Brandi CarlileBrandi Carlile has come a long way since her days providing backup vocals for an Elvis impersonator. After years spent cutting her teeth on the road, the alt-country singer-songwriter can now boast an impressive touring resume and has had the opportunity to play with some of her lifelong heroes, including a recent studio session with Elton John.

"The heaviest moment was, I asked him to sing," Carlile told Spinner during her Interface performance. "I just couldn't believe it was happening because that's the voice that was my compass since I was 11, 12 years old, and to hear that voice singing my lyrics was a really profound moment for me." Their collaboration ended up on Carlile's most recent album, 'Give Up the Ghost,' which also featured Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray, not to mention production by Grammy Award winner Rick Rubin.

When she's not in the studio recording, Carlile loves bringing her rootsy brand of country-rock to live audiences. "It feels like energy, and having all that energy projected towards an artist when they're on stage, it feeds the performance," she said. For the young artist, the chance to perform also gives her an opportunity to raise awareness to important issues, namely the 'Fight Fear' campaign that was created in response to violence in Seattle. "If you have a platform ... you have an obligation to affect two or three thousand people instead of the two people that you would meet in your day if you were just a regular person."

For now, Carlile is gearing up for this summer's Lilith Fair, a festival that she admits largely influenced her musically during her teenage years. Until then, you can get a glimpse of Brandi's live show by checking out her intimate performance on the Interface.