Alexis Lynn embarks on a journey of healing on sophomore album, “Real Talk.”

As a Potawatomi woman, storytelling has a special significance Alexis Lynn. “Being Indigenous but growing out of our community, I’m trying to reconnect with our culture and one thing that’s always resonated with me is how important storytelling is,” she says. “Songwriting is my favorite part and I’ve always valued using words to tell stories and paint pictures. Writing about difficult topics is also important to me. Indigenous communities are overrepresented in substance abuse, addiction, suicide rates, and other aspects of mental health struggles, and I think as difficult as it can be to talk about it, it’s so important to me to be open to the conversation about it. Generational trauma has affected Indigenous communities like no other, mine included, and I believe that taking the first step to talk about trauma, struggle or therapy is a way to open the door to healing.” Music makes difficult discussions softer and more intimate. “For me. , it almost provides a buffer for vulnerability. Sometimes it’s easier to say something in a song than to say it directly in a conversation. I think as someone who has struggled with vulnerability my whole life, it provides that safe space of expression while hiding behind a pop song. The music, the melody, and the lyrics provide a screen in a way, but I think it makes it more accessible for everyone to relate to and for more people to listen to. In a way, the more personal you get in songwriting, the more relatable it becomes because all emotions and experiences are so much more universal than we all realize.”

Her sophomore album, real talk, soon took on a life of its own. “When I started writing the album, I didn’t really know where it was going, but it wrote itself. It turns into this beautiful story of struggling with mental health, adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms, and finally coming out on the other side. It scares me to be so honest, but I’m really proud of it. The track list was created in such a way as to reflect the chronological course of the story. It’s designed to be listened to in order, but each song also has its own story. ‘Real Talk’ is like the album’s thesis. ‘Bandaids’ then addresses trauma suppression, while ‘Fall Apart’ comes undone after trying to hold it together for so long. ‘House on Fire’ and ‘Ana’ touch on specific coping mechanisms – codependency and disordered eating – that can occur when struggling with mental health. The first interlude ‘Good Enough’ addresses the shame and feeling of not measuring up at the heart of eating disorders, but also the later realization of self-worth. The following song, ‘Honest,’ embraces the beginning of healing and the strange but necessary duality of happiness and struggle in the healing process. And, finally, ‘Make You Happy’ is the accepted message that a person can only find happiness and healing within themselves and no one else can do it for them. It was a really conceptual project and it’s a crazy moment for me to finally have it all come together.”

Alexis is very open about her bisexuality and often internalizes her relationship with gender roles and desirability. “I think sexuality is such a spectrum that it’s hard to define, but I recently did a rewrite of ‘Complex’ on TikTok about how patriarchal values ​​of heterosexuality can impact that. For me, I have always accepted my sexuality outwardly, but like many people, I struggled subconsciously. Rewriting tells how as a woman, patriarchal society holds the value that a woman’s validation, attractiveness, value, whatever, can often only come from a man. And how sometimes you end up wanting it unproven, no matter how subconscious it is. I think there is a lot of biphobia towards both men and women in general as well as within the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Bi-women are often invalidated in their sexuality and questioned as ‘probably straight’ because again, perceptions of women’s value are often tied to the male gaze, and for bi-men, the invalidation is that they are ‘probably just gay’. I feel my attraction to men and women differently, but neither is more valid than the other.”

This self-examination often spills over into her complex relationship with male legitimacy.” This is definitely something that is a work in progress. It takes time to try to unlearn something you’ve been taught socially since birth, but I’m focusing on what feels authentic to me and not so much on the opinions of others. I think it’s really important to define what you want in a person in general, and I think I let that slide for a lot of men, when really, I want to have anyone in any relationship I have, whether romantic or platonic, in my life. The values ​​I have for people. I’m also doing a lot of work and therapy myself.” In contrast, she enjoys a richer and more communicative bond with women, though it’s about time we start to expect that from all genders. “In general, I think women are more in their relationships (socially ) holds a different standard, so some of the negative experiences I’ve had with men haven’t necessarily happened with women. For me, there’s such an emotional intelligence and deep level of connection with women, but again with any person I think it’s important to know what you want. and valuable to one and in oneself.”

Reflection came with time for Alexis. “Like many people, I have experienced trauma in my life and at the time, it was my natural reaction. I think a lot of times it’s not something you want to do, it just happens. As a teenager, I developed an eating disorder and struggled with anorexia for about 3 years, and it wasn’t something that was a plan of ‘I’m going to deal with it this way’, it just happened. I think not knowing how to talk about what you’re going through and not even realizing what you’ve been through can unknowingly create a lot of unhealthy habits.” He is cradling himself with conscious patience and grace. “I’d say I’m somewhere above halfway on the healing spectrum. I am now recovered and healthy, but I am still dealing with many other underlying issues. Healing is not linear, and in my experience, it is a continuous journey, but I can see the finish line from where I am now. Honestly, I never want to stop growing. I think it’s another continuous journey, but right now I’m really focused on self-acceptance and value, and I’m excited to see where that takes me. Life is kinder when it is colored in the pink of self-love.

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Alexis Lynn begins her journey of healing on sophomore album, “Real Talk.” Image Credit: Simone Chanarkis.

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