Alexis Allen, known to the world as Lexi, is proof that you can have it all with perseverance, hard work and a strong spiritual foundation. Not only is Lexi an accomplished singer/songwriter, but she is also an actress, director, producer, entertainment correspondent, and TV host with her own talk show in it’s 6th season on the Word Network! Makes you feel like you need to pick up another hobby or job… doesn’t it?
Now after healing from a devastating loss of losing her husband, Lexi is back to her first love with her first new album in several years called, “Phenonmenal.”
I recently spoke to Lexi about the new project and I also got her take on some newsworthy current events!
Let’s talk about your new project “Phenonmenal.” How long has it been since your last CD?
AGES!! Tooooooo long. So long, I can’t remember. I really can’t. It’s been forever.
So, why now?
I just wanted to get back to music. It’s a part of me. I do it every Sunday being a praise and worship leader at my home church. But also, I wasn’t mentally or emotionally ready. God allowed me to finishing healing from the death of my husband. I think I lost my taste to do music because he was my producer, he was my co-writer, and I didn’t want to do it anymore because we did that together. It took until now to even attempt to do it.
The new single “Burn It All Down” is not the traditional, contemporary or urban sound we’re used to hearing from you. Were you concerned about how it would be received?
Not at all, because after Forever Jones did “He Wants it All” and William McDowell came with his music…church is changing. It’s less of the traditional sound that we’re used to and it’s more of “I Give Myself Away.” So, I didn’t really think it was a big departure from where we are now and where church has evolved.
What does the song “Burn It All Down” mean?
I’ll give you some of the lyrics from the verse. “If my ambition blocks the path where you lead, and if drive directs my heart from destiny, Lord if I ever lose my way and my own desire over take me with your holy fire, burn it all down.” So, it goes back directly to what we were talking about earlier with pride and celebrities beefin’ with each other. In R&B, focusing on self may be ok, but in gospel, we’re supposed to know better. If all we’re talking about is the houses we’re getting and the cars and we’re talking less about the cross, what are we doing? We’re missing the message. We’ve gotten lost somewhere. We’ve started talking more about prosperity and got further and further away from the cross. Is prosperity a great message? Absolutely. Is it the only message? No! Prosperity alone will not help you. But the cross and the work that He did on Calvary is what we have to get back to. If all we’re talking about is reach up and pull it down, we’re missing it!
When you put your blood, sweat, and tears into project and it doesn’t perform the way you wanted it to, do you go back and re-evaluate everything and try to figure out why it didn’t work?
I don’t! You cannot second-guess yourself, especially musically. It’s what you think is good at that time. When you make a piece of music, you listen to it over and over again before you go to the next song. And once it’s out, it took months to make that happen. So, at the end of it all, if it doesn’t do well, you can’t second-guess and say, “Well maybe it wasn’t a good project.” No, it is what it is! You liked it at the time. It’s not like buying a car and saying I wanted a different color. Music is different. You created it, you listened to it, and you believed in it at the time, so you can’t keep going back.
Why is it when a scandal comes out in the gospel industry, it’s usually the man that gets caught up? Is it that women don’t do anything wrong? What is it?
I think what it is, is that inherently, over all, women are not cheaters. If you’re talking in terms of scandal, women are not cheaters. I mean, ever since the movie “Boomerang,” people have been talking about Robin Givens, but typically, we’re not like that. Traditionally women are nurturers. We really want to be with one guy. Besides, that’s the age-old double standard. Men can go out and get a bunch of girls, but if a girl does that, she’s a hoe. It has been like that since the beginning of the earth. So, I’m not saying that we don’t do anything, but inherently, that’s not who we are.
If an artist is caught in a compromising situation do you think they should step away and let things quiet down or should they carry on with business as usual?
The church says sit down. We’ve done that for so long. They want you to sit down and be embarrassed. And that’s the wrong message to send. In Pentecostal churches, if a young girl got pregnant, they made you get up and apologize to the church as if you wronged the church. That has scarred people. There was a time when hell and brimstone were being preached and those were the only messages you heard, but now grace and love are being preached more. Why…because they are trying to make up for lost time. We have damaged so many people by having them come to the church for forgiveness, as if you’ve wronged them. But, that’s not what the word of God tells us to do. Jesus never said, “Ask the whole community to forgive you when you sin.” When the scribes and Pharisees brought the adulterous woman to Jesus, He didn’t send her out to the community. He took up for her. He said, “He who is without the sin, cast the first stone.” So, not only do you not have to apologize, they can’t stone you, either. So, why are we doing what Jesus never did? And you cannot tell me that kids today are so amazingly absent from videos and suggestive lyrics in Rap and R&B, that they’ve never seen anything like this until someone in church or a gospel artist ends up in a predicament. Personally, I’m just not with it. I can’t believe that one person would change everything and it would send the wrong message.
Let’s talk about a few topics that were in the news recently. What did you think of the Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey feud? Do you think it was a publicity stunt?
I didn’t care about any of it because I don’t trust it. It looks like egos run amuck to me. I study pride and ego a lot and there is something about pride that is fascinating to me because it started with Lucifer. Pride makes you forget the gift you have, is really just that, a gift. You didn’t buy it, you didn’t do anything to get it…it was given to you. So, to be arrogant in any way, about a gift that was freely given to you, and to think that you’re so awesome within yourself that you have the authority to have beef with anybody is retarded. It doesn’t make any sense. Because that makes me think that you honestly believe that everything you’ve amassed, you got it because you’re great, not because someone, or something great, God, gave it to you. When ego and pride are not managed, it creates a monster. And then we have this.
I know you’re a big supporter of President Obama and he’s been elected for 4 more years. But during the debates, there was a time when everyone was saying that maybe Mitt Romney was going to win because he was better prepared and more aggressive. As a viewer what was your take?
I’m just so THANKFUL that everyone got out there and voted! And the public spoke, which is why President Barack Obama is still in the White House for four more years! In terms of the debates, I don’t think Mitt Romney was more prepared, I really don’t. I thought the President did a great job. And I’m not just saying that because I’m an Obama fan. I’m saying it because I really believe it. Mitt kept saying things over and over again and I think people latched onto that like he was pulling some big punches or something. He called Obama on some stuff and that made him look like he was more prepared, but basically all he had was good comebacks. That doesn’t qualify you to be President of the United States.
Were you surprised when Stacey Dash came out as a staunch Republican and the backlash she received? Do you think it was fair?
Stacey Dash should’ve known better, but maybe she felt she had the right to do that. I think she knew as a black woman saying, “I’m a Republican,” was going to cause her to receive some flack. But, I bet she had no idea it was going to go that far.
Is it fair to assume or expect another African-American to be a Democrat and vote for Obama?
Absolutely it is! We’ve been through the hard times and Democrats have been good for bringing the poor up and helping the middle class and that’s really what it’s about. When it comes to African Americans, we have the most experience with that. So, of course you’re going to think someone like you is going to vote Democrat because you’re affected. If you didn’t struggle, were part of the upper class, and never faced any real hardships, you’re not the norm. And you’re not part of us, anyway. And I say that only because what so many of us have been through. I was coming out of the Post Office the other day and there was this black guy outside with a picture of President Obama with a Hitler mustache on him. I was so offended!
You’ve had your own talk show for 6 seasons now and you have interviewed a lot of different people. Who’s been your favorite guest and why?
I would have to say Carlton Pearson. I was mesmerized by him back in the day and to be able to find out what happened since the days of Azusa, that was big for me.
What famous figure would be your dream interview?
I would have to say Oprah or Michelle Obama. How awesome would that be to interview the first lady or have the chance to interview the queen of talk!! That would be major!
Obviously Oprah is someone you admire. What is it about Oprah that she’s been able to touch so many people? What have you learned by watching her?
Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what it is. I can’t say that I watched her everyday, but when I did catch her show, she just made it look effortless. She covers it all. When the interview is over, no stone is left unturned! You’re not sitting there saying, “I wish she would have asked this or that.” Oprah also seems genuinely compassionate and that’s what I’ve taken away.
LEXI’S 10 RANDOM TRUTHS
1. Favorite fast food restaurant? Wendy’s.
2. The Winans or Commissioned? Commissioned.
3. Fantasia or Jennifer Hudson? Fantasia.
4. Dream vacation spot? Somewhere like Fiji around water and a nice chocolate man.
5. Favorite Whitney Houston song? When she redid “Living for the Love of You” by The Isley Brothers.
6. Favorite reality show? “Mary Mary.” I learned so much about them.
7. Least favorite subject in high school? Math.
8. One quality you look for in a man? Humor.
9. Perfect date? As long as there is great conversation and humor, I don’t care what we do!
10. Heels or flats? Heels…duh!