Country music has always felt like home for Elyse Saunders. From the dynamic stages of Toronto to the bright lights of Nashville, the Peterborough, Ontario native has followed a path of steadfast determination and artistic inspiration – regularly captivating crowds with her powerhouse vocals, engaging live show personality, and interactive charm.
Priding herself on being an artist who never stops, Elyse discovered a passion for music early on when she met her first mentor, noted producer/songwriter Cyril Rawson (Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson), with whom she recorded her debut album in Nashville before releasing a string of Canadian country radio singles, and showcasing as an opener for ACM artist Deric Ruttan in front of 10,000 fans.
This formative stage experience has led to over 350 shows with industry showcases like Canadian Country Music Week, Indie Week, and 2019’s Canadian Music Week with Nice Horse, Kira Isabella, & David James. Elyse also rocked 2019’s Powassan’s Smoke ‘N’ Spurs ahead of Eric Ethridge and The Washboard Union, and opened for Terri Clark and Jason Aldean at Sunfest. On the release side, a dance remix by Toronto DJ Danny D of Elyse’s 2017 single, “Rise”, was chosen for TV placement at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
A series of Nashville songwriting trips led to new recordings with acclaimed BC producers Dan Swinimer (Sacha), Paul Shatto (Jetty Road), and David Wills (The Higgins). In 2020, Elyse released “Free”, an anthemic summer smash marking a successful re-entry to the Canadian radio market, highlighted by CBC Country/Sirius XM rotation. The single earned over 500K Apple Music streams, won Song and Video of the Year at the Mississauga Music Awards. The video remains on regular rotation on Stingray Country TV.
The 2020 winter ballad “Wine Down”, penned by Elyse in Nashville with Joey Green (“The Voice”), highlighted her songwriting chops and stunning vocals. Along with over 125K Spotify streams, it earned the #1 spot on Amazon’s Breakthrough Country playlist and top-lined "Wine Down with Elyse Saunders” – a digital fully-produced concert. Elyse performed “Wine Down” on “Today in Nashville”, and it was also a Top 100 pick by American Songwriter.
The 2021 single, “Sunshine State of Mind”, was one of the year’s Top 50 most played country songs on Amazon Music with over 600K plays, and spawned a popular music video that was featured on CMT.com and added by CMT Australia for regular rotation. This accompanied Elyse’s Top 5 finish in the CBC Music Toyota Searchlight competition and finalist spot in the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. After CMAO Award nominations for Female Artist of the Year and Rising Star, she dropped her new EP, “Free”. With her 2022 Canadian radio single, “Genes”, Elyse is poised to take her next bold step forward in what has been a prosperous and exciting musical career.
"A producer is only as good as the song and the artist they are producing and Elyse Saunders is a dream come true. She has profound natural talent combined with the rare work ethic needed to stand out in a very crowded music industry. Soulful emotion and vulnerability comes so naturally to her, but her impeccable pitch, raw power and projection comes only to those that work for it. She's so good with melody and lyrics and overall has such great instincts for what makes a song great. When Elyse Saunders sings - I get shivers! She’s the type of artist that lights up a room and stage with her presence - I hope the world discovers what I already know. Elyse Saunders is a star." — Dan Swinimer, CCMA Award-Nominated Producer (Sacha, Madeline Merlo)
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