“I am living a dream out here and it’s really nice, I am one of the lucky ones,” Lexy Panterra tells us through a slightly laggy phone connection, “but I know a lot of people are in really shitty situations which really sucks.” Lexy is speaking three months after the release of her acclaimed record A Gemini Valentine and approximately one month after the world went into complete shutdown (though who’s counting?)
“I’m on a farm right now at a family house in Petaluma, California. We have acres of land and the outdoors is just so beautiful. We have motocross bikes, bicycles, I have a studio set up here – right now I am fully into it.”
Now that the world has stopped, work has slowed and isolation has left us feeling more disconnected than ever, jumping on a long-distance call (London – Petaluma, California explaining said connection-lag) and chatting with the multi-faceted, inspirationally energetic and ever-positive Lexy Panterra couldn’t have come at a better time. First breaking out in 2015 with a collection of viral ‘Twerk Freestyle’ videos that amassed over 400 million streams across multiple platforms, Lexy has continued to grow a brand that puts women at the forefront of its mission. Her free-spirited and innovative take on working out has led to the likes of Iggy Azaelia, Mel B and Snoop Dogg reaching out to get in on a slice of the action.
This growing platform – now home to 2.7 million on Instagram and over 2 million on YouTube – has enabled Lexy’s career to fork in several directions, most recently leading to the release of her journalistic new EP, comprising five songs that perfectly weave their way through all the emotions of daily life, troublesome ex-boyfriends and flourishing new love interests. Yet, for someone who is used to doing so much – a professional dancer, YouTube star, entrepreneur, influencer, actor and singer-songwriter – it seems more than unusual that I should be speaking to Lexy over the phone from both our respective isolation camps. With a new way of living to wrap our heads arounds, Lexy talks us through how she is managing to stay connected with her community, remain positive, create innovative content, and grow her vibrant brand.
How are you, really?
“I just did an Instagram Live, it was good! I worked out for about 30 minutes. Although, I had a headache all night, it was so bad. I woke up with a headache too, but right now it’s feeling much better. I think I just need to start drinking more water.
Honestly, I’m doing pretty good. I’m usually the type of girl that goes out and works all the time – I don’t really party a lot, but I am always out, you know what I mean? So, now is just a chance for me to stay inside and get stuff done that I haven’t really had time to focus on before. It has been a really good experience for me, I’ll be honest. Luckily, I’ve been around all my loved ones and all my family.”
Walk us through your daily quarantine routine.
“I wake up, I have a TwerkOut live-streaming class at 11AM with LTO Fitness (which is my brand); I do some twerk videos for my OnlyFans page which I just started; then because I have my sister here I make us all breakfast… I have been learning how to cook! So, that is another really good thing. I know breakfast is easy, but I can cook full meals now which is awesome, so I have been doing that. After that we will all hang outside and maybe go on the ATV bikes or play with the paintball guns; we eat some lunch, then it’s time for me to go into the studio. I brought one of my best friends here who is helping me work on my next project, so him and I will go into the studio for a couple hours.
After that we will probably hang out in the jacuzzi for a little bit and chill some more, before we go back into the studio again for the rest of the evening. Our studio here is actually really cool, it’s in an RV which kinda looks like a tour bus and we will work there until 2-3AM in the morning. Then I go to bed and repeat. I am super blessed.
I normally live in Los Angeles, so this is about a five-and-a-half-hour drive for me. I was actually born over here before I moved to LA, so I wanted to come back here as it feels much safer with there being less people around.”
What have you been bingeing during quarantine?
“I have been listening to a lot of rap music, I watched a bit of Ozark, I wasn’t really into Tiger King so I stopped that. Honestly, I don’t really watch a lot of TV. But I have been reading a book on Psycho-Cybernetics which is really awesome, it is just about self-improvement and the way we think and all that.”
Do you have an isolation uniform?
“I only have two outfits: a full sweatsuit outfit or workout gear. You’ll see me in my leggings and sports bras and shorts and tennis shoes, my style just pretty much goes back-and-forth between all that. I love sweats and honestly I just want to live in them so it’s very normal for me, especially if you get the cool ones.”
How are you managing to stay connected during this time?
“I definitely see the shift in social media right now, so I am taking advantage of it. I stopped twerking for a while because I am really trying to focus on my music. The TwerkOuts didn’t officially stop as I still have classes going on, but I wasn’t so included in it. I haven’t really been dancing on my page for a couple of years now. So, with more free time I wanted to jump back into it. Naturally I was just like ‘Yo I wanna twerk again!’
I always want to dance to new records and to all the new tracks on Billboard but honestly, I am just tired of putting out free content. If I’m going to put out content, then I want to get paid for it. So, I was thinking about what the best platform would be and because I have a lot of male followers who all want to see me shake my butt, I joined OnlyFans. Yes, it does have a lot of nude, overly sexualised content on there, but twerking gets away with it and they really like me on there. I am always wearing my normal outfits that I would wear on my Instagram and I am doing the exact same thing that I have been doing publicly for six years, yet I have made a shit tonne of money in one weak and it is pretty insane. I should have done this a long time ago.
YouTube doesn’t pay enough; Facebook is not paying me, and Instagram doesn’t pay me – I don’t want to give away free content! If you’re comfortable enough to do whatever you want to do on there, I am all for it. Go get your money!”
How are things with A Gemini Valentine? Could you tell us more about how you are coping with the sudden changes in your promotional schedule?
“The situation we are in has definitely changed things for me. Now, we can’t make music videos and we are having to find alternatives which no one has really figured out just yet. I haven’t seen anyone put out a quarantine-made music video, it is hard! I’m just going to try put out content and build a group of girls – that’s my goal, I want to build a bigger female fanbase because I really think the girls will like my music when they find it.
Naturally – like everybody – I am just trying to figure out what content to make right now. I do think I am going to make a couple of music videos, but I don’t think they will be for any track off A Gemini Valentine, I think they will be for my new project.”
“I am super focused. I have been given an opportunity to slow down and pay attention to things that I haven’t paid attention to before and I love it.”
Let’s go back in time and talk about the making of the EP. How was the writing and recording process for you, and how did that process differ to the making of your current project?
“They are completely different. The tracks off A Gemini Valentine were made over 3 years and I gathered a couple records from the past that I thought would match and fit with my theme. Lots of my records are about love and relationships because that is pretty much the only thing that inspires me.
This current project is completely different because I came here with it in my mind that. I wanted to make this; I have only been here 4 days and yet I have put together 7 records. They are coming out great, but I am really nervous as it is something so different for me. I know it is good, but I don’t know how good. It is going so much smoother than any other project I have done before, which is fucking awesome.”
Why should we listen to Lexy Panterra’s music?
“I would love you to listen because I know how music makes me feel, and the things I have written about I think that a lot of people can relate to. I just want my music to fit a person’s mood and be their jam! Just like Frank Ocean was my jam.”
What have you learnt about yourself as a musician over the past year?
“I have learnt that with practice you become better. I have seen my progress and I am extremely proud of myself. It took me a while to realise Oh shit, I am actually a good singer. Negative comments get me really fucked up and mess with my confidence, but now I realise that I work hard, and I make good music and I am proud of myself.”
“If you don’t have confidence in this industry, then no one is going to believe in your music.”
Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
“I would love to do something with Rihanna or Cardi B, or Megan Thee Stallion – some rapper chicks! My goal is to perform at some award shows, and I really can’t wait to go on tour.”
Your career has taken you in many directions – dancer, YouTube star, recording artist, influencer, actor – are there any other avenues you would love to explore?
“I feel like I have done everything – I like to act, and make clothing, and dance, and sing…If I wasn’t doing this I would 100% create some sort of organisation, and I would do this with my mum. I want us to start something and get into supporting charities that aid child-trafficking sufferers or help women. A non-profit is something I really want to get into.”
You have built a brand that puts female empowerment at the forefront of its mission. What advice can you give to girls?
“Having confidence is the hardest, but the only way you are 100% going to be at your best is when you are being yourself. You are your own self, no one is you, no one has your skin, you are your best version. Be yourself and people are going to love you.”
Photographer: Ron Mey
Creative Director: Serafini
Assistant Photographer: Julian Morales