Lexi, a professional musician and the founder of Women of Westfield Mini Music Fest, is our new highlight. Learn more about her life motto and what inspires her.
“Don’t apologize for who you are and embrace your weirdness!”
Can you tell me about your background?
I’ve been studying music since I was about 8 years old. I grew up in Western Massachusetts. I graduated High School and jumped right into making music as my career. It’s my passion and I am so thankful that I get to make my living doing something I love so much. Over the course of the last 10+ years, I’ve tried to educate myself in many different styles of singing. I started with show-tunes and worked my way into classical pieces. I performed in a few rock bands which lead to a love of the blues and a passion for jazz. Currently, I am obsessed with roots music and classic country. I’ve started teaching myself guitar!
What made you realize you want to pursue a career in music?
As far back as I can remember, music made me feel a sense of purpose and excitement unlike anything else. As soon as learned how to make words I was singing. I can remember running around as a little one as my mother blasted “Please, Please Me” in the kitchen, fascinated by those beautiful harmonies and the mop tops that went with them! I got my first gig in a Cabaret show when I was 8 years old performing a Streisand song. I got to rock a sweet velvet dress.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
For anyone trying to pursue music, go for it! Doing what you love is the most rewarding thing life has to offer. Practice, work hard, go to shows, have fun and be true to yourself. Don’t apologize for who you are and embrace your weirdness!
What was the reason of holding Women of Westfield Mini Music Fest?
The Woman Of Westfield festival was so rewarding! I grew up in Westfield and there is virtually no place for younger people to enjoy music. There are a few bars that have cover bands and the occasional show, but most are 21+, which sucks. When I was a teenager, music really helped me to get through the shitty times. Going to shows was such a blessing. Being surrounded by like-minded people in a safe space, meeting folks who would eventually become lifelong friends and bandmates and getting to dance and enjoy music really helped shape me into the woman I am today.
Was there any specific goal you want to achieve with it?
My goal for the festival was to give the woman a safe space to share their art, bring some music and art to a town that needs some love and most importantly, I wanted to show younger women that music CAN be your career and you CAN, SHOULD and NEED to make art. I am happy to report that we were successful and at the end of the festival, two elementary school girls told me how much they enjoyed the music and that the two recently started a band. Shout-out to the Mass Cultural Council for giving me the grant to make the Fest happen!
Are there any plans for similar festivals in the future?
I would love to do more festivals in the future! And on a smaller scale, I’ve been really into the idea of setting up more all female songwriter rounds. It’s always so great to hear the stories behind the songs!
It’s always so great to collaborate with people you love and respect and turn that good energy into art for people to enjoy. Both of the women who performed were very dear friends of mine. I met both Kelsey and Wishbone Zoe in jazz band back in High School. I’m so proud of both of them and am truly fortunate to get to perform alongside such wonderful, talented women!
Who/what was inspired you to become the person you are today?
At then end of the day, I would not be who I am today without music. I would not have survived some of the darker times without it. I’ve discovered who I am through performing and have been able to exorcise some serious demons. It’s OKAY to be sexy, It’s OKAY to say what you mean/feel and not apologize for who you are. The incredible musicians I get to work with and the people I meet in my travels constantly inspire me. It’s hard to narrow down one thing or person who inspires me, but if I had to pick one, I would choose my sister Tally, who survived her battle with brain cancer and is currently kicking ass at college and tearing it up as an artist! She specializes in origami and makes beautiful jewelry and scarves. She’s a champion.
Do you have any story funny, touching, or important to you that you’d like to share with us?
It’s so hard to pick just one. This year especially was a big one for me! I released a 7″ vinyl that I am super proud of, assembled a great band and have continued to make a living pursuing my dream.
I have always struggled with anxiety. I psych myself out for shit way too easily, especially when it comes to travel. This year I planned, promoted and hit the road ALONE for the very first time. It was scary! There were a lot of moments where I felt so alone. But I fucking did it. I conquered one of my greatest fears, made some great new friends and enjoyed a fruitful tour.
What are your passions in life?
I’m very passionate about nutrition and lead a plant-base lifestyle. The fuel you put in your body is so important! There’s a lot of weird mystery stuff in our food and people are getting sicker every day. More kale, please!
I collect (some would say hoard) vinyl. I try to grab a record from every town I hit on tour. There’s an awesome record shop a few miles from my house called Platterpus Records, where the 50 cent bins are filled with treasure and there’s even a dog chillin’ by the register. My favorite find from Platterpus (and there are seriously so many dope albums I’ve found) was an album called “I Remember Patsy,” which was Loretta Lynn’s take on a few of Cline’s classic tunes. The B side of the record features Loretta talking about how much Patsy meant to hear, how they became best friends and what a special woman she was. If you are ever in Easthampton Ma, stop in.
What does Boston mean to you?
The Burren Backroom Music series in Somerville. I’ve met some incredible individuals there. I cut my teeth there. I’ve had some wonderful late night beers and enjoyed some beautiful music.