For emerging country music artist, Lindsay Ell, the fruits of her diligent labor are finally beginning to pay off. Ell’s debut record with Stoney Creek Records, The Project, recently hit number one. This is the first number one chart-topping success for the rising starlet. I caught up with Lindsay backstage prior to her performance at CBS Radio’s Stars and Strings concert and we talked about her first number one album, women in the music industry, and what she loves most about country music.
First off, congratulations on your first #1 album!
“Thank you! It’s been a crazy past couple of months. As an artist to work so long on this and to finally release it, and then to have it go to number one – wow. To see the positive reaction from fans is so amazing. (she says with the biggest smile ever) I’m so humbled, and it’s the reason I do this! It inspires me to work harder and to write better songs.”
Where were you when you first found out?
“I think I was in Nashville when I found out. Life has been a blur! It was in August, and my manager called me and said, ‘we’re going to hit number one.’ And I was honestly just hoping to crack the top 10! It’s been so amazing”
What is something that has challenged you in your music career and how did you overcome it?
“Recording this record with my producer, Kristian Bush (Sugarland) has been an amazing experience as a songwriter. He has really helped me be myself and forget about what people are going to think about it. There are always going to be people who love what you do and those who hate what you do. There’s a point where you need to be like, ‘this is just who I am. This is me. These are the songs I’m going to sing and this is the way I’m going to sing it. Whatever happens then is what happens. If you’re riding on someone else’s ship and it sinks, then you’re riding on someone else’s ship, compared to if you sink your own ship, at least you’re on your own ship! It’s been amazing to finally record music that I’m super proud of.”
Do you feel like it’s more difficult to obtain success as a female in the country music industry?
“I feel like it’s getting better and better as we go. Every industry is cyclical, and I think right now is a really great time to be a female musician. But, when you do look at the charts, those ratios aren’t even. I will say, the fact that there are a lot of things focusing on great female artists, and songs written by female songwriters, it’s so nice to see an appreciation for it.”
What is your favorite thing about country music?
“I love the fact that country music is real. It’s artists writing real songs that are real experiences from their lives or influenced by the real lives of somebody they know. When you’re talking about those kind of real emotions, that’s how you can really touch fans because they are like, ‘ I know what that’s like. I’ve been there before.’”
I think that’s what your music does. Personally, I think females have a tendency to be able to tap into that emotional side in a different way than males.
“I completely agree! Which is why it’s so awesome to see this resurgence of female artists because – I’m with you – there’s a certain vulnerability of when a female artist writes from her heart, and more importantly, girls who are listening, like to see that vulnerability and they identify with it even easier.“
Absolutely. Anything else you’d like to add?
“I’m a social media fanatic, so fans can come say hey on Instagram and I love being able to reply to their comments! I’m excited to further tour with Brad Paisley next year, it’s going to be a lot of fun so come see us on the road!”