She got her start as a member of the iShine teen girl pop group The Rubyz
, and now Alexis Slifer
is making her own music. A project that has been in the making her whole life, Slifer's Famous For
mixes her pop sensibilities and worshipful heart, producing one of the most engaging, surprising EPs of 2017.
The singer also works for her longtime label, iShine, as its Artist Relations/Creative Liaison, giving her lots of experience on all sides of the music business. Add to that, she just got married. With all this going on, I had a lot of questions for this engaging new(ish) voice in Christian music.
You recently got married! Congratulations! How has that changed your songwriting, and maybe even changed how you approached this album?
Being married has been amazing. I feel like my writing has changed because I feel a little more free to take chances and be myself. My husband is always pushing me to stay true to who God made me, and not fit into the crowd.
What are some things you're learning in this season?
I feel like in music/media it's pretty difficult to stay true to who you are, without questioning if it's cool enough, or smart enough, et cetera. I am learning to be uniquely me, because that is exactly who God has called me to be. I am taking confidence in the promises that God made me for this time and place.
You used to be a member of The Rubyz. How did that experience prepare you for everything you're doing now?
Being in the Rubyz prepared me for almost EVERYTHING I'm doing now. I have been through this beginning season before, of creating a brand new sound and following. This time I am more confident in taking chances and planning the live shows. I feel like I get to really listen to my followers now, as opposed to when we started the Rubyz, there was no social media. I love getting to talk each day with people about their experiences with Christ.
You work for iShine in the front office there, but you're also an artist. Is it tough negotiating both sides of the music business, or has it come pretty naturally? What has one side taught you about the other?
I really love working for iShine; I have been part of the family for almost 11 years now. Sometimes I'll realize I am arguing with myself, since I do understand both sides of the business I get conflicted while making decisions. But my mom always taught me to follow where there is peace, so that's what I've continued to do. I love knowing the marketing side; I didn't get to be involved with that while I was in The Rubyz. Being on the business side has made me more patient because I understand how much truly goes in to releasing an album the right way, instead of just rushing to get it out.
"Famous For" is the name of the new EP. Obviously you have the title track, but what are you trying to say with this title, with the five songs?
When I was little, and even now I love to read and reread the stories of God doing miraculous things for his children. I never want to forget that He is there for me, and willing to do those types of things again. This album is about getting His miraculous perspective instead of my own, it's about knowing Him for who He really is, and having a passion for His ways.
What are some albums, who are some artists that are inspiring you?
I really am inspired by Steffany Gretzinger, I love the way she flows in the Spirit, and her passion. I also like Mosaic MSC. Musically I am inspired by so many people. I have a playlist called "These ladies are killin' it," and each time I find a new song I just throw it in there. Right now I've got Ellie Goulding and Purity Ring in there.
Musically speaking, how have you grown since you got started?
Vocally I have more confidence. I use to be so embarrassed in the studio if my voice cracked or I couldn't hit something perfectly. Now I am OK with messing up; therefore, I am willing to try higher notes and cooler riffs.
You've been in the music business a long time, why is now the time to release your first solo record? Why these songs?
To be honest, because God gave me these songs and opened the doors. I have taken several years off in music to mentor others and make sure I was in God's timing and plan. I didn't want to assume that because I was doing music in high school I should do it my whole life. But, He said it's time for these songs, now.
Talk about your production team and what they did to craft the sound of the project.
First of all Chuck Butler is amazing. He worked nonstop on these songs, and that's where each of them started. Then we would get writers in like Mia Fieldes and Krissy Nordhoff. Once I opened my heart to them everything just flowed. My favorite moment writing this album is when Krissy just broke into worship, and that became the "Wildfire" bridge.
You're touring a little here and there. What is your live performance like? Is this something you're going to do more of?
YES! I am so excited to be getting back out on the road. That's always been my favorite part of being an artist. I LOVE getting to meet people and hear their stories. My husband is helping me plan the live shows; he likes to say they are electric, and intimate. So be ready to dance, and be ready to break down in worship.
What's next for you? How can people be praying for you?
Next we want to hit the road, and get this music to everyone LIVE. So you can pray for the crowds, the venues, and for God to open or close each door of opportunity for us.