This is our first episode!
Our very first guest is country artist Elyse Saunders. Elyse joined us On The Porch and we had a really great chat with her. She's an absolutely pleasure. We got to know her a bit and talked a lot about the music industry and her relationship with it as one of the top independent artist.
She's a wonderful human being and if you've never heard of her, you're going to love her. And if you're a fan, you're going to enjoy getting to know her a lot more.
We're so glad that you decided to check our first episode out. If you liked it, we'd really appreciate if you subscribed to the pod and share it with your network. And if you could rate and review that would be amazing. It really helps us.
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We're so glad you're here. Grab a drink, pull up a chair, and join us On The Front Porch, every other Tuesday.
On The Porch with Front Porch Music is a Front Porch Production and hosted by Logan Miller and Jenna Weishar.
The themes song for this podcast was written, produced, and performed by Owen Riegling.
Elyse Saunders 00:01
One of the biggest things I think all artists can kind of relate to this, and it's something that we've all had to work on is comparing our success or opportunities to other artists were looking at what other people are doing and thinking, oh, like, you know, why do they have that? And I don't have that. That's probably the worst mentality to have because it's like we all have our own path of things that we're supposed to have happened to us. And I think there's room for success for everybody and just to focus on your own path and be happy for others, but to not think of it that way and just think what is happening for me is supposed to be for me.
Jenna Weishar 00:40
Thanks for tuning in to the inaugural episode of on the Porch with Front Porch music hosted by me, Jenna Weishar and Logan Miller. We're excited to dive in with our first guest today, Ontario based singer songwriter Elyse Saunders. Elyse released Free, Wind Down and Sunshine State of Mind as singles last year, leading up to the fall 2021 release of her EP Free. She was nominated for two CMAO Awards in 2021, a top five finalists in CBC Music's Countrywide Searchlight competition, and one of seven finalists at the Boost and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. Needless to say, 2021 was a banner year for Elise. Please welcome our first guest, Elyse Saunders.
Logan Miller 01:20
So pull up the chair and join us on the porch for our conversation.
Elyse Saunders 01:32
Thank you so much for having me. Happy New Year.
Logan Miller 01:35
Happy New Year.
Elyse Saunders 01:36
Happy New Year, indeed.
Logan Miller 01:37
Thank God 2021 is behind us, right?
Jenna Weishar 01:40
Elyse Saunders 01:40
There was some ups and downs, for sure.
Jenna Weishar 01:43
You had a pretty good year still in 2021.
Elyse Saunders 01:45
Yes. I took advantage of the time that I had and just tried to create as much as I could with songwriting. I released my brand new EP, I had a bunch of singles leading up, and I just found that during this time, we've all realized how much music means to us. And I do believe music heals. So I think that's where my music has really been able to connect with people is during this time because we're all looking for that outlet and something to connect to. And as much as I've missed doing as many shows as I used to have before, what I've really loved is being able to commit to this full time, and I've been able to reach new heights and goals that I've never been able to reach before. So that's pretty exciting.
Jenna Weishar 02:30
Yeah. What was the highlight of your year last year?
Elyse Saunders 02:33
Oh, my gosh, there are so many. And I feel like it's weird within this time because I don't know my timeline, so they're a little bit weird.
Logan Miller 02:40
What even was last year? Exactly.
Elyse Saunders 02:43
They're all just blending into one. But yeah, my highlight would definitely be releasing the EP. It was kind of a year behind because of everything and releasing my new brand new music, new singles to radio, to my fans, releasing new music videos. It was also recognized with CBC Music through their Toyota Searchlight program.
Logan Miller 03:14
Oh, my God, this year. What is it? Yeah, I know.
Elyse Saunders 03:16
This past year. Yeah. And then there was just a bunch of things that happened all at once and a lot of opportunities that I didn't really predict. I just kind of had my set goals and things that I wanted to accomplish this year, and I was just open to all of the opportunities. And it seems like it just all was kind of lining up at the right time. And people that know me and my career know that this is not just an an overnight thing for me. It takes time to develop and I'm self made. So to get to this point, it's exciting for me and the payoff is bigger, but also for the fans that have been a part of the journey too.
Logan Miller 03:53
Speaking of, you mentioned your goals and all that. Are you the type of person to make nearest resolutions and to start every year with a fresh list of goals, or is it just kind of more of like a loosey goosey kind of idea?
Elyse Saunders 04:08
Well, I would say before the pandemic of the world, I was definitely a person that was like, okay, these are my goals. This is what I want to do things. But I learned to be a little bit more open and more flexible more than ever and to not just be tied to those goals and just kind of move with where things are taking me in my career. But definitely I'm goal oriented. I work on this every single day and I have certain things. Like I have a list of things that I want to accomplish day to day. So for me, it's like if I can tick things off that list every day, I know that it's moving towards bigger goals and then cool opportunities usually come from that.
Logan Miller 04:50
I think that's really healthy. I want to be like, that so bad. And I always start off every week being like that myself, and then it just totally falls off the rails by Tuesday.
Elyse Saunders 05:03
I definitely have my days. Like I say for me, because I guess living in my purpose full time, I've never been able to get to that point until now that it's super exciting to be able to work on this every day and it excites me and it's what I think about when I go to sleep and when I wake up. So I love just taking those things off and it feels really good to take them off. But definitely I do schedule in those days to also do nothing because my brain will just be going and going and I'll just be moving non stop until I burn myself out. So it's also important to just have those days where I do nothing or just do some self care. Like, I'm big into meditation and journaling and things like that just to kind of help ground me again. So that's important too.
Logan Miller 05:48
That is important.
Jenna Weishar 05:49
You're so healthy.
Elyse Saunders 05:52
Yes and no. I feel like I love working on myself. I don't know. I guess because I've worked so hard on my career, which has been developing my career, I also realized that I needed to develop personally along with that, to be able to make both worlds work together. So I enjoy working on myself too. But it's not been overnight. All these things have taken time for sure. And I still like I say, I have my down days, and it's important that I have my emotional support team because I can just vent if I have issues and then just kind of think, like, how could I fix that?
Jenna Weishar 06:31
That makes sense. How do you or no, what are some of those things that you have to be careful of that kind of get into your head or put you in a little bit of a funk? Are you actively aware of those things?
Elyse Saunders 06:43
I would say it's one of the biggest things. I think all artists can kind of relate to this, and it's something that we've all had to work on is comparing our success or opportunities to other artists. We're looking at what other people are doing and thinking, oh, why do they have that? And I don't have that. That's probably the worst mentality to have because it's like we all have our own path of things that we're supposed to have happened to us, and I think there's room for success for everybody and just to focus on your own path and be happy for others, but to not think of it that way and just think what is happening for me is supposed to be for me.
Logan Miller 07:22
It'S a tricky slope. That is a really big thing, I think not even just for artists, but for anyone who is in some kind of perceived competition or competitive industry, even for us, I find myself sometimes going down that path as well. Then I have to shake myself out of it. But it's a real Downer.
Jenna Weishar 07:45
It's weird too, because you also sometimes get so wrapped up in that you start to compare yourself to things that don't even make like it's just not the same anyways. And you're just like, people who are doing such different things are like, why don't I have that? You get so caught up in the things you don't have.
Elyse Saunders 08:01
Jenna Weishar 08:03
That's not even something I would necessarily want, right?
Elyse Saunders 08:05
Totally. Yeah. Social media has a big problem, especially because we've all been tuned in so much to it, because what else can you do? But yeah, I think it's something that I think we're all kind of learning or better ourselves, maybe during this time. But the important thing is to have that perspective, like you said, is to say these are the things I want, and you might have that feeling about something, but when you really think about it is to think, well, no, that's not for me. I have other things that are for me.
Logan Miller 08:36
What is it that helped you get out of that frame of mind?
Elyse Saunders 08:40
I would say journaling. Journaling has really helped me, like I say, meditating as well. I find I have a very active mind. I think creators do. We're just thinking about milling things at once. So being able to do that, it just kind of grounds my thoughts into one focus. So I'm not thinking about million things at once. And journaling really helps me to focus on, like, write those things down that I want to see and that I know I can do and what is healthy for me and just keep focused on that and to not let the chatter that goes on our brains overtake all the goodness that's happening for us, and we all have our own good happening.
Jenna Weishar 09:21
This is totally adding up. I literally said, I think to Logan, when we got your EP ahead of the release, I was like, this album is just so positive, and it's like this big hug, which sounds like not to minimize anything, obviously, but it just felt like such a happy place. It's literally just your brain put into music. It's like everything's just adding up very clearly right now. For me, I'm like.
Elyse Saunders 09:45
This all makes so much sense. That means a lot, because that was definitely a big goal for me when I was releasing songs towards this EP or even picking songs, writing songs. I write everything, but I always try to pick songs that I believe are going to make people feel positive or empower them in some way, because I do think as much as like, I'm somebody that can love a sad song or loves a sad movie, especially when I'm feeling down. Like, I need that just to let it out. But I can't listen to that stuff or watch that stuff too much because I need to be kind of uplifted so I can get back to that good place. I want to give people music that does that, that keeps them on track and makes them feel good about who they are. And I try to bring that to everything. Like my songs and my live show and that we're kind of all in this together. So, yeah, that's always been a focus, and I'm so glad you picked up on that. I've definitely had my trials and tribulations and still do, so it's like I had an artist say that to me the other day. They're like, we were talking about different things we've gone through and dysfunction and whatever, and they're like, but you're so positive? I'm like, yeah, because I don't want to share the bad and the sad. I want to share stuff that makes people feel good.
Logan Miller 11:03
And beneath all that positive, there's sometimes some negative.
Jenna Weishar 11:09
Yeah, that's why did you think the song Jeans BOP, by the way? It's so upbeat and happy, not articulating things. I did it once for the internet and I wrote it down. So I love the song.
Elyse Saunders 11:22
It's so cute. That's what I'm trying to say here.
Jenna Weishar 11:24
It's easier to think out your words when you're trying to write them as opposed to just like.
Logan Miller 11:29
I think this is a podcast.
Elyse Saunders 11:30
Jenna Weishar 11:32
Love talking. But that song blew up. I mean, I liked it, but I thought something else. I didn't pick it as the number one thing to be. You've already collected over 300,000 streams on that song, though.
Elyse Saunders 11:46
Yeah, I know. Well, it's crazy when this stuff happens. I don't know. I never know what to expect. I kind of put the thought out there and thinking I would love for this to happen, but I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself. I just would love for that to happen. So when it does happen, it's like, what really? This is so cool. So what's neat about music, though, is because, well, Free was my big blow up song and was the title track of this EP. And then we had Wind Down and we had Sunshine State of Mind. So they're all very the thread is my artistry and my voice and the powering messages, but they're all slightly different sound wise. So it's interesting to hear from everybody. Like, what are their picks and what does really? Well, like, for instance, Sunshine State of Mind. Got. I just put a post about it. It was like, I think I want to say five or 600,000 streams on Amazon Music, which is crazy. But then Apple Loves Jeans, that's their. And they're like, we're behind this one and that one's blowing up. So it's like the different platforms of listeners, like different things, which is neat.
Logan Miller 13:06
That is neat to follow that journey between each platform.
Elyse Saunders 13:09
Yeah, that is interesting.
Jenna Weishar 13:10
I must say, my favorite song on it is actually California.
Elyse Saunders 13:14
Oh, yeah. I love that one too.
Logan Miller 13:17
I think mine is Sunshine State of Mind.
Jenna Weishar 13:18
Elyse Saunders 13:19
Thank you. I mean, I'm biased. I love them all because California has a cool vibe to it as well.
Jenna Weishar 13:29
I just picture being in a Jeep, like riding down the beach, like the literal sense of everything, but just like, I need to get out of here.
Elyse Saunders 13:39
Yeah. It almost feels like you're in a change. Yes, absolutely. I love that.
Logan Miller 13:45
That's awesome. So let's kind of get to know you a bit more. The two of us. We've been connected with you for a while, but tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
Elyse Saunders 13:59
So I'm from Peterborough, Ontario, originally. I'm now in Toronto, but just a little more central to everything. But Peterborough is where I grew up and where my family's from. My mom is still there, so it's the place that I like to shut off and take a breath of fresh air, literally because we're out in the countryside. The Peterborough, Ontario, is where I grew up and where I first started singing. I actually started doing singing competitions first. I was always an at home songwriter and loved to sing at home. And it was kind of like this hobby thing. It was always like, I would love to do that. I would watch Shania Twain and just think, I'd love to do that one day, but I didn't really know what that was or how you even do that. I just knew that I loved it and I wanted to do it myself. So singing competition is where I started when I was a teenager, and then I was really fortunate to meet my very first mentor. His name is Sterile Rosson from Peterborough as well, and he's quite connected to Nashville and has had all these string of songwriting hits. And then he got into producing. So really early on, it was awesome to line up with somebody like him because he's such a pro and just be able to sing on his songs and really interpret how you sing lyric as a songwriter. And then going to Nashville and being surrounded by these amazing players that have played with everybody you could think of. So I really was lucky early on to see what it was to be professional. And then that really rubbed off on me and really showed me where I guess the bar was and what I wanted to reach. So I went from seeing competitions pretty quickly into an artist, which was a lease on as the Brand. So then after I released that first album that I recorded with Cyril, I spent a few years going back and forth between my hometown in Nashville and songwriting and just trying to really develop all the angles of me as an artist, as a performer, as a singer, and as a songwriter. And then I recorded my album in 2015, and that was my first album with my own original written material, and then again just getting to now this point. So it's kind of like leveling up as I've gone throughout my career.
Logan Miller 16:23
So did music come natural to you? Did you grow up around music and did it just naturally come fully out of you, or is it something that obviously you've had to work at it, but is it something that runs through your veins?
Elyse Saunders 16:36
Yes, it's part of me, and I wouldn't be the same person without music, for sure. Music is definitely my therapy and my outlet, and that's one of the biggest things for me and why I love to do it. And I've been songwriting since I was just a little kid. My mom was an at home songwriter. She just did it because she was just always a singer songwriter for fun at home. And I just remember going through her guitar case and pulling out her sheets of songs that she had written and I just remember, I think I was like five years old or something. I just remember thinking that it's so cool to be able to express your thoughts on paper and be able to sing it. So I started doing that at a young age just because I thought that was so neat.
Logan Miller 17:25
Have you ever recorded at any of her songs I should record? That would be so cool.
Elyse Saunders 17:30
I should for Mother's Day. Yeah, definitely. That's a cool idea.
Logan Miller 17:35
That's adorable. Look at us.
Jenna Weishar 17:39
Don't let her listen to this.
Elyse Saunders 17:41
I'm just thinking that we'll have to keep that a surprise.
Jenna Weishar 17:44
Oh, my gosh, that'd be so cute.
Logan Miller 17:47
So your mom was a songwriter, so that's obviously kind of where you got your inspiration from. So I guess it's safe to say she was your first inspiration.
Elyse Saunders 17:54
She was one of my very first inspirations, and then it was my dad had bought me my very first karaoke machine, and then that's when I would just, like, perform at home and pretend I was in this other little world. And then I guess they could see that I had something. I had some talent. So that's when we first got into singing competitions and we moved around across Ontario doing these different competitions, but I can say I've never been one for competitions. I kind of hate competitions. They were a great start, but they definitely changed the way you feel about music. So I only did that for so long and then got into the scene of live music and working with people that I looked up to and mentors, I guess. So my dad and I would go to the bars, I'd be underage, and he'd be like, Can I get my daughter to sing with you for a guest song? And they're like, yeah, come on up. So I would hop on stage. I'd sing to this audience of people I had never known, and I'd have to hop off and then leave the bar. So I've had quite an elaborate different kind of experiences, I guess, throughout my career, but I'm really thankful for the live shows really early on, for sure.
Logan Miller 19:11
At these bars, did you have these go to songs that you would always do?
Elyse Saunders 19:16
I figured out the songs that most of the musicians would know. Basically at every bar, I'm like, okay, let's do this song in this key. And they're like, okay, let's do it.
Logan Miller 19:24
Elyse Saunders 19:24
What songs we would do at last.
Logan Miller 19:28
So good. Classic.
Elyse Saunders 19:29
That's a classic.
Logan Miller 19:31
How old are you?
Elyse Saunders 19:33
I was 16, I think around 16. We would do some of the classics because we would spend a lot of time in the Port Credit Mississauga kind of area because they had quite a lot of music seen in there. So I'd pick a lot of the classics that I knew that age group would know. And the musicians, it was just a range of things, not a lot of country at that time. It was more, I would say soulful stuff, but, yeah, the country roots come from my hometown and starting to work with my first producer.
Logan Miller 20:07
When did you start getting into the country music side of things?
Elyse Saunders 20:09
I was around 17. I had always song everything, but 17 is when I made that decision that I was like, okay, country music is what I'm doing and where I want to go. And I remember having a conversation with my producer, and he was like, you can sing everything. You have a cool range, but we need to pick a genre. And he said, Is it pop? Is it country, whatever? So I was like, country music is what I want to do because I feel like that's who I am as a person, and I love that you can tell stories and be yourself. And that was one of the biggest things for me is to be myself. I never wanted to feel like I had to put on a persona. I always thought I want that longevity in my career, that I can have a family and I can be down to Earth, and people accept me for that. And it's more of a family than anything.
Logan Miller 21:03
Yeah. The country industry really is like a family. That's kind of partly what drew me to country as well. It's just the industry and how everyone is just kind of real people.
Elyse Saunders 21:15
Yeah, that's what I love about it. You can be real. You can still have other things outside of music. And, like I say, have family and friends, and people will treat you still like a human. So I love that. And what I also really like about country music right now, too, is that like you've heard in this EP is I feel like I'm dabbling in a little bit of some of the other genres as well. So that's where I've kind of put my stamp on what my sound is, because I have such a background of all these different styles of music. It's fun to bring that into my country music.
Jenna Weishar 21:48
Country music as a genre is really versatile that way, too. It's probably because of country music was born out of the roots of a number of other genres, but it's really cool to see. I think five years ago we'd be like, that's not country, which whatever, right? You'd be like, that's copper, that's rock. And it's cool now because I'm like, you can hear the influences of other genres in a country song, in a pop song, whatever the hell it is. But it's so cool now because it's a good thing. Like, we've kind of transitioned that like, this isn't right. There's no more like, stiff holding people into this one thing.
Elyse Saunders 22:23
Right. It's cool into a box. Yeah. That's always been important to me, too. And somebody that I've looked up to that does it really well is Dean Brody. He doesn't stick inside a box, but he also knows how to stay his roots in who he is and central music and telling real stories. So I love that.
Jenna Weishar 22:41
Elyse Saunders 22:42
I've always looked up to people like him, and Shania Twain was another one. Never stuck to that box growth. Brookse.
Logan Miller 22:50
Yeah. And those are the two of the largest artists of history.
Elyse Saunders 22:53
Yeah. So I've always looked up to that. I love that. And bringing in these other sounds and not to be afraid to play and express yourself.
Logan Miller 23:03
Well, before we move on, let's take a quick break.
Jenna Weishar 23:17
Some of these people you really look up to in terms of genre crossover and whatnot, but who else? Where do you look for inspiration when you're songwriting and when you're coming to a writing session with an idea?
Elyse Saunders 23:30
So for me, I go into the session with my own personal stories. But also I really like taking stories of my friends or just real conversations or I might be out and I might hear somebody say something that sounds like a really cool title. So in my style of writing, I like to make things for the most part, really conversational as much as I can and then these really big empowering courses. But yeah, for me it's just about real life situations. And I always say to songwriter, so I've been with my boyfriend since high school, so we're high school sweetheart, so we've had our own fair share of our own personal dramas. But it's like you've been with somebody for so long. It's like there's only so much drama and different things I could have in a relationship. So I'm always like any little things. I always blow them out of proportion for adults.
Logan Miller 24:23
We're going to fight right now, but only one song.
Jenna Weishar 24:26
Yeah. Way worse than it actually was.
Elyse Saunders 24:32
Yeah. And I just try to always think about my audience and what kind of songs are going to relate to them. I did play in the country club scene for quite a while, and it's a big part of my development as an entertainer. And for people that have seen me at my show, I think they can tell that because I love just interacting with the audience and creating this high energy show which comes from that club scene of people partying and they're all there to hang out or hook up or just have a good time and drinks or whatever. So I always think about them and my audience and how would they say it and how would they feel about the story?
Logan Miller 25:10
Yeah, there were the days when we could go to a bar and it wasn't as music.
Jenna Weishar 25:13
I know I've been thinking of like your live shows. You had a show in December which we weren't able to go to, unfortunately, because it was right before Christmas. Right.
Elyse Saunders 25:22
It was how was that so much fun? Yeah, it was like the last concert or live show that I had before everything shut down again. So it was kind of neat to have something as the big bang before I have a downtime from playing again. It was so much fun. I love playing live. And like I said before the pandemic, that was my focus. I was like, play live as much as possible, and that was how I connected with my fans. So then to now switch what I was doing and make it all about marketing and content and all that. It's been really interesting, but, yes, it felt fun just to connect with people again. And I brought up a young artist on stage with me who's from OSHA because the theater is in Oshawa. So, like I was saying earlier, full circle moment is I used to do singing competitions, and one of the singing competitions was for KX 96 contests in Oshawa at the crowd stage when I was like, I think I was 15 at that time, and I'm pretty sure, yeah, 15. And then I would spend all this time playing in bars and guests with all these people. So then having this moment of headlining a show, I was like, you know what? I want to bring a young artist. That basically was me when I was 15 onto the stage with me. So I did that with an artist. Her name is Adriana Hoffman, so we'll hear about her a lot more, and it was really a touching moment just to watch her sing and just kind of think I was there at one time, and we did this due it together, but it was fun. That was my highlight at that show, for sure.
Jenna Weishar 26:55
I wish people could see you talking about it, too, because your eyes just lit up and they're like, this is the best moment of value. Yeah, my headlining show, but that's really cool.
Elyse Saunders 27:04
Thank you. Yeah, I want to do more of that as I get bigger in my career, and I hope to do more headlining shows. That'd be awesome. But I do want to be able to help these younger artists that were like me at one time, too. And I've talked about at some point, I don't know when, but at some point, I want to have my own label of some sort or mentoring program or something. So the more success I can have, the more I can help other artists.
Logan Miller 27:33
That's so beautiful.
Jenna Weishar 27:35
Is there anything wrong with you?
Elyse Saunders 27:37
Yeah, there is. My boyfriend can tell you all, bring him in.
Logan Miller 27:43
Bring him in.
Elyse Saunders 27:44
No, it's just like, I guess it's coming to a point, like, what fuels me as an artist and where is my purpose? Because the more I can do that is living a purpose that makes me happy, and the more I can give back. That's, for me, is like the ultimate, and it just will help me to make keep things fresh and to have fun with my career, too.
Logan Miller 28:07
You know what I love about that? This industry is so notoriously competitive, and there's a lot of people who do not help each other. I mean, I feel like in country it's not quite as crazy, but it's getting a bit better from what the vibes I'm getting. But I love that when artists help other artists as well, because there is room for everybody. There shouldn't be this competition. There's enough space for everybody. Let's all just get along for sure.
Elyse Saunders 28:35
Yeah, I think that's important. And I mean, for me it's really important. I like to surround myself with people like minded with that same thought. So it's like we can vibe off each other. And I always say it's like you find your tribe of people where it's like you're like minded and you're working towards the same things and you can have these honest conversations with each other and that you can trust them. I think that's important. I think it's important to be able to give back and help some other artists up too, because they are the next generation. So, yeah, it all helps each other.
Logan Miller 29:13
Sort of in the same vein ish you've collaborated or at least toured with a bunch of artists. One that kind of surprised me was you went in Manny Blue, where did you meet? He's from Quebec. You're from Peterborough. He's like punk country. You're not how but you're not. It's really cool. He's awesome. You're awesome. It makes sense. But how did you even connect?
Elyse Saunders 29:43
Well, it's always funny with this industry that people and how you connect and how you build these friendships. It is like we built friendships like Logan and Jenna as well, through seeing each other at all these events. And so it's crazy how where is that pinpoint of like, you meeting? And then it opens up to all these other people. So Manny Blue and I actually were in Nashville at the same time. We didn't know each other at that time. And we were both going out to see a show of our friends, Alexis Taylor. I just written a song with her that day when I was in Nashville, and she was like, I have a show. You should come out like, yeah, that'd be awesome. So we were watching and then she was like, these are my friends here Manny Blue and his manager. And I was like, hey, let's talk. I want to find out what is Manny Blue? I love it.
Jenna Weishar 30:32
Elyse Saunders 30:33
So then we hung out at some really cool rooftop in Nashville and we're just all hanging out as friends. And then ever since then we've done these shows together or we do online shows or we see each other at events and we hang out. So it's neat how those connections happen.
Logan Miller 30:50
I love it.
Jenna Weishar 30:51
That's so funny. I thought there was going to be like some crazy story and you're like, we literally just, like, happened to be in the same place one day. That's so cool. Yeah.
Elyse Saunders 30:59
And sometimes those are the moments where it's like, okay, that connection was supposed to happen. It's kind of like they line up at the right moment.
Jenna Weishar 31:06
Can we just say, I know this is about you, but he is so dope. He has the best vibes ever.
Elyse Saunders 31:12
He does. And the best jackets.
Jenna Weishar 31:14
Oh, my gosh. I called him Manny Yellow, thinking that was hilarious. He was wearing a highlighter yellow jacket.
Elyse Saunders 31:21
I remember that jacket, Jenna.
Logan Miller 31:23
That's so embarrassing. He loves it.
Jenna Weishar 31:26
He's so nice. He would just be like.
Elyse Saunders 31:27
Yeah, you're so funny.
Jenna Weishar 31:30
That's awesome. He's hilarious.
Elyse Saunders 31:32
I love that guy.
Jenna Weishar 31:35
It's nice. I think we're probably beating this to a pop a little bit now. But the humans in this industry, especially in the country, it's just so nice to actually get to know everybody because everybody actually wants to connect with one another. It's not like, what can I get from you? How can I benefit?
Logan Miller 31:54
There is some of that, too.
Jenna Weishar 31:55
Of course there is. But, like, you know, when you find them easier because not enough people are like that. I feel people are nice and they actually want to be a friend. And it's cool, right? And you're like, you can tell when somebody is being calculated because it's not like they stand out in a weird way, right?
Elyse Saunders 32:11
Yes, for sure. Well, for the most part, like, you're saying country music is genuine. It's about being real, and it's about building friendships and real connections because, like you say, the industry is small, it's a family. So I think it's important that we all connect because, well, it is small if you can't connect with people. I don't know if you're in the right industry, especially in countries. I forgot something else I was going to say there. I think, yeah, that's the biggest thing is to have genuine connections, and then if something comes out of it, great. But it's like with the mind of collaborating, I think is the best thing.
Jenna Weishar 32:53
Logan Miller 32:54
What is your relationship with this industry kind of more broadly as an independent artist? Because to me, we work with a ton of independent artists, and I see artists they don't have help with. Like, they're expected to be their own manager, their own Twitter, like their own marketing person, their own Booker, everything.
Elyse Saunders 33:20
That'S taken time to be able to be a creator and artist, but also a business person that probably took the longest is I always was an artist, and I was always a creator, and that's where I naturally fit. But to learn to be a business minded person was one of the biggest journeys, and that just takes time. And it was somebody I was lucky to have my dad in my corner because he was the one that was always like, this is a business tree, like a business, and make decisions as a business as much as you want to make emotional decisions because you're an artist, treat it like a business. I do all the accounting and paperwork and make sure I can afford to pay for different things and then think about marketing and not just the angle of an artist, but a brand. So that's an interesting thing to be able to split between both worlds. And that took the longest. I used to struggle with that because I'd be in business mode, and then I'd be like, okay, how do I switch from this now to writing? So now it's like I'm able to flip back and forth just because I guess the act of practicing it. But yeah, I've basically learned every hat of the industry, and now I'm learning what parts I don't want to have to deal with anymore and being able to pass those off to people that I trust, but also people that I've looked up to, and I think they're doing incredible things. So I think getting to that point of knowing what my brand is, knowing what my business is, and then connecting to the right people that we can kind of work as a team and move everything forward. So, yeah, balancing is important and finding the right people for someone who's not like.
Logan Miller 35:04
Who that doesn't come naturally to or who just doesn't have that in them. What is your advice there?
Elyse Saunders 35:11
I would say it's going to be beneficial for you if you want to be able to create and be an artist, especially these days, the way that the industry is now, it's like independent artists. We're seeing so many of them, and there's very few that can fit into the label mold, and there's very few that can get signed unless you make it on your own. Sometimes you have to make it on your own before there is interest. So you're only helping yourself by learning to treat it like a business. And the best way would be to reach out to mentors and ask them their advice about the business or reading books or like I say, I had my dad, who was an entrepreneur and owned his own businesses, so I've taken a lot of business concepts from him. So it's just surrounding yourself with business people and learning from them. But yeah, that's the only way you're going to be able to take your art to the level of maybe you want. And that's just by treating like a business and putting it out there so people have a chance to hear it and buy it and support you.
Jenna Weishar 36:20
A lot of young artists don't know where to start, and I think I just want to know your thoughts on this, maybe. But people are afraid to ask questions and reach out and go to those experts and go to those people who others in the industry trust, too. There's that barrier for I think, young artists too, especially, who are just starting out where it's like, who do I ask? Am I even allowed to ask this person that kind of thing? But like, the pay off of just getting your shit together and just doing it is way you can't just sit around and anticipate something, right?
Elyse Saunders 36:54
For sure. I think there's no harm in asking. I've learned that as well is don't ever be afraid to ask. If they say no or they don't answer, there's no harm. Whatever. At least you ask.
Jenna Weishar 37:05
At least you tried.
Elyse Saunders 37:05
Yeah. And get out there and try to network with people and build, like we were saying earlier, build authentic, genuine connections. Because I think you can learn something from every single one of those people or they can at least point you in a direction. So that would be my advice for young artists is just get out and meet as many people as you can. And then once you meet people, maybe they'll be more trusting to give their time and their energy to share some knowledge with you, too. Because some of these people are really busy, too. So to be able to have their time for ten minutes is not always easy. But yeah, just put yourself out there.
Jenna Weishar 37:43
Logan Miller 37:44
So Elyse what do you have coming out or coming up soon? I guess you're not touring at the moment.
Elyse Saunders 37:51
Yeah. Well, hopefully those were sad laughs. Exactly. Crying inside. Yeah. Fingers crossed. We'll have some shows for the summer. There is some things lining up, but we'll see we'll have to be flexible on when those dates are going to be. But so Jeans, we have a music video for which I'm Super excited to put out there soon. Funny story with Jeans, the music video is I uploaded it onto my YouTube just to have the file there because we're going to be pitching it to people for some Premier things. So it was there and I didn't even know that it was public on one of my playlists for the long like two weeks. Didn't even know. And then there was one of the actors that was in it. She was like shared something. I saw these screenshots. I was like, where did you get the screenshots from? She's like, it's on your channel. I was like, no, I almost had a heart attack. But luckily she posted something or else I wouldn't have known. So I had to quit.
Logan Miller 38:55
So you gave people a sneak peek? An exclusive sneak peek?
Elyse Saunders 38:59
Yeah, some people got a sneak peek, but yes, the music video for Jeans will be coming out this month or I guess be closer to the end of the month. And it was just so much fun to film. I will give a little hint. I do some dancing in it because I do have a background in dancing. I used to do tap, hip hop and jazz.
Logan Miller 39:18
Which one are you doing in the music video?
Jenna Weishar 39:20
Tap tummy tap.
Elyse Saunders 39:21
Yeah, I wish. No, it's like a combination between line dancing and TikTok dancing, sort of.
Logan Miller 39:29
Are you going to have a TikTok dance to get people to do?
Elyse Saunders 39:32
Logan Miller 39:33
All right, Jennifer, you're on it.
Elyse Saunders 39:35
We yeah. I would love to see you both dance in the end. If you're doing this, we're doing this.
Logan Miller 39:42
Well, definitely jumping on that.
Jenna Weishar 39:44
We'll give it a go.
Elyse Saunders 39:45
That'd be awesome. It might not be a good one, but I had a choreographer friend that made the dance for me. I was like, I don't know how to create this dance, but she did an amazing job because that's what she does. So interesting story about that, too, is I used to play Boots and Bourbon, which was the happening country bar in Toronto for the longest time. Yeah, I know. So sad. And then Courtney would come out to these shows, and she was like, I have a dancing class. You should come out. And I was always like, yeah, we should collaborate in some way. And it never worked out at the time. But then when this video concept came up and the idea came up, I was like, Courtney, could you create a dance for me? And do you have some dancers that could be a part? She's like, yeah, I got you. So she's living in Saskatchewan right now. So she came in for the video and we did the dance. She had all of her dancers there, and it was one of the best days ever. And it's definitely a highlight of last year, too. So that will be coming out. It's going to be going to radio, so it's really nice that we have the support of everybody on it already. And I'm excited to see what comes from that. And then, yeah, I guess I'll be creating another video for Famous in California at some point, too. Just so I have content for every song from this EP, and I hope to be able to do some kind of an EP showcase or something because I didn't get a chance to do that with this.
Logan Miller 41:13
Can you get an invite?
Elyse Saunders 41:14
Yeah, of course. Yeah. You're on my list.
Logan Miller 41:18
Wonderful. I'm so excited for music again.
Elyse Saunders 41:24
Jenna Weishar 41:25
We got cut off so fast.
Logan Miller 41:26
It's like the world teased us with it like, oh, here you go again. And then right back.
Jenna Weishar 41:30
Elyse Saunders 41:31
Just a little taste tester just to get you excited. And then sat again.
Jenna Weishar 41:35
Logan Miller 41:36
Yeah. On that note.
Elyse Saunders 41:39
Logan Miller 41:42
Well, Elise, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate you taking the time and getting for us to get to know you a little better as well.
Elyse Saunders 41:48
Yeah. Well, thank you so much for doing this and love everything that you're doing, as always, with Front Porch to support upcoming artists and established artists. And I think this podcast is awesome just to be able to open up more conversation. So I love it. Good job. And thanks for coming.
Jenna Weishar 42:04
May I just say, for like a year, I messaged Logan frequently and was like, can we start a podcast? Can we have a podcast?
Logan Miller 42:10
Can we please have a podcast and I'm like I'm busy now.
Elyse Saunders 42:14
Here we are.
Jenna Weishar 42:16
I got what I wanted.
Elyse Saunders 42:18
I feel like it's the perfect time for it.
Jenna Weishar 42:20
Why not, right?
Logan Miller 42:20
Yeah on and it's a lesson in persistence.
Elyse Saunders 42:26
Be annoying persistence is a big one. Totally awesome.
Jenna Weishar 42:31
Well, thank you so much, Elise.
Elyse Saunders 42:32
Logan Miller 42:35
Thanks so much for joining us on the porch with front porch music. I love talking to artists and digging deep into the world of Canadian country music and I'm so excited you joined. If you liked this episode, please write review and subscribe to this podcast. That's the easiest way for you to support this show. You may even get a shout out. So we'll see you in a couple of weeks. Next time on the porch on the porches front porch music is hosted by me, Logan Miller and Jenna wiser. The theme song was written, produced and performed by Owen Rickley.