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Lexa: women have been working twice as hard Lexa: women have been working twice as hard Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine

Interview

Lexa: women have been working twice as hard

Lexa
Lexa | Photo by Brenda Sangi

The Brazilian artist Lexa has joined the conversation about gender equality and the role of women in the urban music and popular culture.

She is famous for her upbeat music, challenging choreographies, kindness, and defending her role as a proud feminist. In this exclusive interview for Vanity Teen, Lexa talks about her life, career, up and downs, and new projects.

I invite you to keep reading to get to know her even closer and find out why she considers that, in the entertainment industry, women have been working twice as hard to succeed.

Lexa
Lexa | Photo by Brenda Sangi

Women have been working twice as hard

VT: Despite being one of the most famous Brazilian artists nowadays, one of the things you like to be introduced as a proud feminist. Why do you consider it is important to vindicate the role of women in our societies?

Lexa: Unfortunately, our society is still very sexist. Girls and women still suffer in their family circle, in their family, and even with their own friends. Salaries between men and women are clearly not equal, women are harassed every day in the streets, and their voices aren’t heard.

In the artistic world, we are still very objectified; we are good as our body is. For this and other reasons, I say that, for a woman to get as much credit as a man, she has to work twice as hard.

When I say that I am a feminist, I am not just saying it for myself but all women in Brazil and the world. The claim for the right to exist and be respected is for all.

As a public figure, it is also my role to make this struggle noticeable and make all women feel represented; also, make more and more people reflect on their acts.

VT: What do you think about the fact that some have been trying to shade women like you who celebrate and promote urban music?

Lexa: Well, popular street music and art, especially the ones from the favelas, were never well received by the upper classes. They are the ones who have always tried to decide what art is and what it isn´t. But when they see poor people, people from the favelas succeeding with their own art, they start shaking at the bottom.

The prejudice that funk and rap suffer today, samba has already suffered it back in the ’50s.

Some in Brazilian society look down on women who came from where I came, who sings what I sing, who dances and wears the clothes the same way I do. And the only thing they can think of is that my success has only to do with my body. Firstly, because as a woman, I’m already very objectified, like I said before. 

Secondly, because there is resistance to funk and what people don’t recognize is that urban art is the essence of Brazilian Culture. Funk is being recognized internationally; the world is opening up to funk. Street art, urban and popular art is a source of pride. I’m proud of my art and my music.

Everything I achieved was done honestly and with a lot of love. So I think these people are missing out on taking advantage, on exploring one of the best things Brazil can offer. Those who are willing to break this way of thinking will be very welcome to urban music spaces. And those who still resist funk, I don’t want them at my shows.

VT: Your latest single is called Taradinha. What can you tell us about this collaboration with Kevinho and Hitmaker? For those who do not know Portuguese, how would you define what Taradinha is?

Lexa: Taradinha is a woman who is not afraid of people being judgmental. She does what she wants. She’s also the one who doesn’t let anyone standing still and is always in a party mood.

Lexa, Kevinho & Hitmaker  ̶  Taradinha

The Carnaval is a huge part of my life

VT: What is your relationship with the Brazilian carnival?

Lexa: I entered this Carnaval world when I was a child because of my mother, who had a lot of roles inside Samba schools; she was a dancer, she was a muse, she featured on the floor and the sound truck. She was the queen of drums, and I was always with her.

I loved being in the backstages, listening to the noises and the instruments.

I have amazing memories of this part of my childhood. It was at this stage of my life that I learned how to play the tambourine. I was 11 years old. And After this, I started my artistic career; I was the muse of Mocidade drums (famous Samba School), also the queen of Unidos de Bangu, and now I’m the queen of Unidos da Tijuca.

The Carnaval is a huge part of my life, and it is the main element of Só Depois do Carnaval, which is part of the trilogy that changed my career.

VT: As dancing has been another positive aspect of your life, even more, when we see on social media that people use your music and challenges to stay active and work out, how do you feel about knowing people use dance and your music as a way to express themselves and stay fit?

Lexa: I think it’s wonderful. Dancing is part of my life and knowing that people can stay active and be healthier with the company of my music makes me very happy.

Dances and choreographies are also present in most of my music videos.

VT: You also have been confident about showing the real you to your fans, and recently, you released the documentary Lexa: Mostra esse poder (Show that power). What motivates you to share your origins and invite people to know you more intimately?

Lexa: The main motivation is to encourage people to fight for their dreams. Life is hard, and sometimes you fall, but you need to get up and keep your head up.

I also wanted people to see that artists are made of flesh and blood: they have fears, they cry, they suffer, they laugh, they have happy days, others not so much, just like all human beings. I really like the documentary because of that.

And, finally, because I am very proud of my story of having achieved what I dreamed of without having to hurt anyone else or myself.

Lexa: women have been working twice as hard Lexa: women have been working twice as hard Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine
Lexa | Photo by Brenda Sangi

Let’s fight together for better days

VT: Which message would you like to share with those young people who are struggling to find out ways to go for their dreams?

Lexa: May you never give up on your dreams. If it’s not working, change the path, but don’t give up. You need to be strong and believe in yourself.

VT: Anything else you would like to tell the readers of Vanity Teen?

Lexa: It was such a pleasure to be able to talk with you. If you want to know more about me and my music, you can watch the Globoplay documentary and follow me on social media. Let’s fight together for better days!

Lexa: women have been working twice as hard Lexa: women have been working twice as hard Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine
Lexa | Photo by Brenda Sangi

Before we go

Urban music has not gender but people who are willing to let their voices be heard, enjoy, and show their culture. And even when the entertainment industry has been trying to diminish or shade the role of women, artists like Lexa have risen with pride to show the world women can do whatever they want. 

Lexa has invited us to fight for better days; thus, let us join her in this journey for equality and let us use love and acceptance as our main weapon.

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