For singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer, Elyse Williams has been going strong since age seven. Performing with courage and living without fear, the young artist has been devoted to the stage.
Signed by Disney music producer, Andrew Lane, Williams has been gaining notoriety since she was thirteen with her performances in local school theatrical productions. Lane, the power behind High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Disneymania 4, and Manny Fresh, has stood by Williams along her journey.
Williams continued her musical career through high school and in 2015, where she began singing in the Los Angeles region during open mic sessions, vocal competitions, singing gigs, and acting in lead roles in local theatrical productions.
Straight Up Paula!
Later that year, Williams was selected out of 18,000 applicants to attend and sing at Carnegie Hall’s Honors Performance in New York City. When Lane first discovered Williams and signed her in 2017, they went straight to work, producing her first single, “Well Played,” which was released in March of last year. This was quickly followed by the release of “Girls Talk Too Much,” “Lips Like Poison,” and a number of cover songs.
In September of last year, Williams recorded backup vocals for Paula Abdul’s 2018 tour, “Straight Up Paula!,” and is currently working on the release of her first EP, “Well Played.”
Down the Red Carpet
Attracting the attention of designer, Pamela Quinzi, Williams met with and spent a few hours with Quinzi, sharing stories back and forth with one another.
Grit Daily News spoke with Williams about her career thus far.
Grit Daily: What sparked your interest in music?
Elyse Williams: Since I was little, I remember my love for singing. I would sing around the house just for fun, and my mom would hear me. She thought I was pretty good for a kid my age, so she decided to enroll me in singing lessons.
GD: Do you remember the first musical performance you were involved with?
EW: When I was in fourth grade, my elementary school did a production of “Snow White: The Musical.” I was cast as the lead for Snow White. I sang my first ever big solo song on a stage in front of a real live audience, and that was when I knew. Standing there, singing my little fourth grade heart out, I knew I wanted to sing for people for the rest of my life. That was what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, and since then, I’ve never wanted to do anything else.
GD: With so many artists of all different ages out there, what do you believe sets you apart?
EW: There are so many people in the world with such incredible voices, who display amazing ranges and beautiful tones. However, I believe my passion for music, courage, and personal drive to be successful in this industry sets the tone. My mantra is all about “courage”—rising up each day with the courage to live without fear, knowing I have to work harder than anyone else, regardless of what it takes.
GD: What would you consider to be your biggest challenge as an up-and-coming artist?
EW: Definitely the “discovery” process and being recognized in the music industry. I started one year ago, with no social media platform, and no professional networks in the industry. Every chance or opportunity I had to play in public would lead to another opportunity to play. One year later, I have 4 singles released, 36,000 followers, and am getting ready to release my first EP.
GD: What can you tell us about your upcoming EP?
EW: My first EP, ‘Well Played’ should be released soon. I am incredibly excited about it because it’s my very first EP! The songs in this EP are my first as a singer, song writer and I wanted to explore what my style, voice, and sound as an artist is. The EP starts with traditional pop-style theme songs, centered around love and relationships, then transitioning towards an acoustic country/pop style of music by the end. I loved working with my producer, Andrew Lane, and my sound engineer and co-producer, Miguel Palmero. I hope people will love listening to it as much as I loved creating it.
GD: What would you say is your favorite part about performing music?
EW: I absolutely love watching people as I perform. I love to see how they connect with my music or the lyrics to the songs I sing. Seeing people dance or move to a fast, fun song or watching people laughing or nodding their heads in agreement with the lyrics give me joy.
GD: You’ve been performing in the Musicash competition. What can you tell us about it?
EW: Artists from all around the world are able to submit a video of themselves for entry into the competition. The event has six elimination rounds with two finalists selected from each round to move forward to the finals. The twelve finalists will then compete in the final round of the competition, which will be aired on television this November. The finalist will win the grand prize of $40,000 and tour with the other eleven finalists around the world for a tour.
Williams recently appeared on Musicash Weekly TV in an exclusive interview and live performance:
GD: You’ve achieved success thus far in the competition, making it to the final elimination round. What has been going through your head?
EW: Throughout the day, I spent my time getting to know the other contestants that were selected in this round of the competition. I was making so many friends and bonding with other contestants that I wasn’t nervous until the announcement filming. When I was announced as one of the top-three finalists, I found myself excited and nervous. What made it easier for me were the other two-finalists. We were extremely supportive of one other, and there was this really sweet moment where we all group hugged for a while, telling each other how incredible the other finalists were and no matter what happened we would be happy for each other. All I could think about was what an amazing group of people I had been blessed with meeting and becoming friends with. Up until the last moment of the announcement, all I felt was love and joy for being part of something so truly incredible and positive in every way.
GD: What advice do you have for other up-and-coming artists in the space?
EW: Find a really good team of people you can trust to surround yourself with. I would not be where I am at this point in my young music career without the team of people who help manage me, my social media, my video productions, while producing and engineering all of my music. They all play an important part of my life, in and out of music, and I know they will encourage me, support me, lift me up when I need it, and even push me when I need the push. They have become an important and instrumental part of my journey.