Independent artist Lexi Elisha releases her second EP, ‘Eventually’ on August 27th, featuring her hit song ‘I Choose Love’. Here is a recent email interview I had with Lexi, where she talks about the inspiration behind these 6 songs, and how these songs have impacted her live audience, as well as herself personally. Check out these questions and answers below.
Question 1: You have been writing and recording songs since your debut radio single, ‘Without You’, released in 2011. For those who don’t know much about you as an artist, how do you think you can describe yourself in a musical sense? Personally, I think you have a pop-dance driven sound similar to artists like Britt Nicole, Mandisa or Francesca Battistelli.
You got it! I do have a pop driven sound, with a serving of acoustic folk when I can get away with throwing it into the mix. My music is compelled by honesty and vulnerability, and life events are a major contributor to the lyrics. There is always something new and exciting to write about!
Question 2: Your new EP Eventually releases August 27th and is your 2nd EP, with your first one releasing November 2011. What have you learned throughout the two years since your first EP that you have tried to incorporate into the process of recording and producing songs for Eventually? Have you ever thought about doing a full-length album in the future?
I’ve learned to trust my own instincts. Before, I relied heavily on others opinions, but this time around I was all hands on deck. I was more in tune with what I wanted it to be about, and I wasn’t so overwhelmed by the process.
A full length album would be amazing! I’ll make you a deal; when I sell a bajllion of the Eventually records I’ll start my full-length record. Let’s be honest, that’s the only way an Indie artist can afford that kind of business.
Question 3: How has your musical journey been throughout the producing and creating of Eventually, compared to the moments and process leading up to your 2011 EP release? What has God been teaching you that you have learnt throughout 2012/13 that you have proactively incorporated into these songs on Eventually? If there was one thing that listeners can take away from the EP, what would it be?
I have grown milestones spiritually and musically since my “Let Go” EP in 2011. Eventually is an honest record… a really honest record. It exposes me like nothing else could. Myself along with my incredible co-writer took my last two years and put it into six songs. If there’s anything to be taken away from this record, I want it to be the beauty in not being perfect because there’s a God that loves us so much that He gave us unending grace. Because of the grace, we get to tell the world our story and make Him known doing it. We are loved; we are wanted.
Question 4: Personally, the themes and atmosphere of the album shows us that we are loved and that when we are in the arms of God our Saviour and friend, we can be safe and feel like we are able to accomplish more so than what we were to have done without Him. What does Eventually mean to you?
Eventually to me means a lot of different things. Eventually the title track means eventually a man will realize I’m the one, or not, and I may have to walk away from the one I Iove. But eventually in the other songs means eventually God I will realize I can never do anything to earn Your grace, and eventually I will love my body and my thin hair because You made extensions for a reason, or eventually I’ll get this right God. God never said eventually I will love you people when you get your act together, but for some reason we always say eventually to God. I am loved not eventually by the most high King, I am loved now.
Question 5: With a mixture of both God-directed songs and relationship style songs, which style/genre is the easiest to write, perform and respond towards? Is there an art in writing relationship songs as compared to writing a song directed to praising God or delving into a biblically sound topic and discussing it through song?
By far and wide relationship songs are easier for me to write. Those songs happen every day. It get’s really hard when I’m writing a CCM style song. I love God so much and I love music so much and I want to portray that in a way that’s not so “cheesy” if you will. I don’t want to say what’s been said a thousand times, and that is difficult. I am also a worship leader, so the second I start to write about my Saviour, I’m weeping. It’s a serious issue haha.
Question 6: What are your favourite songs you’ve recorded and performed on the album? Personally, I love ‘I Choose Love’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Safest Place’. I also love the fun music video as well! How was it filming the video? Is there a message from ‘I Choose Love’, both the song and the video, that you think is crucial for listeners to understand, both now and into the future?
Hey thanks! I am so glad you like them. I love “I Choose Love”, I think it encapsulates who I am as a person. “Stay” and “County Line” are very close to my heart…talk about some sad relationship songs, you’ve got them right there. I also love the rest of the songs, but I’m biased. The video was SO fun to film. Bryan my director and his team made it one of the best experiences of my music career. We filmed part at my church, and my church family just all showed up, it was awesome. The rest we filmed on the pier in Chicago, and on the Chicago River on the Tiki boat. It was insane. I loved every second.
Love doesn’t just happen; it’s a choice and a commitment. While writing “I Choose Love” I was continually exposed to my own selfishness in my relationships. I don’t always feel love. Sometimes I get frustrated or upset. I frequently find it difficult to know how to love my neighbor as myself. It’s easy to love on my best days. But when the rubber meets the road, love is what I am commanded. I am to love like Christ loved. That’s exactly what I want my listeners to take away from “I Choose Love”.
Question 7: You have had quite a journey musically since your first album two years ago. What has God been teaching you about Himself on the road as you travel and perform your songs of encouragement, both from Eventually and your debut EP? Is there any song that you have sung on your travels (can be either from the upcoming EP or from the previous album) that God still ministers to you with?
GRACE. That’s all I have to say. I don’t deserve it, I couldn’t ever earn it, but He loves me so much that he was beaten and hung on a tree so I could have it. It’s just amazing.
Question 8: Is there any particular artist (band or individual singer, Christian or mainstream) that has influenced the process of writing and recording for Eventually, or even influenced your style of singing and performing over the years? Are there any bands/artists you currently admire, or that you’d like to tour/write and record with someday if given the chance?
Well…if you know me you know I have a tiny obsession with Jon Foreman. In my humble opinion, there is no better Christian Lyricist out there. If I were ever given a chance to go on tour with him, I would have a heart attack from excitement before the tour even began…so I don’t know if it’d even happen.
Question 9: Any difficulties in writing any songs on Eventually? Has there ever been a time when the songs that have been the hardest to write are the most rewarding, both for you personally as an artist as well as for the listeners of these songs, both listening on their CD and at your live shows?
There are always hard moments in writing. I am still growing as a writer and when the topic is sensitive, I have a hard time letting it all go. I really opened up on this record, and if you listen to it I think you’ll be able to tell.
Question 10: Is there any song currently on the radio right now that you wished you would’ve written? Any song that you have incorporated into your live set (not written by yourself) that has influenced both you and the live congregations each night, being the catalyst used by God to speak to you through your daily life and walk with Christ? Any encouraging stories from the road relating to how a song of yours impacted their life somehow?
Any work of Jon Foreman’s of course.
Man the stories I hear on the road are so heartbreaking and so incredibly uplifting. I get to pray with young women and men, and adults every night. It is by far my favorite part of being an artist. I love hearing how much my music impacts people and their personal stories of how God is working in their lives.
Question 11: Any bible verse that is your current favourite right now, that you think would encourage listeners of your music (or readers of this interview) that may feel like they are far from God at this current moment? What advice would you give to people who are struggling with pressure and finding their way in life (I know you are a 20 year old in the music industry- that must be somewhat pressuring). What do you do as a stress reliever when you feel like you’re going to lose it some nights on the road?
1 Peter 3:3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is great worth in God’s sight.
It’s not easy being out on the road. I never realized that people weren’t kidding when they said you had to develop a really tough skin when it comes to this industry. There are moments when I ask God if this is really the plan He has for me. The pressure is tremendous. But seeing people changed, and giving their heart to Jesus makes all of it worth it.
Stress reliever…haha. When I get really stressed out I take a run, ask my mom for a picture of my cats, or have a “me” night with lots of greasy food I shouldn’t indulge in but do anyway.
Question 12: To young musical artists wanting to break into the music industry, is there any advice that you can give as to how to succeed in the industry yet also keep your beliefs, values and integrity intact? How did you make your choices to be in the music industry but also be public about what you believe?
Know you, and know your God. It will be really exciting and rewarding, and really tough and heartbreaking but it will be worth it! A lot of people give me flack about writing songs about relationships….I write without including “Holy are you Lord, You are Great God” in every song. But I knew that wasn’t me coming into this industry, so I had to stick to my guns.
Question 13: Is there anything that you two love to do during your down-time? Maybe watch a TV show, listen to some new music or watch a movie or two?
I don’t watch movies. But my mom and my little sis and I are suckers for the food network and HGTV. We have all the shows DVRed. It’s pathetic. I also like to shop…but what girl doesn’t?
Question 14: Is there anything you’d like to add that hasn’t been discussed in this interview yet?
Nope. We covered it all! You are awesome, we didn’t cover that…but now we have.
Be sure to be on the lookout for the release of Eventually next week. Til then, below is the music video for ‘I Choose Love’, the first song from her new EP.