Veteran female hip-hop artist Lexa Terrestrial is the FIRST artist to perform on the moon! She has an uncommon condition known as ENS. Pre-pandemic, she was seen wearing masks that she makes and sells. Lexa Terrestrial was highlighted in the 2016 XXL Freshman Issue.
A Trap/Bass Heavy/Femcee Hip-Hop Anthem is “LL&P”! It is regarded as one of the best workout songs by many fans. It moves quickly, is sexy, has bars, and has FLOW! The bass has that special sauce thanks to legendary hip-hop producer Blvck Monsta, who has worked with many female artists. Check out the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how it all got started?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: I started making music before I was born. In a galaxy far, far away, where I don’t remember much of my childhood. I was sent here to study Humans, their culture, their behavior and how they run things. I was making music on my planet, which is very different. So when I came here I had to find my sound. Music is the one thing I do. The one thing I’ve been doing. And I really wanted to challenge myself by making music in a different environment. Even though I enjoy other things as well. I’ve dealt with a lot of physical & mental pain but music has been the one thing that keeps me going, it’s a great way for me to release those feelings, to study, to analyze, to get to know myself & the world.
2. Creative work in a studio or home environment, or interaction with a live audience? Which of these two options excites you most, and why?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: I know we are social creatures but believe it or not I’ve had some of the most exciting, joyous times in private situations. But I think a Live audience excites me more. Despite my anxiety, I like humans, I do very well with crowds & It fuels me up for miles.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘LEXA TERRESTRIAL’?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: Missy Elliot is definitely up there. Blackbear, vocally taught me a lot as well as his songwriting. My influences change a lot. When I first started out, I didn’t know my place, and then I saw Lady Gaga. She was not your traditional artist and she changed music & culture. I knew that I could still do what I loved even though I didn’t look or act like everyone else. Hip-Hop Influences are big obviously too – J.Cole, Kendrick, Jay-Z, Dr.Dre, Logic, Nicki Minaj (whose so dynamic & BEEN doing this) Scarlxrd, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: I don’t even know if I could describe my sound. Music Arena recently Called it “Sexy Rap” I call it “SAD GIRL RAP” but that’s still diminishing, what I mean by that is: I take my pain and put it into very intense music… sometimes upbeat & hype, with a bit of anger, sometimes mellow & sad, but cute. I like unique beats with unique sounds, EDM, Trap beats & a pinch of metal. It’s adventurous alternative Hip-Hop for people that LOVE Hip-Hop. And the purpose is to make people feel like a badass, like the main character, especially those who feel put down or going through a hard time. As far as comparisons… Some people say “Alien Hip-Hop” or if you take X artist + Y artist and add an alien… that is me. I’ve gotten “Lady Gaga of Hip-Hop before” Which I’m not sure but I think I get what that means. I get Nicki Minaj A LOT (who I LOVE) Lil Kim & Cardi… BUT there is an element of alternative, EDM, metal & also speed rap. So I sometimes say “Eminem with a bit of Ice Spice”? However, I do sing, so I may throw an R&B ballad in there, or some jazz, or even TOTAL POP. I’d like to think the alien is the unique sauce.
5. With social media having a heavy impact on our lives and the music business in general, how do you handle criticism, haters, and/or naysayers in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or simply ignore?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: I actually don’t pay attention to it, If it happens I ignore it. And I block it real quick.If you’re a good person, no one in their right mind starts problems with unproblematic people unless they’re problematic. I tell a lot of people to post & ghost. And that’s what I do when it comes to TikTok ESPECIALLY because TikTok is one of the most unhinged toxic places. I warn people about it but they already know. I’ve had many conversations with many girls where I’ve passionately lifted people out of a funk because social media caused them serious depression, self doubt, or ruined their whole week. That isn’t how I want to see society going. I feel like even if there are’t haters, the algorithm Post up… do you & try to numb that stuff out. I’m a good person, so I shouldn’t be concerned if someone else doesn’t get me. I tell a lot of my friends, if you want me to see something important you have to hit me up personally, because I try to not be scrolling too much. People love to lash out online.
6. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style, which is known as HIPHOP?
I don’t know how to describe the process of getting an original sound. But to sum it up – taking artists you resonate with most & mixing it with unique things about yourself. I am in the experimental phase again, you can always be in that phase, even after you have a sound. I am listening to things & trying things that are outside of my sound. It’s a fun challenge. It is always going to be original because it’s coming from you. I’m also one of those artists thats constantly questioning & a bit of a perfectionist, wondering “should I change this?” Or “Why can’t I be more like them” or “why can’t I make that”? I think that is normal as an artist & even a human being. But If you have something special though – STICK TO IT! Don’t question yourself so much, don’t try to follow what everyone else is doing. Follow your gut, make what you want.
7. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I did have some formal training. I took lessons, I also taught as well – aside from your traditional choir and band. I have to thank Eric Arceneaux, As a vocalist it took years to really be comfortable in my instrument. I still feel like I’m learning. But he is probably the only vocal teacher you need out there. Which I know sounds crazy but, Both he & I had to kind of reteach ourselves and really go full circle in order to know what to do. Now, I like to watch a lot of YouTube videos to soak in more inspiration when I can. Youtube is a great tool and Eric is on there, along with many other teachers and lessons. Recently I started doing intense metal vocals, which I never thought I would ever be doing. But I like to learn as many things a I can, from voice over work, to opera, Pop, Metal, Hip-op. My voice is the one instrument I like to pay attention to the most.
8. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative, and entertainment?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: Music that isn’t even necessarily made for cultural, spiritual or political purposes can still be turned into that. Music is spiritual. At the moment I am just trying to sound good, and make great sounding productions. I’ve had so much deep messaging in my music. A lot is about my own personal journey which ties into things like – life and capitalism being unfair, the problems humans face, the healthcare system even. A good friend of mine Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs is very political, he’s running for local city council in NYC & his songs aren’t necessarily politically driven but they are a vehicle for change. I love that, and grew up listening to a lot of music that had political & social messaging, anywhere from TLC to NAS to Anti-Flag whose from my same city & recently Erykah Badu, whose very spiritually in touch with herself. I notice with music sometimes people want to escape. I hate to say it but I think people are just finally getting back into the mood where they maybe want to hear deep concepts in their music again, because they’ve been so bombarded by things the past few years. When I do say something with strong messaging, I try to make it still cool & ambiguous and in a way that challenges me as a songwriter.
9. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: I’d rather have less and deserve more than have more and not deserve it (which is a very anti-American way of thinking) But I have been hearing myself say lately “I want more” I want more from this life, more of the good stuff. I am grateful that I get to do this and where I am is where I want to be. I do want to get to a point where I have more resources & have to worry less. I want to continue growing, & I want a bigger team sometime soon. I do want more. Artists are often the last to get paid and we do a lot for free. But I am good with where & how I spend my energy and I find myself booked & VERY Grateful for the opportunities I have. Leaving my gig this past weekend, I heard a roar of applause. I did not think it was for me, but when I turned around to see, no one else was there, I stood there and watched, frozen & confused & everyone was cheering for me, I said “Me?” They said “Yesss you Queen, great job, we had so much fun, we adore you”! My friend turned to me & said “No soak it in, you deserve this, you should feel good!” That’s a good friend, but also he’s right. And little moments like that, after being alone in my room, questioning things, suffering with my illness, feeling like the underdog or never good enough, that is a beautiful sign and it encourages me. It fills me up. You can always strive for more, but I’m learning in therapy to have GRATITUDE for what you do have & what I am. Instead of everything I don’t or am not. And that you can still grow without beating yourself up, if that makes sense. And it’s okay to know you deserve more. The world may want to dim your light, but you can ask for help, you can ask for more. I see myself getting to the place I want, and I’m here for the ride.
10. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: I get sent A LOT of beats, which I love!! Keep them coming!! I listen & if I find one, which I often do, that IS something I’ve been subconsciously drumming up or wanting to make… I will first come up with a flow, and then dive into a thousand pages of notes and rhymes to look for some ideas because I am always writing down little phrases or melodies. That can take a long time, so sometimes I write to the flow on the fly w/ very simple lyrics to fill it in. I drop a voice memo so I know what I’m thinking. I then go searching for the concept, which often times the beat will point you in a direction. I also like to come up with Melodies so I play the piano. I try to find the best flow patterns. This part is the funnest. I always say I try to give the song the life it’s meant to have. The song writes itself. I will practice this several times, and then either record at the studio or do a demo in my room. I keep it simple! And add from there if I feel I need to. But often times not adding too much. Sometimes you have to be patient, take a step back and give it a breather. Writing a song can be as easy or as complex as you want it to be. I kind of have a little routine. It is very fulfilling nailing your vision. What I am looking for right now, is more of a collaborative writing process. I am always doing everything alone, but lately I have been really in the mood to collaborate and I do that a lot with various different producers around the world. But I want to start writing more with people again, because I finally found some girls that are creatively on the same page as me. I love learning from other people too. I do VoiceOver work for different DJ’s & producers but when it comes to my own projects, I am very picky and selective about who I do collabs with.
11. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: First it was getting over the fear of not being able to live up to my own potential or other peoples expectations. Which can be a driving factor. But anxiety & pressure, I tend to perform better without it. So being able to stay calm and say “I got this” in high pressure situations and becoming comfortable in myself and abilities. Allowing myself to be open without fear, which is something I still am doing. Secondly but also the HARDEST Human Endeavor is dealing with a serious health condition on top of that. Anyone whose sick or has a disability can a test. I have a rare nasal breathing condition called “Empty Nose Syndrome”. Which sounds confusing & harmless but it’s god awful & has a high rate of people unaliving themselves. It is one of the rarest & most paradoxical conditions and happened after this doctor screwed up during my surgery. And breathing is very important to be able to perform & live. I had to go to doctors constantly, all kinds of weird tests, needles put into my nose, expensive treatments. Once I got it, I went into a super scared, dark, physically & mentally traumatizing era. I was no longer myself. I felt like I lost or could have lost everything I worked so hard for. It flipped my life upside down. Especially when I was finally coming to a place where I was comfortable in my abilities. The best place I could be, and then boom. I could barely work, I had to drop out of school, I couldn’t’t live a normal life. This new era, brought in a lot of great music, new styles and.. the mask. But I wish it never happened. Most people are scared to perform even without a breathing condition. I have anxiety as well. All of this is a testament to my strength. It has allowed me to open up and be vulnerable with my audience. And help others who are going through he same thing, While being an advocate. But It’s made me jaded about the healthcare industry & the American Justice System. this illness is not for the weak.. I have to manually breathe all day for the most part. I’m tired all the time. I get sick, I need a lot of downtime. Because I have to wear breathing devices most of the day I can’t work a normal job, So music is really all I have right now. Support is crucial. This is the hardest thing I’ve had to endure, harder than the the doubt, the anxiety, the depression (which it doesn’t help with) harder than the politics or sexism in the industry, the hard work, harder than having to ration food so you can live and make due. Harder than even being sick in the hospital as a kid.
12. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: There’s been several shows I can think back to & remember Where the crowd doesn’t know what to expect and people go wild. People have come on stage, accidentally knocking stuff over because they’re so pumped, or flipping tables. Sometimes yo don’t realize how moved people were until after, but it’s that stuff that really sticks. Winning my first Hip-Hop Competition in New York. Which I was not expecting. I was first starting out & heavy into hip-hop. This was around 2014. Another proud moment was wining another hip-hop competition when I was really sick after I got ENS. Knowing that even though I am sick, I can still do this. Winning Best Hip-Hop Artist in my city. However I became very sick during the Award Event. I still had a fun night but realized after that that I am allergic to humans. The moments I remember most are also usually how I think I did or felt, even if its alone. Like the first time I learned how to spit Eminem “Godzilla” or the first time I sang in whistle register. Or learned a challenging piece. But the best moments have been just how good the fans at my shows make me feel, having a line of people coming up wanting to buy merch or just take photos & share positive energy. I like to meet people and connect.
13. Do you think is it important for fans of your music to understand the real story and message driving each of your songs, or do you think everyone should be free to interpret your songs in their own personal way?
LEXA TERRESTRIAL: the song has life for eternity & I will always continue to spread the message of that song because they are timeless. Stories and lessons. But I feel much better knowing that someone can apply my lesson or message to their situation. I want people to interpret it as “I am going to be okay, I know I’m struggling right now, But I still matter and I am a badass” I am a very intricate person so I write in a way I think encompasses room for both.
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