Lindsay Ell has much to celebrate this summer. Not only is she on one of the biggest country tours with headliner Brad Paisley but the guitarist and songwriter just released her debut album The Project.

Helmed by producer Kristian Bush of Sugarland fame, the country singer told Keleigh Nealon in an interview for that the album was exactly the type of record she wanted to make since she was a little girl. She credits Bush with helping her find her identity as a musician and songwriter for her first major release saying, “I’m so proud of the music we made.”

Related: Lindsay Ell Talks ‘By the Way’ and Jamming with Legends

As to why the title was simply kept The Project, Ell said, “It felt like it’s been a big science project.”

The album’s first single “Waiting on You” was actually a starting point in the studio for the release. Ell says, “It’s been an amazing process to write The Project from beginning to end and ‘Waiting on You’ was really the song…the first time that Kristian heard it he said, ‘This is where we start.'”

Now that she’s made her first record in Music City, she’s so proud to be a part of the community of woman creating music in Nashville.

“There’s so many talented female artist and musicians in Nashville right now. I’m so happy that I can help spotlight some of them on my record by cutting some songs from them as well as being a female musician,” she said. “It always surprises me why there aren’t more females playing instruments, especially leading bands playing instruments. Even if you look across the format there’s not a lot of women playing lead instruments. And so I’m happy I can help lead that movement and be like, ‘You know what, girls can play guitar too,’ or play whatever instrument you want to play.”

The Canadian musician grew up playing music, taking up piano when she was 6 and next taking up the guitar, “It was a lot cooler to play Shania Twain songs on guitar when I was 8-years-old so I picked it up and never really put it down,” she explained.

And because she never did, Ell is now reaching so many fans that are realizing they have the same dream of becoming a musician like she did .

“It’s just been inspiring to be able to hear some fans be like, ‘Lindsay, I am starting to learn guitar because of you.’  And the fact that Shania [Twain], Sheryl [Crow], Bonnie [Raitt] were such role models and inspirations to me when I was a little girl and now the fact that I can forward that on is just surreal.”

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