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Brittany Elise Didn’t Get ‘Lucky’, But She’s Embracing The Fruits Of Her Musical Labour

8 March 2024 | 2:00 pm | Ellie Robinson

“I always say a career is a lifetime apprenticeship, but I would never wish for it any other way.”

Brittany Elise

Brittany Elise (Supplied)

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If there’s one thing the mainstream loves more than a cool new artist to hype the heck up, it’s the narrative that said artist is an “overnight success” – that one day they went to sleep as a total nobody, and awoke the next as a household name.

Alas, that’s a toxic myth that holds some artists back from reaching their true potential, and invalidates the hard work, passion and determination that went into a successful artist’s career up to the moment they “made it”.

You could look at Mackay native Brittany Elise as one of these “overnight successes” – last year alone, she won the prestigious Talent Search at the Gympie Music Muster, was a finalist for the Toyota Star Maker, hit #1 on the Australian AMRAP Radio Charts (with last September’s fantastic Get This Party Started) and even headed to Nashville to perform at the 50th edition of the world-renowned CMA Fest. She certainly ticks all the boxes for a sudden mainstream breakthrough.

But of course there’s much more to it. Despite what the music industry fairytales would like you to believe, Brittany Elise didn’t just fall into fame – nor did she pick her first guitar up and write a radio smash in the span of a weekend. As she explains to Countrytown, “I’m an independent country artist from a small town who has built every component of my career, from the writing and recording of songs to social media, press releases, cover art, tour planning and bookings, videos, and administration work.

“Things don’t happen for you, you have to create the opportunities.”

Brittany Elise goes on to single out three of the biggest success stories in the modern country music scene: Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson and Taylor Swift, all of whom are now “at massive pinnacles in their careers” (hell, Swift is arguably the biggest pop star of all time at this point). “That’s what we see now,” she notes, “but they all would have started in small venues playing to little-to-no crowds, worked extremely hard and received many ‘no’s in their career before their years of hard work paid off.”

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Sagely so, Brittany Elise offers: “I always say a career is a lifetime apprenticeship, but I would never wish for it any other way.”

Right before she left for her recent trip to Nashville, Brittany Elise found herself in a conversation about how “lucky” she’s been in her career thus far. It weighed on her mind for quite some time: “I started making a list of the things that may be perceived as luck,” she says, “like saving money to buy your first car, to travel or go to your dream event, the heartbreaks that may have come before you found the love of your life, [and] the hard work and sacrifices that go into starting a business or following a dream.

“What many of us consider to be luck or ‘overnight success’, for a lot of people is a result of neverending hard work, sacrifices, or potentially difficult choices.”

The exercise inspired Brittany Elise to do what it is she does best: pour her thoughts into a cathartic country-pop anthem masterfully designed to resonate on a wealth of levels – the single she’s releasing today (March 8), aptly titled Lucky. “I wanted to write a song with many angles,” she notes, her vision being to show “how small-town people can achieve big dreams, but also how sometimes people can’t see or may forget the hard work that goes on behind the scenes when someone achieves success.”

By the time she landed in Nashville, Brittany Elise had the hook for Lucky in her grasp: “It might look like luck / But it ain’t luck to me.” It roared to life shortly thereafter, when Alayna Carroll and Scott Barrier “saw the passion I had for this song [and] loved it”. That same afternoon, she sent an acoustic demo to producer power-duo Michael and Caleb Flanders – they too loved it, of course, and within a week they were all together in a studio “recording the song with some of the best musicians in the world”.

Brittany Elise says of how the process unfolded: “I think every person in the creative space – writers, musicians, producers – all very much related to the theme of the song, so that made it seamless. I [was in] tears hearing the track come to life, and I hope it is a reminder to listeners to keep believing in [themselves] and their dreams no matter how big or small.

“I want to remind people who may be doing it tough that the long days and the sacrifices are the norm when you want to succeed at something. The hard work now will make the success at the end worthwhile. I want listeners to know that I see them and to never give up. Keep setting goals and working hard!”

Reflecting on the paths she’s travelled thus far, Brittany Elise says she “couldn’t be happier” with where currently she is on the timeline of her career. “The concept of ‘making it’ can look very different to each artist and individual,” she points out, noting that “success is measured by your own goals”. Hers are coming together one day at a time, but she’s confident she’ll kick them – after all, she’s spent years molding a luminous culture for herself to thrive in.

She continues: “I’m surrounded by an incredible team, we’ve created a show that we tour that I’m incredibly proud of, I’m writing music from my heart and with some of the best musicians and songwriters in the world, and I have the best fans who are embracing every song and sharing their stories with us along the way.

“There is always something to learn and I’m loving the path it’s taking me on. We just continue to grow, try new things and keep pushing our goals and milestones past the limits.”

So what does the future hold for Brittany Elise? Well, with Lucky out in the world, her focus is shifting to some “huge plans” for the rest of 2024 and well into 2025, “including new music and tour dates to be announced in both Australia and internationally”. The live show is something she’s particularly keen to keep building, as she says in closing: “I can’t wait to visit more towns and connect with more people. It’s my favourite part of the job.”

Brittany Elise’s new single Lucky is out now via Checked Label Services. Head here to add it to your streaming platform of choice.