Who is Elyse Saunders?
Elyse Saunders is an independent, country recording artist who blends her small-town Ontario roots with the bright lights of Toronto and Nashville – captivating crowds with powerhouse vocals, a dynamic presence, and an interactive charm. Growing up, country music always felt like home for Elyse and with the support of her family early on, she found Cyril Rawson, a hit songwriter/producer (Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson) from her hometown. After recording her debut 2008 self-titled album with him in Nashville, she released a string of singles to Canadian radio and showcased her music during an opening spot for ACM artist Deric Ruttan in front of 10,000 attendees. Over the next five years, Elyse would become an awards contender with a 2012 Toronto Independent Music Award nomination for Best Country Artist, five 2014 Country Music Association of Ontario Award nominations, and a growing list of performance dates that has since grown to over 350 live shows that have included showcases at Canadian Music Week, Indie Week, and Canadian Country Music Week. Next, she teamed up with three-time CCMA/JUNO award winner Joel Feeney at the acclaimed Orange Lounge Studio for her second album, 2015’s I’m On My Way. After more radio singles, an East Coast tour, and back-to-back MARTY (Mississauga Arts Awards) Nominations in 2015 and 2016, Elyse was invited to share the story of Equestrian Olympic medalist Jessica Phoenix and was inspired to co-write her next radio single, “RISE” in 2017. Inviting listeners to be unstoppable in their dreams, the single crossed-borders when Elyse was invited to perform it during the pre-ESPY Awards Show in Los Angeles and has been picked up for televised placement during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. After catching the ear of Toronto’s DJ Danny D, he created a remix that cracked the Canadian Hit 20 Countdown for 10 weeks, reached 60,000 streams on Spotify, was added to z1035's Streetmix album and available on Walmart's shelves.
A socially-conscious person by nature, Elyse Saunders has used her burgeoning career to bring attention to causes that matter to her. "Warm Coats, Warm Hearts - Coat Drive & Concert" – is an annual benefit concert created by Elyse that has collected and distributed thousands of coats and cash donations to agencies that provide to children, men & women in need during the cold winter months. In 2016, The Keg Spirit Foundation recognized Elyse’s ongoing charitable efforts by presenting her with the Chairman Award.
Inspired by the #MeToo movement, Elyse wrote and personally financed the recording, the music video, and the release of her 2018 single, “Me Too”. Using lyrical potency mixed with an equally gritty and elegant delivery, the striking music video earned over 15,000 views across social media in its first two weeks and continues to provide a voice for those with a personal struggle and a need to speak out – regardless of gender, race or age. Since that time, Elyse has been busy preparing her newest project, FREE – an album that is set to drop in the winter of 2019 and represents her boldest and most liberated group of songs yet.
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