We had the opportunity to talk with Elenowen (Josh and Nicole Johnson) for the artist interview series about how they met, their experience on The Voice, and what’s up next for their musical career.
RG: Please tell us where the name “Elenowen” comes from?
NJ: Actually, when we were trying to come up with a name, we wanted something unique and different that would really stand out. We thought of a lot of different things, but we actually settled on Elenowen because Josh got music from his mom’s side of the family and her middle name is Ellen and I got music from my dad and my dad’s side of the family and his middle name is Owen and we just slapped them together and kept it in the family and now we’re Elenowen.
RG: That’s very cool and very unique!
Both: Thank you! Thanks!
RG: So, you’ve been married three years, correct?
JJ: Yes, it will be three years this Tuesday; our three-year anniversary is on the 7th [of June].
RG: Happy Anniversary!
RG: How did you two meet?
JJ: We’re told I always give unnecessary details, so I’ll let Nicole take this one.
NJ: It’s a pretty long story but basically, Josh and I were in high school. He grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. His cousin lived in Nashville and was one of my best friends and in the summer of ‘03, Cousin Dustin invited me to go to his cousin’s lake house and hang out for a few days and there was a bunch of people coming and I met Josh then. Josh was 15 and I was 16 at that time, and we met and had a long-distance relationship for a few years.
JJ: Summer love!
NJ: Yeah, summer love! Then Josh moved to Nashville for college, we got engaged shortly after that and got married!
RG: Very cool! And how long have you been producing music together?
JJ: We formed Elenowen or just decided to collaborate a year into our marriage, so it’s been about two years now. We both pursued individual careers before we got married, and once we got married we just decided that it would be better for our marriage, number one, and also for our music, if we decided to do it together. It’s been about two years and it’s been a great ride ever since we started.
RG: You were on The Voice earlier this year; what was that experience for you as an artist and how that has impacted your career?
JJ: Oh, man. It has been an amazing experience and we learned so much in such a short amount of time as far as TV interviews and performing with lots of pressure on your shoulders. As far as what it’s done for our career, it’s changing our sound and just given us some wings! Our fan base has multiplied like crazy because it is national TV. It’s a really great format to launch your career from, so…our Twitter followers and Facebook numbers have been going up like crazy! We’re driving to Virginia right now to go play a show, which if we tried to do that before this show, not that many people would probably have come out to it. So, just having our name out there and our music out there; it was great overall.
RG: That’s amazing. Can you talk about your first album, Pulling Back the Veil? I’m personally a big fan of the song “Save Me.” We want to know how the song came about.
NJ: Sure, the album was kind of, to be honest, an experiment. We each individually had done music kind of on our own. Josh had put out a couple of albums and we had talked about putting out an album for just me, and shortly before that, that was when we got married and decided to try to do music together and we just thought, “Why don’t we do an album together?” So, some of the songs were originally Josh’s and they were kind of tweaked a little bit and “Save Me” ended up being one of those songs and we went back in and tweaked it so that it would be a little bit more of a duet. Then I had some songs of my own and we just kind of threw them together and we were like, “Let’s just see what happens!” and it was great!
JJ: The cool thing behind “Save Me” was I had the concept of the song way before we became a duo. I wrote it at the time when me and Nicole had broken up and we had broken up just because I didn’t have any of my crap together and it was basically a very dramatic way of telling the story of our breakup but also getting back together and how I just need something to quote-unquote “save me” and kind of get me back on my feet. Then when we decided to be a duo, I rewrote the second verse from Nicole’s perspective. It’s kind of like a play on words, because the “Save Me” applies to me and her. As you look at the song as a whole thing it is like a general kind of theme. The chorus means something different to each person, to each singer of the song.
RG: It’s a great song; we really like it here.
Both: Thank you!
RG: So what’s next for Elenowen? Are you planning a big tour?
JJ: We are trying to get a big tour. We actually just hopped on board with William Morris, a booking agency, and we are going to start playing as many shows as we possibly can, just riding this wave that “The Voice” kind of started for us. We are actually releasing a new single called “Honey, Come Home.” It’s a song we have been playing live for a while now. So, new music’s in the works and we’re going to go back into the studio and end up doing a full-length record this summer and hopefully have something out in the fall. Just keep on getting more music out there, playing as many shows as we can and kind of just go on from there.
RG: Well, we’ll definitely be following the ride as well and keep referencing your website for tour details and the upcoming album and release. We wanted to thank you for your time today and being featured in our artist interview series and best of luck!
– Submitted by Ray Goforth, Interactive