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Art & Life with Ellee Duke

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellee Duke.

Ellee, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
When I was five years old, my parents put me in piano lessons. I remember staring at the songs in my lesson book, and instead of practicing what my teacher gave me, I’d sit there and make up my own songs. When I was 12, I started learning guitar. That was really when my songs began to take shape. I played a talent show in 7th grade, and I ended up performing two of my originals. One was called “The Other Half Of My Whole,” and it was about a boy in my math class that I had a huge crush on. The entire auditorium was silent while I was singing, and once I was done, I got a standing ovation and won the talent show. That was the first moment I realized I had a gift, and I knew I wanted to make music forever. Then when I was a sophomore, my high school put on a singing competition called Alta Idol. I ended up taking first place also with my original songs and getting another standing ovation. I was on top of the world. I started asking my parents how I could do music full time. We had a few friends who knew people in the music industry in Nashville, TN. So my mom and I made a trip out and took some meetings, and I sang at some bars and open mic nights. I started making trips there every few months. And once I was 18, I got offered a record deal/publishing deal from Big Machine Music. I ended up graduating high school early and moved out to Nashville to chase my dream. Almost two years later, I did a Christmas tour with LeAnn Rimes, and we played a ton of shows in California. I ended up going in the studio and working with some pop producers in LA while I wasn’t performing, and it was incredible. I felt something creatively in LA that I’d never felt before. So I moved there a few months later. I’ve been working in LA for the past three years now developing as an artist and finding my sound. I am no longer in any deal with labels, or publishers. I decided about a year ago that I wanted to be an independent artist and wanted to be able to have creative control over my art and my career. I’m so excited to finally share all my music with the world.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a topliner, which means I write melodies and lyrics. I work with different producers and writers on multiple kinds of projects. I write music for movies, TV, and commercials. I work with other artists on helping them write songs and find their voice and sound. And as far as my own artist project I am very busy working on that majority of the time, writing songs and working on my brand. The message of my music will inspire listeners to believe in themselves, to embrace their unique gifts that make them different, and to have hope through their struggles and heartbreaks.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
I would tell other artists to ALWAYS follow their gut. You will run into people who think they know who you should be, how you should look, and what your music should sound like. If you don’t stay true to who you are, you’ll lose yourself in the opinions of others. That’s happened to me before, and it can become a deep hole that’s very difficult to climb out of. Remember art is subjective. Not everyone is gonna like it, and not everyone has to like it. As long as you love it and genuinely feel you created something real from the heart, the audience will feel it, and that’s all that matters.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My music will be on Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes. People can also find more about me on my Instagram, @elleeduke, as well as my YouTube channel, “Ellee Duke.” For shows, events, and merch you can head to my website www.elleeduke.com.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
Personal Photo by Jefferson Astle

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