“I dreamed of having a number one song ever since I was a little girl. That just happened during CMA week in Nashville!” Lindsay Ell’s dreams are coming true. In technicolor. She’s on tour in Germany. We got a hot minute with this hot and supernatural star on a fast-paced rise and learned her time is precious and so is she.
Olivia Daane (OD): How is Germany? What’s the vibe? What’s the response? Do you enjoy touring?
Lindsay Ell (LE): “It’s opening my mind to how small the world is. They sing to the lyrics of the songs which is crazy! We played a little bit of Kings of Leon and everybody lost their mind. I’m building every market. Earning the next stripe up the totem pole. Growing my music on an international platform opens doors you wouldn’t have thought possible.”
OD: Of all the countries, what has been your favorite you have toured so far?
LE: Listeners in the UK invest so much in an artist. They know your whole catalogue. Uk fans will hold a special place in my heart because of their dedication.They are not there for a single...not for a moment...they are there for your whole career. But Tokyo is my favorite city so far. I have people coming up to me saying “Can I touch your hair?”...like they've never seen a blonde in real life.
OD: What do you mean by “How logical everything is” in Tokyo?
LE: The train system...it is three times the size of London and yet it is so efficient. It is the biggest city I have ever seen. When you are driving into downtown Tokyo, it is like three Manhattans from one end of your peripheral vision to the other! I walked into a 7-11 and a stranger walks up and helps me. Everybody is helpful and friendly in a city that is so big you wouldn't expect that. It's so clean. Not one gum wrapper. Everybody is so dedicated to their job. If their job is polishing a spoon, they are going to be the best at that.
OD: When it comes to earning your stripes...building your career… what is your goal in the next 5 years?
LE: My goal would be to travel worldwide headlining arenas and crossing genres.
“I HAVE KICKED IT INTO A WHOLE NEW GEAR.”
OD: Like your Continuum project covering John Mayer...what other genres and artists interest you for collaboration and interlacing sounds?
LE: I don't consider everything I do straight country. Country has become so broad. If I am going to be a Sheryl Crow or John Mayer, I want to write real songs with real lyrics. I would love to be able to collaborate with Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth. At the end of the day music is music. Boundaries only hold back experiences for the listener to discover new music. I believe this album I’m working on now (with producer Dan Huff) will sit in that space, in the blurred line arena.
OD: Gorgeous, talented and intelligent! How does Lindsay Ell not have a boyfriend?
LE: I was on the road 280 days last year. Right now I am single. It’s the time to hit things hard. Good luck finding a boyfriend who doesn’t mind this schedule! I’m hoping that one fine day I will meet someone in this walk of life. I just turned 30. I have a lot to do. Being a woman in this industry, it's like being the energizer bunny that needs to run faster. My friends are starting families. I wouldn’t trade this for anything, but sometimes you look in the mirror and say when is a balance going to be something I prioritize. It’s a weird head space….you set these goals for yourself in life. You always move that bar higher and higher, which is good, but at the same time...when are you happy or satisfied?! It’s a lot of pressure on your psyche.
OD: It can be mind unraveling that constant seeking. You can become addicted to the next stripe. How do you fuel this ongoing desire. What is that next threshold?
LE: Will I ever stop?!! Do I push things away? Am I scared that the wrong things in my life will slow me down? At least I will know I tried my best and hardest. There's a part of this that is out of my hands. That is out of all of our hands. Do we become perfectionists to the point we lock ourselves out of everything?
OD: Like locking out relationships? Do you ultimately want a family?
LE: I definitely want to get married and share all this with someone. Whether I want to have kids or adopt them will depend on timing. I try not to stress about my biological clock until my doctor just told me my eggs are the best for freezing they will ever be now! Everything is coming so fast.
OD: You electrify an audience. It is moving so fast. It must seem surreal how it is coming faster and faster.
LE: Just when I thought I couldn't fit one more thing in my schedule, I fit five. Just when you think you've reached the fastest speed that you can feel, life surprises you. It’s fascinating and scary at the same time.
“AS A LIVE PERFORMER, MY SHOW IS THE BEST IT’S EVER BEEN, AND I AM ALWAYS THINKING
HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER.”
OD: What’s scary about it?
LE: I guess it is wondering if there will ever be relief or release from the pressure. I know it is pressure I put on myself. Being in a continuum of that is terrifying. Like I will always have that weight. Ever since I was little. I graduated as valedictorian from high school a year early. I was such a nerd. My parents made me go into university and I was trying to do two things at once. So...completely unlike me, I dropped out of business school because I knew if I didn't do this I would be the most miserable person. I could have never gone to a show without a pit in my stomach. You just figure out ways to keep staying alive. Like figuring out ways to stay relevant through so many cycles. I am most proud of staying alive. I have had to fight and kick and scream. I haven't had the easiest path. I will kick and scream to gain respect in a confident way.
Never lose that drive because of the love you have for your path.
OD: What have you learned the most from being onstage this past year and a half?
LE: I feel like I know who I am more. There is a level of honesty you can have in front of an audience. This next album is going to show that. I am peeling the layers. This is me behind closed doors. Coming out the other side as being somebody who is going to be able to take control of their life. The band I have right now is the band I have always been waiting for. They push and inspire me. I have clicked into a whole new gear. As a live performer, my show is the best it's ever been, and I am always thinking how can I make it better. I've never been comfortable in my own skin until now. Through every set back and transitional time in your life ...transitional to the point you feel like you've been through the work and setbacks to the point you reach a breakthrough... it is worth it once you get to the other side.
Lindsay Ell is one brave star rising. She’s fought and won her ticket to the other side. She is not just a pretty face. She knows what she’s doing as she builds markets and fan bases worldwide, as she fosters her musicianship and cultivates her strengths and individual style. Right now she’s in Frankfurt headed to soundcheck on a stage that has held Joplin, Hendrix, Ellington, Sinatra… “It’s pretty cool,” she chimes. We agree. Cool and smart and inspiring. Her voice on the phone and in song is real and appealing. An effortless timbre. Like someone you are going to trust. Lindsay Ell is in transition.