Elenee Young won a Gospel Music Association songwriting award in Nashville in 2017 and performed at the Rotary Club of Lloydminster lunch with help from Robin Acton. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
Elenee Young would welcome a miracle to experience her dream life in Nashville Tennessee.
The Lloydminster songwriter won a best female songwriter award from the Gospel Music Association in Nashville in 2017, but then life got in the way.
Shortly after winning the top award for her song Covered in Love at an Immerse Conference for the Christian and gospel music industry, Young learned she was pregnant with her second daughter.
“As soon as I won that I was faced with a lot of decisions,” said Young, a guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Lloydminster lunch on Monday.
“I had a lot of people asking me ‘let’s go to Nashville and write and do this’ and I said I can’t I just got pregnant with my second child.”
Young said she was shocked to win the songwriter award after bombing out in the artist/songwriter competition that required her to perform her own song.
She said she got cut right away by the judges because she choked, not being a performer by trade.
“The songwriter portion they weren’t really focused on my performance part of it as much as the song, so I submitted the song and that’s the one that I won,” she said.
“It was exciting, disappointing, but like absolutely phenomenal.”
Her pregnancy happened just six months after giving birth to her first child putting Nashville out of reach in the short term.
“Like any songwriter I’d love to be in Nashville, but it’s not in the books for us right now,” she said.
“I’ve been writing through Skype and just building connections, so if I do ever make it to Nashville even if just for a week-long basis, I will be able to make the week productive,” she said.
She said the inspiration for Covered in Love came from her renewed interest in attending church and her life story and journey.
“So it’s about how I lived this life that was just awful and I did things that were so regrettable and I am full of shame and guilt.” she said.
“But I don’t have to dwell on that anymore because I’ve been totally redeemed and I’ve been set free— I can live a life that is guilt and shame free, so that’s what the song is pretty much about.”
Young sang her winning song to Rotary members while playing the piano and made it to the end intact with a round of applause to boot.
Young was introduced at Rotary as the daughter of Maria Kokonas and the granddaughter of Spiro Kokonas, who founded Spiro’s Restaurant and comes by her talent naturally.
Young recalled getting her first piano when she was three or four and writing music following in the footsteps of Spiro, who she noted likes to write journals.
“There is creativity in Lloyd,” said Young.
“There’s artists coming out; there’s the Collective Art Market downtown, you see lots of art there; there’s singer-songwriters; there’s a lot of people that you didn’t really know existed in Lloyd.”
She said her purpose at Rotary is “just to show Rotarians and just different members of the community there are avenues where you can go I guess and fulfill your dreams and live out your passions.”