Those still looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift should take a hint from Nathan West—not only did he write a song for his wife, Chyler Leigh, but he also asked her to sing on it.
“Nowhere” is the first single off of East of Eli’s (a.k.a. West’s) sophomore album Lost Transmission, and PEOPLE is exclusively sharing the release.
“There’s a lot of times right now with our careers where there’s a lot missed opportunities to be together,” West, 38, tells PEOPLE of the song’s inspiration. “We find ourselves going a couple of weeks sometimes without really having a chance just to connect. When I was writing ‘Nowhere,’ that’s what I was thinking about. While I was thinking of her she was thinking of me. It’s special because love knows no boundaries.”[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/307114773?secret_token=s-O9KZ5" params="visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
Leigh, 34, was excited to make her singing debut, as she and West had often talked about wanting to perform together musically.
“Nathan and I have worked together from an acting standpoint several times in our careers,” Leigh says. “We thought this would be a great opportunity for us to not be working together playing somebody else, but working together being ourselves.”
A post shared by Nathan West (@eastofeli) on Nov 24, 2016 at 4:52pm PST
Leigh wasn’t the only member of the family to inspire a song on Lost Transmission. West wrote and dedicated songs to each of their three kids—Noah, 13, Taelyn, 10, and Anniston, 7.
“I decided to write love letters to all of my family,” West explains.
The title track relates specifically to Noah, whom the couple says has high-functioning autism, Asperger’s and ADHD.
“A lot of times it’s hard to get his attention,” explains West. “I decided ‘Lost Transmission’ really was me pouring out my heart for him, for his future, for what he can accomplish—encouraging him to be who he is and not shy away from that.”
It took Noah a moment to warm up to the song after first hearing it, but he eventually got teary. “This is my anthem,” he told his dad.
“As a parent, that’s what you want for your kids,” West says in response. “You want to help them to become the best they can be.”
Leigh says that when it comes to West’s music, she and the kids are “his biggest fans” and will always play his songs in the car.
As far as Valentine’s Day plans go for the couple, Leigh will be spending the entire day on the set of Supergirl, hard at work portraying her character Alex Danvers—though West is planning on making a surprise visit to the set.
In recent episodes, Leigh’s character has come to terms with her homosexuality later in life. Leigh says this added dimension to the role has opened the doors to positive feedback and helped others find strength through her portrayal.
“This journey has been overwhelming in a lot of ways,” Leigh says. “It was something that I hadn’t necessarily been approached about so it kind of got put on my shoulders very quickly.”
Though she didn’t know what to expect at first, Leigh is happy how her performance has reached across the world and connected deeply with people.
“It’s not like this hasn’t been important for a very long time, but right now I think there is such a lack of portraying characters with such strength,” she says. “It’s such an honor to play this part, to be a part of this story and to really help people navigate in life.”