Dallas Singer-Songwriter Elyse Jewel Talks New Music, Mental Health and Being There for Her Audience
For Elyse Jewel, a songwriting session is a special kind of therapy. The endlessly talented Dallas-based artist will pair with a songwriter, share everything she is feeling, and carefully convert that raw emotion into a record. But it didn’t always work as well as it does today.
“I used to have a really tough time opening up,” Elyse says. “By opening up with more music, I’ve been able to discover myself, become more confident, and get more comfortable with my emotions.”
And that, in turn, has led to even more authentic and emotional songs.
The 16-year-old singer has built a significant online following and attentive fan base thanks in part to engaging and melodic songs like “Arms” and “Thinking About You.”
Both songs are about the same crush, but “Arms,” written in Los Angeles, has since taken on a different meaning.
“As we were planning to release it, COVID hit, which added a whole new dimension to the song,” Elyse says. “Now I think even more people will relate to the story, which is all about being far apart from the ones you care about and just wanting to hold them.”
Music isn’t the only way Elyse has learned to engage with her growing audience. On Instagram, the singer hosts what she calls “Gem Talks:” open conversations where topics like love, relationships and mental health are all fair game and the singer’s inbox is open for fans who just want to talk.
Recently, one of her followers reached out with a long message about their struggles with mental health. They asked Elyse what they should do when they’re feeling “at their lowest point,” and Elyse jumped at the chance to offer her advice.
“Some people feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to,” she says. “They think they don’t have close friends or anyone they can reach out to, or it just might be easier for them to reach out to someone they don’t know personally. Being able to be that person is an honor.”
And in her view, being that person requires talking the talk and walking the walk. That’s why Elyse is committed to opening up even more in the months and years ahead, pouring her heart onto each new track.
“I don’t know if I can expect people to open up to me if I don’t open up myself at least a little bit,” she says. “I have to be vulnerable. It’s taken some growth and some thought, but I'm happy that I can start getting there.”
To that end, Elyse is gearing up for the release of her new song “Fine By Me.” While the pop tune will be as engaging and entertaining as her other recent releases, the singer says that the new single will show her listeners a different side of the Elyse Jewel they’ve known thus far.
“‘Fine By Me’ has a different vibe,” Elyse adds. “It’s really fun, and the production is a bit different from what people heard on ‘Arms’ and ‘Thinking About You.’ The storyline has a little bit of sass, and it’s me being unapologetically myself.”