Originally born in Peterborough, Elyse Saunders is a country singer-songwriter, recording artist and performer currently breaking into Toronto’s country music scene. Looking back, Elyse always knew she wanted to pursue a career in music and made the decision to record her first CD right after high school. After making a couple of trips to Nashville with a producer from her hometown, she completed her first self-titled album. The album had Elyse recording with some of country music’s most talented, including producer Cyril Rawson, David Martin and country artist Lisa Brokop. With the momentum of the first album, Elyse spent the past few years honing her skills as a performer playing on many stages including opening for ACM artist Deric Ruttan and then becoming a headlining act at her hometown’s famous Little Lake Music Fest, co writing with some Nashville’s hit makers as well as Canada’s iconic talent, making many TV and radio appearances throughout Ontario including CTV, CHCH and she’s released numerous singles to country radio across Canada. With all of the growth and creativity gained, Elyse felt she was ready to record a second album and could do so after she was selected to receive a FACTOR recording grant. With a sound in mind for the songs she’d been writing, Elyse teamed up with producer Joel Feeney, three time CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) Record Producer of the Year, multi-JUNO, CCMA nominated and recorded at Toronto’s exclusive Orange Lounge Studio. Her inspiration stems from some of country music’s most renown names such as LeeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry, Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, Alannah Myles and Martina McBride.
“My music is a reflection of who I am,” says Saunders. “It comprises everything from my musical influences, to my friends and family from my hometown of Peterborough to my current roots in Mississauga.”
The current sophomore album “I’m On My Way” was released this past spring with a CD release party at Rock n’ Horse Saloon, Toronto. “I’m On My Way” features Just Like Mama, her most recent single which carries listeners on a journey of soulful, powerful vocals; a story of empowerment. Just Like Mama was pre-released last Mother’s Day, paying tribute to mothers across Ontario and was also used to raise money for a new paediatric care zone for Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga. Listening to the album you can hear that Elyse has a unique slow rock country style, mixed with a solid rhythm, that will keep you humming her tunes for days.
“I’m so excited to have finally launched this album which features songs I wrote from my heart,” says Saunders. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to share my music with everyone.”
Some of Elyse’s most recent and past achievements include her being selected as one of the six acts to showcase at Country Music Association of Ontario’s 2015 “New Faces, Going Places” industry showcase as well as being selected for a 2nd time to showcase at a “Diamonds in the Rough” showcase during CCMA week 2015, a 2015 nomination for a MARTY award (Mississauga Arts Award), she’s been a contender in 2013 and 2014 for CMAO’s Female Artist of the Year and was a nominee for a Toronto Independent Music Award in 2012 for Best Country Artist. Also, Elyse received a special invitation to perform and record a pop/country anthem at renowned recording studio Metal Works for new mayor of Mississauga, ON. Bonnie Crombie in 2014.
In addition to her music, Elyse puts much time and effort into her annual charity that she began four years ago called WARM COATS, WARM HEARTS Coat Drive & Concert, an annual benefit concert with Elyse and her musical peers where the cost of admission is a gently worn or used coat. Elyse feels it’s important to use her musical platform to give back and in just 4 years has collected and distributed 2000 coats to children, youth and adults. Her past radio single “Warm Christmas” was released as a special tribute by bringing awareness to the cause. Warm Christmas also supported the 2013 Christmas From Home project for Canadian Troops abroad. The single shared CD space with Anne Murray and Jason McCoy, to name a few. This year WARM COATS, WARM HEARTS will be held at The Corral in Oshawa, ON. Elyse feels that with the help of her fellow country music peers that this will be the biggest year yet!
With new music ready to be heard and a family homestead based in Nova Scotia, you could see Elyse touring across Halifax, NS. this past September making stops at many venues including pubs, playing for Pembroke’s Country Rockin’ Festival, two songwriters rounds at the Atlantic Outdoor Sports & RV show, showcasing at Sirroma Entertainments Diamonds in the Rough and more all leading up to the Canadian Country Music Awards 2015. Elyse Saunders calendar continues to grow as well as her social media platforms and fan base, it’s easy to see that this female country artist will be leaving tracks and carving out memories throughout her growing musical journey.