Who is Hannah Ellis? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Hannah Ellis
Birthdate – 8/14/1990
Hometown – Campbellsville, KY
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, JoDee Messina
Label – Curb Records
Current Single – “Wine Country” // as of date of article: 01/08/2024
Back in 2019, we first introduced you to one of our favorite rising artists, Hannah Ellis. Over the years, Ellis has continued to put out new music, building her catalog and audience one song at a time. Now, nearly five years since our first interview, Ellis has grown tremendously in her artistry and continuously proves her staying power in the genre. Recently, we caught up with Ellis to chat about her path thus far and, of course, her debut album, That Girl coming out this Friday, January 12th.
“I’m from a small town in Kentucky,” began the entertainer. “My parents were both singers, so I saw them singing at weddings on the weekends all the time, and they constantly had me and my sister singing together all the time.” At such a young age, Ellis recalls having a passion for music and singing. She specifically loved country music and was inspired by the powerful female country artists of her youth.
“When you’re eleven, twelve, thirteen, you kind of have this idea that anyone can be famous, and anyone can be found at the local county fair. I mean, I had this huge passion for singing. I was always singing and specifically singing country music,” she shared. Adding, “I grew up in the 90s, and it was an incredible time for country music, specifically women in country music.”
Ellis found inspiration in artists like Martina McBride and JoDee Messina, but also loved Taylor Swift too. “When Taylor Swift came on the scene, that was the first time I felt really connected to someone because her and I are the same age, and it made me feel that someone was finally speaking my language, speaking to me.”
With a supportive family and a desire to be a country music singer-songwriter known, Ellis had a drive to pursue her dream.“As I got older, I started singing in church and singing in the local contests, and stuff, but it wasn’t until I was eighteen, that I really realized that I wanted to pursue music as my life and as my job and career.”
The Turning Point:
Despite knowing ultimately the music was her calling, Ellis had secured a full-ride to the University of Kentucky for college. “I went on to college and just started making trips to Nashville, and kind of got my feet wet in that way. It was a really awesome experience to do the back and forth.” Within two months of graduating from college, the singer made the move to Music City. “As soon as I knew I wanted to pursue country music, I knew that I needed to be in Nashville.”
The second Ellis got to town, she was out networking and meeting as many people as she could in the industry. She wrote with artists around Nashville, connected with industry leaders, and went to every event she could to get her name and talent out there. “I am a person that kind of jumps in with both feet. I would just go to every event, every show, everything that I knew that people who were in the industry would be at. And I just started making connections that way.”
Eventually she landed her first publishing deal in 2015, which later turned into a record deal in 2020 with Curb Records, her current home base.“Being in the same building as a record label, they started to hear my music and go ‘“who is this girl?”’So it was a super organic kind of path into getting a record deal with Curb Records.”
Flash forward to today, Ellis is finally on the brink of releasing her debut album. Her project, That Girl comes out on Friday, January 12th. It is a true conglomerate of her experiences over her incredible career and of course, her own personal experiences too.
“I always knew that this first record was kind of my introduction, my “nice to meet you,” and I really wanted to choose songs that told all the different parts of my story, not just where I am at right now, but how I got here,” she shared. Adding, “It covers a lot of ground. It covers the stories I was writing when I first moved to town and when I got here and when I met my now-husband, Nick and our relationship growing together, and also my growth as a person myself, my struggles, and also the things that I’m super confident and secure in.”
The record features incredibly introspective songs like “Someone Else’s Heartbreak” and “Too Much & Not Enough,” as well as, fun songs like “Wine Country” and “Karma On The Rocks.” It was important to Ellis to not get too precious about the songs sounding the same musically; it was more important to have the stories speak for themselves.
“We didn’t get too hung up on ‘does this go with that?’ or ‘is this sound identical?’ because I think just like my personality, there’s a lot of different facets to the music that I love and there’s a lot of music that was a part of my musical rising if you will, and we just leaned into all the different aspects of me as an artist and me as a person.”
While all the released songs are incredible in their own right, fans can look froward to even more songs off the record including a stand-out called “Still.” According to Ellis, this song was written for a friend. “I wrote it from the perspective of one friend to another, and I wrote it for my friend, whenever she kept kind of going back to the same guy every time he would apologize. […] It’s kind of a song of ‘hey loving someone is not always enough to constitute that person being right for you’, and I think it’s a unique song to me, because I am the person that my friends go to for advice. […] I don’t think there’s a ton of songs out there of one friend talking to another.”
Fans can anticipate that Ellis will be touring the album this year. Checkout her website here for all the information!
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