Lyndsey Elm is an amazingly talented singer and songwriter we discovered after watching season nine of The Voice. We got to speak with her a few months ago (had to delay the story a bit because of Kari’s health and some transcription problems) but we’re pleased to share this interview with this sweetheart! Today (March 29th), you can check out her debut single “Nothin’ On Me” on Amazon or Google Play! It’s a soulful, jazzy jam that you will be singing for weeks.
Kari: We’ve been listening to your covers quite a lot actually. Just this morning my boy and I were listening to your cover of “Let’s Stay Together” and dancing earlier, so that was a great moment.
Lyndsey Elm: I love it!
Kari: So how long have you been singing? And what got you into music?
Lyndsey Elm: I’ve always loved music since I was a little kid and around 2 years old right when I was starting to talk and all that I loved to sing songs and make up my own songs around the house. The main inspiration for me was my aunt Michelle. She sang the national anthem at drag races, so my parents would go and record them back on VHS, and come back show them to me. I was captivated by it. My dad played guitar since I could remember and there was always music in the house and he’s led worship for a long time. So growing up I’ve always had a fascination with music and loved to listen to all genres. I was definitely more of an athlete and academic kid growing up and did soccer and did track and pushed over to basketball and that was kind of my main focus all the way through high school. I didn’t have the confidence to step out in front of people until late high school. I sang the national anthem at a senior night basketball game and that was on a whim and on the spot. The response was amazing so I decided maybe I should start stepping out in this. Then got my first guitar as my high school graduation present and that opened a lot of doors because now you’re able to write your own stuff. But when I was in college and went to Cal Poly, academics was still my main focus. I wanted to get my degree. The back half of college, this became less of a hobby and more of a passion. Something I couldn’t stop thinking about 24/7. So I decided at the end of college to do this. I didn’t know how it was going to look and it’s always scary to tell your parents “I just did college for four years, and now I want to do music.” It was a little terrifying to talk about it with them, but they’ve been nothing but supportive of anything that I’ve done. So it was just about figuring out different options and playing around locally more and doing worship leading and signed up for the show [The Voice] on a whim.
Kari: Which artists influence you? I see a lot of different artists that you pull from so who are your biggest inspirations artistically?
Lyndsey Elm: I’m pop/soul, so I love listening to top 40 radio and all the current artists and love to be ahead of the game. Right now I’m inspired by Corey Kelly, I’ve been following her for a while.. I just saw Allen Stone in concert a few days ago. That guy is incredible. But then I’ve always been a fan of John Mayer and how he writes, and my dad really influenced me as far as 70s and 80s rock and Journey and Bon Jovi and Def Lepard. Completely opposite of soul but…
Kari: The modern American rock classics
Lyndsey Elm: Yes! I’m also a big fan of old soul music. Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding, taking it back to the good old days. I’ve got a vinyl collection and a record player that I like to spin those on and kind of go back in time and imagine how it would have been. I’m kind of an eclectic music lover.. Ed Sheeren is another one right now that I just love how he’s just a one man band and he can use a loop petal like no other perons I’ve ever seen. So I’m incorporating a loop pedal into my stuff, and trying to learn it as best as possible. There’s so many. I could rattle off a ton.
RJ: So what’s the most exciting thing that happened to you since you’ve been on The Voice?
Lyndsey Elm: Oh man. So I shouted out the Warriors on national television and Adam and I had a little banter because he’s a Lakers fan. So I would have never expected anything to come out of that. I think the most exciting thing was then getting a call from them and them saying “Hey we’d like you to come out and sing the national anthem” what’s a good date? I was floored. And then, a really touching thing that happened was I played at a benefit for an organization called CASA. They’re court appointed advocates for foster children. So I played a few songs at this event. They had a silent auction and and the last item was a signed Steph Curry jersey that he wore during the NBA finals. I’m having fun just watching the auction go and the guy that brought me out to the event stands up and says “I think it would be really cool for someone to win this item and give it to Lyndsey as a gift to be so willing to come out here and be a part of this event.” And I’m saying “No, No, No. I know how much that jersey is worth. I don’t need that. I’m just happy to be looking at it, that’s all I need.” So the bidding starts, and he starts bidding on it, the guy who brought me out, and he’s the guy who donated it in the first place.” He ends up winning it and I go over to hand it to him and he stands up and says “It’s yours.” I started crying. It was incredible. His generosity was just overwhelming. Now I’ve got this Curry jersey in my house, and it’s framed and all professionally put in this glass. I just look at it and I’m so thankful for this opportunity, and I never expected to get stuff like that out of it, so it’s just been cool to see people’s reactions, and also to talk to everybody about the experience. Especially the hometown love I’ve gotten here in California, and all over the country too, but when your hometown backs you up, it’s pretty cool to be able to walk around and talk to people. So many cool things have happened because of this, and you never know what to expect. It’s exceeded all my expectations. It’s been pretty cool.
Kari: What’s coming up next for you?
Lyndey Elm: Definitely performing as much as I can into next year, and the biggest thing is getting original content out as soon as I can. So I’m writing a lot and trying to figure out what I want to say and using this whole experience to spur me on creatively and it’s given me a lot of cool inspiration. Writing and then everything that goes into figuring out recording and putting out an EP as soon as I can. Definitely posting more covers on the website and on YouTube and making some cool videos for those because I love to take a song and twist and make it my own. Hopefully getting some merchandise too. Just shirts and different things that people can order on my website, and sell at shows too. It’s fun. I’m working on each facet and basically making this into my own little business and hopefully it’s successful and people want to hop on and join in this journey with me and learn and grow together. I’m excited. It’s been super fun to see what’s next and what different steps I’ve taken, and how I can grow and challenge myself creatively too.
RJ: That is so cool. We have a few questions we ask everybody real quick. You’ve been great with your time. The question I always ask people is if you could be one superhero, who would you be?
Lyndsey Elm: Oh man, this is a tough one. I think I would be Spider-man because it’s always fascinated me how he can shoot webs out of his wrists basically and my cousin would always buy the different Spider-man video games as they came out and you play them and your feeling like you can actually fly. So I think it would be cool to be Spider-man and go out and save the world but then also be incognito and be a normal person during the day and then you put on a costume and fight bad guys at night. So I’d say Spider-man for sure.
Kari: That’s a good answer. We don’t get Spider-man a lot so that was really neat.
RJ: I’m not sure we’ve ever gotten Spider-man at all.
Lyndsey Elm: Seriously? He’s so underrated as a super hero. He’s not taken too seriously.
Kari: My question is if you’ve got 5 minutes, you’ve got to get pumped up for something, you have time enough to listen to one song in your car, what is your one go-to get pumped song?
Lyndsey Elm: Oh man. What is my one go to get pumped song? I would say “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston really gets me going.
Kari: Good choice! That’s a REALLY good choice!
Lyndsey Elm: There’s that change in the middle, and I don’t know, it does something to me. No matter what, that song, I don’t care who you are, better put you in a good mood. I don’t know how you could listen to that song and not be totally pumped to go conquer your day after you listen to it.
RJ: Final question that we ask everybody. We have a son. What advice would you give him about getting into the music industry or just in life in general?
Lyndsey Elm: Wow, that’s a good question. I think for me to give him would just be that throughout life just figure out what your passion is about and go for it because it’s worth it. It’s worth the time and the energy and it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. There’s going to be times where you hit bumps in the road along the way. You know, whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be music, it could be being a doctor, being a writer, whatever it is, figure out what your passion is about and go for. Make short term and long term goals to achieve it and it will be worthwhile. You want to be doing something that is meaningful for you, not get stuck doing something you don’t care about. Life is to be lived to the fullest. So I would say figure it out and whatever it is, go for it with everything you’ve got. And trust God is going to lead the way and put the effort and the hard work in and you’ll see fruit from it. You’ll see blessing and cool things come out of it. It’s a good life and it’s fun to inspire people and hopefully improve people’s quality of life, however that is, medical or creatively or whatever facet that is. Go for it. It’s worth your while, and it’s inspiring for other people to see. Just don’t settle for anything less than your full potential.
Kari: That’s beautiful. We’re actually going to put all of these pieces of advice we’ve been asking people for the past since I got pregnant and we’re putting it all together in a book.
Lyndsey Elm: Oh my gosh, what an honor. That’s so cool. He’ll be able to read that back when he’s old enough to and take them in and hopefully use them through life. What a super cool gift.
Kari: It’s always wonderful to see other Christians out there who are making a difference and we just think the world of you. We think you’re a wonderful talented artist and you’re a beautiful young lady, and we can’t wait to hear more from you. Thank you so much for talking with us Lyndsey.
Lyndsey Elm: You guys are so awesome. I’m definitely going to be following you guys’ blog and if I ever end up in the DC area then I can meet up with you guys in person and we can grab coffee or something.
RJ: Absolutely. Definitely keep in touch with us. Let us know when you have new stuff coming out.
Lyndsey Elm: You guys have been great.
Kari: Thank you again. God bless you Lyndsey!
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