Canadian artist Elyse Saunders released her new single “Feel You Leaving” on July 12th.
Co-written with Shawn Moore and Doug Folkins, the country single is a breakup song painting catchy memories and soaring vocals.
“I love the way it makes the listener feel. Although the song is about a breakup or letting go, it doesn't feel sad or serious, it feels edgy, uplifting and empowering!!” says Saunders.
Along with the single, Saunders revealed a music video directed by Edward Platero.
The Toronto-based artist revealed her debut album in 2008. Followed by a second album titled “I’m On My Way” released in 2015 and some successful singles including “Rise”, the singer/songwriter has been paving her unique path in the country music world.
Elyse Saunders will be performing in Toronto (August 28th at Supermarket), the Niagara Parks Summer Music Series in Niagara Falls (August 30th), and Powassan’s Smoke ‘N’ Spurs Festival (August 31st). Click here for more upcoming shows.
“Feel You Leaving” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
Hey!! My name is Elyse Saunders, I'm a Country recording artist, songwriter & entertainer originally from Peterborough, Ontario Canada. I'm now living in the big city of Toronto!
What's your story?
I'm a female artist that started my musical journey in singing competitions. I grew up dancing (jazz, tap, hip-hop), I've always been a songwriter and knew by the end of high school that a career in the music business was my next step. I came from a family that had no professional background in music, so finding my path and learning the business was definitely a lot of work. I started my path in music just by doing it! I'm now an artist that I would consider to be powerful while relatable. I love to entertain and create memories on stage for my audience. When I can get an audience moving, singing and smiling, I feel at home.
Could you describe us your childhood a little bit?
I've always had a passion for music for as long as I can remember. I was definitely the kid on the block that would round up the other kids, choreograph a dance performance and invite all of our families to watch! I grew up utilizing songwriting as a diary and the idea of putting hurt, frustration or joy into a song was really neat to me. I have many fond memories of my mom singing, playing the guitar and writing songs in the kitchen, although she just did this at home, I know that it made a strong first impression on me and my musical creativity. I loved listening to all kinds of music like (in no particular order) Celine Dion, The Eagles, Alanis Morrissette, Garth Brooks, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain. I would try to understand what they were expressing and would try and copy their unique vocal inflections. I always knew I wanted to be on stage singing and started singing in front of crowds through singing competitions. By doing those, I discovered that Country music suited who I was as a person the most. I started working with a producer who was also my first mentor in my hometown, he taught me to how to have my own voice. We went to Nashville, I saw the real parts of the industry, had my first big exposure by being the opening act at a concert in front of 10,000 people and then was hooked!
If you had to say something to your younger self, what would you say?
Enjoy the journey and don't be afraid to be yourself. That all might sound cliched but both of those sentiments are what have made a huge difference in who I am now as an artist and person. I used to put an unreachable amount of pressure on myself.
How would you describe yourself today?
Confident, refreshing, personable, driven, proficient and talented.
When did you start feeling connected to art and music?
As early as I can remember! But I would say that I really emotionally connected to music when my parents divorced at 11 years old. That's when songs started to connect to what I was going through.
Could you tell us about your first experience in the music industry?
My first "real" professional experience in the music industry happened when I went to Nashville to record my first album. The creators on that album were top notch professionals who had worked with everyone. I soaked in my surroundings and learned so much early on just by watching the whole process.
How did your sound and artistry evolve since your first album?
I've really honed who I am as an artist. I know what I want to say and how I want to say it and that's come with a lot of hard work. Spending time growing my craft and skills has given my artistry a confident voice that I'm proud of.
As an artist, what did you learn since your first release?
I've learned so much since then in so many ways. When I released my very first album and single, I didn't have much clue as to what I was doing. I was given some advice and hoped for the best. Since then I've learned so much about the business side of things and now when I release new material, I know there's a plan, marketing strategy and a stronger understanding of what works for me. As an independent artist, it's so important to know the business side of the industry.
You recently released your new single "Feel You Leaving". What's the story behind this song?
"Feel You Leaving" started in my sleep – true story!
As an artist who always has her creative mind on, I will sometimes wake up hearing a song. I’ve learned to grab my phone and immediately record a memo, so that I don’t lose the idea. In this instance, I woke up singing “let these waves crash over me, wash away our memories", which became the hook of the song. After I brought this to Shawn Moore and Doug Folkins – my co-writers - we chose a direction that was based around the initial hook. What we ended up with is a song that feels like an appropriate way to start my next musical chapter because it’s about letting go of the past and truly embracing the present.
You worked with Shawn Moore and Doug Folkins on this single. Could you describe us the songwriting/production process?
It was natural and fun to write as a trio! Shawn and I have written together quite a bit and have recorded together too, so we already had a good idea of my style and sound. We also don't live far from each other, so we got together for a write at his studio and set it up so that we could do a Skype call with Doug as he lives in another part of Canada. I shared my idea and we went from there!
For me, when I'm writing a song, it doesn't need to be an exact mirror of a personal experience but rather an experience that we can all relate to. Doug and Shawn are both so talented and easy to work with! After the write, Shawn and I recorded a scratch vocal of the tune and knew right away that it was something special. We tested it out on a couple of people who instantly loved it. I worked with my vocal coach, Tamara Beatty, to make sure the soaring vocals were just right and Shawn did an amazing job of producing, editing and mixing this one. I'm super proud of the way it turned out!
What do you like the most about this song?
I love the way it makes the listener feel. Although the song is about a breakup or letting go, it doesn't feel sad or serious, it feels edgy, uplifting and empowering!!
What did you feel when writing this song?
I felt inspired, excited and empowered. Sometimes when I'm writing a song, I can really, really like it but know it's a song that will be perfect for someone else to record. And then there are songs that I'm a part of writing that feel almost electric and those are the songs I want to share. This was one I needed to record myself.
What can you tell us about the music video for "Feel You Leaving"? What was the inspiration behind it?
The lyrics paint the picture of being on a beach and letting the waves wash away old memories, so we naturally knew that we had to find a pretty looking beach for this theme. The song is intimate as well as strong so I imagined it being striking and cinematic when capturing the snapshots of a past love story. My videographer/editor (Edward Platero) was a great collaborator. He did a beautiful job bringing my vision to life.
How would you define Elyse Saunders, the artist?
A country recording artist with power-house vocals and southern charm. A thoughtful songwriter and interactive entertainer. A driven and purposeful artist who will never forget her roots!
What are your thoughts on today's social media?
Aside from the pressures that social media can create, if used in the right way, social media is an incredible tool for spreading awareness, creating new fans, building a brand and sharing your resume. With social media, a talented artist has way more of a chance to build a music career than ever before.
As artist, how often do you use social media to "promote" your art?
What message would you give to anyone who'd like to pursue their dreams?
Believe in yourself. Why? Because you deserve it. Once you believe in your abilities, you won’t be afraid and you can really go after what you love. The effort of doing that will make you better than great!
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Team work and compassion. We need more of that! And music therapy :)
What biggest life lessons have you learned so far?
Enjoy the ride, know your worth and don't let someone else determine your future...create it for yourself!
Connect with Elyse: