Alex G, The story behind Share Your Story.
Alex G will release her Share Your Story EP on Friday, October 30.
I came up with the concept for 'Share Your Story' at the end of last year when everything in my career started to shift. I quickly realized that I wanted to be about something-something more than just being a cute, bubbly girl with good values and a nice voice. I wanted to be a leader. For this EP, I told my fans to send in their stories. We received about 1,300 stories and we read all of them. Of those 1,300, I chose five. I wrote songs about those five stories, and I titled the songs their names. I created this project because I want people to understand that there is power in their story. Their stories will help others know that they are not alone, which, for me, has been the most healing thing in my life.
I just want people to have the courage to step up and speak.
We had the idea to have an intro track for tour that encompassed a bunch of different voices telling a piece of their story. We wanted to have an intro to the show on tour, and decided to also put it on the EP. I thought it would be so powerful to actually hear people tell their stories, as we read some pretty strong ones, so I reached out to a bunch of people I know-people from various backgrounds, of diverse ages and ethnicities-to hear a piece of what makes them who they are. We took snippets from their stories and compiled them in order to create a sort of birds-eye view of the human experience. It's pretty compelling, and a great way to start the storytelling process through the rest of the EP.
This was the first story that I chose. As soon as I read it, there was no question that I had to write a song for Charlotte. Her story was that she didn't have one. I love that I get to prove her wrong. Everyone needs to hear Charlotte's story, because I really think we can all find ourselves in it. I think we all feel unimportant and invisible sometimes, and knowing that we're not the only ones feeling that way is, in a way, comforting.
I love Muriel! I see her on my Twitter feed all the time, and getting to hear her story made knowing her so much more powerful. Her story is that when she was seven she met her father for the first time, but he left three years later. She wonders why she wasn't enough to be loved by him and waits for him to call. UGH! Kills me! A lot of people sent in the same story, but hers hit me harder. It was probably because there was very limited English used, so she could really only explain her hurt in the few words she knew. It was bare and powerful. I hope this song is comforting for her, and for those who have experienced the grief of lost love.
Ben is in the military. The majority of his story explained his experience growing up and always feeling sickened by the injustice in the world, so he joined the military later on. To be honest, I usually have a hard time truly connecting to these kinds of stories because war seems far away for me. It's hard to imagine what that experience is like. I think it's hard for a lot of people to truly understand what men and women at war go through, and it feels detached from everyday life. The part of his story that I could really connect to was at the very end, when he said he listens to my music to find peace in the midst of shouting and gunshots. WOW! So, I decided to write about finding peace in the chaos. That's something I can understand. I hope I did his story justice.
Alena grew up with a mentally ill parent. Her story was that all of her life she had to be "ok." She had to have it all together because there was always someone more important to take care of or to give attention to. She was frustrated that she wasn't allowed to just "be," yet hopeful that at some point she would have the courage to show up authentically and be loved in her brokenness. I love this, because I get so frustrated when I feel like I have to just smile through the pain. The bad days make us human, and we shouldn't have to feel like we have to put a smile on our faces no matter what. Life is hard. But when we stop hiding, there is so much beauty to be found in the cracks.
Royston's story is so heartbreaking. He went overseas for a funeral and got a call while he was gone that his dad had passed away. The first time he got to see his dad after two months was at his funeral. After that, he experienced more and more death, and lost many people close to him. At the end of his story, he wasn't really sure where he stood. I think it was so honest of him to say that he was kind of mad at God. There's so much humanity in uncertainty and hurt. This was the last song I wrote, and it just kind of fell out of me. I wrote it in under an hour. I think songs like that are often the best kind. I hope this song honors Royston and people who have gone through the same thing, in a way that doesn't sugarcoat and tells the truth about their pain.
I wrote this song before I wrote any of the others. I wrote it with my best friend, Torri, in mind. She was the one who kind of introduced me to this new way of living - more honest, brave, and vulnerable. She also introduced me to Brené Brown, a shame and vulnerability researcher, whom we are currently obsessed with. In the midst of working through the shame and bringing light to the dark spaces, we realized just how mean we are to ourselves. We need to start believing the people in our lives who tell us the truth about who we are. This song is a reminder to us, and to anyone who struggles with self-compassion, that we truly are everything-more than we even know.