City And Colour is 14-year old Ella Nafziger’s “favourite artist of all time”, and she has brought the singer-songwriter (real name Dallas Green) to tears with a short cover of his song The Grand Optimist.
Posting the first section of her City And Colour cover to Instagram last week, Ella tagged the post with just enough hashtags so that Green would actually see it and be inspired enough to leave a pretty cute comment. Case in point:
Then, after Ella posted the second part of her cover, Green got even more excited.
While hosting a recent segment of The Spot on Double J, Green says he “literally had an emotional breakdown” while watching Ella’s cover of The Grand Optimist.
“I called my wife, I was crying, it was a really wonderful moment,” he says, adding that he thinks Ella has “one of the most beautiful voices that I have heard in my life”.
Sharing the love far and wide, Green even played Ella’s song Big Blue Sea (below) while he guest-hosted an episode of The Spot. “My music has been covered by a lot of people on the internet, which is great, and I appreciate that. But something about this girl’s voice. It’s not her singing my words, it’s just her voice — she’s got it,” he says.
“For me, with singing, you need to be able to see and hear that emotion in a person’s voice and there’s just something about it that’s moving.”
Ella, like her musical idol, is from Ontario, Canada. Speaking with Double J, she says Green’s comments have given her a huge boost.
“It’s made me feel a lot more confident,” she says. “For a really talented musician, for him to tell me that, just means everything.”
Ella says she naturally fell into music because of her musical family, and says her dad is the one who first introduced her to City And Colour. The young singer writes, records and posts her own songs to YouTube and says Green’s music is a big inspiration for her own work.
“He has his own way of singing; he’s not like all the other bands on the radio. His music isn’t just about nothing; his music is about real things that he’s experienced,” she says.
Hear Ella Nafziger’s Big Blue Sea below, alongside her full interview with Double J in which she freaks out after hearing Green gushing about her cover.
Green performed a pair of intimate acoustic gigs for Aussie fans last week, promoting his fifth City And Colour album, If I Should Go Before You. During his stay, he sat down with Music Feeds to discuss the record, and his intimate local shows.
A full Australian City And Colour tour is scheduled for March and April 2016.
Watch: Ella Nafziger – Big Blue Sea