Elizabeth Lyons is continuing to break into country music with a bang by releasing songs that she says come from a place of honesty, vulnerability and her heart.
The Nashville-based singer-songwriter, 28, released the video for her new song “Epiphany” on Wednesday. In it, she gives fans an inside look at a day in her life.
“I wrote this song because I had an epiphany, a moment of understanding why my path had been what it was,” the singer tells PEOPLE. “I lost who I was only to gain my confidence back. I needed to believe. I needed hope.”
“’Epiphany’ is an empowering, inspiring and bright anthem. It’s so personal yet it’s something many people can relate to in today’s world,” she continues. “It’s about being true to yourself and not letting social media, or society try to change, influence nor affect you. It’s a reminder that it’s important to follow your dreams and not get lost in comparing yourself to others. Rather to be your true, authentic, honest, and real self.”
The singer wants fans to be confident in who they are, despite societal pressures.
“I think in a world where everyone’s on Instagram or social media all the time, you become someone you’re not because there’s so many people telling you how you should be or how you should look or how you should act,” Lyons tells PEOPLE. “I’m like, ‘Let’s go back’ and I thought about being young and going back to those home videos and dancing in my parents’ living room. I was just owning it and I didn’t care what people think.”
She found her love for music at a very young age. “I’ve always had a love for music and a commitment to getting things done,” she recalls. “I learned my letters so I could play piano, joined church choir where I earned my first solo and auditioned for musical theater until I made it to go on to be in 18 musicals.”
Lyons, who is influenced by artists like Taylor Swift, Faith Hill and Shania Twain, has seen much success early on in her music career. “During my senior year of college at Vanderbilt University, I released my first EP which immediately charted on iTunes, became an all-time bestseller on iTunes and sold over 100,000 songs,” she says.
“I started paying my dues and pretending to be my own agent contacting and playing open mics, small clubs and bars,” she adds. “Then festivals like SummerFest, Lake Shake and CountryFest. Then opening up for artists like Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan then singing the anthems at every sports organization from NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.”
In her most recent experience singing the National Anthem at Yankee stadium, the singer said she was “fangirling” over Ciara and her husband Russell Wilson. On her love for Swift, 29, Lyons says it goes beyond the music. “I love that she is a songwriter, an entertainer and a businesswoman,” the rising artist says. “She’s the epitome of goals.”
The songstress credits her success to her hard work and dedication.
“Through hustle and a can-do attitude, as an independent artist I have almost a million streams, sold over 100,000 downloads, two No. 1 and two number two iTunes Country Music videos,” she continues. “[I was] recognized by: Macy’s iHeart Rising Star Top 3, Country Music Association “Who New to Watch”, Music Row Discovery Artist, SiriusXM The Highway on the Horizon, and CMT Pure and Discovery Artist.”
Though she’s earned much recognition, Lyons says she felt like she lost herself because her accomplishments were not “enough to secure a contract.” That’s part of why she encourages fans to really stay true to themselves and remain confident.
“I decided to overcome the fear in rejecting societal pressure because I realized I will never influence the world by trying to be like it or others by conforming to their standard,” Lyons says. “My goal through my new soon-to-be released music is to help all to believe in themselves, not to let social media, pressures of the new world we live in, or their environment hinder who they are and [let] their true selves become the best they can be.”
“I’m so proud of the struggle. It’s made me a better person and artist,” she adds. “I look back now and connect the dots and realize this is exactly how it was supposed to happen.”
Up next, Lyons will release her single “24” on Jan. 17. She wrote the lyrics when she was 24 years old hoping that other people could relate to feeling uncertain about the future. “It’s a song about being in your twenties. I feel like there’s not a lot of music that’s focused on the years of your twenties,” she tells PEOPLE. “Everyone prepares you for college, or whatever that next chapter is for that person, but not a lot of people prepare you from college to the real world.”
“It’s the first time in your life where everyone’s doing different things and everyone’s at different points in their lives,” she adds. “Whether they have a career they’re really excited about or someone doesn’t know what they’re doing, whether they’re single or in a relationship.”
The singer wants “24” to encourage people of all ages to feel confident in their life’s unique journey. “You’ve just gotta know that your path is your own even though throughout your life there’s always a sense of that unknowingness,” she says. “You just have to be pure and strong and know that things happen the way that they’re supposed to and I think everyone feels that sense of unknowing what’s next.”
Following “24,” Lyons will drop her tracks “Prove It” in March and “Brave Enough. “Lyons, who wants her fans to learn something from her music, has some advice for her fans. She wants her music lovers to dream, journal, forgive, laugh and be healthy and generous.
“It’s harder than ever to be our true selves with the technology age we live in. We are constantly bombarded with media that tells us who to be, what we want and how we should express ourselves,” she says. “There are many things we can do to try to work on not letting all these influences affect us.”
“You’re never going to be liked by everyone so stop trying to worry about everyone liking you or thinking about what others think,” she continues. “Be thankful for the role of the unsupportive and toxic people in your life, and surround yourself with a solid support system. I have a tribe of women my sisters, mom, cousins, and aunts who have been my support system from the very beginning. Find those people in your life that continue to inspire you and help you grow and get through the hard times together.”