An Interview With NATHAN WEST About His New Band EAST OF ELI, Singing With His Wife, Actress Chyler Leigh and More!
Posted On 07 Apr 2017
East of Eli (aka Nathan West) debuted his first single from his sophomore release Lost Transmission on Valentine’s Day in honor of his wife famed actress Chyler Leigh (Supergirl, Grey’s Anatomy).
The song titled Nowhere, beautifully fuses cinematic folk, pop melodies and modern electronic sound. Nowhere is a love letter to West’s wife, acclaimed actress Chyler Leigh who makes her singing debut providing angelic harmonies throughout the track. The arrangement is stunning, highlighting catchy melodies, soaring guitars and deep synths, a reminder of their devotion to one another despite the challenges that come with both having careers in entertainment.
Thematically and sonically, the new single is East of Eli’s strongest work to date, a poignant reflection of the past and present.
“Nowhere is a song about how true love knows no boundaries. I invited Chyler to be featured on the track to create a haunting vocal presence that would represent the idea that when you are alone and you think about your lover, they are thinking of you. Her performance is very honest and heartfelt which is exactly tone and feel I wanted to capture within the story and production.” confides West.
Nowhere is off of East of Eli’s upcoming release Lost Transmission. Lost Transmission thematically draws it’s influence from all the transmissions sent to outer space in hopes of connecting with other intelligent life. It’s symbolic in nature of releasing a new album or song. The title track, Lost Transmission (to be released shortly thereafter) was written for West’s son Noah who is diagnosed with ADHD & Autism. The song is an anthem intended to capture his son’s undivided attention to break through to the truth and beauty of who his son is becoming in spite of his own day-to-day struggles. The new album is the evolution of that journey, with songs dedicated to all three of his children, his wife and himself, that “connect with humanity through the music.” West confides.
East of Eli has received critical acclaim with American Songwriter noting West as an artist on the rise. East of Eli has also found success performing at top venues throughout Southern California including the House of Blues and Soho House. East of Eli will perform select dates in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Nashville to support the release.
Follow East of Eli Here:
Learn more about East of Eli in the following All Access interview:
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I truly started playing music when I was 16. My Uncle gave me an old beat up nylon string acoustic, showed me 6 basic chords and how to play Black Bird by The Beatles. Once I learned that song top to bottom, I was hooked.
In the music world, you are known as East of Eli. Where did that name come from? Why not go by your own name? Where did East of Eli come from exactly?
East of Eli originated from a screenplay that I wrote with my wife and our dear producer/director friend Gabe Torres. The story is about a vagabond musician who travels east from New York to Morocco in search of finding solace after the recent death of his wife, a talented artist who had an affection for capturing the spirit and culture of Morocco. I came up with the name East of Eli as a potential title and then decided it was a better name for my musical project. The movie is now entitled “Into the Mystic” and shoots in Morocco starting in late August 2017.
You recently debuted your first single, “Nowhere,” from your sophomore release, “Lost Transmission.” Can you talk about the inspiration behind this track? I’ve read that you released it on Valentines Day in honor of your wife?
“Nowhere” is a love letter to my wife. It is about the power of love that we have had over the past 18 plus years and how love in itself has no boundaries. Over the years, we have faced a lot of hardships but also have had brilliant moments, through it all we have never given up on the belief that the love we share is worth fighting for. We have an incredible relationship and are more in love now than ever. The song is for her, she is my best friend, greatest inspiration and biggest fan.
What was it like working with your wife, Chyler Leigh on “Nowhere”? Have you worked together before on a song?
It was an amazing experience. Chyler adds an angelic voice to “Nowhere”. It has been a dream of mine to partner with my wife in the music I create and the fact that she sings on the song I wrote for her and about her is even more special. No this is our first collaboration on a song and her recorded singing debut.
How do you think your sound has changed on your sophomore album? When do you plan on releasing “Lost Transmission”?
Lost Transmission utilizes more electronic sounds. It was really important to me to fuse a variety of sounds in this release, it is an emotive release both musically and lyrically. We are looking at a later April date.
Do you have plans to tour a lot with this album? Where all will you be playing at? What can fans expect from one of your shows?
Yes, we currently have a show at the Troubadour scheduled for March 18th and are also currently planning dates in New York and Vancouver for later this Spring. Fans can expect a dynamic show. I am grateful to have a phenomenal band including drummer Kiel Feher who recently toured with Selena Gomez and guitarist Johann Frank who is best known for playing with Phil Collins. Also Chyler will be joining me on stage for a couple songs at the Troubadour and incredibly excited for that.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? What musicians would you love to work with in the future?
I am a huge fan of U2 and Coldplay would love to work with these bands. I also really admire Bob Dylan and Etta James.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
I hope the music inspires people to be who they are despite day-to-day struggles. I hope my music inspires love in it’s purest form.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I just want to thank you and everyone so much for the support. Our fans have been so lovely and it means so much to me that they take the time to listen to my music and support me.