At that time she’d just graduated Harvard and was releasing her EP Time Of Our Lives. The EP featured singles “Miss You”, “Internet You”, “Tongue Tied” and “Might Not Like Me.” Elliott toured extensively after the EP came out.
In February Elliott launch her “Tell Me I’m Pretty” Scholarship. Today she releases her new EP Can I Be Real? The new EP includes singles “Tell Me I’m Pretty”, “Letter to a Girl”, and “Without You.” She is releasing the single “Can I Be Real” today.
Elliott worked with a different team on the album including producer Monarch, and songwriter Michelle Buzz (who is executive producer of the EP). The new EP presents a calmer, more confident Elliott asking questions of herself and the world, and looking for a genuine truth.
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making the Can I Be Real EP?
BE: The biggest challenge in making Can I Be Real? Was figuring out what I wanted the theme of the EP to be. My first EP was easy in terms of finding things to write about because I wrote it during my time in college and the songs followed almost subconsciously. For this EP it was different. I really thought about what I wanted to say and the experiences I had since the last EP. And I realized that I lived in this state of performance and people-pleasing for two years promoting my first project. So when I sat down to write the second I wanted to make sure that what I was saying was real and authentic to me, and to what it means to be human. And that ended up being the main theme of the EP.
FEMMUSIC: What lessons did you learn making your first EP that helped making the Can I Be Real EP?
BE: When I was making the first EP I learned to be very specific with what I wanted each song to sound like. Finalizing the production of the project was just as involved as writing it. And so I knew I wanted to take that same mentality with this EP – not just telling a lyrical story, but a sonic story as well.
FEMMUSIC: What was your goal for making the Can I Be Real EP?
BE: I think I started this EP by saying “I want to make an EP of hit songs” which is a very silly thing to say. I am not sure I at all succeeded in that goal but what I did do once I started writing was really surrender to what needed to come out of me in my songwriting. I don’t know if these songs are hits, but I know they are songs I needed to write and there’s a lot of satisfaction in that.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about The Monarch? How did you meet? What did they bring to the project?
BE: I met the Monarch in one of my first sessions with Michelle Buzz in Los Angeles back in 2019. They bring this perfect balance between ease and intensity to songwriting sessions. They are both very relaxed but will speak up if they think we could write a better verse or chorus. That’s such an art in and of itself and I think the creative environment they foster really made me feel like I could trust them. So when it came to producing the EP I knew I wanted them to be very involved. I think they are geniuses at production and I am very honored to have worked with them on this project.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about Michelle Buzz? How did you meet? How was she to work with? What did she bring to the project?
BE: I met Michelle Buzz for a session for the first time in 2019. It was honestly the most magical thing when we met. We sort of look similar and so we had to take a moment and make sure we were not part of some kind of Parent Trap situation – twins separated at birth. And then we just started writing that day and it was so exciting for me to write with someone who was at the very same stage of life as me. We related so much that first day and became fast friends. I hope to write songs with her for many years to come.
FEMMUSIC: FEMMUSIC featured the “Tell Me I’m Pretty” Scholarship. You’ve spoken before about how you got into Harvard. What was your goal in setting up a scholarship?
BE: My goal in setting up the scholarship was to do (in an extremely small way) what the people who have loved me most in my life did for me: they encouraged me to pursue my dream and calling. I hope that my music encourages women to live the life they are meant to live and the scholarship was a more practical way for me to engage with women in that way.
FEMMUSIC: “Letter to A Girl” is a letter to your younger self. Tell me how that song developed?
BE: “Letter to a Gir”l was the first song I wrote when I started writing again after being on tour for those two years. I opened for Why Don’t We. They have the most incredible fan base, the majority of whom are teenage girls. I remember wanting to write a song for them and for my younger self – because I saw so much of my younger self in those girls every night on the tour. So the song is really all of those things I wish I had known then with the main theme being about beauty. I wanted this song to encourage people to know that beauty is so much more than physical appearance. Beauty is a broader concept about stewarding a good and true life and that’s what I say in the song. You are beautiful because you are human. Beautiful is created in your mind and your outlook on this precious life.
FEMMUSIC: Touring is returning post-COVID. You toured extensively with Time Of Our Lives. What are you most look forward to in touring? What do you dread?
BE: Touring is my absolute favorite thing to do. I look forward to every aspect of touring in this post-COVID world. I think we are all longing to be together again. I really can’t say that I am dreading anything regarding getting back on the road.
FEMMUSIC: What has changed about you & for you during COVID?
BE: I have experienced a lot of loss during this covid season. I lost my dad and my grandpa. I think the biggest thing that has changed for me is that I want to make the most of my life. With covid, we were all faced with the preciousness of life. So that fact has just fueled me and encouraged me to fight harder in this life and keep going.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
BE: I would love to see the music industry continue to give opportunities to women. The industry has come a long way in this regard and I feel very grateful to have a majority female team. But there’s always more work to be done allowing those historically underrepresented to have a seat at the table and I look forward to that work continuing.
Brynn Elliott “Tell Me I’m Pretty” Scholarship – Application Deadline May 4, 2021
Brynn is fresh off the release of “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” the powerful song behind the scholarship’s name.
Brynn Elliott is celebrating today’s announcement of the “Tell Me I’m Pretty” scholarship in partnership with Bold.org, an organization that works to eliminate student debt and democratize philanthropy. The $500 scholarship is geared towards ambitious women, and was inspired by the women in Brynn’s own life. Learn more and apply HERE: go.bold.org/Brynn
“I wanted to do this scholarship to encourage and empower women in WHATEVER they choose to set their mind and hearts to,” says Brynn “because I truly believe that what we do in this life and how we live is our access point to beauty. It could be going to school, starting a small business or creating art. Humans living out their purpose and dreams is what it’s all about. This scholarship is specifically for women because I know how much the women in my life have inspired and encouraged me to do that to which I am called. I would love to do the same for other women.”
What do you do after graduating Harvard University? Dive into the music world full force. It helps if you’ve been touring through college and music has been part of your life. Ask Brynn Elliott whose debut EP Time Of Our Lives comes out today, September 7, 2018. Elliott worked with Nathan Chapman to make the EP which features songs “Miss You”, “Internet You”, “Tongue Tied” and the empowering anthem “Might Not Like Me”
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making “Time Of Our Lives”?
BE: That song came from a pretty challenging session where I was really trying to hone in on what my “sound” was. I concluded that my “sound” is just writing good songs and seeing where the production takes us from there. The song is about embracing the moment and not worrying about the future – and I think one some level that’s what you have to do in songwriting – not overthink it but be in the moment and write from your heart and let all the other stuff work itself out.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about working with Nathan Chapman. What did he bring to the project? How was he to work with?
BE: He is an incredible producer and songwriter. And he was truly passionate working with me to write my story into the songs. He’s family. I love working with him.
FEMMUSIC: You’re signed to Atlantic Records. What made you decide to sign with them? What benefits to they bring to the project?
BE: My junior year of college some labels started to reach out to me. Nothing was really fitting. And then last year I met Carla Wallace of Big Yellow Dog Publishing, who published Megan Trainor and Maren Morris. She just really understood me and where I was coming from and she introduced me to everyone at Atlantic and we did a joint publishing/label deal all together. Atlantic is just terrific. I feel so supported as an artist. They really want to promote my voice and my art. And so I felt like I could really be myself and find a home at Atlantic. My team is full of the most incredible people and I feel so honored to be working with them! Julie Greenwald is my hero.
FEMMUSIC: You’re newly graduated from Harvard. Tell me about how your education has influenced your music? Tell me about the choice to jump into music as the career after graduating?
BE: School and music have always gone together for me. In high school, I was learning about the California Gold rush and I wrote a song called “Gold Dust.” And when I found out I was going to college I was really adamant that I would take those four year to build up a bank of songs. And many of my songs have really been inspired by what I was learning in the classroom – for one class I wrote an entire EP for our final project. It was a science class called “The Einstein Revolution” and I wrote an entire EP as if Einstein wrote pop music.
I really made the choice to pursue a career in music before starting college. I applied to Harvard twice – didn’t get in the first time. And after that experience I took a year off from all things school to pursue my music and I got an opportunity to open on a tour and after that experience there was really no going back. I committed to being an independent artist throughout college – I literally took every opportunity I was offered to play and I ended up playing over 260 shows in college. So I was pretty determined to still pursue that after college – and I am so grateful to be doing that now!
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
BE: Sometimes the melody comes first, sometimes the lyrics – but it always starts with an idea or a concept. I think that’s why I draw so much inspiration from philosophy because philosophy and pop music are really after the same thing – concisely explaining those universal ideas and experiences that we have as human beings.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
BE: “The Story” by Brandi Carlile – the first time I heard that song it changed my life. It is just such a powerful song describing the experience of being in a relationship and Brandi’s voice truly changed my life and opened up this whole world to me of what a voice could do.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
BE: I am grateful to say I haven’t. I have worked really hard to work very hard to surround myself with true professionals who are passionate about my music and career.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
BE: Ed Sheeran! I am such a fan of his songwriting and I would be so honored to open the stage for him!
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
BE: I would say that this business is constantly changing and I am are trying to be as adaptive as possible.