2020 is the year for great country music in Canada! Elyse Saunders has released a great new single called “Free” and it’s fantastic!
Elyse is an energetic performer and has been on a spree of creating great music. This latest single “Free” really showcases her growth as a songwriter and overall artist.
She wrote this song with Shawn Moore. It’s an upbeat country song that blends the traditional country sound with electronic-pop elements … and an acoustically driven rhythm that just commands attention.
“I believe there’s something really beautiful about celebrating life and just taking in the moment,” Elyse explains. “‘Free’ takes me back to simpler times when I was younger and there were less responsibilities. It’s when a day at the beach enjoying the sunset and watching fireworks was really important to me. I’ve come to learn that it’s these experiences with the people in my life that matter,” she continued. “It’s important to slow down and soak in these quality moments. We need to make time to be free and this single is a reminder of that,”
We had the opportunity to connect with Elyse to talk to her about life in quarantine, her new single, and the creative process for this song.
Before getting to the interview, be sure to stream her new single “Free” and watch the music video.
Stream “Free” On Apple Music and Spotify
Watch The Music Video For “Free”
Interview With Elyse Saunders
Front Porch Music: Elyse – thanks so much for joining us! It’s so nice to be able to connect. Last year we had the opportunity to introduce your music to our audience … now why don’t you introduce yourself to our audience? Tell us a bit about yourself, how your musical journey started, etc.
Elyse Saunders: Hi friends! Great to connect again with Front Porch Music. Thank you for all of your support!
My name is Elyse Saunders and I’m a country recording artist originally from Peterborough, Ontario.
I’ve been writing and singing since I can remember, but my musical journey really started when I was just a teen doing singing competitions. It was the first opportunity I had to sing for an audience!
Shortly after, I met my very first mentor and producer Cyril Rawson from my hometown. We worked on developing my vocal style for close to a year and then headed off to Nashville and recorded my first album. I was very fortunate to work with someone like Cyril so early in my career. He really showed me what a pro was and introduced me to the real world of country music. I had some incredible musicians on my album, who had all played for the best of country music!
After that, I spent a number of years developing as a songwriter, singer and entertainer. I’m at a point now where I feel like I’ve really come into my own as an artist and a person and am really excited about what’s next.
Front Porch Music: Your latest single “Free” is great … It’s an upbeat summer song! Tell us a bit about the song. What’s the inspiration behind it, and what do you hope people take from this song?
Elyse Saunders: Thanks very much! The song is out at the right time as we are all stuck inside and wanting to feel “free” again.
Shawn Moore and I wrote this tune last winter and it’s pretty cool to see how far it’s come. I was fortunate enough to have received FACTOR funding for this tune, which gave me the opportunity to really bring it to life. I knew at the time that I wanted to create a fun summer anthem and had the melody and rhythm for it stuck in my head. I shared it with Shawn and we both knew that we wanted to create a song that would capture all of the vivid memories of summertime with lyrics that had texture and would touch all of the senses that summertime memories bring.
A bunch of the lyrics are snippets of my time growing up in Peterborough and having those moments in my life of feeling young and free to explore. At that time in my youth, it felt like we were all just living for the summer. The busier my life gets now, I realize how important it is to schedule in the time to slow down and enjoy the small things with the ones I love. Time flies!! Like the song says, “Time passes by, keep the high alive.”
Front Porch Music: You worked with some great artists on this song! What was the writing process like with Shawn Moore? And what about the recording process and experience with producer Dan Swinimer?
Elyse Saunders: Shawn Moore and I have great creative chemistry! I love that whenever I’ve thrown an idea his way, he’s always been open to writing it and gives me the room to express my voice as a writer and an artist. We’ve written some great pieces together.
The recording process with Dan Swinimer feels like a team.
He knows how to bring out the best vocal in me that showcases what I can do really do vocally … but also shines a bright light on what the song is about. He has such a talent for bringing the best to a song, no matter how much time and effort it takes. And as a producer, I think it’s a great value that he’s been a longtime musician, songwriter, and has a history of developing artists. It all comes through when he’s creating a product, so that it will always be impactful.
Front Porch Music: You are known for your energetic live performances. But with the Global Pandemic everything has kind of come to a halt for artists. Artists are coming up with some pretty unique ways to connect with their fans during this time. What have you been doing? Tell us about your new YouTube series.
Elyse Saunders: Yeah! I love being on stage and interacting with my fans that way. It’s so much fun to see how a live show can brighten someone’s day and I spend a lot of time working on ways to improve the entertainment factor of my show all the time.
I’ll be honest – when the pandemic flipped everything upside down, I didn’t know what to do… I think we were all feeling that way! A big part of who I am is being an entertainer, and I had really missed connecting with my fans! My team and I had a lot of discussions on what would make sense and we all agreed that a YouTube series would be something creative and fun and a new way for me to express myself.
I’ve been planning, shooting and editing them all on my own which makes them a little more personal, but they’ve definitely been a learning curve for me – haha. But ultimately, my fans seem to really enjoy them. I like that it shows a little more insight into who I am, which is something people may not have been able to see before all of this.
Front Porch Music: Over the past couple of years, there has been more pressure for parity and better representation (gender, race, sexuality, etc.) on radio stations, music festivals, and the country industry as a whole. What are your thoughts here and what do you think needs to be done to increase representation in the country industry?
Elyse Saunders: I’ve been seeing change happen bit by bit and believe there’s a lot more room for better representation in the country industry!
Although I know change can take time, there’s been a worn out structure that’s been leading the industry for some time now and in order for more representation to happen, old structures need to be pulled apart so that there’s more room for growth. T
o do that, I believe that the industry shouldn’t be okay with being complacent and will need to make a strong effort to include more inclusive roles behind-the-scenes to provide opportunity for people that have a strong finger on new fresh music that is inclusive as well as commercially appealing to the country music market.
This might cause a slight growing pain but I believe that it’ll open doors to a wider audience who will embrace the change.
Front Porch Music: Right now, we’re all stuck at home trying to do our part to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Have you picked up any fun new hobbies during this time of social distancing?
Elyse Saunders: When it all first went down, I started cooking. I can’t say that normally I’m a person that likes to take the time to cook, but cooking became a bit of a creative outlet for me and a distraction that motivated me to do something rather than sit on the couch.
It wasn’t long after that, though, that I was looking for ways to get back into my routine of moving forward in my career and that’s when I decided it was time to start a YouTube series. I hadn’t realized how much time it would take to do those episodes, but they definitely gave me purpose and have kept me busy!
Front Porch Music: Thanks so much, and congrats again on the release of “Free”, we can’t wait to hear what’s next for you!
Elyse Saunders: Thanks so much to YOU!! I appreciate your support to me and the rest of the country music industry. You guys are the best!