Lindsay Ell's career is certainly soaring. The singer, who just celebrated being the first woman to have a No. 1 in her native Canada since 2008, with "Criminal," is watching the song climb into the Top 20 in the United States, proving that Ell's hard work is, finally, paying off.
"It's crazy," Ell tells Billboard. "It is so insane to be able to look at the chart and see that I have a Top 20 song. I mean, I've dreamed of this ever since I was a little girl. It's just been really exciting to see more and more people sing along at shows, and fans were so excited. It's just a feeling that I've never gotten to experience before."
"Criminal" is the second single from her 2017 No. 1 The Project album, produced by Kristian Bush.
"I think it's very honest," Ell says of the song's success. "I wrote it about exactly what was going on in my life at the time, and because fans have been able to share a bit in my story of my personal life and career over the past few years, I think they're able to connect with that. There's also being in the studio with Kristian Bush as producer.
"I feel like I finally was able to find my sound, and who I was, and who I am as an artist, which sometimes takes a minute," she continues. "Connecting all of those ducks and putting them in a row, and working with him over the past couple years, he's really been able to help me articulate that. And I think once it's right, it connects better."
The 29-year-old just finished her run with Brad Paisley, on his Weekend Warrior Tour, and will soon hit the road with Sugarland, for part of their Still the Same Tour.
"This year will have a lot of stage time, and that's just the way we love it," Ell boasts. "We just wrapped up the Paisley tour and it was just wonderful. We've been on the road with Brad for over a year now, and he's just been so gracious, and an incredible human. And we start the Sugarland tour in July, and I am so excited to be on the road with my producer, as well as I've gotten to tour with Jennifer in the past.
"I'm so excited for the both of them, that they get to release music and tour again, and I'm just so happy to be able to see a Sugarland show," she adds. "And, to open the show every night for them and warm up that stage, it's going be a really, really good summer."
Ell, who will release The Continuum Project, her take on John Mayer's 2006 Continuum album on May 25, will also join Keith Urban for the Canadian leg of his Graffiti U World Tour, making this the best – and busiest – year of her career, at least so far.
"It's just this high that is so great," admits Ell. "It feels like all of your blood, sweat, and tears that you had worked tirelessly into that moment are all the payoff, and pay back to you right in that second. It's the power of music being a universal language, and it's a bunch of us coming together, getting to share in this experience. And to think that I wrote a song that can create that connection, it feels surreal."
Photo Credit: Instagram/lindsayell