- Words Yazzi Gokcemen
Future alt-pop queen and Sex Education star Anthony Lexa talks her ever-evolving sound, making music as catharsis and helping others to feel seen.
Anthony Lexa was launched into the public spotlight this September. Landing on our screens as a lead character in Netflix’s Sex Education, the multifaceted creative plays Abbi: a BNOC who brought the series its first transgender power couple. Adding even more strings to her bow, last Friday, she dropped a new single, lighting up people’s playlists with beautiful alt-pop bops. This may come as a surprise to some but, Sex Education karaoke scenes aside, the 23-year-old has been finding catharsis in music-making for some time.
In 2019, Anthony announced herself to the world with three indie-pop songs. Having been on a journey of creative exploration and self-discovery, she has worked with new producers and an array of different sounds to return with ‘Early Nights’. It’s a heartfelt track that the rising artist wants listeners to receive like a warm hug, though goosebumps are also likely.
Deeply personal, the track reflects her experiences as a trans woman seeking authentic, healthy relationships. Offering a healing process, Anthony is determined to make her community feel seen and use her art to drive positive change.
Thanks to her newfound stardom, Anthony’s latest electric single is set to reach a wide audience and catalyse her musical career. At this pivotal moment, we sit down with Anthony Lexa and learn just how big she’s dreaming.
Hi Anthony! How are you feeling about having your new track out in the world?
It’s always scary to release your art to the world. As a July born cancer, everything I create is so close to my heart so it’s a vulnerable but exciting opportunity to share a piece of myself.
I always want my music to feel like a warm hug. I think it’s important to be raw and open with emotion when creating art, but I like to create more positive and dance-inspired beats to make people feel like it’s okay to celebrate and dance through their pain. So get those PJs on and dance around your room like it’s the hottest club in Berlin, babies.
Music is about healing for me, and I find particular catharsis in exploring lots of different genres and blending them within my own sound. Indie pop girls like Maisie Peters and Orla Gartland inspire my dance-focused indie pop. Timbaland’s bassline, Timberlake’s R&B vocals, the odd Arctic Monkeys guitar solo and Gorillaz’s electronic touches all inspire me too. Olivia Dean is also a huge lyrical inspiration.
I was surrounded by a lot of hyper-pop growing up, which sparked my desire to explore emotion through dance and electronic music. Apparently, at two years old, I would stand in front of our cassette player every day dancing to ‘Spinning Around’ by Kylie Minogue, with a torch as a microphone and a tea towel as hair. The Scissor Sisters were also a regular favourite of mine, which I believe you can hear in my love for falsetto.
The fact that ‘Early Nights’ can highlight the complex and contradicting emotions I feel with regard to love, as a trans woman, is so affirming to me, so thank you. I’m the biggest believer that music can be interpreted in so many different ways, even by the artist. When I wrote this song, it came from a place of wanting to be seen by someone as more than a secret or experiment, but an imperfect yet lovable human. Now, I think it’s such an important time to release this track as it reflects my yearning for stability. I’ve lived in London for several years now, and you can get swept up in the fast-paced lifestyle. I want ‘Early Nights’ to feel like a grateful love letter to all the small things in life that we don’t necessarily treasure within relationships. Like a cup of tea, or reading a book in bed before 10 PM.
Growing up in rural Devon really helped me understand the importance of representation in the media. When you don’t see yourself reflected in your community then it’s even more vital that you can find that visibility and sense of belonging elsewhere, or it’s so easy to end up feeling isolated and alien. Online culture became so important for me growing up, with people like Troye Sivan and drag artists like Trixie Mattel and Shea Couleé gaining traction whilst I was in my teens.
I am very much human, and an artist first and foremost. As long as my art can help people feel seen, and they can use it to understand their own stories then that is all I could wish for my career. I want to represent my wider community. I hope that people hear my music and are reminded to support their local Queer music nights or find a new LGBTQIA+ artist to listen to, or even begin creating their own art themselves.
The beauty of the music industry is that it is always developing and changing to fit the mould created by society. I try to not be influenced too much by the industry, and I feel super grateful to be surrounded by art that still inspires me so much, and encourages me to create and put out my own work. That gives me hope that the music industry will always be a positive and cathartic outlet for people to explore themselves.
I am always growing. The more self aware I become, the more I understand my art. I create music as a way of healing and learning, so I definitely feel like it’s a perfect time to return to the music industry and explore a new side to myself.
Growing boobs was a hard one, but finally after three years on hormone therapy, I can safely say they’re here and thriving. Also, the girlies know that they hurt like hell when they’re coming in.
Art for me is so personal. I just want to use my creativity to express parts of myself that I find hard to communicate. If anything I create resonates with my followers, I hope they feel seen and can take from it what helps them.
I am such a mum at heart. Honestly, making food is my love language. As long as I have a chopping board and some onions at my disposal I can unwind by cobbling together a pasta or tahini veg to feed my loved ones. Please come round for a dinner party, my heart will be happy.
All I could hope for is that I’m still being inspired and enjoying as much art as I am now. I am very excited about new bands like FIZZ, and I hope that in five years I am still being pushed to adapt and develop my own art through inspiration. I also hope that I see many more trans and Queer artists alongside me, who I can collaborate with and empower me to keep creating myself. On the note of collaborations, it would be a dream to have worked with some of my favourite artists in five years. The names that stand out are Loyle Carner, Disclosure and Dodie. Also, if my boobs are another size bigger that would be great.