Local Artist of The Week: Elise Davis By Charli Bray
Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Elise Davis is making waves in the Nashville music scene with her honest, relatable, and slightly sassy lyrics. Although Davis never planned on being a singer when she first began guitar lessons at age 11, she quickly discovered her voice and talent for song writing and was instantly hooked. Davis made the move to Nashville in late 2011 and has been calling Music City home ever since. During her interview, Elise stated that the things she writes “are all just very true, literal stories about my life.” Indeed, Elise captivates her listeners with raw and inspiring storytelling and leaves her audience reflecting on their own similar stories.
Q: When did you start making music?
A: “I always was interested in music. When I was 11 I started taking guitar lessons. I never really thought I was a singer and I thought that I was just learning to play guitar but when I was 12 years old I wanted to go to a Bush concert in downtown Little Rock with my friends and my parents didn’t want me to go and I got really upset about it and ran away from home for a little bit. Nobody came looking for me and I walked back home and I was really upset that my parents didn’t come looking for me so went up in my room and I knew a few chords well enough and I didn’t think about it or plan to do it but I picked up the guitar and wrote a song about being lonely in a big house and it felt so good and every single day since then I have written songs.”
Q: What genre would you place your music under?
A: “That’s hard for me because I don’t write straight up country music but some of the songs fall into the country genre. But I have recently found that my songs are very Americana; kinda gritty Americana sounding singer songwriter.”
Q: What artists inspire your music?
A:“I’m a super freakish fan of Lucinda Williams. I started listening to her in college and I am such a fan of the way that she writes lyrics and melody and everything. So John Prine and Lucinda Williams are probably the two biggest influences of my music.”
Q: As an Americana artist with a tinge of country, was moving to Nashville always a dream or a plan?
A: “It actually wasn’t. My first record was out when I was a senior in high school and then every year that I was in college; I was lucky to have band mates that worked in a little studio so that I could affordably record. And then I graduated college and went out on the road with my band; The way that I wanted to do it was just to be on the road all the time; then I realized that if I
stayed in Arkansas I was never going to get to the level I want to be at because there is no music industry in Arkansas. So when I thought about it Nashville was the closest and most affordable choice versus somewhere like LA, and so I packed up and came.”
Q: And are you loving Nashville?
A: “Moving was literally the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. I’ve learned an incredible amount of things since moving here and the industry here has been incredibly kind to me. I got a publishing deal last year and it has just been a really good choice to come here.”
Q: Do you think that living here and living in Nashville has influenced your music at all?
A: “Yeah definitely. I think that I always try to really stay true to the style that I have always loved since I started writing songs, but before I moved here all of my old band mates were indie rocker guys, so some of my older albums have touches of indie rock around my singer songwriter songs. So since I’ve been here there have been country elements that have come out in me, and I’ve always loved country music so I have no problem with my music leaning that way; it just feels right for me.”
Q: What do you hope to bring to Nashville through your music?
A: “Lyrics are my favorite part of what I do; I try not to hold a damn thing back. It would be cool to use my lyrics to push the boundaries of music more than anything.”
Q: What are your plans for the immediate future?
A: “The plan right now is to tour my ass off all Summer. I want to get this new EP to as many people as I can.”
Davis’s EP “Life” debuted May 27th and was her 7th release. A free download of Davis’s song “Honest Woman” is available on Noisetrade. Free and easy listening of all of Davis’s music can also be heard on Spotify and Soundcloud.