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Today we have a special Spotlight – Elyse Saunders Round 2. We first had the pleasure to chat with Elyse at the start of this year so it was due time to catch up. This time around with talk about new milestones and the release of Free available now!

Thanks for taking some time to talk with Hidden Beats again! How are things with Elyse Saunders?

Thanks so much for having me back!! I’m doing great over here, I hope you’re all doing awesome!

Since the last time you sat down with Hidden Beats, you have *deep breath* been featured as a runner up in the CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2021; been a Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase finalist; and performed at the CMAO Awards, at which you were also nominated for the Rising Star of the Year AND Female Artist of the Year. How did it feel to get that recognition?

It’s all been pretty amazing. As someone who has been in this industry working hard for a long minute, it makes the success feel like an even bigger payoff!! I’ve been fortunate to work with a great team on this project, as well as showcase who I am as an artist at this time, and I’ve found really unique ways to bring my fans into my journey. Everything feels like it’s really lined up and I’m just so honored and grateful for the response. To know that I’m making a difference with my music is an amazing feeling and I really am living the dream!

Part of being named a runner-up for the Toyota Searchlight 2021 was getting a prize package including studio time, equipment, and promotion. As an emerging artist, what does it mean to get support to go along with the recognition?

It means a lot! To know that CBC and everyone from Toyota Searchlight 2021 believes in what I’m doing and want to support my next steps speaks volumes to me. As an independent doing my thing, I’m incredibly thankful to have them in my corner. I never expect these things, but I’m of course open to it all and when moments like this happen, it always feels surprising but at the same time feels right. 

As a fan, I love that your music has such a positive ‘Love Life’ energy to it, and it comes across as really authentic. Do you have a naturally positive outlook, and is creating ‘good vibes’ music important to you?

That means a lot – thanks so much!

Just like everyone, I have my bad days and need tools, people, and music to help uplift me, too. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression in the past and still have moments of it showing up every now and again, I’ve spent a lot of time on self-development and I really enjoy discovering strategies and tools that help to change my mindset and give me an opportunity look at things from a positive perspective. Getting to this journey and place in my career has a lot to do with how I move in my everyday life now and keeping a positive and open outlook has been so important for me to grow. When writing and choosing songs for this EP, I really wanted to give people music that would radiate good vibes as I know what it feels like to be in a place where you need that. I believe my purpose is to bring joy to people through my music!

Do you think the positive attitude your music has is something that has helped it appeal to so many people? After the last two years, I think we all want a reason to smile and laugh, and I know I’ve been playing “Genes” and “Free” a lot when I need a pick me up.

I’m sure that has something to do with it. I had no idea that this music would be released during an extremely challenging time for everyone and it really did seem to find its place at the right time when people really needed it. 

Add Your HeaDuring the lockdowns, as everything shifted online, how did that affect your songwriting and fan interaction? As things are opening back up, are there any aspects of ‘Lockdown Life’ that you are going to continue to use, like the “Wine Down with Elyse Saunders - The Online Concert Experience” (which was amazing, by the way, and everyone should go check it out on YouTube)? ding Text Here

I really had to change how I was doing things. I was a little lost at the beginning of it all but I used video content to connect with my fans in the best way I could. I’ve also been able to co-write with so many writers more than I ever have before as we have that easy access to do that now and have all become so accustomed to this way.

And thanks!! I’m so glad you enjoyed my online concert! Before the shutdown, I spent a lot of time playing live and connecting to fans that way, so I really wanted to give my listeners that same experience as best as I could because I know it was something we were all craving. I will definitely take pieces of what I’ve learned during this time into the future. Like writing online and giving lots of online content to keep people a part of it all!

How much do you think your lived experience during lockdowns is going to influence your songwriting?

I feel like my songwriting has become a little more vulnerable. After being with my feelings for a while, I wanted to write some music as an outlet and topics I haven’t shared yet while keeping them empowering.

This summer seems to have been the Summer of Elyse! Besides the Searchlight, you’ve been featured on Apple Music -where the “Free” EP reached #2, and it seems like every single coming out, like “Sunshine State of Mind” and “Genes” are really resonating with audiences. What is it about your songs that you think makes them connect so well with listeners?

I believe my music has a fresh sound that kind of crosses over to other genres. It also has general messages and stories that I believe can relate to everyone! It really opens my music up to a larger audience.

It seems like we are starting to hear more female voices in country music today, after witnessing a drop off in representation during the 2000s. As an emerging artist, is that accurate? And do you feel the music industry, and country music specifically, is making it easier for voices to be heard regardless of their gender?

I’ve definitely seen improvements and openness when including diversity of people and different voices into the country music world. It’s really great to see and I’m excited to see how it continues to grow and unfold. 

It looks like you’ve been busy since the lockdown restrictions have started to lift! How does it feel to get back to performing in front of live crowds? Even with all the travel restrictions, you were able to hit the road pretty well this year, doing a good number of shows in Ontario. What does it mean to you to have that support from your local area?

I love playing live, so it feels like I’m at home again!! I just love the energy of playing with people in person. Online is just not quite the same. My local area has been great with trying their very best to bring live music back in amazing ways and if they invite me to be a part, it means that they trust that I’ll put on a great show for their audience and that means a lot to me.

It feels like now must be a great time to be touring, given the reception all of your singles have received over the last year, and the recognition you have been receiving as an artist this past year. As live performances are coming back, is that momentum you’ve been building being translated well towards your live shows?

Great question! It is translating really well 🙂 When I was writing these songs before the shutdown, I had my live audience in mind so the timing couldn’t be better. I can’t wait to do more shows soon!

Shameless self-promotion time! For those that haven’t experienced it (YET!), what’s the best reason for anyone to check out an Elyse Saunders concert (which everyone should do, if you like fun)?

Thanks! I think the best reason would be that everyone is welcome to my show and that it provides an experience more than anything. I really enjoy bringing a dynamic show while creating memorable moments and connecting to my audience. By the end I want them to leave the show feeling like we’re a music family. My fans and their happiness mean the most!

We’ve got an EP we can enjoy and live shows to attend… but what else is next for Elyse Saunders?

Yes, it’s finally here! It’s been amazing to see the response that the EP has been getting so far and right now the brand new track from the EP that’s getting some attention is my song “Genes”. We’re making the music video for it at the end of this month, which will go out in the early new year along with the song going out for release to radio. Music videos are always a lot of fun to make and it will feel good to get another song to radio. I’m also already looking at the next steps in recording more music and will continue to keep writing new music. Other than that, the band and I will be revisiting our setlist and getting our show ready for 2022!! We will see what else pops up along the way too! 

Spotlight – Elyse Saunders Round 2 is in the books and the winner is….

Check out Free right now you won’t be disappointed 

Keep up with Elyse right here, shes wonderful

If you want your own Spotlight all you have to do is send us a message here

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