Interview With Pop Singer-Songwriter Lexi Mariah
21-year-old American pop artist Lexi Mariah found her love for music early on in her childhood. It being simply a hobby at first, she acquired skills on the piano, ukulele, guitar, bass and took as many music classes as she could throughout her years in school.
The Connecticut based artist made the decision to turn this hobby into a career at only 14 years old, when she took her first vocal lesson and developed a passion for songwriting and performing. Confining her emotions into her music as a personal diary, this bedroom pop artist took her songs to the stage. Lexi’s music is an instant indicator of her personality, sharing distinctive lyrics that take you on a journey through her struggles of past losses and how she has learned to cope. Read the interview to find out more.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS LEXI MARIAH IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Hey! Thank you so much for interviewing me and supporting my new single ‘SOURPATCH’. I’m a 21-year-old pop singer/songwriter from the east coast. My life has basically revolved around music and performing for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I took dance classes for 13 years, so I was always performing and I taught myself to play as many instruments as I possibly could. My grandma actually started teaching me to play the piano when I was around 7 or 8 and that’s also around the time when I wrote my first song. The more I learned about music, the more I knew that this is what I really wanted to pursue. I started taking vocal lessons when I was 14 and it was shortly after that when I started auditioning for singing competitions and tv shows. Over a span of about 3 years, I auditioned multiple times for American Idol, The Voice and America’s Got Talent. After hearing “no” a bunch of times, I decided that if I really wanted to pursue this career, I’d have to just take it upon myself and work extremely hard. I began recording my original music in an actual studio when I was 18 and have been working hard to make a name for myself ever since!
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW SINGLE ‘SOURPATCH’?
My song ‘SOURPATCH’ is about understanding the fine line between the “sweet and sour” sides of your personality. One of the main messages that I wanted to get across with this song is that you don’t always have to do what everyone else considers to be the “right thing”. I think that it’s perfectly okay to be a little bit rebellious or selfish at times and I don’t think that anyone should have to go through life constantly worrying about pleasing everyone else. So when I was writing this song, I wanted to talk about growing up and just letting go of your innocence. I knew from the start that I wanted ‘SOURPATCH’ to have a more mature subject matter than my previous releases, but I also wanted to keep it upbeat and fun especially since I released just in time for summer.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE? HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED MUCH OVER THE YEARS?
The music you can expect from me is sort of experimental. I’m a pop singer and that’s pretty much been my main genre since I started releasing music, but I’d definitely be open to switching that up a little in the future and mixing some other genres in. I would never want any of my songs to sound too similar to one another so I’m always open to experimenting with new sounds and styles. As far as my style changing over the years, I personally think I’ve grown tremendously as a songwriter. I was around 15 when I started taking songwriting really seriously and at that time I wrote all of my songs with my ukulele. Meghan Trainor actually inspired me to teach myself to play the ukulele around that time and a lot of the music that I wrote then was heavily influenced by her early songs and her sound. Back then I guess I had sort of a singer/songwriter vibe before I figured out that I really wanted to go down more of the commercial pop route.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR ARTISTIC INSPIRATION?
Whenever I have a bad day, I’ll come home and write a song or just write down all of my feelings about it. I do the same if something really amazing happens to me and I have a great day. Any time I’m feeling a really strong emotion, I’ll just write down everything that I’m feeling in my notes even if it doesn’t make sense. Then I’ll go back and turn those thoughts/feelings into lyrics. I’m happy if I’m able to take a negative experience I’ve had and turn it into a song that I can actually enjoy. Sometimes I even like to take a situation that someone close to me is going through, put myself in their position and write from that perspective. Of course I also get very inspired when I listen to other artists. Sometimes I love to listen back to old CDs that I loved when I was younger and a lot of times I’ll get inspiration from that.
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER?
My top two favorite artists are Cher Lloyd and Taylor Swift. I feel like they’ve both played a huge part in helping me find my sound and develop as an artist. I consider Taylor Swift to be one of the greatest songwriters of all time and I’ve honestly learned an incredible amount by listening to her music, analyzing her lyrics and understanding the unique way that she’s able to tell an entire elaborate story from start to finish in just one song.
Cher Lloyd is someone who I’ve looked up to for the past 8 years, since I was 13 years old, so I feel really grateful to have been able to grow up with her as such a great role model to me. She actually even gave me advice on songwriting a few years back. I was struggling with writer’s block while I was trying to finish some songs, so for some reason I decided to DM her about it on Twitter. I never expected her to even see the message, but she read the entire thing and sent me such a kind, encouraging message in return explaining that writer’s block is a real thing and it happens to all songwriters. She gave me some advice on how to overcome it which meant the absolute world to me. Since then I’ve actually been even more motivated when it comes to writing and I always think back to that message from her when I get stuck. Getting a message like that from my favorite artist is all I could’ve asked for. It’s something I’ll never forget!
WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS LIKE FOR MAKING MUSIC?
My process changes constantly. When I was younger, I’d almost always start off with lyrics, then figure out the melody, then the chords. Then I moved on to a phase where I’d start off with chords to kind of set the mood and then add lyrics from there. As I’ve grown as a songwriter, I figured out that I really like to actually start off with a title and then just completely build the song from that. That’s what I did with my last two singles ‘Oh Boy’ and ‘SOURPATCH’ and I actually did the same with the song that I’m currently working on for my next single. This is my favorite method so far because I just think it’s so rewarding to look back on the song and see how it evolved from that one word or phrase.
HOW IMPORTANT IS PERSONAL BRANDING IN YOUR PROFESSION AND WHAT YOU DO TO GROW YOUR BRAND?
Personal branding is so important. Every artist needs to have a goal for the type of audience they’re trying to reach and what that could mean for their future. I just think it’s really important to be authentic, relate to your audience as much as possible and always think of ways to keep them interested and engaged. I think it’s also important to understand that not everyone is going to like you and everything that you do. I’m very active on social media. I interact with my followers a lot and I’m so grateful to have the following that I do so early on in my career. I love connecting with other musicians, sharing their music with my audience and having them do the same for me. This is a great way to attract new fans and help other artists do the same. We’re all very lucky to have the platforms that we have to today, especially Instagram and TikTok, to share our music on.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
First off, thank you so much for taking the time to interview me and support ‘SOURPATCH’! To everyone who reads this and supports my music, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to my thoughts and stories. Every single time I get a message or comment about how much someone is enjoying my music, it seriously makes my entire day. I’ve always had the mindset that if my music can make at least one person happy, then I’m doing something right. I’m so grateful that I’m able to pursue what I love. Add me on social media @leximariahmusic if you’d like to follow along and see what I have coming next!