Lexi Elisha is releasing her third EP next week called Rope, releasing August 5th. I recently had the privilege in undertaking an email interview with Lexi, as we discussed the upcoming release, what she hopes listeners will experience when hearing the tracks, her touring plans for 2015 and 2015, her favourite Bible verse, as well as any hopes she has of the upcoming year ahead. Check out the interview below.
1. Your new album Rope releases on August 5th on Noisetrade; can you describe how the recording process was like? What is the one thing that you hope listeners can gain when they hear it?
Writing and recording Rope was very different for me. The songs are not my typical. When I wrote the first song off the record back in February, I knew I was on to something and I wanted to run with it. What is typical for me is the writing approach; I was very vulnerable and really just wrote what this past year looked like for me.
2. Can you tell us a bit about your background, and how you became a Christian, for those who want to know your testimony?
I don’t have an elaborate story. I was born and raised in the church. I worked the overhead slides and sang in the choir. One day I realized I wanted Jesus for myself, not just as a part of my life. My parents kneeled with me at the edge of my bed and we said the sinner’s prayer. Jesus has been the end all be all since that day.
3. You released an EP in 2011, with highlights “Without You”, “Effortless” and “Let Go”, and in 2013, another project (Eventually EP) with personal favourites “I Choose Love”, “Safest Place” and “This Heart”; for those who are not that familiar with your music, can you give us a quick description of your music and who you think sound like?
Haha man that’s hard. I would say in the two EP’s you just mentioned, I was going for that super pop girl sound. This new EP is totally different. It has some pop elements but it’s sort of dark, more like Lorde meets folk music.
4. If there’s one thing you want listeners to understand and take away from Rope EP, what would it be?
I can’t really say I wrote this record for a specific take away. I have experienced more of both sorrow and joy than I ever had this past year, so I wrote a record about it.
5. Which songs on the EP mean the most to you? Were there any difficult songs to write, sing in the studio, or perform live? Personally, my favourite songs are the title track, “Weaker Mind” and “White Fence” (the last half of the songs!)
“Trailside Road” means, by far, the most to me. In fact, it’s probably my favourite song that I’ve ever written it. It’s not conventional, it tells a story but ends in sort of an elusive way. Because this record required such a different approach and carries a different sound for me, it was just inspiring and challenging to write and record each song.
6. Which song on the album, or throughout your career has resonated with fans and friends the most? Has there been a song that you thought would be popular and impacting but wasn’t, and vice versa? What has God taught you through both circumstances about Himself or yourself?
I think my fans have really enjoyed “I Choose Love” and “County Line” off the Eventually EP. I don’t bet on any of my songs becoming anything but a healing point or learning moment for myself. If I thought they might be anything else, to anyone else, I would be setting myself up for failure every single time. That’s just the indie life. When something does happen that’s super dope, like I Choose Love having over 110k views on YouTube or County Line winning a really important indie song writing award, I feel it’s God’s reminder that He is going to show me grace in every situation.
7. If there is one song that describes the heart of Rope, which is it? What is the take home message for listeners, that you want them to discover and explore from the album?
You are one of the very few that had the album before the release, so you might understand when I say the heart of Rope is a ton of different feelings, ideas, and thoughts. The title track itself tells the story of a broken relationship, Lucky Girl is carefree and was written in one of my most happy moments this year, Trailside Road talks about the place I grew up in and how attached to it I am. I wish there was a more specific takeaway, but there are just a lot of them in general.
8. Both musically and lyrically, how does Rope capture your experiences throughout the last few years of your musical journey? As you move into your next step in your Christian music career, is there anything you hold onto that God has spoken into your life?
Man, like I said before, I have had some of the most incredibly happy moments this past year both musically and personally, and I’ve also had some of the most downright devastating moments. I think you’ll see both in this record.
James 4:14 says “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog- it is here a little while, then it’s gone”. This verse has really impacted me these past couple months. It puts things back into perspective. I tend to get caught up in the trivial matters of life, when I compare my life to eternity things start to shift.
9. For me, I would describe your music as pop/dance/ballads similar to Mandisa, Britt Nicole, and Hillsong Young and Free, with a voice that’s similar to Moriah Peters, Jillian Edwards and Marie Miller in parts. Who have your influences been growing up (artist, songwriter and producer-wise)? Who do you think you most sound like in the CCM industry?
Growing up I listened to Avalon and Point of Grace. Although my band and I have some very fun moments on the road listening to our fav throw backs, my taste in music has changed a bit. Honestly, I listen to a lot of indie folk stuff…Beck, Sleeping at Last, The Avett Brothers, Jon Foreman, Sleigh Bells, and Heath McNease who I am lucky enough to work with on almost everything now. They influence me because I hope to be 1/1000000 of the talent one day that they are. As far as the CCM industry, I think my voice is similar to Moriah Peters and some of the girls in Hillsong’s Young and Free.
10. Is there any artist (mainstream or Christian) that you would like to tour/record with if given the chance? For the rest of 2014 and 2015, what do your touring plans look like?
If Ryan from Sleeping At Last ever approached me to do a song, I’d literally die and go to Heaven. Same goes for any of the artists I just mentioned above. I am such a fan girl.
We have a lot of fun stuff coming up [in terms of touring]….but I guess you’ll just have to wait and see : )
11. As you are an independent artist, is there anything in your life that keeps you grounded and places things in perspective as you travel and create music? Is there any song, or Bible verse, or even famous quote that reminds you about why you do what you do and why you chose music as a career and ministry?
My Life verse is “Where sin did abound, grace did abound much more”. It doesn’t get any more real or grounded than that for me. I deserved hell forever, but His grace saved my life.
12. What advice would you give to young Christians starting out in music or songwriting, who are wondering how to pursue it as a career? 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?
Work hard, write from your heart, and stay true to who you feel God is calling you to be in this industry. Being very intentional about staying true to who it is you are is vital.
13. Anything fun/interesting that we ought to know that you want to leave with us? How can fans stay connected with you via social media?
First off, as always, you are the coolest for taking time out of your day to speak with me a bit. Thank you! I love anything that has to do with the Instagram, or the Facebook and Twitter. Follow me on there! (@lexielishamusic on twitter and facebook @lexielisha on instagram) I hope you love the record and pick it up August 5th!
Be sure to check out Lexi’s new album Rope releasing August 5th. Til then, check out the behind the scenes video below!