EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Elenowen

Elenowen. photo credit: Monique Porter.

We had the chance to catch up with married music duo Elenowen from The Voice. They were the first group to be a part of Team Blake, but unfortunately were sent home in the battle rounds. We caught up with them to see what they’ve been up to since The Voice, working with Reba McEntire, if they still live in the basement, if Blake Shelton is still in touch with them, and what fans can expect from them the next year.

They’re part three of our “Catching Up With The Voice” feature.

Going into the show, no one really knew how big it was going to be or if it would work or not. What was it about The Voice that made you want to try out, and were you surprised at how big it had gotten?

The main thing that attracted us to the show was the fact that duos were allowed to audition. We thought it would be a great way for us to gain national exposure and continue to work toward our dreams of playing music full time, so we went for it. And we’re so grateful that we did ;)

You had the chance to work with Reba McEntire. What was it like working with such a huge star as a mentor, and did she give you any advice that you took to heart?

It was surreal to work with Reba. She is such a talented individual & a sweetheart. It was apparent that she was invested in the process & truly wanted to help everyone involved. Some of the best advice she gave us was to give 110% when we’re onstage, no matter how we might feel. We’re on that stage to entertain & connect with the audience. If we’re not totally into it, how can we expect the audience to be? She really gave us a new perspective on performing.

You had the choice between Blake Shelton and Cee-lo Green to pick as your coach. Why not Cee-lo?

It was a tough decision between the two of them because they’re both incredibly talented entertainers. What it came down to, though, was the fact that Blake emphasized the importance of marriage in the midst of a music career. We really identified with that and knew we’d be able to relate to him on that level.

Were you nervous stepping out on-stage in front of the four coaches?

Yes! We were both extremely nervous considering the caliber of talent that the four coaches share. We wanted to do our best, but the pressure & nerves were still there!

Do you still keep in contact with Blake Shelton? What advice, if any, did he give you that you still use today? The rest of the contestants?

Yes, we still keep in contact with Blake a bit – mainly through Twitter & occasional text messages. His advice was very similar to Reba’s, in that we have to treat every performance like it’s our last.

If you could have moved on to the next round, what songs you would have loved to perform on the show?

We really love switching up songs & re-arranging them to fit our unique style. So anything from Kings of Leon to Katy Perry would’ve been fun to make more acoustic and harmony-driven.

What is the most important thing you learned while being part of The Voice?

We learned that we couldn’t have done it on our own. We realized how well we work as a team & how to encourage each other along the way.

If you could do it all over again, would you?

Absolutely.

If you could give a future member of Team Blake one piece of advice for next season, what would you tell them?

Be your unique self. Don’t try & fit into what you think others want you to be. Do what you do, soak it up, & don’t forget to have fun.

How has your lives changed since being on The Voice? Do you still live in the basement?

Our lives have drastically changed since The Voice. First off, we were able to quit our day jobs & make music our main focus. That fact along is an absolute dream come true. Yes, we still live in the basement! We want to save up as much as we can so when we do move out, we can buy a house that we’ll live in for many years.

“Honey Come Home” is such a beautiful song and I’ve had it on repeat for two days now. How did that song come to be?

Thanks! That song was directly inspired by our marriage relationship. We are human beings, so we’re going to hurt each other one way or another. In order for a relationship to last, you have to work together through the struggles even when it hurts. This song is another way of saying, “I hurt you, you hurt me. We’re both sorry, we both forgive each other, & we’re now stronger because of what we went through.”

How is recording for your new album coming along?

We couldn’t more excited & pleased with how these songs are turning out. These new, original songs really capture who we are as a duo – lyrically, melodically, & stylistically. We cannot wait to share them with our fans!

If you could tour with any one artist in the industry, who would you chose and why?

That’s a tough question! Off the top of our heads, Brandi Carlile sticks out. We recently saw her open up for Ray LaMontagne & she put on a killer show. It’d also be amazing to tour with Adele, John Mayer, Needtobreathe, Pistol Annies, Blake Shelton ;)

How exactly did the two of you meet? Was it love at first sight?

In a nutshell, Nicole was great friends with Josh’s cousin, Dustin. Josh’s family invited Dustin & a group of his friends to come to Josh’s family’s lake house in the summer of 2003. One of the friends that Dustin brought along was Nicole. We started dating, had a long distance relationship, broke up, got back together, Josh moved to Nashville, we got married, & the rest is history!

You came up with the name Elenowen trying to think of a name no one else wanted. You must have had a few funny reject names…

Haha it’s been awhile since we thought about that. I do recall we liked The Umbrella Birds, but it was already taken. Good thing too, because that name doesn’t fit our style of music.

What do you think the biggest difference was going into the studio this time around when compared to Pulling Back The Veil?

The main differences this time around are the songs & the purpose. ‘Pulling Back the Veil’ was a collection of songs Nicole had written & songs I had written. We made an album just to make an album & didn’t have a big plan behind it – it was like taking a shot in the dark. With this new record, we spent a lot of time co-writing in Nashville to get the 10 best songs that capture who we are now. We worked with very experienced producers & players & made a record that is just on a different level sonically and emotionally. We’ve grown as musicians, as a couple, as people, so our music definitely reflects that.

If you could re-unite with any of your team-mates from The Voice for a song, who would you pick and why?

We’d love to reunite with Dia Frampton because our styles are very similar. We both love switching up songs – whether it’s making them more laid back or up beat – we like to make things our own.

When you’re writing your songs, what comes first? The melody or the lyrics? Who does most of the writing?

It really varies. A lot of times one line will trigger an idea that we base the song around. Other times, or Josh will be messing around on guitar & sing a melody that he can’t get out of his head & we’ll chase an idea down from there. We both contribute equal parts to our songs.

I’m from Canada, so I have to ask… do you have any plans to come up North for some shows? You have some pretty big fans up here!

We would love to! Hopefully very soon!!

You can catch up with Elenowen by:
elenowen.com
Facebook.com/elenowenmusic
Twitter.com/elenowen

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