Ellen Tefanis may be a new face to country music but not to the broader music community. Born and raised in Port Pirie, South Australia, Ellen’s love of music is all thanks to her dad George; a fellow musician (drums) who performed in various local cover bands over the years. Ellen herself, showed an interest in music when at just eight years of age picked up her first guitar. Singing and songwriting are equally as important to the now 24-year-old.
As a teen, Ellen was also a part of the local cover band circuit before 2011’s X Factor winner Reece Mastin discovered the young guitarist on social media and personally invited her to perform at one of his concerts in 2014. As fate would have it, this experience would not be a one-off when just two years later Ellen was chosen to perform live by Keith Urban at his Brisbane show of the ‘Ripcord World Tour’.
A video of the performance has had over 7 million views after being featured by US magazine ‘Taste Of Country’, to view CLICK HERE
This experience was not only a dream come true moment but a turning point in the young musician’s career after Keith Urban praised her talent and recommended she start singing and creating original music. Ellen shares more, “I still can’t believe that I had the opportunity to play with Keith Urban. Keith is the reason why this is all happening as he was the one who encouraged me to start singing and becoming my own artist. Since then, I have been so focused on my original music, and I am so happy he gave me that nudge to become an artist myself”.
The debut single, ‘More Than A Hat’ came to Ellen via local singer-songwriter and family friend, Brian R. Sickles. While the lyrics were composed by Brian, 19 years ago in Folsom California, USA, the track has since had a title change from ‘Cowboy (More Than A Hat)’ and the version we hear today was melodically re-arranged by Ellen and father, George. The song was intended as a social comment on how some people think that style and fashion are worthy substitutes for integrity and personal substance. Produced at Sydney’s 301 Studios by Stefan Du Randt (Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont), Ellen’s guitar is celebrated and Arlo Sim, The Voice Australia’s ‘Team Keith’ finalist can be heard on backing vocals.
When not performing or creating music, Ellen is a Secondary School Teacher – specialist subjects include History and Music, and her classes range from Years 9 to 12. For musical heroes, no surprise that Keith Urban tops the list but Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Miley Cyrus, Sara Evans, Orianthi and Bon Jovi can also be found on Ellen’s playlists.
‘More Than A Hat’ will be available on all download/streaming platforms from Friday November 5th.