2021 marks the beginning of a new chapter for Brynn Elliott. After kickstarting the year with her empowering new single, “Tell Me I’m Pretty“, Elliott has been busy gearing up to release even more new music, sharing both a piano version and a string quartet version of the track, which leads up to her new EP, Can I Be Real? slated for release later this year. Following the groundwork laid by “Tell Me I’m Pretty”, Can I Be Real? is a collection of vibrant pop songs that explore identity, self-image, and finding your place in the world.
With “Tell Me I’m Pretty” out now and more new music coming soon, we caught up with Brynn Elliott to chat about the track, her growth since her 2018 EP, Time Of Our Lives and plans for the rest of 2021. Read the full interview below.
Prelude Press: You kicked off 2021 with the release of your new single, “Tell Me I’m Pretty”! Now that it has been out for a little bit and you’ve had some time to reflect on it, what are some of your favorite things about the track?
Brynn Elliott: My favorite thing about Tell Me I’m Pretty is how it’s a very upbeat song while also carrying a lot of deep raw emotion in its melody. It’s a triumphant song that came from the pain of being a human reduced down to their physical appearance. When you hear the track you immediately get that uptempo vibe. But then when I play it for livestream performances for example that raw emotion, pain even, really comes through. I love that the song carries both of these things within it – joy and deep emotion.
What inspired you to write “Tell Me I’m Pretty”?
Two things inspired me to write Tell Me I’m Pretty. I wrote down the lyrics “Maybe I’m worth more than some numbers or a score” back in college when I saw this scandal with the men’s soccer team unfold on my campus. They were found to have a group chat where they rated the members of the women’s soccer team on their physical appearance. These men literally gave these women a numerical rating on how attractive they thought they were and what’s worse, they said horrific things about these women. I was deeply affected by this and thought about how it was a microcosm of the image-obsessed culture we live in that is exacerbated by social media.
Then in 2019 I was on the road performing for a primarily younger female audience and just wanted to write a song for younger girls encouraging them to know that their value is not in their selfies. I grew up in the moment where social media just started becoming a thing. But now, these young girls live in a world where so much is happening online, and with the pandemic, virtually everything is happening online. So I wanted to write and release this song to help anyone who might be feeling the pressures of social media right now.
“Tell Me I’m Pretty” is a self love anthem that many listeners need to hear after a challenging year this past year. What would you like for fans to take away from it?
I hope fans take away the message from this song that beauty is not skin deep. I hope they know they are beautiful not because of the way they look but because they are human. That’s the most beautiful thing in the world. And I hope they know the world needs their beauty especially in times like these.
The track marks a new era for your music and comes from your upcoming EP, Can I Be Real?. What can fans expect from the upcoming collection of songs? What are you most excited for them to hear?
I wrote Can I Be Real? after being on the road for about two years promoting my first project. When I went to write these songs I really had to sit with my experiences since I graduated college and realized I had been in this world of performance and glamor on the road. I had been “on” as it were for two years. And while I didn’t think I was being inauthentic, performing 24/7 can cause you to shy away from the more real moments of life – messy hair, no make-up kind of things. Also, I am a notorious people pleaser and I have found in certain moments of my life that I am not fully myself because I want people to like me. So sitting with these two things made me want to write a project where I was completely honest with who I was and how I was feeling.
Soren Kirkegaard once said, “The most common form of despair is not being who you really are.” So, I asked myself the question, “can I be real?” and these songs came out. I hope everyone who listens to the project is encouraged to be real and honest in who they are, even about the messy parts that make us so beautifully human.
Did you have any major goals in mind when you began working on Can I Be Real?
When I started working on this EP I knew I wanted everything to be cohesive, sonically, but also thematically. I wanted the songs to speak to each other. It really is a collection of songs that explore the meaning of honesty, love, life, and persevering through hardship and the beauty that comes from all of those things.
I also knew that I wanted the production style to reflect my songwriting style. 9 times out 10, I write all my music on an acoustic guitar or piano, from verse to bridge. I also always play my songs with real instruments when I play live. So having real instrumentation was very important to be in the sonic angle of this project. Also, given the title of the project, having that seemed very fitting. There’s definitely fun electronic elements that are so common in pop right now, but fused with the soul of the songs found in guitars and piano sounds.
You’ve done so much between the release of your debut EP, Time Of Our Lives and Can I Be Real?, including some insane tour dates and TV performances. How do you feel that you’ve grown as an artist between these two releases?
It truly has been a journey between that last project until now. I think what’s most exciting is that I have been able to get my music out there with the touring and performances and that’s been so fun for me. I also was able to go on my first proper pop tour with Why Don’t We back in 2019 which was exciting because I am very passionate about making pop music.
I think the biggest way I’ve grown is just by growing a fan base! They have named themselves “Brylliants” which I think is the cutest thing and they are all brilliant indeed! I am excited to get this new music in their hands.
What was the most exciting or rewarding part of working on the EP?
I wrote roughly 30 songs during the process of making the EP. Writing a song a day for a whole month was extremely challenging but also so fulfilling looking back. I also got to write this EP with some incredible people, including my dear friend, Michelle Buzz, who executive produced the project. Getting to have a partner like her for this was so fulfilling and helped me get outside of my head and into the music.
With the EP coming soon, when can fans expect to hear some more new music?
Fans can expect to hear new music definitely this year!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Follow me on all the social media and on all the streaming services so we can stay connected during these trying times. I am @brynnelliott everywhere 🙂 Thanks for having me!