Sunshine likes to make artists shine! Hence, her interview series was born. Contact her for your moment in Sunshine's Spotlight.
Who Is Elle Mears?
I recently met Elle Mears during a weekend trip to Nashville. She was my bartender at Bootleggers and served me the best moonshine on Broadway.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Elle was also an aspiring singer. During my visit to Nashville, I challenged a few musicians on Broadway to perform my favorite song "Drinking Problem" by Midland. Most musicians did not know the song so they declined. Elle did not decline even though she wasn't familiar with the song. Elle nailed her performance.
I am now honored to interview Elle Mears and follow her career as she rises to the top and shines like a star along the way.
Elle was born in Port Townsend, Washington and now calls Nashville her home. The whole world is her muse – her dog, friends, family, heartbreaks, joys...around every corner she finds something to be inspired by.
Now let's go y'all and learn more about Elle Mears.
Interview With Elle Mears
Linda Bilyeu: Do you come from a family of musicians?
Elle Mears: Both of my parents played piano, my mom used to sing, and my great uncle is actually an incredible and well-known mandolin player. He played with Tony Rice, Emmy Lou, and was a part of an awesome bluegrass group called Chesapeake that did really well! He was the first one who took me into the studio when I was 16.
LB: Do you have rituals you do prior to performing?
EM: I say a prayer...for a good show, a good time, and that the right things might fall into place. I adjust my hat, and on stage I go!
LB: What musician most inspired you?
EM: I started listening to country music really because of Martina McBride. Because of her, I started listening to the radio, watching CMT, and learned that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life. Something still takes me back when I hear those songs.
LB: What inspired your love of music?
EM: I honestly think I was born with it. I've been singing since before I could talk, I started playing violin when I was 4, I was in Orchestra and in choir growing up, I taught myself guitar and piano, and I've been writing songs since I was 7.
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LB: Do you want a record deal, or would you like to remain independent?
EM: I would love to have a record deal down the road to have the team behind me to help get me on the big stages, big tours, radio, and help me make the most of what I know I can do!
LB: Have you had vocal training?
EM: I've been taking voice lessons and in choir since I was in high school! My minor from Belmont is in classical voice.
LB: What instruments do you play?
EM: Guitar, piano, violin, mandolin, bazooka, and I was known to rock the recorder in my elementary days.
LB: Do you write your own songs?
EM: I do! My degree from Belmont is actually in songwriting. (YES, that does actually exist)
LB: Have you written songs for other musicians?
EM: I have! I even have a couple of album cuts on some friends of mine who are releasing albums and EPs soon!
LB: How did you get started in the music business?
EM: My uncle and my parents really started me off. Belmont gave me everything I needed to make sure that I had a career in it.
LB: What's your advice for musicians just starting out in the business?
EM: Patience. So many things in this industry feel like you're wheels are spinning and you're going nowhere, but everything is an ebb and flow. One minute, you're frustrated because you feel like nothing is happening, and the next, everything happens at once. Just roll with the punches and never stop.
LB: How long have you been in the industry?
EM: Goodness. I guess since I was 16 years old. My first time in the studio set the rest of everything into motion.
LB: What musician would you like to collaborate with?
EM: Jake Owen! I think our styles and vibes are really similar and I think we could have a lot of fun coming up with something cool!
LB: What musician would you like to open up for?
EM: Kenny Chesney. I have heard multiple artists say that their most influential tour was with Kenny. It's a well-oiled machine and a great way to learn and see what a successful large-scale tour can look like and how to take care of your road family.
LB: What's your most memorable career moment so far?
EM: So far, it's probably getting to shoot my first music video. It's been so surreal watching my dreams come to fruition, but being able to do a video and watch a song of mine come to life just makes it all so much more real.
LB: If you could perform a "one night only" concert anywhere in the world, where would it be?
EM: The Grand Ole Opry. I would give anything to be on that stage, ever just for one night. To stand in that circle and be a part of that history would make a memory for a lifetime.
LB: Can you tell a story about a song you're currently working on?
EM: I just ended a relationship that lasted 4 years. It was a very good and graceful end, but mainly it was because we started heading in different directions and realized that we might want different things. I bought him a record player one year for Christmas and watching him get excited about new records to buy and finding some of the classics to add to his collection was so rewarding.
But the more I thought about it, records are unlike any other sound, but eventually, the grooves don't hold up as well and things get scratched and worn out... it's no one's fault, but sometimes the classics are meant to be memories and things you look back on and listen to when you have a rare moment that you need it. So I wrote a song with my girlfriend Rae Solomon about us and the way everything came to an end. It's called "Love Me Like A Record."
LB: What song that you've written is the most special to you?
EM: I have a song called "Question Mark" which is my favorite song I have ever written. It has so much heart and beauty in it and it's one of the few songs I have written on piano. I took a class at Belmont with Tom Douglas. When he read the lyrics for the first time, he looked up at me and told me I had reached my Pinnacle. That song was the song I had to beat. So it means more to me than most ever know.
LB: Any honorable mentions in your career?
EM: I have played at Cheyenne Frontier Days and had radio play with Sand in Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. Ask me this again in a year and I plan to have some great answers!
LB: Do you have singles or other music for sale?
EM: Yep! Check me out in iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and anywhere else you can find music!
(Elle can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.)
LB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
EM: I hope to have a record deal, release my second album, be on a major tour around the world, a home base house in Nashville, and have a house somewhere down in Florida to escape to and take writers retreats!
Elle's List of Favorites!
- Food - Italian. Bring on the carbs!
- Song Lyric - "Loving a music man ain't always what it's supposed to be." - Journey
- Nashville Venue - The Basement. It's a really cool and intimate space that has tons of character.
- Concert - The Goo Goo Dolls. I grew up listening to them and Iris is still one of my favorite songs.
- Inspirational Quote - "When someone asks you what you do, say "WHATEVER IT TAKES."
- Musician - Everyone! The life of a musician is not an easy one. I have so much love and respect for everyone trying to make it in this business and everyone deserves to be noticed. But I am kinda obsessed with Old Dominion right now.
- Nacho Toppings - Shredded chicken, ground beef, sour cream, guacamole and cheese!!
© 2017 Linda Bilyeu
Ann Carr from SW England on June 26, 2018:
I confess I've never heard of this young lady but she sounds great and her music sounds exciting. Great that you've met her.
I used to love watching The Grand Ole Opry on TV some years back as I love country music and it isn't the same here!
Interesting hub and great interview.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 01, 2017:
As you probably know, I am a big, country music fan and I look forward to this young lady singing. Great interview
Blessings my dear friend
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on August 06, 2017:
Hello Linda - Just stopping by to say hello. Off to Bootleggers in Nashville to inspire a country song.
Nell Rose from England on July 31, 2017:
What a great singer! I am still listening as I write this! You certainly find the best ones Linda! she is awesome! great interview!
Suzie from Carson City on July 30, 2017:
What a cutie Elle is~and quite the fabulous country singer. You know, GF, the series you did a while back on male C&W artists was loaded with heart stopping stud-muffins (like I said as I admired their pictures) and now the females you are featuring are all such pretty girls. By God, SFAM, it looks like all the very Best-Looking people sing Country! I should have known, right?
With your fantastic interviews, I'm learning more and more and I love it by the way. Absolutely no one does an interview with new artists like you do!...not even close. You simply have the know-how, the pizazz & have a natural instinct for this very sort of thing. I especially appreciate how you know all the precise questions to ask that could interest the public. It doesn't hurt that your bubbly personality helps the artists to be comfortable with you and happy to answer your questions.
Everything you do, you do with the same finesse & style that is all your own. SUNSHINE style!
Thanks for another very enjoyable interview about this adorable young C&W artist!! Love & Hugs.....Paula/Effer
(Talk to you real soon!)