Alexis Taylor, “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the 2018 Tennessee Music Awards, has always had a passion for music. Growing up in the small town of Huntsville, Ontario, the singer/songwriter had always wanted to break free from her homegrown roots and explore what the rest of the world had to offer. It was during that time that she found her way to Nashville, Tennessee. Shortly after moving to Nashville, she connected with renowned singer/songwriter Doug Seegers, who invited her to open for him on what would be her first international tour throughout Scandinavia in 2016. At the beginning of 2018, Taylor released her debut single “Blame the Whiskey” which allowed her to appear live on numerous radio stations throughout North America, and take part in events such as Canadian Music Week in Toronto, CMA Fest in Nashville, and the annual USO Northwest Gala in Seattle. The Canadian born musician has just recently released her brand-new song “How Do You Sleep” to music platforms everywhere and is planning a number of shows for the rest of 2019.
What was the song that influenced you to start a career in music? Was it your parents’ influence, as they are songwriters?
There was never one specific song that influenced me to start a career in music, and though my parents are a huge part of why I continue to play and write, they weren’t what initially made me pursue music either. It was my first concert that I had ever went to in high school that really influenced me to pursue music. I went to see Mayday Parade with my friend in Toronto, Ontario, and was only standing a few rows from the front of the stage. I remember hearing everyone around me belting out the lyrics, and for some reason I just stood there lost in the moment as I let it all sink in. It was then that I realized I didn’t want to do anything else other than play and sing for as long as I was alive and breathing.
Which artists have inspired you?
Some of the artists that have inspired me over the years have been Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. Although, I feel like ever since I have moved to Nashville my friends play a huge part in inspiring me, as so many of them are such incredible musicians.
What was the first song you wrote?
The first song I ever wrote was when I was 12 years old. It was called “With You” and had a lot of “Na na na’s” in it. It was a very simple melody and was the first love song I had ever written. I don’t remember all of the lyrics, but I remember I began the song with “Roses are red and violets are blue” — very original of course. I didn’t know how to play guitar yet so I never recorded it or played it out. I am sure glad I have grown as a songwriter since then!
How did you connect to singer/songwriter Doug Seegers?
It was actually kind of funny how Doug and I met. He added me on Facebook, as he had heard me playing at a Heart Songs for Veterans showcase at the War Memorial here in Nashville, and wanted to know when my next show was. There was some huge concert going on in town and the venue that I was playing at that night ended up being totally dead, so Doug was the only person there other than the bartender. Doug then requested for me to play all of my original material that I had written, and so I did. It wasn’t until after I was done playing my show that he told me he was also a musician, and would love to record and sing together sometime. The rest is history!
Your debut single, “Blame the Whiskey,” lead to winning Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2018 Tennessee Music Awards — what’s the backstory to the song?
Yes! I was both shocked and humbled that I received “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the 2018 Tennessee Music Awards for “Blame the Whiskey”. The song was actually written back when I was in college, and was a project for a songwriting class I took. It was a fictional song when I wrote it, and was based on a relationship where the guy would only ever call or come around after he had been drinking. But then halfway through the song, the girl has had enough, and realizes she deserves better than that. It wasn’t until I had chosen the song as my first single, that it became prophetic in my life. After that, I was able to sing it with a little extra attitude behind it.
How did you choose “How Do You Sleep” as your follow-up single, especially as it is your personal reflection on a heartbreak?
“How Do You Sleep” was an easy choice as a follow-up single to me. Although it is a slower song, and is a personal refection of a relationship that ended in heartbreak, the sentiment that can be found in the song rings true to each lyric. Ross Coppley, who produced both “Blame the Whiskey” and “How Do You Sleep,” really captured my vocals and made sure the raw emotion could be found in the words I was singing. It has a very different feel than my first single, and I think it gives me a sense of vulnerability that my listeners will appreciate.
“How Do You Sleep” YouTube
If you could record with anyone in country music, who would it be?
If I could record with any one in country music, I think it would be Lady Antebellum. They always have such great harmonies, and I really love their sound. It would be so cool to be in the studio with them and get the chance to learn from them.
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in?
I would love to play the Grand Ole Opry one day, as well as The Ryman Auditorium. I have been to both venues a number of times as an audience member, and am always amazed at the talent I see on stage. It would be an honor to one day get the chance to be a part of such a legacy, and stand on a stage where so much country music history has been made.
Where do you see yourself in 2–5 Years?
In 2–5 years, I hope to see myself advancing even further in the music industry and sharing my songs with an even bigger audience. I am so grateful to be where I am today, and to be doing what I love. My only hope for the next few years is that I get to continue to write songs and share my love of singing with all of the wonderful people I get to meet on this journey.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I have ever been given lately comes from my mom. If I have something negative to say or if something doesn’t turn out the way I planned, my mom always says: “Well it’s better than a kick in the pants.” It sounds silly, but it always seems to put things in perspective. It is a reminder that things could be worse, and always seems to change my perspective on any given situation. Thanks mom!
For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:
I would say that my music in 5 words would be best described as country, meaningful, catchy, melodic, and edgy.
When you’re not performing what do you like to do?
I am pretty easy going. When I am not working on my music or performing, I am usually hanging out with my friends or family. I don’t have the luxury of getting many days off, but when I do it is always nice to spend them with the people you care about. I also volunteer a lot at my church here in Nashville, so that definitely keeps me busy as well!
If you were driving cross-country and could only bring one CD, what would it be?
That’s a tough choice! I would probably choose to bring the “Storyteller” album by Carrie Underwood. So many great tracks on there, and so many great writers!
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t singing, I would probably be getting my master’s degree in psychology. I minored in psychology while I was in college and loved every class that I took. After I graduated I decided to focus more on my music, but had I not decided to make music my main focus I would have definitely stayed in school and got a psychology degree.
A movie of your life is being filmed — who are the leads?
If a movie of my life was being filmed, I would definitely want to be a part of it. If that means directing or producing or being one of the leads, that would be so cool! But I think the younger version of me would be well portrayed by Isabella Crovetti (who’s been on CSI Miami and The Young and The Restless) because she looks quite a bit like me when I was a kid.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
Five things I couldn’t live without would be God, my family, my cell phone, my calendar, and ketchup. Each of those things play a crucial part in my life!
If you were granted one wish, what would you ask for?
If I could be granted one wish I would probably wish to have healing powers. I think life is short, and being healthy defines the quality of life we live. Your health has a huge effect on how you live out your day to day life, and it would be cool to help others and see such a life altering change.