Chicago native Lexi is on her way to leaving her imprint on the genre of R&B.
The songstress recently signed with record label Preach records and releases her newest single Just Breathe March 5. Chicago has made an impact on “the culture” and the city she calls home has influenced her in many ways. The Knockturnal spoke with the singer about her new single Just Breathe, working with Chance the Rapper, and her Chi-town roots.
The Knockturnal: You just signed with Preach records. What are you looking forward to doing musically this year with the label?
itoldLexi: Yes I did!! I am super happy and eager to see what the future has in store for me. I’m definitely looking forward to putting out music with more support and with the help of a team. I’m also really looking forward to seeing my visions coming to life. So many ideas and concepts flow in my head, so it feels progressive and exciting to know that everything is coming into fruition.
The Knockturnal: Being a Chicago native, how has the city influenced you?
itoldLexi: Chicago has definitely made me realize how unique we really are. I feel like I am so outspoken and unapologetically myself because of this city. Musically there is room for everyone to create their authentic selves. Whether it’s listening to Chicago blues, turning up at Lollapalooza or screaming Lil Durk’s lyrics driving down lake shore drive, I feel like we’re just built a little different. My music taste is diverse and I hope that allows my music to bring in interest from all different types of people. I don’t know if Chicago women have defined a sound yet, especially in the RnB world, but I’m hoping to be a part of that process.
The Knockturnal: Being from Chicago you’ve been able to work with some big names here such as Chance the Rapper, what was that experience like for you?
itoldLexi: Working with Chance is always such an honor. I love his love for aspiring hometown musicians and artístics. His musical director, Peter Cottontale, is who originally brought me into my first Chance gig, and I’m forever grateful. You really get to peek inside the industry and see how many people it takes to put on mass productions and shows. It’s so fun to love what you do and be that close to your dream. It really just makes me want to work even harder.
The Knockturnal: With studying music at Berklee College of Music, how has that prepared you for being in the industry?
itoldLexi: I always laugh with my friends from school and say that Berklee is like a mini-industry, but in a way it very much is. Berklee provides great education and great opportunity, but at the end of the day, much like the industry, what you give is what you get. Berklee has definitely helped and encouraged me to always network and be a constant brand. You never know who is in the room and who is watching you. Berklee has also pushed me to be more confident in myself as an artist. To really be set in stone in who I am and recognize what makes me different and noticeable. Talent is just the first step, but the work ethic, drive, and personality counts for so much more.
The Knockturnal: What has been your inspiration for your new music?
itoldLexi: This upcoming single is really a letter to myself to just breathe. This last year has been so overwhelming for everyone, and in the hardest moments, I’ve constantly had to remind myself to take a moment and just relax. We can’t always control the things that happen to us, but we can control how we let them affect us. I’m far from perfect, but remembering to honor life and breath helps me find peace in difficult times.
The Knockturnal: With your single being released March 5 how does it feel to know that this project is about to become available to the public?
itoldLexi: I am super excited for people to hear what I’ve been working on. It’s been a little over a year since I’ve released music so it’s a nerve-racking, but also thrilling. I really hope people like the vibes, and that it helps them understand me a little bit better as a person and an artist. It’s also such an amazing feeling to release music for the first time with Preach Records. I can’t wait to look back on this moment and count it as a milestone.
The Knockturnal: How does just breathe differ from other projects you’ve released in the past?
itoldLexi: Well my first single was Black Girl Magic, which at the time felt very personal to put out, but I’m so happy I did. After that I released another single, You Promised, which was the single prefacing my first EP. I also dropped a music video for that single and that was a lot of fun because it felt like I was growing more into myself as an artist. Releasing the EP and the amount of support I got was such an amazing feeling and I’m still extremely grateful for the constant support and streams today. What’s similar about those is they were all released within the same year of 2019. Now it’s 2021 – I feel likeI’ve grown up just a little and the world has gone through some extreme changes. I just hope that this song differs because it allows people to feel like they’ve grown with me through this time, in a way. That it’s okay to not have everything together and to ride the lows and the highs.