Campbellsville, Kentucky native and Curb Records artist Hannah Ellis recently shared new music with MusicRow Magazine staffers.
She has been signed with Curb as a songwriter for the past five years and recently signed to Curb Records as an artist. She’s penned songs recorded by Carly Pearce, Russell Dickerson, Emily Weisband, Cassadee Pope, Filmore and more.
She signed her label deal on March 3, the day tornadoes ripped through Nashville, followed by a barrage of tour cancellations and businesses moving to a work-from-home model, due to the coronavirus.
“That was crazy,” she recalls. “But at the same time, it gave us time to get things set up administratively. So it has actually been a nice time to get all our ducks in a row and have time to get to know more people on the team.”
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Ellis has competed on Season 8 of NBC’s The Voice. She also toured as part of CMT’s Next Women of Country Tour in 2019.
In addition to her talent as a singer and songwriter, Ellis also takes initiative, as evidenced by one of her early meetings with Curb Records VP Marketing, John Clore.
“I sent him a list of things I’ve done in the past and I mentioned that I graduated from UK. He was like, ‘We need to figure out a way to get you on a national commercial or something with them.’ I was really new and I was like, ‘Well, I already did that back in 2015.’ He was like ‘Nationally?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, it played at halftime of every single UK ballgame that aired that year.’ So obviously, great minds think alike.”
During the Zoom call, Ellis performed songs including “Plans” and “Somebody Else,” and shared her current plans to return to the studio to work on new songs.
“I’m going in the studio on July 29 to cut some sides with producer Jason Massey. I’m so pumped that we get to get back into the studio. We’ve been trying to think of outside-the-box ways to stay connected with fans, because not being able to play live shows has been the hardest thing.”
Like nearly all songwriters right now, Ellis has been conducting a good chunk of her co-writes via Zoom, and adjusting to the technology’s benefits and frustrations.
“The writing doesn’t feel as creative, but I’ve done a lot of it. Once I got used to it, I’ve written some stuff I really love. I’m about half-and-half with Zoom writes and then in-person writes. I’m not good at not working. Even if I don’t like Zoom, I’m going to do it. I have to feel productive in some way.”
Ellis says she expects Zoom to become more fully integrated into songwriters’ daily lives going forward.
“Just like anything else, the technology is going to keep getting better. It’s going to make writing, like me here and someone in another town, much easier. I have something that might be coming out with some DJs in Europe. If we need to have a conversation about it we can get on Zoom, whereas it used to be all emails. People are going to continue to use it.
“There has been a lot of craziness this year, but there are so many beautiful things that can happen right now. Just focusing on those has made it a really good year in spite of itself.”
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