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Angie and Chris from Eleyet McConnell Talks “Surrender,” Morphing and New Single

Angie McConnell’s powerful voice and heartfelt songwriting, influenced by icons such as Beth Hart, Janis Joplin, and Merle Haggard, blend seamlessly with Chris McConnell’s soulful musical arrangements, reminiscent of classic 70s rock and blues. Together, as Eleyet McConnell, they create a sound that is both nostalgic and refreshingly modern.

Since meeting in 2013 and beginning their collaborative songwriting journey, Angie and Chris have developed a musical synergy that is palpable both in the studio and on stage. Their songs reflect personal experiences and universal truths, delivered with an honesty that strikes a chord with audiences.

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On the eve of their new single release, “Don’t Tell Me Why” from their critically acclaimed debut album, “Crazy World,” the couple took time out to answer some questions in this EXCLUSIVE interview…

“Surrender” is such a personal and emotionally charged track. Can you share with us the inspiration behind the song and what it means to you both personally?

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Angie: Lyrically is a reflection over a very difficult period of time for me.  Life was throwing curveballs at me, and I had to reconcile a lot of really hard things all at once.  “Surrender” was my way of telling the story of my journey, and those moments when things felt quite insurmountable to me.  It was my opportunity to share my belief in a higher power and faith that there is something bigger than all of us in control. 

As a married duo, how does your relationship and shared experiences influence your songwriting process?

Chris: Almost every song we’ve written is about our life before and after marriage.  For us it’s a magical thing to share the ability to express life through song lyrics and melodies.  Writing is almost like the framework that makes us who we are both as individuals and as husband and wife.  Angie never wrote songs until she and I met, and I was just waiting for things to click for her and see what could happen.  For a couple years I’d noodle on the bass during rehearsals to see if she’d catch on and it took a bit.  One day it was like she heard it for the first time and things just took off from there. 

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Angie, you mentioned that “Surrender” is your “give it to God” song. Could you elaborate on how your faith journey has influenced your music, especially in this song?

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I grew up in the church and spent several days every week in service, bible study, or the fun activities our church would have on Saturdays or during softball leagues and things like that.  My mom was always playing hymns on the piano and she and my dad would sing those old songs playing guitar.  It was definitely part of my foundation.  Like many people I drifted away from that life as I got older and while I never forgot those times, I certainly wasn’t active like I was when I was younger.  

As I explained, the lyrics to “Surrender” talk about the lowest period of time in my life.  So many difficult things happening all at once and I was struggling to deal with it all in a healthy way.  Literally, one day I was on my knees just sobbing because I was so overwhelmed and I actually said out loud, “I can’t do this please help me”.  I felt a peace that I hadn’t felt in a very long time and not because it had left me.  It was because I wasn’t open to receiving it and didn’t even realize it. 

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All my life I remember hearing people say, “lay it down..give it to God”….. but it didn’t really resonate.  This time it felt so natural and so easy.  I let it all go and gave my worry, my fear, my sadness, my guilt….all of it to God.  It was the best thing I could have done for myself.

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“Gettin’ By” was a success, hitting the top 30 on the UK iTunes Rock songs chart. How did you feel about the reception to your debut single, and did it impact your approach to creating new music?

Chris:  Believe it or not, we never sit down with the intention of writing a song in any certain fashion.  Even with a song like “Getting By” and all its success, we still never went back to write the next tune with the intent to stay in that vein and try and match the success.   Maybe we should think about that in the future, but our writing just doesn’t flow like that.  

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Your debut album, “Crazy World,” seems to touch on themes of overcoming struggles and finding hope. How do you hope listeners connect with the overall message of the album?

Angie:  The songs on this album all come from our life together.  Chris and I have had our share of struggles, and we still found a way to make it all work and it’s been just amazing.  Our lives are crazy and fun and full and challenging, and the world at large feels even more crazy at times. This album shares stories of different struggles like paying bills, falling in love, sadness, disappointment and how unfair life is at times – all the things that each of us deals with on the daily.  We found each other and have found a way to get through all the hard times together.  Anything is possible.  Hopefully, someone else can listen to our story and feel encouraged to keep chasing their dream.

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“Don’t Tell Me Why” is your upcoming single, set to release soon. Can you give us a glimpse into the inspiration behind this track and what listeners can expect?

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Chris:  This song came together in a matter of minutes.  We were writing with our friend, Darla, in her basement one evening.  I came up with those bass intro notes and just sang the line “Don’t tell me why”.  Darla and I just seemed to play the same thing without talking much about it and Angie literally just took off with the lyrics to the song. It was like she couldn’t write them down fast enough.  Apparently, she was upset with me about something (chuckling).  I might be responsible for a few of those songs when she was upset.  More stories for later LOL.

Your music has been described as genre-defying. How do you approach blending different musical influences to create your unique sound?

Angie: Our music is simply a culmination of all the great stuff we grew up listening to as kids. Both of us have grown up with several influences and we love it all.  I think it’s why our original work feels like it could live in a lot of places and it’s really difficult to say we live in this or that bucket.   Both of us grew up on gospel and country music from our parents, Chris loved the 70s music and so did I.  We both love rock and roll and blues and oddly enough, neither of us had a love fest with the arena stuff from the 80s.  Sure, we listened and yes, we were in the throes of the vibe like everyone else at the time, but I wouldn’t say that era influenced us much as songwriters.  

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Both of you have dynamic stage presence. How do you translate the intimacy and emotion of your songs into live performances?

Chris: It’s very easy for me to get lost in the songs.  We’ve written about some very personal experiences, from difficult arguments in moments where we didn’t think we’d make it all work to the very happiest times together and everything in between. I feel like we both can mentally go right back to those moments when we perform these songs, and the audience can feel that.  Angie can grab a crowd.  Some of my favorite nights are in small venues when the size of the place just makes it more intimate.  There have been times where everyone is so in tune with everything she says, especially when she tells the story behind the songs.  It’s magical.

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Angie, you mentioned experiencing some difficult times a few years back. How has music been a form of healing or catharsis for you during those times?

Angie: It saved me. Music gave me an outlet to talk about and confront things that were far too difficult to utter out loud to anyone.  When I began writing it was like I finally had this vehicle that let me – actually forced me, to look deep into myself and reconcile a lot of things that I had buried or compartmentalized. I had a lot of things to reconcile and through it all I changed dramatically.  Chris will say, “You Morphed!”, and he isn’t wrong.  

I took a hard look at myself and realized a lot of habits that I had developed where relationships are concerned, and it dawned on me that I had become someone else entirely.  I didn’t hate who I had become per se, but I wasn’t happy nor was I really healthy.  I had gained a lot of weight; I had some medical issues and I just felt like a cog in a wheel.  My life was nothing much beyond going through the motions.  

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Writing was therapy in a lot of ways. I found a counselor that helped me with skills and tools to cope with life in more healthy ways.  During this time writing music became prolific for me.  I have told people that I feel like I finally know why none of us remember being born.  Can you imagine how awful that would be? I think I know what birth feels like now.  The pain, the physical pressure, the feeling of being transported from a cocooned environment to one where you are completely exposed.  It’s traumatic.  That time for me was traumatic but transformative.  

I don’t look the same. I don’t deal with things the same.  I feel like I’ve learned so much and I’m more at peace right now than I’ve ever been.  Music was my outlet, therapy, healing—all the things.  That line in “Surrender” that says, “I’ve changed so much that I don’t recognize when I look in the mirror, but I know I needed the change”….. that line is powerful for me when I reflect on that time and absolute truth.  

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Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for Eleyet McConnell as a musical duo?

Chris: We would love to take some time to branch out and take the show out of our local region. We’ve been planning about how we can do that and still take care of everything we’ve got going on here at home.  We can’t wait to get back into the studio.  Angie and I have written so much material and we want to get it recorded as soon as possible.  New singles will be released soon, and we can’t wait for that.   This year we have stumbled into some cool opportunities to play in larger venues, and we’d love to see a lot more of that.  We are blessed.  We are grateful and sometimes still can’t believe all that’s happening. 

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“Don’t Tell Me Why” delivers a compelling blend of raw emotion and introspective lyrics, wrapped in the rich musical heritage that Angie (Eleyet) and Chris McConnell bring from their diverse influences. The single follows their successful Top 5 UK iTunes hit, “Surrender,” and continues to build on their reputation for creating music that resonates deeply with listeners. The new release comes on the heels of the duo’s recent Josie Music Awards nomination for Best Multi-Genre Duo.

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Artist Spotlight

FLO9 drops summer anthem with electrifying new single “I GOT A BADDIE”

FLO9

FLO9‘s newest song, “I GOT A BADDIE,” is a refreshing and versatile track that showcases his talent and creativity. FLO9 is known for his ability to blend different music styles, and this track proves once again that he’s a significant force in the music industry.

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From the start, “I GOT A BADDIE” grabs your attention with its exciting vibe. The song, produced by SKThaPlug, combines the intense feel of drill music with the catchy rhythm of a Jersey club beat. The result is a unique and captivating sound that will surely be the summer’s hit.

But “I GOT A BADDIE” is more than a fun party song. FLO9 wrote, mixed, and mastered the entire track, showing off his talents and dedication to his music. The collaboration between FLO9 and SKThaPlug has created a seamless blend of solid beats and catchy hooks that will have listeners hitting repeat.

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The song’s lyrics celebrate confident and independent women who have it all – beauty, freedom, and ambition. FLO9 paints a vivid picture of a ‘baddie,’ a woman who knows her worth and wants a partner who matches her strength and drive. This empowering message is delivered with FLO9’s signature confidence, making the track both a tribute to powerful women and a call for equally strong men.

As the world starts to open up and people hit the dance floors again, “I GOT A BADDIE” is set to be the soundtrack to countless nights out. FLO9 and SKThaPlug have created a track that’s not just a song but an experience that will significantly impact the music world. Get ready to hear this everywhere!

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Connect with FLO9: Instagram

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Artist Spotlight

Catchy New Anthem Alert! Love Ghost Drops Electrifying Music Video for “DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?”

Love Ghost, the alt. metal band, has recently released their latest music video, “DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?”, featuring Cinnamon Babe. The song is an adrenaline-fueled anthem that confronts the haters head-on, delivering a powerful punch with its blistering guitar riffs and thunderous drums. The music video, shot against a backdrop of gritty urban landscapes, captures the song’s rebellious spirit, immersing viewers in a world where passion and defiance collide.

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Love Ghost’s fearless approach to music-making is evident in “DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?”, which showcases their raw emotion and unapologetic energy. Cinnamon Babe’s collaboration enhances the song’s intensity with her dynamic vocals and fierce stage presence. The band’s alt. metal prowess is on full display, cementing their status as a force to be reckoned with in the genre.

“DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?” is a must-watch music video that leaves a lasting impression. And for those discovering the band for the first time, this thrilling anthem is the perfect introduction to their electrifying sound.

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