Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Today (January 14) marks the release of the new country single How Do You Sleep by Alexis Taylor. The song is available on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, and all major digital platforms. It is already getting airplay on a handful of radio stations, and made its TV premiere last Thursday on WZTV Fox 17 News in Nashville on the Rock and Review segment hosted by Eric Dahl.
It has been quite a journey getting the song to this point. According to Alexis, How Do You Sleep has been four years in the making. “It’s been bouncing back and forth between two countries.”
The idea for the song came to the Canadian singer-songwriter several years ago, shortly after she moved to Nashville. She flew back to Canada to
spend Christmas with her family, and found out her boyfriend in Tennessee had been unfaithful while
she was away. The first verse of the ballad includes his confession, “Can I be honest with you?"
“It was a hard song to write, but looking back, it was something good that came out of something not so great.” The first version of How Do You Sleep that she recorded had a pop vibe, but Alexis wanted more of a country sound. She sent the song to a musician friend, Ross Coppley, for his input. “It was a lot of back and forth, sending files, mixing the song, mastering the song, and just all the musicians that have to be called.” Alexis says How Do You Sleep is one of her favorite original songs mainly because of the production that went into it (with contributions from musicians in Nashville, Canada, and North Carolina). She also credits Coppley for his work in producing the song. “He made it into something so much more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.”
There was another reason for the delay in the production and completion of the song -- Alexis spent three months in the hospital last summer as a result of a parasitic infection she got on a mission trip to Guatemala. She was part of a group of 15 people from her parents’ church in Canada that went to the Central American town of Nebaj (about eight hours from Guatemala City) to help build a hospital. She was one of only three people who didn’t get sick on the trip, but she fell ill several weeks later when she was attending a concert on the first day of CMA Fest, which prevented her from performing at her own show that was scheduled for the following day.
Despite the health issues she suffered, Alexis plans to return to Nebaj this spring to assist other mission teams that are working on the second floor of the hospital. She was moved by the plight of people she met there who didn’t have access to medical care. “Many of them were permanently sick, or had a broken bone that hadn’t healed properly. It was a crazy reminder that we have so much in this country; it was very eye-opening.”
A personal loss created another setback in the song’s release – Alexis attended the funeral of her beloved uncle during the recent Christmas holiday. Like other members of her family, he was a talented musician. (Alexis’ mother won a Dove Award for writing I Stand Redeemed, which was recorded by the southern gospel group Legacy Five; her father played guitar professionally and was nominated for a Juno Award). Alexis had just received the final mix of her new single and wanted to get her uncle’s opinion. “The last message that I sent to him was a copy of How Do You Sleep…. I just always wanted to make him proud of me.” He never had a chance to reply.
Alexis says her goal in writing and singing is to have her life stories help others. “Music has a healing power. When people go through really hard situations and they hear a song on the radio or Spotify or whatever, I think that if others realize when they’re going through those hardships that they’re not alone, that can impact their lives in huge ways.”
Alexis hopes to connect with fans in a way that she witnessed at the first concert she attended in Toronto when she was 15 years old. “I remember standing a few rows from the front and just looking up at the band onstage. Everyone around me was singing every single lyric, and there was something about that connection with the audience and the band. I had this feeling come over me and it was just like ‘OK, I want to be a musician. I 100% want to put everything into singing and writing songs and playing.’”
You can hear Alexis perform her new single at upcoming shows in the Nashville area, as well as Murfreesboro and Athens, GA. See the tour schedule on her website for venues and dates.
FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA
Favorite movie: A Star is Born
Favorite local restaurant: Southern (she recommends their steaks)
Favorite venue to hear live music: Winners and Losers; mid-town clubs; wherever her friends are performing
Favorite contemporary artists: Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen
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