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Over the last two years, I’ve had the extreme privilege of coaching a true gem of a human.

Lexi James.

Without a doubt, she wins the gold medal of persevering diligence. Two years ago, the sweetest young curly-haired redhead popped into my studio to get some help on a couple of songs she was in town to record. I ended up in the recording studio doing vocal production the next day with her, and then oh so sadly, Lexi & co-drove back home to Maine. Ever since then, this girl has taken impressively consistent lessons via Skype with me. Sometimes up to 3 lessons a week. (Yes, I’m serious)

When we first started working together we were focusing on foundations. While she had immeasurable raw talent, on a technical level, her voice needed quite a lot of edge work. She’s struggled with acid reflux for a while so this presented a challenge. But challenges are meant to be met and surpassed and she’s done just that. I remember lessons of breakthrough and lessons of temporary frustration. Days where everything came out with ease and days where the simplest exercises seemed like unscalable walls. But over time, and with tenacious dedication and humility on her part, she is at a level in her technique where hardly anything feels hard anymore.

This girl can sing Heart’s “Barracuda” with the ease of Ann Wilson (you guys- that’s ridiculous). And even though she looks at me like I’m taking crazy pills when I make her sing Whitney (effortlessly), her heart lies in country music. We’ve logged countless hours pulling her natural style out and deepening her artistic nuances, challenging her own personal “close enough” comfort zones, and refusing to settle for good when great was on the table.

And she has risen to every challenge. She had pop sensibility, total “It” factor, genuine country honesty, confident humility, plain and simple passion, and she’s even better than she realizes.

Honestly, as a coach, she epitomizes the most valuable asset in any aspiring artist…an insatiable hunger to grow. She understands that the learning process never ceases. She gets it.

I want more artists to have this maturity. The transformation of her voice and artistry is unparalleled. And she was already a high-quality singer when we met!

Be on the lookout for this girl. (Hello YouTube) She’s recording an EP now set to release in early 2014. I’m her biggest fan (maybe second only to her parents but the rest of you have to get in line, k?) and truth be told, you need some Lexi in your life.


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To book a lesson with Shelby Rollins, contact [email protected] or 615-866-1099.

Shelby Rollins

Author Shelby Rollins

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