It is no secret that Harvard has housed a great many talented individuals, but we are happy to bring you a rare breed; a Philosophy student, who tours weekend-warrior style as a singer/songwriter/musician, and just happens to be as gorgeous as her voice. Brynn has been making a name for herself in the music world, touring with with names such as Alanis Morissette, Grace Potter and Switchfoot, as well as working in Nashville with songwriter/producer Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift). TCE had the pleasure of interviewing Brynn in between studies and show dates.
TCE: 'Might Not Like Me' is in hot rotation on our summer playlist. We have to ask; Have you had the pleasure of playing the song in front of the person you wrote it about?
Haha! I have not played it in front of the person I wrote it about. And I think that’s good! While I wrote it about a breakup and how this person made me feel, it is also largely about how my issue with caring so much about what other people (like this boy) think about me. Singing it is always a reminder for me that its okay if some people don’t like me, if they don’t catch my vibe. It’s all good. The most important thing is that you are being honest with yourself.
TCE: Studying philosophy must be an incredible asset to your writing. Currently, what books are on your bedside table?
Yes, absolutely its an asset. Currently, I am reading for my senior thesis at Harvard. I am writing about women in the early modern period and so ladies like Anne Conway are on my table. She was uncomfortable with a mind-body distinction, and I tend to agree with her! I am also reading Anne of Green Gables for fun! It was my favorite as a kid.
TCE: What song breaks your heart?
Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars
TCE: If you could tour with anyone, who would your dream tour be with?
TCE: Favorite watering hole in Harvard Square?
I am not much of a drinker. my go-to is coffee, so Tatte ;P
TCE: The video to your song with Dzeko, 'California', is so dreamy. Favorite coast: East or West?
Ah, thank you so much! Hmmmmm, I’m an east coaster at heart, but love a good west coast trip! I love to get lost in california and feel as though that lyric perfectly captures how I feel about the time i’ve spent there.
TCE: How do you juggle Harvard and touring? Has touring impacted studies, or vise versa?
It’s like I have an athlete’s schedule with daily practice and games (or shows) on weekends or the occasional during the week gig. So when I’m not in class, I am practicing my guitar, writing, singing. And I travel most weekends to perform a show or two . So, its definitely manageable, and friends and professors at Harvard have been so encouraging. And when I am touring, you can often find me at a coffee shop in whatever city we are playing, reading for class or writing essays.
TCE: We know by your site that you are a big GnR fan. Have you met any of the guys? Favorite GnR song to sing?
Haha! I am. They really were the first rock band I latched onto besides U2. I have not had the pleasure of meeting any of them, but would obviously love to one day. I love how unique Axl’s voice is. My favorite song to sing is November Rain. I cried the first time I heard it. The intro blew me away. Now when I sing it, I think of Boston and our cold November days (which I happen to love).
TCE: What is your funniest onstage moment?
Well, on my very first tour, I was playing a show in Seattle at the El Corazon. It was just me and my acoustic and I was a few minutes into the set and I realized that I had left my capo back stage and needed it for the next couple of songs. I had no idea what to do so I just told the crowd “Hey guys, I am gonna need everybody to hold on for just a second!” and then I walked off stage to fetch my capo and literally made the audience wait for me. Then when I walked back and accidentally hit my guitar off its stand and it crashed on the stage and made this huge noise. Everybody clapped.
TCE: Can you tell us the most exciting moment of your career so far?
Playing Red Rocks two summers ago was the most surreal moment yet. My heart is still pounding from excitement every time I think of that incredible experience.
TCE: Three things you can't live without on tour:
Coffee, Glossier make-up products, and a good book.
TCE: Thank you so much for your time Brynn! Anything else you want to tell us about the summer tour before we sign off?
I have some new music coming out this summer and my set will consist of some new music as well. You can catch some behind the scenes footage of the tour by following me on my socials! Instagram is @brynnelliottmusic, twitter: @brynn_music and Facebook just Brynn Elliott. I am also going to be doing ticket giveaways on my socials for all the shows this summer so stay tuned for that!
We sure will, Brynn!