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Meet Megan Ellsworth of Megan Rose Ellsworth Music, Sister Neapolitan and The Songwriter Diaries

Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Ellsworth.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Megan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My name is Megan Rose Ellsworth and I am from the small mountain community of Sisters, Oregon, a place bursting at the seams with music and art. I currently reside in Denver, CO and am pursuing my B.A in Music Business and Songwriting at the University of Colorado at Denver. ​I have been singing all my life, was taught guitar by my dad at the age of eight and immediately began writing songs. I used to put on dance shows to music for my parents in the living room, or whenever I would learn a new cover song, I would immediately have to play it for them, or my brother, who more often than not told me to go find mom and dad. My Oregon roots are the foundation of my life, nature and this beautiful Earth will forever be my biggest inspiration for continuing everything I do. The second I would say is my passion for stories. I am always reading a new book, going to the movie theater to see the latest release and calling my grandpa to hear the most recent crazy story from the ranch. I have many songs that are based on other’s stories, for example, my song “Only Human” was written after I saw the film “I, Tonya.” Stories are what bring us together and what prevents us from repeating past mistakes, history will continue to repeat itself if we do not listen to the stories and experiences of others.

I love to have my fingers in multiple pies at one time and currently, that includes Sister Neapolitan, a podcast I co-host with the lovely Caroline Stump called The Songwriter Diaries. I have also recently taken over as chapter leader for the Boulder/Denver chapter of a great non-profit organization supporting women in the music industry, Women Crush Music. I have shared the stage with artists the likes of Karla Bonoff and Nina Gerber and had the profound honor of giving a TEDx Talk at the 2015 Tedx Bend, Oregon Women event. Most recently Sister Neapolitan and I played SXSW this year as well as went on our first self booked tour and The Songwriter Diaries will be airing our third and fourth seasons later this year.

As someone that struggles with mental health, I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder almost two years ago, I try to lead my life starting with love. I love what I do, what I study and those that surround me. Life can be full of struggle after struggle and I am so incredibly grateful to be in an industry as understanding as this one. If you ever see me on the street, I am a hugger, you have been warned. You can find me next playing at this years UMS with Sister Neapolitan as well as solo.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The University of Colorado at Denver is not the only school I have gone to. I attended the Santa Fe University of Art and Design in my freshman year of college (2016-2017). About halfway through our first-year rumors started to swirl that the school was hemorrhaging money, in mid-April of 2017 they announced that the school was going bankrupt and would be closing after the 2017-2018 school year and they advised all students that wouldn’t be graduating that year to transfer. That was rough, Not only was I 2,000 miles away from my beautiful home state of Oregon, I was getting kicked out of a place that I had tried to desperately to love. That year came with ups and downs in my mental health, realizing that maybe I did have anxiety and possibly panic disorder and that maybe my sunny disposition was starting to dull. The moment I drove into my driveway in Oregon after a grueling drive and a long school year it wasn’t a feeling of relief that I felt but a feeling of dread because I knew I was going to have to do that same thing all over again come August 20th, at UCD. I can’t thank that past terrified, anxiety-ridden Megan more because she got me here. Music was always there but there came a time after Santa Fe that I couldn’t play, that summer was a real drought for me and I haven’t experienced one like that since thankfully. Sometimes you have to take a break from what you love to find that passion again, and that is just fine.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Megan Rose Ellsworth Music, Sister Neapolitan, The Songwriter Diaries story. Tell us more about the business.
The Songwriter Diaries came out of a funny “what if” situation that Caroline and I were talking about. I was starting to get into listening to podcasts and was looking for suggestions on pods about songwriting and she said, “what if we made our own and featured friends from school on it?” I scoffed and went home later that night with a fire burning in my chest, this was something that we could maybe do. The next couple of weeks came with Caroline and myself texting our friends and asking if we could interview them for our new podcast. Our setup was small, unprofessional and not easily moveable. Now we work with a Shure microphone tripod setup meant for vlogging and it is great for traveling which we hope to do with the podcast soon. We just released our second season earlier this summer and it was a blast, we had some more community members like Kenzi Everitt, John Runnels of Morningbear and Matt Hoffman of Strange Americans. It is a real honor to listen to our guests to record their originals for the song section of the pod and see the light escape their mouths as they sing the sweet words. Caroline and I have too much fun sometimes and that always ends up with me editing loud laughs and clipped vocals through the entire episode, I do keep those bloopers though and they are HILLARIOUS. We recently also launched our website and are officially on Spotify, apple podcasts and google podcasts as well as our website. This is such a fun project and I am so glad that deep down neither Caroline nor I were actually joking when we said: “what if we made a podcast.” We love picking the brains of songwriters and music industry people at any stage of life, so if you are interested please contact us at thesongwriterdiaries.business@gmail.com

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck has played a giant role in every aspect of my life, I think I am a deeply lucky person and am so infinitely grateful for my life. If Dave Walters from UCD hadn’t come to Santa Fe when he did, I would either still be in Oregon, doing who knows what or at a school in Chicago and I would have never met the incredible community here. My brother was diagnosed with cancer my sophomore year of high school and he was cured and is now in remission and in the clear, thank goodness, but I think that was all luck, lucky that nothing more serious happened, that he was able to be cured, and that it brought my family closer than it had ever been before. They are my rock, my foundation, my support system and I know this is weird but seriously my best friends and I feel very lucky because of that. This industry is all about connections, making a friend, meeting gone of their friends and building a spiderweb of networks to call on when you need them and to support when they need you. I think that is all luck and serendipity, with a dash of “planned by the universe.” You meet who you meet so that you can learn to form them and hopefully teach them something too, most of my career opportunities have come from knowing someone and just being there, and that is luck.

Contact Info:

  • Website: thesongwriterdiaries.com
  • Phone: 5414191753
  • Email: megan.rose.ellsworth@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @meganrosemusic
  • Facebook: @meganrosemusic


Image Credit:
Alexa Graf, Keenan Goodwin, Farrah Emami

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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