Candice Russell is a Portland based pop singer and award-winning songwriter (International Songwriting Competition and SongwriterUniverse). She has recorded and released two different projects: her latest EP, Ignite, and her debut album, So Much More. All of the songs on these projects are original and co-written by Candice.
Candice’s writing is honest and vulnerable because she has already weathered some pretty tough times in life. Through it all, she has maintained a positivity that inspires listeners to strive for something more. “I want to reach people with the music that I’ve written and hopefully encourage and uplift them,” she says.
As a little girl Candice grew up singing in church and in school choirs. She dreamed of becoming a big-time singer one day. Today Candice’s dreams haven’t changed and she is still working hard to accomplish them. She writes, records and performs as much as she can and she says, “I love every aspect of it.”
When she was 18, Candice was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease (an immune system disorder that results in an overactive thyroid and many other symptoms, including a dangerously high heart rate at times). Despite this setback, she went forward with her music. Candice was writing and performing on a regular basis when she also started showing symptoms of Graves’ eye disease, which causes swelling, pain and bulging of the eyes, as well as double vision. As a result, Candice wasn’t looking or feeling her best. As the disease continued to worsen, her eyes pushed forward so far that she couldn’t close her eyelids completely, look side to side without pain or get through one day without a migraine headache. Candice tried medications and radiation treatments to fix the problem but nothing worked. There were times when she felt completely defeated, not only battling pain, but also insecurity about her appearance every day. Candice ended up having an intense surgery called Orbital decompression, where a surgeon literally removed her eyes from the sockets, cut away all of the tissue and shaved away small parts of the bone of her eye sockets.
The doctor performing the surgery was hopeful, but he wouldn’t promise that Candice would look any better after the surgery or that the double vision and migraine headaches would actually go away. But as you can see from her pictures, Candice’s surgery eventually worked out great! After six years of difficult physical issues, Candice has come out on top of it all!
Candice says, “It has been a long hard journey to healing and now I have scars from it, but I’m proud of these scars, they’re like a badge of honor. I have fought hard to get to where I am today. At times I wanted to give up on my music out of discouragement and fear, but I’ve never stopped singing or putting in the hours to get me toward my dream. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I am truly stronger, more focused, more mature, more driven and more passionate than ever. I am determined to push forward and overcome despite all of the setbacks. I know a lot about overcoming tough times and I hope to inspire others to do the same!”
Candice's newest EP, Ignite was recorded in Nashville and co-written with #1 songwriter and producer Kenny Lamb (Justin Timberlake, NSYNC, Jason Aldean) and engineer Chris Rowe (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban). Check out all five songs from the EP on iTunes, Amazon and digital outlets everywhere.