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Exclusive Interview With Music Therapist and Singer Elle McAndrews

Elle McAndrews is a Canadian musician, songwriter, and Music therapist. She is a classically trained musician and professional music therapist who approaches her craft from a profoundly authentic and tender disposition.

We had a chance to talk about her background, career path, and influences in the music industry.

If you aren’t familiar with her Read on…

1. Hello, Elle Mcpeaches Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Elle Mcpeaches– I grew up on a farm outside of Calgary, Alberta, in Canada. I was homeschool and studied classical piano for most of my life. I did end up finishing high school at a catholic school in the city because I wanted ‘normal’ graduation. I went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in classical piano, and a few years later a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Capilano University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Music has always been my solace, my joy, my muse. I was singing in my car seat at 12 months and haven’t stopped! Over the last 8 years, I have focused on my songwriting and making connections in the industry. In 2019, I won the Original Music Showcase top prize in Calgary, and this allowed me to start my debut EP project.

2. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Elle Mcpeaches- I believe that when we put things out to the universe, it will answer. That’s how I met Samantha Selci who ended up being the producer for the ‘Hanging By a Thread’ EP. We actually met on the street outside a club on a cold November night in 2018 and became fast friends. Since then, I’ve made many other important connections stemming from the one with Selci.

3. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? 

Elle Mcpeaches– I pride myself in being able to fake my way through the nerves when I perform in front of people. In October 2020 at my debut show, in front of 88 physically distanced people in a church, I had two false starts because my piano had automatically powered down from soundcheck. All I could do was laugh it off and dive right into the first song of the night. Showing that you don’t take yourself too seriously is really important.

4. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Elle Mcpeaches- I recently just finished working on a track with UK producer Josh Northwood called ‘The Honey Trees’ slated for release on all platforms on May 28th. Josh found me on Instagram and after having several zoom chats, we decided that the fit was great and we would begin working together. I wrote the song with chord progression and lyrics, and Josh cooked up a beautifully atmospheric track to accompany. It was a great experience working remotely. Things took some time because of the time difference but we managed to get the song ready for release in 3.5 months. I am also working on a dance song with producer Adam Caines to bring the people something to dance in their homes, parks, or anywhere too! It’s called ‘Let the People Dance’ and is a modern-day, neon-lit anthem for our time. The song is meant to bring the people together through music and dance and the video will feature a local cast of dancers.

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5. Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories? 

Elle Mcpeaches- I am pleased to know a woman named Marlo Brauss. She is the warrior behind Barre Body (@barrebodystudio) who had to close both her thriving Barre studio locations during the pandemic and move to an online platform. It was heartbreaking to see, but Marlo has been a pillar of strength for her community and through showing her vulnerabilities, has shown up and encouraged others to keep pushing forward. Exercise is so important to me as a singer, and Marlo’s classes are lit!

Another incredible woman I work with is my voice coach Carol-Lynne Quinn (@cqvoice) out of Vancouver. Her years of experience studying and learning, as well as working with some of the top artists in Canada and the US, have turned her into an absolute powerhouse! Through following her 30-day vocal workouts, I have noticed my voice changing – in a good way!

6. Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Elle Mcpeaches- Singers: drink lots of water, try not to smoke, eat your veggies and get sleep! Musicians, take time for yourself to create even if it doesn’t turn into anything. If you are focusing all your energy on a diehard goal, you might be forgetting to play and have fun with the process.

7. You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

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Elle Mcpeaches- Failure in the process is inevitable. You will get doors slammed in your face (not literally) and you will realize that not everyone in the industry is there to support you. Find a tribe of people that will challenge you, but also be encouraging to you. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Be bold! I emailed a big-time producer the other day out of the blue and he wrote me back personally to schedule a meet and greet over Facetime. Keep writing, and keep creating because it’s a muscle that needs to be exercised.

8. Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

Elle Mcpeaches- When I wake up in the morning, I get on the mat and do a simple yoga/stretching routine, I do neck mobility exercises and I massage my jaw and face. I also try to do the Wim Hoff breathing exercises before I have my coffee. Sometimes it gives me so much energy I don’t need a coffee! I dry brush my body before I take a cool shower.

Once per month, I go for my Buccal face massage from Samantha Schneider @showmewhatyoulove. Keeping the muscles in my face and jaw is very complimentary to my vocal health. I drink lots of water and eat foods that are rich in gel water (tons of cucumbers, tomatoes, and other veggies). Exercise is essential to my mental and physical well-being. I choose to spin on the bike and do a routine that includes lots of jump squats and jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and pushups.

9. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each. 

Elle Mcpeaches:

1. stop comparing yourself.

2. the more you do this, the bigger the universe will open up to you.

3. not everyone will be your friend or support you, or like what you are doing and that’s ok.

4. There is no such thing as a late bloomer. You are where you need to be right now.

5. Trust your intuition and it will grow.

10. Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life? 

Elle Mcpeaches- You are going to wake up every day and see the same damn person in the mirror. You can dislike them, judge them, hate them, and want to change them from an unhealthy place. Or, you can change your attitude, seek truth, educate yourself, and make connections to people who love you for who you are. If you don’t like yourself, it’s going to be very hard for others to want to be around you. Adjusting your mindset is very important to achieving your goals.

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11. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? 

Elle Mcpeaches- I am so grateful to my fellow musicians who helped me, in the beginning, to see the value in songwriting, and to my friend Yolanda Sargeant of @SargeantXComrade for believing in me and checking in on a regular basis, I want to thank my voice coaches David Wilson and Carol-Lynne Quinn for hearing a bigger voice inside me, and my mom for giving me the freedom to choose a career in music. She is my number one fan!

12. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂 

Elle Mcpeaches- More than ever people are talking about mental health. This is such a good thing. I hope that we continue to normalize our dialogue around mental health. I want people to have greater access to therapies like Hypnotherapy and Guided Imagery in Music. I am also fascinated by the work being done with Psilocybin and PTSD. I want people to understand their deepest potential by tapping into their intuition. Listen to your gut. We have so many incredible tools to work with, we just have to dig deep to realize them.

13. We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Elle Mcpeaches- Oh my goodness I would just squirm with joy to be able to lunch with Lady Gaga. She is such an inspiration to people all over the world.

14 How can our readers follow you online?

Elle Mcpeaches– You can follow me on Instagram @mcpeaches and also check out my music via my website www.ellemcandrews.com