Lexie Hayden might be a newcomer to Music City but she is taking the music scene here by storm. Nashville has always been the plan for Lexie after graduating college. It was during a summer internship with the Bobby Bones Show for her Music Industry minor at JMU that the dream was further solidified. Hayden credits that as the best summer of her life. She was able to meet every country artist that came through to interview with Bobby. During only her second week of the internship she was put on the spot once by Bobby himself. He had heard she was a singer and called her in during a live national broadcast to show off her pipes for all the listeners. From there, there was no turning back. Despite having to go back to JMU to finish up her senior year after competing her internship with the Bobby Bones Show, Lexie made sure to make her way back to Nashville and this time, permanently. Now after living here for a few short years, Lexie has released a new EP The Drive which is already gaining the attention of Whiskey Riff, Bobby Bones, Song Suffragettes and Whiskey Jam.
Let’s talk first about the EP The Drive:
Lexie: Luke Forehand at Blackbird mixed it, engineered it and produced it. We did everything for this EP together. I just learned as I went. I’d never hired session players before. I went to Maggie Rose for a lot, she had been a really good mentor for me. We did harmonies in Luke’s house. I just didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, I just really believed in the songs. I put it out in April and it charted at #36 on the iTunes charts! I woke up and couldn’t believe the response! “Kiss and Tell” took a life of it’s own which lead to being the song we picked for the first single.
Where did you film the video for “Kiss and Tell” that just came out?
Lexie: We filmed at three different locations. The first wasTin Roof Demonbreun, where at nine in the morning we were drinking beers [laughs]. Then we filmed in a neighborhood in 12 South and then the final location was at Rhythm on a balcony. I’d become an ambassador for Music City Light so I really wanted to incorporate the beer into the video. Their reps have been amazing to work with. They showed up that morning and it was so fun.
The whole the premise of the video is that every guy in the video who interacts with me ends up with my lipstick mark on their cheek: the bartender, the guys at the table next to us, all of them. It isn’t until the very end of the video that you know who I’m kissing and telling. The whole thing is just supposed to make you laugh and be fun!
Is your love interest in the video your real life boyfriend?
Lexie: Yes, I basically forced him into it [laughs]. He does not like being on camera. I literally said ‘you can watch me make out with somebody else or you can be in it’ [laughs].
Who would your dream co-write be with?
Lexie: Right now it’s Ashley McBryde. I’m obsessed with her and she’s amazing. But also Nicole Galyon. She wrote “Automatic” with Miranda Lamber, co-wrote “Love Triangle” with RaeLynn and just got the new Kenny single “All the Pretty Girls”. I’ve been following her career for a few years. She was on The Voice with RaeLynn which is how they met. She’s married to Rodney Clawson. She decided she wanted to be a writer instead of an artist, had kids and now her and Rodney are this power writing couple!
As an artist you are influenced and shaped by so many artists throughout the span of your career from all different genres and eras. If you were to pick who your musical mother and father would be, who would they be and why?
Lexie: I feel like Dolly Parton is my mom. I didn’t get into the Dolly stuff until recently. Once you dig into it and realize how talented she is. Just getting into the B-sides of her records, some of the songs I’m like ‘this is my favorite song ever and it’s on the B-side of some random Dolly album’. She’s a great lyricist and entertainer. She just holds herself really well.
I went to see Tom Petty in April and he is incredible. I feel like I would say him as my musical father. The thing about Dolly and Tom Petty is the innovation. There weren’t a lot of females when Dolly came through. Tom Petty wrote everything himself, all these hits. For me as an artist who loves writing, I love seeing the artists that took their own path and their own sound and were so successful. They aren’t just an artist; they’ve created an entire lifestyle.
Check out Lexie’s personal playlist for y’all below and follow along with her on her social media to keep up with all things Lexie Hayden!