The Moment I Knew I Wanted To Make Music: Featurette

by - May 09, 2023

Music snuck up on me. It filled my life in ways I didn’t expect, and one day very recently, it completely took me over.

I’d been writing music since before I could remember. I wrote a piece for a project in middle school that my teacher failed me for because he told me that there’s no way I could have written it, and that it must have been plagiarized. It didn’t stop me from writing; I’ve always wanted to write. I had a little black book that I would carry with me all through high school that I filled with songs. Some of them ended up on my first record, CRAVE, but still it wasn’t an obvious path for me. It was a lot less linear than I’ve always enjoyed music so I knew I wanted to go into it. Part of me even avoided that pull because I didn’t think it was realistic. Honestly, I didn’t always believe in myself, and was definitely not my own cheerleader or supporter. I had a bit of a dark start to my youth but music was sort of the friend that was always there for me. In high school I would find myself in practice rooms (I went to the Etobicoke School of the Arts) composing song cycles and scoring drama productions. It was my favourite thing to be alone and creative like that, to just let the music flow through me. I loved silence other times, as I’ve never been a big music fan or listener. I think for me creation was the big love, and music was the medium I chose.

I swear I blinked and woke up in Opera school at the University of Toronto - I can’t say I remember consciously making that decision. Not to say it was a bad one, I learned a lot from that experience and the education side of things was pretty fulfilling as far as music is concerned, but the one piece of the puzzle that was missing for me was always creation. There wasn’t any freedom in singing words written by other people, as beautiful as they would be and as much as I learned from it, I always wanted that extra puzzle piece that I hadn’t quite discovered I could turn into a career yet.

Enter Jon Fedorsen, who would literally alter the course of my life by offering me exactly what I was missing. We met at a band camp (lol) and started FEATURETTE just by accident. He showed me how to take my art to the next level and as I started to taste what that could turn into, I was definitely hungry for more. But I loved to hold myself back, questioning if it could be a real ‘job’ or if we would ‘make it’ - and in doing so I always had this project on the back burner as a hobby, because what were the odds that I would get to be one of the lucky ones that got to make music for a living.

And then our Daytripper family came along - Jon and I were signed to a publisher and it changed the game. This deal and the network that it introduced me to gave me opportunities to really be a songwriter, not just for myself, but for other artists as well. It BLEW MY MIND that I was able to help other artists transmute their feelings into songs, and it challenged me to see if I could do that for myself. Not as a side-hustle, but the actual hustle. That’s when I started connecting with Marc Koecher, our long time producer since the very beginning. We started working together on material for ourselves and other artists and he joined the band. We had a great synergy that really quickened the pace of creation for me and it started to look like something I would be able to do as a career.

Now I find myself full-time in the studio working on music. All of this has evolved in just the past year. I’m working on FEATURETTE and working with amazing artists on their projects as well, and scratching every bit of that creative itch I could never really get at before. Music snuck up on me. It was always there, but it definitely didn’t unfold in the way I imagined it would. I find myself now actively living in the moment when I know that I want to make music. It’s all I want, and now that I know it’s even a possibility, I’m going to ride this wave as long as it’ll let me.

- Lexi Jay, Featurette

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