Canada’s own Lindsay Ell is making a difference with her new song “make you”.
The new track, written alongside Grammy nominee Brandy Clark, marks the first time Ell publicly addresses being a victim of sexual violence.
Speaking exclusively with People, Ell reveals she was raped twice and is now using her voice to support fellow survivors.
“I was raped when I was 13, and it happened again when I was 21,” Ell tells the magazine. “The song only talks about the first time. It’s just a difficult thing to talk about, and it’s something that I process every day still.”
The singer admits she was “always the good girl” growing up and it wasn’t until she was 20 years old that she was able to confide in her parents.
“They had no idea it happened and they were absolutely horrified,” says Ell. “I’m so grateful towards both of them because they helped me not go into any unhealthy mechanisms to cope.”
Ell also tells the magazine the first assault was by a man in her church who groomed her before eventually raping her. The second rape was “different” and “a lot more violent.”
The singer has committed to donate all proceeds from “make you” to the Make You movement, which will provide funds to organizations that focus on survivors of sexual trauma and domestic abuse.
The first partner organization receiving funds from the Make You movement will be the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), which is the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization.
“I believe music has the power to heal,” says Ell. “The reason I decided to share my story at this point in my life is that I want it to be able to help a lot of people, and the best way to help people is to not only raise my voice but to raise money in an effort to raise awareness and understanding.”
— Lindsay Ell (@lindsayell) July 7, 2020
She adds: “I want to support programs that help girls & boys who may have been victims and support safety and prevention programs that aim to keep potential victims safe. Finally writing ‘make you’ has given me the courage to not let my past decide my future, so I am taking action in order to do just that. My hope is that my actions and song will inspire the same in others.”
“Make you” is featured on Ell’s highly anticipated sophomore album heart theory, which takes listeners through the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance.
heart theory follows the singer’s first full-length album The Project, which debuted at No. 1 on the Country Album Sales Chart and was named Billboard’s Best Country Album of 2017.
Fans can pre-order the album now.