Interview: Getting to Know LA’s “Aggressive Little Singer” Lexi Layne

Interview and Photos by Natasha Lewandowski

It’s not very often one expresses themselves through music in a way Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Lexi Layne does. Captivatingly beautiful but also giving a little sharp edge, you instantly are drawn in.

Curious on just who Lexi Layne is? Get to know her as I sat down with her to find out more!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are for those that don’t know. 

My name is Lexi Layne. I am an aggressive little singer. I do metal and rock music, and I’m very passionate about that. I grew up doing musical theater, so I’ve always been involved in musicality, and the musical side of things.

Would you say that’s a major reason on what got you inspired to dive into a music career?

Oh one hundred percent! I’ve been doing musical theater since I was 4, and did it until I was about 19. I competed and traveled, and it was great. It really molded me to be the performer that I am today. When you’re in musical theater, you have one shot.

I then found this shift of wanting to write my own music, and put my own spin on my creativity in a new way. As I was getting older evolving/maturing as a woman, I realized that I wanna be in the spotlight. Not in the theater sense anymore, but more in the rock and metal world and scene.

Who would you say musically are your biggest influences?

If we start back from when I was younger, artists like P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Joan Jett, Heart. Different kinds of genres of artists as well, like Chaka Khan & Whitney Houston. I always found myself singing those big, powerhouse songs because that’s where my voice kind of just resonated with.

What would you say has been the most challenging for you up until this point when writing music?

With writing music specifically, it’s so hard to find somebody that resonates on that energy and passion that you have for your craft. No one’s gonna understand your craft the way that you do. They are not typically in your brain and your mind.

With my first EP “Sinner and Saint”, I worked with Clint Fowler, who is a really good friend of mine, and he just got it. He understood me, knew what I was trying to put out. My lyrics matched his musicality beautifully.

Now I’m working on a full length album with Kevin McCombs (Papa Roach, Story of the Year), and he’s absolutely insane and so talented. The way he sits in my brain with all the new music we’re writing, it’s lawless. I wouldn’t change anything.

From ‘Sinner and Saint’ to your new record, would you say there’s been an evolution of your sound?

Oh one hundred percent. I think Sinner and Saint was a really great starting point for me, of me, as a musician, as a woman. What I’m really trying to put out into the world and for my listeners is an album that is way more evolved. It’s more aggressive sounding. There’s also certain things I’m experiencing with my vice that I haven’t done with Sinner and Saint. I’ll let you kind of figure out what that is.

It is an evolution. That’s the beautiful thing about being an artist and a creative is we’re always evolving. And I think every musician’s outlet is an album, an EP, or a song. They’re like books of our lives, pretty much documenting it.

How do you deal with creative blocks or performance anxiety?

As far as creative anxiety or creative blocks, I’m very hard on myself. I am my own worst critic, but I also know how to give myself stillness and space. If I’m not feeling that something’s coming out the way that I need it to or the way that I know I can do it, I’ll actually just back away from it. I won’t put that pressure on. Myself to really get it done, because then it’s not authentic and organic. If I’m having trouble with the song, I’ll stop and then come back when I’m ready.

As far as anxiety with performance, it’s gonna sound actually really insane, but I haven’t gotten stage anxiety. And I think that’s where the whole theater thing kicks back because I grew up doing it. So for me, It’s more of like excited adrenaline that’s running.

Do you feel a sense of freedom not being signed to a major record label?

There is this feeling of having the freedom of being an independent artist. I have the freedom to do what I want with my own music, et cetera. I really give credit to a lot of independent artists right now, especially when it comes to the whole finance…bigger labels taking larger percentages than personally, I agree, is correct.

But I’m not closed off to the idea if a label approached me. If the deal felt good, and me and my producer are in agreement.

What do you hope to accomplish down the road with your music?

With this new album, it’s been a really healing and spiritual journey doing all this new music. I think once it comes out and people understand the theme and tone of where I went with the album, people will be like ‘okay, that’s why it was so healing’. I’m open to whatever is positive for this whole record.

I also want to tour, and I always get messages like “hey, when are you going on tour?” But you know, touring is really expensive. But I know it’s in my blood and I know it will happen.

But for now, I just want my listeners to enjoy the new music that I’m about to put out. I want people to resonate on their own terms with all the music.

Speaking of the new record, how’s the progress on it so far?

We are moving really fast. We started in early December of 2022 with writing the whole record. I wanna say that we only have two more songs to actually write for the album.

Everything else is like done. What we’re doing right now is going back and recording final vocals versus demo vocals, real recording drums and guitars. Really tightening everything up and adding synths, polishing everything to perfection. We’re taking our time because I don’t wanna put something out that I was like “oh, let me just rush to put something out just to get something out”. I want it done the right way. So we are moving along.

What I can say is the first single off the new album is in the final mixing stages. Music video for the next single is done as well. Expect a drop between the end of August or early September.

Outside of music, what else do you like doing?

I do burlesque. At the moment, me and my best friend Harley Harpurr have a burlesque company called the Moonshine Maidens. It’s improv burlesque, it’s super fun, and it’s an outlet. Sometimes I’ll sing while she dances. So it’s our own little motif going on there.

As far as me as a person, I just like having space, and like what I like to do for fun. I love amusement parks. I’m a health junkie, so I like love to go to the gym and taking care of myself. I really enjoy having a lot of alone time.

I feel like sometimes that is when if I’m in search of something, that’s when I find what I’m looking for as well.

I’m also a foodie. I’m Italian and Spanish, so like I love good food.

If you could choose any occupation other than music, what would it be?

I really don’t know. I think there’s a difference between going to school and studying a craft, or being a lawyer or doctor, which is a beautiful thing. But when you’re born with something that you’ve resonated with your whole life, it’s what you always were meant to do. I couldn’t imagine not doing music.

The only other thing that kind of resonates with me because I do also have my own personal training company, would just be a full time personal trainer. But that still would not fulfill me in any kind of way as being in the creative field does.

If somebody said to me, “hey you can’t sing anymore”, I’d be like ‘then what am I supposed to do with my life?’. When it comes to music and singing and creating in that aspect, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Any last minute remarks?

Be on the lookout for the new album that will come out in 2024, as well as the new single dropping VERY soon! I don’t have a name yet, but very soon!!

Follow Lexi on Instagram: @lexi_layne

Sinner and Saint is available on all streaming services

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