singer/songwriter. I remember thinking that it was so neat to be able to express yourself through lyrics and started creating my own pretty early. I’ve also always been drawn to the arts and performing and knew that one day I wanted to do that.
I didn’t realize it was something I could have a career in until the end of high school when I worked with my first professional mentor. We recorded my very first album out of Nashville and I was fortunate to be surrounded by the pros early on. Since then, I’ve really invested the time in developing my craft to the point I am today. My dad was someone whom I always went to for business insight and believe that’s where I learned to have a personal drive that would never give up.
My journey has taken me to so many places, ups, and downs, and it’s now reached a new level I believe because I’ve found my listeners and I’ve put in the work to get it to them. It’s not been an overnight success but a journey of working hard!
As 2021 is winding down, what do you want to do in 2022? Any challenges?
In 2022, I want to build on the momentum of what I’ve been able to accomplish this year and do even bigger and better things!
2021 has been an amazing year after a year of lots of change. In the summer, I showcased at the “Boots & Hearts Country Music Festival” – it’s been on my bucket list to be a part of their stage forever! I was also selected as a Top 5 winner with CBC’s Toyota Searchlight contest out of thousands of submissions from all genres across Canada which has been a huge compliment and such an amazing opportunity.
This year I was also nominated at the CMAOntario awards for “Female Artist of the Year” & “Rising Star” and performed on stage at the awards show for the very first time. I’m so happy to have had all of these experiences and to have been recognized in two award categories with so much talent. It’s been a long road to get to this point and it’s exciting to be accomplishing goals I’ve strived towards for a long time.
Let’s talk about your newest EP Free. Is there a singular theme that ties the songs together or is the songs have their own theme?
The overall theme for this EP is about finding a sense of happiness and freedom in your everyday life with messages of positivity, liberation, and inclusivity! It was really important to me to share songs and stories that would uplift and empower people.
What kind of sounds, genres, and/or themes did you want to incorporate in Free?
I really wanted to create a well-rounded project that would showcase the different sides to me as a person, writer, and entertainer. We did this through crossover country-pop sounds with songs like “Free” which feels like a country dance anthem along with good soulful vibes of R&B influences and lyrics with a tactile feel.
What was the production of the EP like?
Every song I record is always so much fun and that was true throughout the recording of the EP. I love how everyone involved in the project added their own piece to make the songs everything that they are. It’s like magic and always so cool to watch it be built from the barebones to the finished product. I love the studio experience and telling the stories through vocal riffs and interpretation.
What is your favorite track off the EP and why?
That’s super tough for me to pick. I love them all for different reasons (they’re my song babies)! I just love collaborating with other songwriters, musicians, and producers in order to create different songs with different purposes. “Free” has had the biggest response from my listeners and that’s what I can only hope for as singer/songwriter… that my music resonates!
What do you want listeners to listen for in your music?
I want every song they hear from me to be the kind of song that they want to listen to again and again. I love hearing a song for the first time that gives me that instant connection and hit of happiness when I hear it. I hope that when they listen to it, it takes them on a bit of a journey and brings them happiness.
Any future plans?
Live music has started to become a thing again! My band and I played some shows during the summer and fall. I can’t wait to get back out there more and see my fans and play concerts for them.
We also have a new music video for “Genes” from the EP on its way in the New Year. “Genes” will be my next radio single in Canada and has already been getting a great response with over 100,000 listens on Apple Music and being chosen for the cover of Canada’s Country playlist… a goal I’ve hoped, for a while.
The new year will be a perfect time to put it out into the radio world so more people can hear and I can’t release the video as well. Each music video I release, I try to do something new and fun. I love to make them and I love giving my fans content that gives them a chance to follow along on the journey and visuals that fit with my music!
I also can’t wait to collaborate more and release more music! I’ve been writing lots and I’m already thinking about recording the next batch of material.