"Shut Me Up" Singer Lindsay Ell Talks Why We Need More Country Songs That Empower Women
You can thank Shania Twain. That's who up-and-coming country singer Lindsay Ell credits for cultivating her own passion for music. It was Twain's "girl power" movement which inspired Ell to cut her latest single, an edgy country breakup tune titled "Shut Me Up." The addictive tune is angry and completely unapologetic, reminiscent of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," though Ell isn't taking a bat to her ex's car — she's telling the world about how much he sucks. It's a refreshingly honest tune (not to mention wish-fulfilling for anyone who has had a bad ex) and Ell says it wouldn't have been possible without country artists like Twain to set the groundwork for the future women of country. "I think it really came back to that Shania movement, having songs that are about girl power in such a good way."
"It really was about empowering females, saying that this is what we want and we're going to stand up for that... There's not a lot of females in country today, and I think it's important for the few of us to represent the rest of us," the 25-year-old tells me.
Ell herself may be an artist that other women in country look up to. The artist, who is fresh off of The Band Perry's We Are Pioneers Tour, is already making a name for herself in the music industry.
The Canadian country singer was named one of the top 10 artists to know in the summer of 2014 by Rolling Stone , an honor not at all lost on the singer. One of the things that may have made Ell stand out to Rolling Stone is her amazing guitar skills — something that she admits is a little unusual for female artists in country.
"I like that challenge when I walk in front of an audience and I'm holding my Les Paul and I know they're thinking, 'Oh, here we go, another girl guitar player.' It's a challenge for me to earn that credibility. I think society has put labels on girls in that they can only be a certain level of musician."
When it comes to giving aspiring musicians advice, Ell has one thing to say: Stay true to who you are.
"It's so important to know who you are. Let people around you help you, but don't let them sway your artistic intelligence and artistic identity. Deep down in your heart, you know what you want to say and you know what you want to sound like. Believe in that."
Check out Ell's new lyric video for "Shut Me Up" below. You can download the new single here.
Image: Jessica Wardwell