Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Coppell musician Emily Elbert has a shot at a record deal and $25,000
She's a top 10 finalist in a nationwide singer-songwriter competition on March 1.
Coppell native and Berklee College of Music graduate Emily Elbert is one of 10 finalists in Guitar Center’s nationwide singer-songwriter competition. The winner gets the chance to collaborate with Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was, who has worked with Bob Dylan, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and many more famous artists.
Out of thousands of entries, Elbert garnered a spot among the top 10 with “In With the New,” the single off her latest album, Evolve, which dropped in November. (See the video below.) Elbert will perform live alongside the other nine contenders March 1 at Hotel Café in Hollywood. Was, who hand selected the finalists, will choose the winner based on this performance, record a four-song EP and award that person $25,000 in cash and new gear.
Though Evolve was recorded with a live band, Elbert will perform solo at the March 1 gig.
“I’ll probably play something new,” she said candidly by phone. “I’ll write 500 songs in the next month and one will be the best I’ve ever written.”
The Guitar Center competition is just one of many endeavors keeping Elbert busy. The singer and guitarist released a live album recording entitled Alive, In Love in May of last year, followed by Evolve in November, and toured across Southeast Asia, a commendable feat for an artist that acts as her own manager and booking agent.
As she prepares for the competition, Elbert will be able to test out her new songs at Witzend Live in Venice Beach, California, where she maintains a residency through January. A road warrior at heart, this month-long stay in Southern California is the closest thing to a home base Elbert has maintained in three-and-a-half years. But she attributes her creativity to her experiences traveling the world.
“[‘In With the New’] is a song I wrote about ushering in changes and being open and accepting the changes,” Elbert said. “Performing live is the core of why I play music … to have that connectivity that music is all about.”
Asked about the chance to work with Was, Elbert said it would be “a life changer.”
“He’s been responsible for the creation of our most brilliant records: The Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer,” she said. “I can’t wait to play for him.”