Although Alexis Ebert has been performing ever since she was six years old, 2019 is sure to be the year that she breaks through, with her debut single, “Ride or Die”, set to debut at country radio in March. I got the chance to talk with her about how LeAnn Rimes’ sparkly gold jacket made her want to be a singer, her songwriting process, what it was like shooting her first ever music video for “Ride or Die” and so much more. Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
My parents were not musical whatsoever; nobody in my family is musically inclined at all. My parents were workaholics so my brother and I were mostly watched by my Aunt Linda. She would watch figure skating, Jerry Springer and CMT music videos all day long. That’s how I got exposed to country music. I pretty much had every song that was on rotation memorized and would sing all around the house. My parents kind of thought it was normal until a friend of their’s was like, “No, this is not normal. She should be singing in front of people.” So my mom’s friend put me in this talent show, I won and after that I got asked to open up for Tanya Tucker. I think was about 6 years old. And I’ve always had a love for music, so that was kind of how it got started though.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I remember this pretty vividly. I remember watching Disney Channel and LeAnn Rimes had on this gold jacket and she was singing. I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s someone super young, she’s not an adult or anything, and she’s singing. That’s what I want to do.” So yeah, that performance in general really made me want to be a singer.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So if you had to describe your sound without using genre names, what kind of music do you produce?
I would say fun. I wrote this whole record as kind of an escape for people. You’re supposed to listen to it and immediately feel empowered. That’s just the kind of record I’ve always wanted to make. No real heartbreak songs or anything like that, no downer songs. Just a fun, empowering record.
Going off of that, you obviously mentioned LeAnn Rimes, but who are some of your musical influences?
I love Garth Brooks. A lot of my influences are more of the male 90s country [vibe]. So Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson of course, Brooks & Dunn, Garth, yeah; all of those guys are fantastic.
Let’s talk about your newest single, “Ride or Die.” What inspired this song?
When I wrote the song, I really wanted a energetic song. I had this idea of a guy who’s the love interest but he’s a bad boy. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t pick you up when you get arrested, he’s the one siting next to you when you get put in jail [laughs]. You’re going to have a lot of fun, you’re probably going to get in a lot of trouble, but you’re going to do it together.
I always love hearing about the songwriting process so I was wondering if you could give me a glimpse into that, specifically what it was like for this song. Are you someone who always has to write by yourself or do you like doing co-writes with other artists and writers?
I kind of have two different ways of writing. If I’m writing by myself, the song usually comes out very fast. My head almost already has the song before it’s even put down and I’ve grabbed a guitar. But then the co-writing process is more like a blind date. You kind of have to get to know the person a little bit, and it takes a little bit more time. I love both ways of writing because it brings a little something different to the table. I feel a little bit more connected with songs I write 100% just because it’s all me, but I love my co-writers in town.
Was “Ride or Die” the result of a co-write or was it one you wrote by yourself?
It was 50/50, half me and half the other writer.
Were there any major changes made to “Ride or Die” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
Oh, interesting. I was going to say, “Well I stopped dating bad boys” [laughs]. No. I always heard the song kind of how it is and the producer really just got it. He really got the song and he understood exactly what I wanted to do with it and where I wanted it to go. Even the whole time I was writing it, I was like, “Gosh I want people to feel immediately confident when they are listening to it.” It’s like a bad-ass song, you know? I wanted that bad-ass feel to it. I didn’t want anything prissy about it.
You guys also shot a music video for this song, which is coming out soon. What was that experience like? Did you take that bad-ass vibe you were going with for the song and put it into the music video?
It’s so funny because I’ve been singing since I was five, and I’m in my 20s now, and I shot my first music video ever last month. I had different thoughts about it. I was like, “I’m either going to be really good or really terrible at this” [laughs], On the day of, I got there super early in the morning. The first scenes we shot were the live scenes, so all of my inhibitions went out the window. Then the rest of the day was easy-breezy. We probably shot it in just a couple of hours. John Rich makes a cameo appearance because it was shot in his bar, Redneck Riviera. I felt like it turned out amazing so I’m proud of it.
I know you said this was the first music video you shot, but was that a goal of yours and something you could finally cross off your bucket list?
Absolutely. Like I told you, I grew up on CMT. That was my dream as a little girl to shoot a music video. It took a long time to get there [laughs], but I think it made it all that more special. It’s a dream come true.
I know you mentioned a record, but what are your plans for the next couple of months in terms of more new music? Do you have a date for this record?
We don’t have a date for the record. We have “Ride or Die” coming out to all streaming services March 29. Then, we have the music video coming out in a few weeks; I don’t have an exact date for that yet. Then, we’ll roll out more songs and I think we’ll just keep rolling out more songs and then eventually release the record.
What are some music industry-related goals that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years of your career?
I was talking about this earlier. I was like, “I’d really like to tour, of course.” And I’m kind of a go-big-or-go-home kind of girl so I was like, “I might as well try to win a Grammy or some CMAs.” If you’re going to do it, might as well go big. But it’s just funny to hear myself say it.
Right. It’s one thing to have it on a vision board and it’s another thing to say it out loud.
Exactly. You’re like, “This is what I want.” Then you have people around you looking at you and you’re like, “Ah, yeah. This is weird saying it out loud.” But anything is possible. Dreams come true.
They do. So last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Just in general, I am a 90s pop culture nerd. I live for 90s pop culture, can play all the trivia games and get right answers.
Do you have a favorite TV show, movie or music artist from the 90s?
I mean Garth, he’s my favorite 90s music artist. And then, favorite movie? I’ve got to go with Clueless. Or Son in Law. I love that movie so much.