Interview: Alexis Wilkins
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:03:47
"There's a song in absolutely everything," Alexis Wilkins declares.
She's right too. It's that mentality that has yielded songs like her brand new single "I Like It Like This". Merging a traditional country twang with a splash of pop panache, it's an engaging introduction to Alexis. It's also the start of a very bright career. You're not just going to like it. You'll love it.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Alexis Wilkins talks "I Like It Like This" and so much more.
What's the story behind "I Like It Like This"?
When I was writing in Nashville, I thought about how I listen to a lot of songs where things are going awry in a relationship. I wanted to write a really happy song about how it doesn't matter what you're doing as long as you're with this other person. It's all okay. It's all going right. That brought us to writing "I Like It Like This". We brainstormed how ordinary daily life things turn extraordinary when you're with this person. It could be a friend that turns into something else so it's really comfortable or your boyfriend or girlfriend. You don't have to think about what you're doing. You're happy with whatever you're doing. That was definitely the driving force behind that. We have the part where we're in the living room, and it's set up like a restaurant. We don't need to go out or do anything elaborate and fancy to make sure we're having a good time and enjoying things together. That's the idea, and I'm happy that's how people are taking it.
So it's really about that simplicity of a relationship...
Definitely! You think of someone saying, "This is how I like my life. I like it like this". You think of something special. It was important to portray that you simply can be with the person and feel like you're in the perfect moment. It doesn't need to be extraordinarily perfect.
Does this open the doorway to more music for you?
I feel like it definitely places a direction. I feel like I'll be covering a lot of different topics when I write. I like to do that anyways. That whole emotional spectrum is important when you're writing. I want people to be able to reach out to my music if they're feeling a certain way. No matter how they're feeling, they have a song or a part of a song to match it up to. It goes both ways with music. You can find a song that matches how you're feeling or you can listen to a song and it can make you feel a certain way whether it's a sad song or something like "I Like It Like This". I feel like that's really important. The direction will expand on different emotional topics.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
That's my general mission. A lot of the reason country happened organically for me is it's all about the stories. When you're writing, you're writing a story. You can get a little short story from a three-minute song. I think that's the most important thing. It's like reading a book. You need to have enough visualization to picture it in the song or in the page. I've done my job if someone can picture it.
What artists shaped you?
When I was around seven- or eight-years-old, I made it my personal mission to get into country. My parents had always listened to it. I began listening to Martina McBride. I was listening to songs like "God's Will" and "Anyway". I feel like that's where I started to see what writing was all about. I was so touched by what she was writing about. One of the first songs I performed in front of a crowd was "I Hope You Dance". That's obviously country, and it helped inspire my storytelling. Now, I'm really inspired by Kacey Musgraves. She writes about real life honesty. The topics have a different twist. I like that the lyrics have more than one more meaning.
Did you dig "I Like It Like This"?
Get "I Like It Like This" on iTunes, and follow Alexis on twitter!