Brynn Elliott was just covered last month on our Spotlight! She has toured with the likes of Alanis Morissette and Grace Potter, released several EPs, got a music video up on the big board at Times Square...oh did we mention her Harvard education in between and the former was done before she got her diploma while her EPs and Times Square happened after Harvard! The super-talented singer-songwriter entered our Hot Seat and here we goooooo!!!
Alan: Thank you and welcome to the Hot Seat, we are here with the talented Brynn Elliott, who we recently featured on The Spotlight! We want to start off a little light here, so tell us a little bit about yourself and something people don’t know about you!
Brynn: Hi! My name is Brynn Elliott. I am an artist from Atlanta, GA currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Something people don’t know about me is that as a child I dreamed of being a veterinarian.
AH: Harvard. Recording music.. Touring. You might be the first we’ve heard that did all that...in the same year. Was that a struggle at first, how did you make it work?
BE: Haha! Being on tour, recording and doing school all at the same time was definitely a lot but I did find a rhythm with it all eventually! At first I struggled with some sleepless nights and lots of paper-writing and reading on public transportation but after a while I got used to it and even loved hopping between the worlds of music and education.
AH: Speaking of touring...you’ve opened for some big names, like Grace Potter, Alanis Morisette...what was the experience like, what did you get to learn with each of them?
BE: It was an experience of a lifetime getting to open for each of these women! Grace’s energy on stage will always stay with me. She has this incredible ability to lead the audience through an enchanting experience of rock ‘n roll. Alanis captivated thousands of people with just her voice and her presence and that’s something that I definitely want to emulate in my own live show.
AH: The music. In 2017, you released two singles “Might Not Like Me” and “Psycho Stupid Crazy,” they are a stark contrast to 2014. We always talk about taking that musical journey. What kind of journey was that, 2014 Brynn to 2017 Brynn and the Brynn now?
BE: Yes, when I first started performing my music on tour it was almost folk-y pop. Then I had a session with Nathan Chapman in 2016 and he asked if we could write a simple pop song. We ended up writing Might Not Like Me that day and from that moment I knew I wanted to write more pop songs. But I also wanted to capture the fact that I do play my own music - I play guitar and piano. And so the journey from 2014 till now has really been about merging my singer-songwriter/musician sensibilities with my love for pop sensibilities.
AH: Just over 3 years ago, you inked a deal with Atlantic Records. Talk to us on how this all happened for you there and coming back to a previous question, this was all done before you got your diploma?
BE: After I had written Might Not Like Me I put it out on streaming platforms independently. From there it started to garner some attention. Someone from another record label heard it at a party and shazamed it and that sort of began a bunch of conversations with labels and publishers for me. I met with Carla Wallace in Nashville who had just done a joint deal with Atlantic Records and she was the one who introduced me to Pete Ganbarg and the rest of the label in 2017. It all just felt so comfortable with Carla and Atlantic so I knew they would be the best partners for me.
AH: Let’s talk about your upcoming EP Can I Be Real. We know what it’s all about, but let our readers in on what it’s all about and tell us also the process in crafting the EP?
BE: So I wrote this project right after getting off the road from promoting my first project. In some ways I sort of threw myself into being a full time recording artist and performer right after college and finally had a moment to think about my experience over those years. I realized that I loved living a live of performance but that it could turn into people-pleasing if I wasn’t careful. So I wrote a whole project about being a real human, seeking real beauty and truth in this life. And I think that you can hear that sonically. There’s more real/organic instrumentation in the production of this project and I think that’s very reflective of the lyrical content of the EP.
AH: “Tell Me I’m Pretty” is a very powerful song, but the music video. I read it was shot on site at an estate near Los Angeles, that must have been cool! How did that all come together and what was it like to work with someone who has done work for The Weeknd?
BE: Thank you so much! I knew I wanted this music video to show how women throughout history have worked through different beauty standards like corsets to power suits. And also because I have had a life-long dream of being in a period drama! And yes, working with Lauren Dunn was an absolute dream come true. She is an incredible creative and was the perfect person to do this video. Plus her mom was a French baroque antique collector and many of the broaches and props we used in the video are from her collection. So it really was a match made in heaven.
AH: “Letter To A Girl,” it is another very powerful song. We know you framed it as a letter to your younger self but also the people you met while on tour with Why Don’t We, without sounding like in circles, but why did you write it, was there a particular person you met on tour that made you go “I got this!”
BE: Yes! I wrote Letter after performing for thousands of teenage girls every night on the Why Don’t We tour. I saw my younger self so much in these girls and wanted to write a song directly to them. That’s really where the song came from and why I released it! It’s a song for them :)
AH: Anything in your time at Harvard that is being used in your music?
BE: Yes I feel like so much of my artistic process is rooted in the formative years at Harvard. I often relate writing songs to writing philosophy papers. Each of them circle back to one main theme regarding a universal human experience. I also read so many stories and so much literature there that to this day I think about and try to weave into my songs.
AH: When “Might Not Like Me” got a video placement on Times Square, did anyone contact you and were like “I saw you on Times Square!”, that must have been pretty rad there!
BE: Yes! It was crazy! Some of my friends were living in NYC at the time and send me videos. Such a surreal experience and kinda funny seeing my face that large!!
AH: Will there be a full length debut album? If you can spill some details about it, who are you working with on it, any chance of letting your fans and our readers know when to expect it?
BE: My debut album is in the works and that’s about all I can say for now ;)
AH: If you went on a headlining tour, where would you want to stop and who would you bring along with you?
BE: I am going on my first headline tour this year playing mostly the east and west coast of the country. Will be going on a larger one next year and hope to go everywhere! As for who I’d bring with me, stay tuned for those updates :)
Today is the release of her much awaited EP Can I Be Real?! In addition, she will have a global livestream concert on July 15, tickets and special packages are available here. The livestream will see her perform every song from the EP!