Brynn Elliott belies her age of 24. Within the last year, she graduated from Harvard with a degree in philosophy, released her first single for Atlantic, “Might Not Like Me,” and toured radio stations to promote her career.
“I am calling this my dream year because of graduating and signing to Atlantic Records,” Elliott says during an interview in The Entertainer! Magazine’s offices.
“When I first met with Atlantic, I looked at the roster of artists and was freaking out thinking it was so crazy I am a part of this. They offered to sign me on the spot, and it was crazy. He (Craig Kallman, Atlantic’s co-president) looked at me and said, ‘Atlantic has had a very big year and we are looking for artists to follow the footsteps of artists like Bruno Mars.’ I literally, in this very powerful man’s office, burst into tears. It was one of the craziest moments of my life.”
“Might Not Like Me” had more than 1 million streams on Spotify only weeks after its release. It was featured on an episode of the TV Land program “Younger!” as well.
“Might Not Like Me” sends an empowering message to women, but according to Elliott, the song was written after a tough breakup.
“I wrote it three years ago,” Elliott says. “I was a sophomore in college and I was dating this guy. He was just a very competitive person and I think he was a little intimidated by my passion for music and my career. I was really concerned about what he thought of me and I had the mindset if I’m not a certain way he’s not going to like me.
“And so, in all honesty, it wasn’t something I wrote down thinking about women empowerment. I was just really hurting and decided I needed to stop worrying about what this guy thinks of me. I think it is definitely an encouragement to women to not care about what others think, especially not a boy.”
Elliott’s next single was “Time of Our Lives,” which she co-wrote with producer Nathan Chapman, who produced five of Taylor Swift’s albums.
Recently, she released the song “Internet You,” which has a companion lyric visual.
Throughout her years as a student and singer, Elliott spent her summers and weekends touring extensively with more than 200 shows, including performances with
Brandi Carlile, Grace Potter and Alanis Morissette.
Elliott describes Harvard as life-changing. She was the first in her family to graduate from college but admits it was challenging balancing her academic work with her singing career.
“It was a juggling act for sure,” Elliott says. “I toured a lot in college. I played over 260 shows in the four years I was at Harvard. I would have papers due right before I went on stage, so I would submit papers right before I would perform. I just had to make it work and manage my time. If I wasn’t working on my music, I was studying.”
With such a hectic traveling schedule and rising stardom, Elliott says her support system is crucial to her success.
“My parents and my brother are my support system. My parents have always supported me and my dreams,” Elliott says.
“Growing up, my grandparents would be cooking dinner and would be singing to each other and I would just think to myself that I want that in my life when I grow up.”
Music, however, wasn’t always in Elliott’s life, as her passion only developed at the age of 16, when she learned how to play guitar by watching YouTube videos.
“My dad had an old guitar in the corner of our house and it was around the time when I was applying to college and I felt very overwhelmed and very stressed,” Elliott says.
“So, I felt like a resume and not a human being. I had no idea how to play guitar and I wanted to do something completely new and out of the box, so I asked my dad if I could play his guitar. I would pick up the guitar after long school days and try to learn to play Colbie Caillat songs. I then started writing after that, and even put those songs on my college application. It was my whole world.”
Elliott says this is just the beginning and is excited to see what the future holds for her music career.
“It is so crazy and this is such a dream to me. I am really excited,” Elliott says smiling. “I would just love to be playing shows and meeting people. It’s moments like when I went on my first tour and the moment you have with the crowd and the moment you get to meet them afterward. Five years from now if I am still getting to do that, we will be completely fine.”
Why Don’t We w/Brynn Elliott,
Comerica Theatre, 400 W.Washington Street, Phoenix,
1.800.745.3000, comericatheatre.com, 7 p.m. Wednesday, March
20, tickets start at $39.50.