You’ve probably never heard of Genoa, Ohio – it’s a tiny (population: c. 2,200) town just outside of Toledo. Genoa native Ellie Swisher is about to change that. Read below about the singer-songwriter in our next musician profile!
LeakyNews: How did you get started in music?
Ellie Swisher: I’ve been into music my whole life. I mean, when I was four I remember telling my parents I wanted to be a singer. It was just something that I knew I was going to do. I can’t say there was a specific moment where I
decided to get into music; I honestly can’t remember a day in my life that
it wasn’t there, that my dream of becoming a singer wasn’t there. Music is
as much an essential part of me as lungs are to another human being. And I
guess it’s always been that way. I started performing in public when I was seven though. And haven’t stopped since.
LN: What instrument(s) do you play?
ES: I play piano and guitar and I’m starting to learn the ukulele. And of
course I played the flute in the high school band, but I don’t really
count that one anymore. I’d like to learn so many more instruments though. Like the violin. Maybe someday I’ll have time to.
LN: You have a lot of covers and one original song on YouTube.
How has your experience been on the site? When can we expect more
ES: My experience on the site has been great so far. I’ve heard a lot of
horror stories about how mean people can be on the internet, but I haven’t
really gotten too much negativity yet for the most part. So that’s nice.
But I really regard the site as just a great way to gain some exposure as
a musician and I try not to put too much stock into any kind of mean
comments or messages that I might get. I realize that my music might not
be everybody’s cup of tea. And that’s alright with me.
I do plan on getting some more originals up in the near future. I’m always
writing and recording and thinking about new material, so hopefully
sometime soon I’ll have something to show for it.
LN: Tell us about covering “Safe and Sound” with Landon Austin.
ES: Going to Nashville and meeting Landon Austin and covering “Safe and Sound” with him in his studio was an incredible experience for me. It was one of those refreshers that you get sometimes when you’re just like “Oh yeah,
this is why I love doing this.” It really reminded me of why I love music
and why I do what I do and why I put so much faith in my dreams. Nashville
is a beautiful city and I’d been wanting to go there for a few years when
this Landon thing came up. It was really inspiring just to be in that
city, let alone working with Landon and his producer. And filming the
video was great, too. The whole process was just a blast! I’m really happy
with the way that it turned out, and I’m hopeful we can do another
collaboration in the future.
LN: Tell us about “The Other Half of Me.”
ES: “The Other Half of Me” was the first song that I wrote that I ever got
produced. And I think I wrote it in about twenty minutes. Which is also
the fastest I’ve ever written a song. But basically it’s about that other person in your life that for one reason or another you feel like you couldn’t live without them. Whether that be a best friend, a boyfriend, a sister, a parent, or a pet is up to the listener. The one thing I like about this song is that even though I
wrote it very specifically for one person, it’s still really relatable to
anyone who listens to it. I really love that about a song, when you can
take the lyrics and spin them around to fit into your own life.
LN: What is your favorite song to perform?
ES: I’d have to say it changes constantly. My favorite song one week won’t be
the same as my favorite the next. But “The Other Half of Me” has been a
really fun one to do live. So has “Safe and Sound.” I love a good ballad,
and that one was written exceptionally well.
LN: What’s next?
ES: You know, it’s really hard to say. Nobody knows for sure what the future
holds, but for now I’m just going with the flow. There’s been some great
opportunities that have opened up for me in the past year so I’m hoping
they’ll keep coming and my career will continue to grow and who knows?
Maybe I’ll be topping the charts one day. But for now I’m just really
happy to be enjoying the ride. I dream big, so I’ll say the sky’s the
LN: Who is your favorite musician/group of all time?
ES: My favorite artist is like my favorite song, it’s always different. I’m
really bad at choosing favorites, I can never stick to just one.
But at the moment I’ve been listening to a lot of Lights. So she’d have to
be favorite for the time being. I really like the whole electro meets pop
meets dubstep thing she’s got going on lately, but also that all of her
songs can be stripped down and played acoustically and still sound just as
good. It’s really inspiring.
LN: I noticed that you’re a Star Wars fan. Which film is your favorite?
ES: Oh boy. Legit Star Wars fans are going to hate me for this, but I’ll tell
you the truth anyway. My favorites are the last two films, II and III. I
know most fans say they’re the worst but I’m a fan of modern CGI and the
visual effects in the first ones kill me a little inside. But also, I’m a
girl. So the whole Padme-Anakin forbidden love thing gets me. I’m a sucker
for tragic love stories. But III is my absolute favorite. I love how everything gets sort of resolved and explained in that one. It’s the best.