Elle Winter has had the privilege (and the challenge) of being in the music industry after Radio Disney discovered her at 14. “Getting my start with Radio Disney at that age was such a formative experience for me and taught me so many life lessons that I still carry with me today,” she says. “Having that much responsibility at a young age as well as meeting and working with so many different people instilled values in me that I am very grateful for. Additionally, having to juggle my schoolwork and a career made me learn early on the importance of prioritizing my life. It was amazing performing in cities throughout the country and getting to know so many different types of people. I loved being part of the Disney family; the people there were so supportive of me and my journey, and until the last couple years when Radio Disney closed, they were huge champions of my music. Working with them and the whole team was truly a dream.” As she’s matured, so has her perspective on and understanding of the power of her music. “I’ve always loved music since I was very young and have been songwriting, recording and performing since I was about nine years old. At the start of my music journey, I would write and sing about many different aspects of life without a real understanding of how sharing my stories could impact others. As I’ve grown up, I have seen firsthand how my music has the ability to connect me with others and can let others know they are not alone in what they are experiencing. The fact my music has the ability to touch so many people along with the realization of being able to provide comfort by that out there has made being on this journey so much more worthwhile for me.” Her time touring with Chloe x Halle is a treasured memory. “Chloe x Halle are not only incredibly talented, but so hardworking and focused. They were always so gracious, and we all loved spending time together with our families. Touring with them on behalf of Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing program really showed me how music can be such a force for connection. Because of that, we all shared such special moments with our fans.”
Covid brought Elle disappointment, but also a renewed gratitude and commitment to her art. “The pandemic changed my perspective on life in that I realized nothing should be taken for granted and it’s important to live life to the fullest. Not being able to go out on tour for my EP that was released in March 2020 made me feel so grateful for all the wonderful experiences performing live over the years. Post pandemic, I decided to redefine my career by being more open minded and saying yes to more opportunities. Once vaccinated, I moved back to Los Angeles and began working on a new music project. Spending so much time alone during the pandemic made me reflect on my life and I was ready to share those reflections in what is my most honest and authentic work yet.” Her newest single, “Help,” is the lament of an anxious perfectionist that doesn’t know how to ask for just that. “‘Help’ is the first single I am releasing off my new EP! Growing up in the music industry, I always internalized other people’s expectations of me and put pressure on myself to be perfect. I never thought I could admit that I was not always completely ‘together.’ ‘Help’ describes how I neglected my feelings, wants, and needs due to this pressure and me not wanting to burden my family and friends with how I was actually feeling. This song definitely marked a turning point for me. After spending a lot of time alone and reflecting on my life during the pandemic, I realized I deserve to take care of myself and that I can ask for support if I need it. I wrote this song with Grammy winning producer Kizzo (‘We Are’) and Grammy winning songwriter Autumn Rowe (‘We Are’) who developed and produced my new music project with me. They both encouraged me to be true to myself and express my feelings through my music. In turn, I would say ‘Help’ is one of my most meaningful songs off my new EP.”
Perhaps the most valuable lesson Elle has learned is that emotions are not the enemy. “I had always been a shoulder to lean on for everyone else in my life, but never felt comfortable letting my guard down and asking for that same type of support. Working as a young child, I grew up being praised for my discipline and focus on school and in my career. This made me want to always seem perfect, so I learned to suppress my feelings and act as if I needed nothing emotionally from anyone. I now realize I can still have a career in the music industry and enjoy relationships with family and friends without having to be so self-critical.” Embarking on a fresh personal and professional era galvanized her to seek healing. “After the pandemic I moved to LA, began a new relationship, and started working on my music project with Kizzo and Autumn. I saw this as a whole new chapter in my life and realized I had a choice. I could continue to live my life catering to everyone else or start prioritizing taking care of myself. I chose the latter and I realized that asking for help isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength and a superpower.” She hopes the song will soothe those who hesitate to share their problems. “I want this song to resonate with listeners who may struggle with reaching out for support. I want them to know they are worthy and deserving of help with whatever they are going through. I think now more than ever we could all use a support system to lean on.” Elle knows that being vulnerable can change your world for the better. “It is important to understand that there is strength in vulnerability because being true to oneself and unafraid of living honestly leads to a more fulfilling life. Asking for support from friends and family makes for closer relationships with the people in your life too. I found that living with vulnerability made me a happier person and gave me the freedom to finally be in control of my own life.” It all starts with being brave enough to ask for help.
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Elle Winter Destigmatizes Asking for Support in New Single, “Help.” Photo Credit: Dae Howerton.