Check out our interview with queer dark-pop NYC-based artist LEXXE who just released her new single “X” today! (January 29th). Pairing swirling disco beats with raw, diaristic lyricism, LEXXE’s new single is a euphoric yet emotional ode to her late father, Xavier (X), who passed away 20 years ago this month.
Her intoxicating dark-pop sound has captured the attention of tastemakers like Billboard, Audiofemme, and EARMILK. In addition to her budding artist career, LEXXE is also a classically trained ballet dancer. She currently performs with the neo-burlesque group COMPANY XIV where she is able to combine her love of dance, music and live performance.
Follow LEXXE @QUEENLEXXE
Hi LEXXE, please tell us a little about yourself?
Hey! I’m LEXXE (pronounced like Lex) and I’m a pop artist from Long Island, New York. I’ve spent the better part of my life as a professional dancer and still work in that field so I have an interesting combination of things going on.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Tenacious, passionate, vampire-ingenue-renaissance-woman. (I cheated, but also I asked my instagram followers to help me with this and that response was iconic!)
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you break into this industry?
When I was studying at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance I met friends in the music conservatory, one of them (Matt Bracco) needed help with vocals for a demo. I was always singing to myself, I taught myself guitar etc, and never really showed people that side of myself aside from one or two high school talent shows. He mentioned if I ever wanted to try writing with someone he was always up for it. I went to see The Weeknd in 2015 on my birthday and I immediately went home and messaged him. I think I’ve been going ever since then. Carl Sturken happened to be a professor at SUNY Purchase who my producer worked with, and I actually was lucky enough to get some experience with him and Evan Rogers at their studio.
How has music changed your life?
There’s so many videos of me singing along to music as a kid, it’s always been something I look forward to in the day. Be it opera, jazz, rock, metal I really can find myself in anything. I think my mom put me into dance because I couldn’t stop moving to music, it brings me somewhere else when this floating rock we live on becomes a little too much. When I realized I could make my own music to move to, my life was changed forever.
How would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Anthemic, metal-tinged, synthy.
Who influenced you to make music and why did you choose to make music?
My dad was always playing piano in the house as a kid, and my mom had records constantly on. My earliest memories are of hearing Queen, and being completely enthralled so I’d say Queen is a huge inspiration. I think after years of dancing and watching Lady Gaga do exactly what I wanted to I just decided it was time to give it a shot. I was always moving to music, I just didn’t start making it until 2016. I mentioned The Weeknd, he just is up there with the list of artists who created an entire world for me to escape to, it’s not just singles and small moments, it’s BIG moments. Concept albums, worlds to live in. I want to do that too. I chose to make music to make those worlds that I know so many others like me need in life.
Do you play any instruments?
I play guitar, a decent amount of piano and I played french horn for 8 years. I haven’t touched it in a LONG time, but the itch is strong and I will be picking it up again soon.
Do you ever get nervous before performing?
A few years back I did an act at Company XIV where I walked on jumbo champagne bottles in pointe shoes, that really got me. However if I got too in my head I would quite *literally* fall to my demise haha! After that, and honestly maybe just years and years of being on stage and auditioning I’ve come to find performing my music for other people has become something I really look forward to. I definitely get that excited stomach feeling before I go on, I think I always will. Ask me again when I play in an arena, LOL. Maybe I’ll need bottles backstage to walk on to feel better!
Tell us about your new single “X?”
“X” is a song that solidifies my future in music, and really gives me the feeling of “OK, I have a sound, I have finally figured ME out,”. It’s about my dad who passed away when I was 10. To me he’s always been a mysterious, Moonlight Sonata playing, Cigar smoke smelling renaissance man in my dreams and memories. I finally had it in me to go there with my lyrics and make this really emotional dance track that I’ve always been meaning to.
What’s the story behind the song?
A few years ago I was performing and could absolutely swear I saw my father sitting front row, I love to write about the supernatural and the things we don’t understand, so while I acknowledge that seeing him could’ve been something my mind made up, it doesn’t make it any less poignant. The song is composed of different lines about me questioning life and death, talking about real life events (the show where I thought I saw him, his friends seeing me in random bars and crying because I look like him, the last time I saw him) and it’s really a question of “do we ever really die?”
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Putting out music and watching people digest it and find comfort in it just as I do. Performing live, making art that I think will inspire others. And also, the ride. I’ve met so many beautiful people on this journey and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
Make art that you like for you, and the people who like it will come. Do not make art for the sake of pleasing others. And also, people will tell you no and people will also tell you your art isn’t good! F em. Can I say that? Like the concept of everyone liking what you do is absurd. I don’t like pistachios, but someone else might love them. It’s just how brains are.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Your daydreams aren’t too big! You have every tool to make them a reality within yourself. I say this because for years I knew I had the capabilities to be a singer but let my own insecurities get in the way. Don’t waste time on yourself.
How would your best friend describe you?
Goofy, empathetic, optimistic and a little spooky.
What’s next for LEXXE in 2023?
More music, more shows, and more LOOOOOKS! I’m trying to be front row at all the fashion weeks!!
How would you describe your fashion style?
Lots of people describe my style as if Rita Hayworth was a rockstar! I genuinely thrive between a healthy mix of black leather matrix vibes and a showgirl.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being content in knowing my heart and my intention to be a force of good in this world. Having someone to run off stage to that makes me feel safe, and following my purpose.
If you could meet someone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Freddie Mercury! So I can thank him for making me feel safe before I could come out. I changed my instagram name to QUEEN-LEXXE before I made that leap so I could channel some of his energy.
Best advice you’ve ever given?
If you do not have a goal of being a force of good in this life, do not enter into the entertainment business. Fame is not a gift unless you use it for good.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I see me hopping off a tour bus with the loves of my life around me. Maybe some acting thrown into the mix. An album or two, and a home in the French Quarter I can escape to when I need to hide behind books and jazz.
Favorite song of all time? Why?
This is so difficult! “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes to mind. It’s just one of the most beautiful enigmas I’ve ever heard in my life of hard rock, ballads, opera? C’mon! Also, the ending of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake sends me into another dimension.
Where can we follow you?
Favorite Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Favorite Quote: “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night” — Edgar Allan Poe
Favorite Movie: The Phantom Of The Opera
Favorite TV Series: The Munsters
Favorite Food: Pernil y arroz con gandules!!!! I’m 100% Puerto Rican, baby!
Favorite Travel Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana
Favorite Sports Team: Those banana baseball players who dance. Iconic!