If you were to write an intro for “The Story You Tell Yourself” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the writing of the song?
Here’s a song to brighten your day! No matter how you’re feeling, you’re enough. You’re one of a kind like no one else. You’re the story you tell yourself. Here’s Ella Hartt’s newest single, “The Story You Tell Yourself!”
6 Things You Don’t Know About Me:
Writing music since age 6. First song was a rap tune about your family dog. Many favorite family moments with Dad are outdoors and with Mom, her being a great listener. Can you share a family music holiday memory?
Yes absolutely! Several years back, my mom and I were in a restaurant in Hawaii and found out it was karaoke night! We got up and sang a duet to Rascal Flatt’s “My Wish,” which has now become our special mother/daughter song!
“Where Is That Guy?” and “Heartstrings,” your first two releases, earned international attention, including your being named by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) as “one to watch.” Which songs have most inspired your storytelling lyrics?
There are so many incredible songs! I’ve always been a fan of Randy Travis and Taylor Swift’s ability to capture real life in a song. However, the songs that have inspired me the most recently are: “Down Home” by Jimmie Allen and “Pick Up” by MacKenzie Porter.
“The Story You Tell Yourself” wasn’t the original song you were going to release, but, after getting feedback on it from a NSAI official mentor, you felt you had to. Co-written with Alex Hughes, the song was recorded remotely. Can you share a fan’s story of how the song impacted their lives?
It’s so encouraging when the music you write impacts someone else’s life. I recently received a message on Instagram from someone in Brazil sharing that they were going through a difficult time recently and listened to my song each morning to make them feel better. I hope “The Story You Tell Yourself” continues to build others confidence in themselves and remind them of their worth!
“It’s easy to get caught up in what we see on social media… but, don’t hold on to the lies you’re believing.” Social media can also be a great tool for an artist. In what ways has social media boosted your career?
I completely agree! Social media has proven to also have a positive impact in our world. Specifically in my own life, it’s given me an avenue to celebrate my successes, share new music and connect with other artists, writers and listeners across the world!
“Success isn’t always a gamble. If you work hard and play your cards right, you can succeed. Just don’t forget to have a little fun along the way.” How do you define success?
To me, success is built in small moments. It involves living each day with purpose and working intentionally towards your goals. I’ve always believed in putting effort into learning new skills, expanding industry knowledge and building authentic, meaningful relationships. When you combine effort with intentionality and authenticity, you build success!
“Find someone you can be your goofy self with.” What do you like to do in your free time?
In addition to songwriting, I love spending time with family and friends, hiking, swimming, traveling, reading nonfiction books, and trying new coffee shops!
Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your life and career?
Kelsea Ballerini “Love Me Like You Mean It”
This is the first song of Kelsea’s I’d ever heard and immediately loved it! I’ve played the recording on repeat and played it at my live shows! I had the chance to meet one of the writers, Lance Carpenter, who provided feedback on some of my songs. I’ve found his advice invaluable!
Randy Travis “Forever and Ever Amen”
Growing up, I used to drive to school with my dad listening to Randy Travis’ cassette tape. I’ve always loved his voice and listening to this song! I even had the chance to play a songwriter round at Nashville Palace, where he started out as a dishwasher!
Rascal Flatts “My Wish”
This song has been a special one for me since my mom and I sang a duet together at karaoke. The lyrics of this song are beautiful and communicate such an honest, uplifting message to others you care about! It reminds me that my mom is always cheering me on and to do the same for others!
Shania Twain “Man I Feel Like A Woman”
Who doesn’t love this song? Shania is the Canadian country queen!! I’ve always loved her and her music!!
Shawn Mendes “Lost in Japan”
Shawn Mendes is an incredible Canadian artist and has a multitude of catchy, memorable songs. I used to listen to this every morning to get me excited for the day ahead! I aspire to create cool, catchy songs like him!
Jimmie Allen “Down Home”
It’s one of my recent favorites. The song is meaningful, memorable and I love how the hook is used in a variety of ways in the chorus! It challenges me to dig deep in writing and is a positive reminder to write about more moments I’m going through in life!
Spencer Crandall “My Person”
This is such a relatable song. I’ve listened to it so many times, I can’t event count. Seeing him create a successful career as an independent artist has inspired me to continue working hard, promoting myself online, and write more love songs!
Taylor Swift Any song.
I love Taylor’s honesty and ability to tell her story in a variety of ways. She is always reinventing herself, her style and music! I hope to be able to do the same!
Lainey Hartt “God Loves A Sleeping Child”
My Mom released an album of country children’s music when I was young, and this was the first song I sang by heart from beginning to end at age 2, so it will always be a memorable song!
Abba “Dancing Queen”
This song is timeless! As a writer, it’s a reminder that simple lyrics and melody can be a great thing! If this song comes on, you can be sure I’ll be hitting the dance floor and singing along! If there isn’t one, I’ll make one! Haha.
Matt Stell “Prayed for You”
I loved this song from the first time I heard it! I remember covering it online and one of the writers complimenting me on my rendition. A year later it became a #1 song! It showed me that sometimes it takes time for a song to be really successful and if you work hard, hard work pays off!
Michela Sheedy “Lost”
If you haven’t heard this song you need to! It seriously is one of my favorite country songs, by a talented Albertan Country Music artist. It’s so honest and so beautiful. It’s one I wish I wrote!
(Bonus: Here’s Lucky 13) Melissa Livingstone “Country Enough”
I had the privilege of writing this song with Melissa and Ben Chase. It’s my first cut by another artist! It was so cool to see it come to life with Melissa’s energy and vocals! If you haven’t heard it, go stream it!