Published: November 01, 2008 9:57 PM EST
By: Isaac Davis Jr., MBA
New Music Spotlight
Alexis Vear is in her own element with her music. She commands immediate attention when one begins to listen to her songs. The singer/songwriter has a way with words that will instantly draw you into her world. One of her biggest accomplishments was in 2004 when Alexis released her debut album, "Never Give Up", which is an acoustic record full of heart and soul. The CD received major praises and was played on airplay throughout the country. The CD also received international success.
The Indianapolis, Indiana native now lives in Atlanta, Georgia and has released her newest release "Let It Go". Alexis has stated that this project was inspired by her love of John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, U2, and Atlanta singer songwriter Shawn Mullins. Junior's Cave recently caught up with the singer/songwriter in this exclusive in-depth interview. Please take the time to get to know Alexis Vear. Enjoy!
Isaac: Elaborate on who you are and your upbringing.
Alexis: I am a lot of things (smile). I am a singer/songwriter, mother of two children, wife, and friend. I believe in finding the good in everything that surrounds us. But I am still learning about myself. I am still defining my being. I wrote a song called"Know Thyself" and it is about just that. I am not sure if I will ever know myself 100%, because every time I think I know who I am. I learn something new about myself. One thing I know for sure is that I want to keep
learning about myself, and the world, and what gives life meaning! I grew up in Indianapolis, IN; A few towns away from John Mellencamp (SMILE). I was raised in a very intellectually stimulating home. Both of my parents were chemists! My parents met in graduate school. My father was getting his PHD in chemistry when he met my mother who was getting her MBA in chemistry. Many evening I listened to them speak about recombinant DNA. Neither was musical. But both enjoyed listening to music. I have one brother who is older than me.
Isaac: Was there any one musician that spoke to your heart so profoundly, you were
inspired to do your own thing?
Alexis: There have been MANY MANY musicians that spoke to my heart in a profound way,
but the one that inspired me the very most was U2. When I was in High School, I went to
their concert. It was like the 3rd concert I had ever been to in my life. I remember when it started; I was sitting there watching them on the stage, wondering, what makes them so special? I mean, I thought they were really incredible, but I was trying to figure out what it was, that made them so special. This is, of course, the beginning of the concert. By the end of the concert, I just was so in Awe--still not able to pinpoint what it was that made them so different from everyone
else. Then Bono steps up to the microphone and he tells us to get our lighters out. He said "I am going to sing this song and I want you to keep those lighters burning, and look at each other" etc. etc. Then He sang!!! My fingers hurt sooooo bad because of the heat, but I kept trying to keep that lighter lit, and I just sat their and really cried my brains out, because I felt something in that arena that was so powerful, and beautiful, and inspiring, even with my fingers burning
and in that moment, I figured out what made them so special!!! That moment made me
realize that each and everyone of us; in this one life we live have a choice. We can either live life trying to make the world a better place if we can or live it trying to make the world a worse place if we can. It is that simple so I have tried to do my own thing in many ways and many times through their inspiration. I am not sure if my life and music has or will have any
positive impact on this world but I will keep trying! (Smile).
Isaac: Which singer/group would you say you would most like to do a duet with?
Alexis: That's a really hard question because their are a lot of people I would like to
duet with. But recently I wrote a song called "Miracle Of Love" and when I wrote it, I had a vision of Bono singing it with me. It is a song that is very powerful and needs to be heard! I wish I could have gotten that song out before this election!!! I hope the song will really make people think!!!
Isaac: What singer/songwriter do you most connect with?
Alexis: I connect with different artists at different times. When I first moved to
Atlanta 3 years ago, I connected with Shawn Mullins. I would go down to the Chattahoochi
and walk 3-6 miles, just listening to that man sing. Then 1.5 years ago, it was John
Mayer. Right now, I am just listening to a mix of everything. I've been learning a lot of blues chords, so I have been listening to my iTunes library trying to figure out who uses what chords and why!
Isaac: Out of your entire song collection that you've written thus far, which song(s)
would you say is/are the most personal/meaningful to you?
Alexis: They all are meaningful to me. They are all personal.
Isaac: Which singers/groups do you enjoy/like from some of today's music genres?
Alexis: My taste is very eclectic. I honestly enjoy so much of the music of today and
yesterday!!! Right at this moment, I am loving the new Amy Ray CD. I
think the song "Birds Of A Feather" is amazing and beautiful! I also love this song by
Matt Nathanson called "Come On Get Higher". It made me laugh after I heard that song
because it was the first time a song has made me blush in a LONG LONG time!
Isaac: What charities are you involved with or support?
Alexis: I am very interested in supporting charities that educate people in creative
ways. One of my favorite organizations currently is called M.U.S.I.C. Their
website is www.learningfromlyrics.org. They teach children all kinds of things like
history, etc. through song lyrics. It is an amazing organization, and I hope to be in a position to support them even more, at some point soon! Another organization I am interested in learning more about is called "Central Asia Institute". Their website is www.ikat.org. Central Asia Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission to promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. My dream is that anyone that has the desire to learn will be given the ability to learn!!!
And that the knowledge attained will help to promote peace, hope, and love all over our
Isaac: Have you (or would you ever consider) writing a song about any of today's
particular world issues/problems? If so, what world issue would speak to you the most to
Alexis: I already have written many songs about world issues and problems. The world issue that speaks to me the most is the suffering of children on this planet whether it is from starvation, inadequate healthcare, hate crimes, war, domestic violence, etc., etc. It just makes me physically ill to see children suffer! The song "Miracle Of Love" is about that suffering. But, I also realize that to address the issue of a child suffering you must first address the issue of the guardian! In the last year, oppression of woman has been undeniable in my life's path. As I say this, I have met MANY incredible men that lift woman and support them. But at the end of the day, oppression of woman needs to be dealt with. So, what I've listed above are the two issues they weigh most on my heart!!!
Isaac: Why should people listen to your music?
Alexis: My fans say I have a beautiful and unique voice, and my lyrics make them think
about their life. So if you want something that sounds good with some purpose to it, then my music will be nice to hear! (Smile).
Isaac: Your music is relaxing and chill. What inspired you to toss out these awesome
lyrics and cords?
Alexis: Thanks For the compliments! (Smile). I am inspired by what moves me. I typically
find myself in situations, where something happens in my life, or this world, that HAS to
become a song!!! It's pretty simple! The chords and lyrics just come together when
they are meant too!!!
Isaac: How far into the creation of a song do you share any of it with anyone? Who would
you play it for? Would it be a chorus, a verse and chorus, or a complete song?
Alexis: I usually share my songs when they are finished with the exception of my
children and husband. My guitar and computer are in a room attached to my kitchen. The kids are always coming in and out of the room as I am writing. They are completely unfazed by the whole process. They will tell me sometimes I am too loud when they are trying to do homework! When I finish a song, I will sometimes share it with one of my girlfriends! I am very lucky to have some amazing friends that have really encouraged me to move forward with my music!
Isaac: How much do you let others "mess around with" one of your new songs?
Alexis: I have only worked with producers, and of course they mess around with the
arrangements. And on both CD's I've released, I have made my producer co-writer on
several songs because they messed around enough to want to do that!
Isaac: Do you have to be a tortured soul to be a singer-songwriter?
Alexis: Being a singer/songwriter UN-TORTURES my soul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Isaac: Are your songs strictly autobiographical or are they embroidered autobiography?
Alexis: My songs are not just about my life but also about the lives of the people that surround me, whether personally, or from a far! Sometimes they are fact; sometimes they are embroidered fact.
Isaac: How long does it take you to process your emotions and turn them into songs?
Alexis: Sometimes I process them instantly. Sometimes they can days, weeks, months, and years.
Isaac: The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Alexis: Follow your heart and not your head. What is amazing to me is that I found; if you follow your heart, your head starts to catch up and life starts to make sense! Your inner voice will guide you if you will only listen!!!
Isaac: Give Shutouts to your family and friends.
Alexis: Gosh!!! I have so many people I would want to shout out to! My wonderful and loving husband and children whom I love very dearly, My mom for teaching me how to dream, My father for teaching me to overcome adversity and for instilling in me discipline and a good work ethic. To my friend Gail, for her constant encouragement, friendship, and for her business sense!!! Jenny
for her life long support, friendship, and love, Nora, for being my rock in Atlanta, and to Sonya, Lara, Leah, Laurie, Lorrie, and Donna--Your constant friendship!!! I must say I would not have survived this life with out my girlfriends! I was not given a sister by birth but I was given some incredible sisters in this life! This has been a real long year and the people listed above have hung in there through all the ups and downs!!!
And a HUGE thank you to Geoff Melkonian, The producer of "Let It Go".
Isaac: Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Alexis: I just finished a song about a woman who overcame oppression! I also finished a
song about Water.