Fly To Paradise with Alexis Jae, The "Sassy Diva Queen"

Fly To Paradise with Alexis Jae, The "Sassy Diva Queen"

Alexis Jae, native "Nuyorican", Pat McGrath-muse and downtown it-girl, debuts her long-anticipated journey into music, fueled by passion.

Alexis Jae, native "Nuyorican", Pat McGrath-muse and downtown it-girl, debuts her long-anticipated journey into music, fueled by passion.

Photography: Lula Hyers

Text: Brandon Tan

“So I’m getting my hair done at 10 which usually takes like 2-3 hrs can we meet a little later?”

Later, Alexis Jae emerges to our meeting point in Soho with a fresh dye-job: Cotton-candy-pink highlights swirled into her platinum blonde locks. Alongside her is beau and producer, Marvy, with whom she has worked about a year with on her forthcoming EP, “Live Forever in the Hearts of Others”. Once seated, her pink acrylic talons cradle an iced matcha latté as Chico, her pomeranian, peeps out of a Louis Vuitton damier speedy bag. Meanwhile, charismatic and soft-spoken Marvy enjoys a grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Meeting Alexis in person, the personality matches the persona. Seen across Marc Jacobs advertisements and Pat McGrath campaigns, she serves bubblegum-pink fantasies. Sitting face to face with the self-professed “sassy-diva queen,” it proves not an act, nor an image. She really is that girl. “Honestly, my mom molded me to be the sassy diva-queen that I am. She unconsciously raised me to be a pop star,” claims Jae, cross-legged in her flared jeans and rhinestone sneakers.

Jae attributes maturing at a young age to her New York City upbringing. She also attributes the opportunities she has been fortunate enough to encounter to the same reason. In 2015, at just sixteen, she was discovered by Pat McGrath at the cosmetics-luminary’s own event. From there, McGrath followed Jae on Instagram and slid right into her DMs, where she invited the teen to be a muse for the mogul’s makeup empire. Jae then became an exclusive for Pat McGrath and soon thereafter, her career as a model and muse burgeoned. “If you go to H&M on Broadway, you’ll see my face there, too,” she lets out casually of her campaign with the global retail giant.

Familiar for her face as Alexis Jae the model, today she introduces Alexis Jae the artist. Releasing her debut single and music video, “Paradise”, the truth to Alexis’s pop star prophecy rings imminent.

“Alexis Jae the artist is very fantasy-influenced. I mean, she’s real--obviously--but a lot of her inspiration comes from fantasy. She is very dreamy, very nostalgic. I’m very inspired by retro-pop, you know? But I’m also into expanding into different genres and trying new things. Alexis Jae the artist is just glamour! Glitz! Fabulousness! I would just say to sum it all up, I’m very fantasy-influenced.”

The glamour and the glitz are just about as undeniable as the talent and passion. In fact, passion is the primary driving force behind her pursuit in music—passion, not for music per sé, but for love. "This project really is a product of love between Marv and myself. 'Live Forever in the Hearts of Others' wouldn't exist if our love for each other didn't exist," she reckons.

Jae's journey into music is as much Marv's as it is her's. Having met in the studio years prior, as Jae considered a career as a rapper, the two became close friends. Though nothing really came of her rap game—"I didn’t have confidence or it just wasn’t the right fit for me"—Jae and Marv continued as creative collaborators and subsequently, lovers. The two discovered Alexis Jae's sound together and in the frantic flurry of fervor, they found paradise.

"Marv and I were just chilling one night and we found a ‘Disco Forever’ playlist on Spotify. We were just jamming to it and I was like, ‘We should make a disco project!’ We basically manifested it into existence, but it’s also inspired by passion you know? I feel like love is the biggest influence to fantasy and it just gives you that rose-tint view on the world. 'Live Forever in the Hearts of Others' is just about love, passion, sex, self-love. It just has all of these different elements of love."

"I remember also how we were really interested in how love is portrayed nowadays too and how it’s kind of corny, but you know in the ‘70s and ‘80s, love was really sexy and really cool. Of course we'll bump and grind and whatever, but there's something really dope about how funk portrayed love and so we were interested in bringing that back," chimes Marv. 

Directed by Lula Hyers, Alexis Jae's "Paradise" provides an intimate lens into Jae's place of passion: rose-tinted and petal-scattered. See the music video and serve witness to Jae's first steps into the pop spotlight below. 

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