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Biography - Ella Mae Bowen

October 28, 2011

Hey! I’m Ella Mae Bowen.

It’s hard to tell my story, because in this season of my life it seems like it changes every day. I will inevitably leave something important out. No matter, here’s my attempt at telling the roots.

I was born, raised, and still live in South Carolina. Not near the beach, but almost in the mountains in a small town called Walhalla. In my first home, I banged on our 80’s Yamaha keyboard, and was sung to CONSTANTLY by both my parents. I am a first child (an only child for almost 9 years until my brother Jed came along). I was born prematurely with lungs that weren’t developed. God must have a good sense of humor because no one has been able to keep me from singing and loudly I might add, since before I could talk. I truly believe that from day one, my family has never left my cheering section.

When I was three, I put my own lyrics to the “Brush Your Teeth” song I learned at school and wrote a song for my Grandad called “I’m With You.” I recorded it at the Mall of Georgia in a portable sound booth. Grandad was a huge influence on me as a person, as well as on my music. He is most responsible for my love of Bluegrass and my infatuation with Tom T. Hall songs and for showing me what a good joke is really all about. I still play the guitar he left to me when he passed away. I want to keep it always, and pass it down one day, too.

At age seven, with my family’s support, I was performing out and about in local talent shows. I found that I could yodel. That’s fun to do and all, but I still haven’t lost the “little-girl-who-yodeled-at-the-barn-dance” reputation in Oconee County. By age 11, I was writing more seriously. I had a long way to go, but I knew it was something I loved. Then I met Seth Bolt, who has since become my producer, co-writer and close friend. Seth is the bassist of the band NEEDTOBREATHE, and one of my biggest influences. He is also a Walhalla native.

After a lot of hard work, we had demos that we hoped would eventually lead to our dream of a record deal. During this time, we were also asked to submit a version of the song “Holding Out for a Hero” for the remake of Footloose. I’ll never forget how excited I felt when I found out that our version was making the movie! This started a chain reaction of great things to come.

In March 2011, I was offered a record deal by Big Machine Records. I still wake up every morning pinching myself in disbelief that I really have a record deal and a chance to make music I love.

I don’t just love country music fans, I am one. I understand what it’s like to love music so much that you cry, or put your hand over your heart to feel a bass line in a rowdy room, to be willing to stay up all night or wait in line to see someone in bad weather. I love live music, my church, NASCAR, Clemson Tiger football, riding up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in our Jeep Wrangler. I still swim in the lake I was baptized in and I still eat Ramen Noodles.

I want to change the world, by first listening to it. I love hard work and pray I can work at this until I can’t work anymore.

Well, I’d say that is my life. So if you’ve read this, or listened to the songs, or supported or believed in anyone or anything that I do, you already have my heart and I can’t tell you what that means to me. Thank you.

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