Ever since I was a kid, I used any excuse I could find to perform. I loved singing. I grew up with choir as a big part of my life. When I became a teenager, my friends and I decided to “start a band.” My parents got me a guitar, bass, and drum kit, but it was the acoustic guitar that really stuck around. A lot of my time as a teenager and young adult was spent in my room either listening to music or songwriting on my guitar. I only had formal training in vocals, but I really loved writing songs. Simon and Garfunkel was a considerable influence on me growing up.
I think my greatest strength is singing. That might also be because that’s where I’ve had the most training, so I feel most confident in that area. My greatest weakness often feels like my beginner-level understanding of music theory. I’m still learning and want to continue to improve in my knowledge of theory, because it really does help with songwriting and producing, but I’m also learning to take it easy on myself and not beat myself up about it. It can be hard to know your weakness and want to improve, without beating yourself up about it at the same time.
I love reading! The Bible is a daily one for me, and I like both fiction and non-fiction. My husband and I are pretty close to our local church and love spending time with the people there. I love gardening, although I’m still a novice! It’s a wonderful way to get reconnected with where our food comes from and spend some time outside. I also really enjoy writing and cooking.
I really try to take time to do nothing - to just process my thoughts, enjoy being outside in nature, things like that. Journaling is also a big one for me. I think it’s important to take time to slow down. Our culture is so busy all the time, but there’s no breathing room there. I also like to read and spend time with art that inspires me - good films, flipping through art books, reading. Being around other creative people is also really great.
Sometimes it simply comes down to being disciplined and intentionally working at it every day. Sometimes there is a certain situation or mood that has been sitting with me for a while, and it all comes out in one songwriting session. Sometimes, I get the progression first, record a voice memo, then sit somewhere with coffee or tea and write the lyrics like I’m writing poetry.
My co-creator is my husband, Paul Alexander (formerly of the band Midlake). He’s been in the music industry for over 20 years, and I feel so blessed to get to collaborate with him on music. He was a huge part of “I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow.” It’s a hymn by John Newton, and we sang it at church one Sunday. It really stuck with me, and one night after I couldn’t sleep, I decided to just go to our studio and learn how to play it. After that, I pretty much let Paul take over. He had spent the previous year or two learning MIDI orchestration, and I thought it would be an awesome opportunity for him to put into practice what he’d been learning. He studied jazz bass at the University of North Texas and is so talented with music theory, engineering, and production, and I feel really fortunate to learn from him and have him work on my songs with me.
After I released my first original single, “Storage,” last October (2022), it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. I had some health issues come up, and everything got put on hold for a while. But I realized how much I burned myself out by trying to push too hard with my first release. I’m starting to get better and have more energy, and I’m really excited to get back into things with a more balanced approach. I created a career planner for musicians based on everything I learned in this process, so my first plan is to get that out to the world because I want to help other artists avoid what I went through. Musically, Paul and I have been working on a version of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” We both love older hymns and really enjoy making new versions of them. There are also a handful of some of my original songs we’ve been working on. Once I get the career planner out there, I think my next focus will be to get these completed. I’m really excited to share more music.