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Exploring the Life and Career of a Drag Queen DJ, Hexxa

Hexxa, a drag queen and a DJ, is an inspiration to those in both the LGBTQIA+ and the EDM scenes.

Not only is Hexxa an active voice within the LGBTQIA+ and EDM community, but she also finds her way onto huge music festival lineups like Big Dub that is happening in Artemas, Pennsylvania July 25th-30th. The Festival Babes will also be attending this immersive festival, and you bet we’ll be catching Hexxa’s head-banging dubstep set.

In this captivating realm where drag meets the rhythms of EDM, we encounter a remarkable artist who effortlessly fuses music and performance. Today, we have the honor of speaking with a trailblazing drag queen DJ, Hexxa.

First of all, give us an overview of who you are and what you do.

I go by the name of Hexxa when I take the stage, and Chris when I’m not in the spotlight. I began crafting together the Hexxa project 8 years ago in 2016 during my sophomore year of college at Penn State. Drag started for me as a fun hobby that brought me joy and a way to channel all my feminine energy into an artistic outlet that eventually became my life and career. I have been a drag performer for a majority of my drag career up until 3 years, where I soon combined my love for dubstep and drag all in one. Hexxa exists in two forms. The first is the performer that dances the night away at the clubs, doing crazy stunts to make her coin and entertain the masses to high-energy music. The second form is the dubstep demon that you witness at raves/festivals, where she becomes a headbanger and throws down the nastiest of dubstep sets at her gigs. I’m also a dubstep producer on side of a drag performer and DJ. I love to make music that has intense, cinematic intros that tell a story/set the vibe that leads into chaotic, destructive drops. The Hexxa vibe is dark, electric, ominous, sexy, and spooky - and a little ditzy. I would characterize Hexxa as a rave bratz doll, always wearing fashionable and cohesive fits at a set or event. My sets are loaded with heavy dubstep bangers, pretty melodic tracks that turn monstrous, and the occasional riddim double or experimental tune to spice things up. When I take the stage, expect jaw-dropping doubles, fun edits, and absolute dubstep destruction.

Can you share with us a bit about your journey as a drag queen and how it has intersected with your career as a DJ in the EDM community?

Most of my drag career was spent as a drag performer. I would do shows at bars, clubs, theaters, venues, etc. and work for tips and my booking fee all across the country, from NYC, to Chicago, to LA. During covid, I discovered a passion for dubstep and wanted to do more with my drag, so I was like...dubstep and drag? Let’s do it. My goal was to become THE DUBSTEP DRAG QUEEN - HEXXA, and I wouldn’t stop until I got there. I bought myself a DJ board and with the help of some friends and self-learning, I learned to DJ during covid. Eventually down the road once I started excelling at DJ’ing and releasing mixes to show the world what I could do, I knew I needed to do more. I spontaneously came across a song called “Riddim Waifu” and messaged the artist who wrote the song (TwO K1nD) to tell them how much I loved it just to make that connection and show support. Little did I know, that soon after, TwO K1nD, soon became my mentor for producing and showed me the ropes of how to make music and what I needed to do to take my artistry to the next level. After covid calmed down, I began to attend raves and festivals in drag to make my presence known and began to play shows as Hexxa. People slowly started to notice me more and see what I was doing and the interest/curiosity of what I was doing began to grow. Now three years later with a loving/supporting community and a mentor that believes in my mission as an artist, I’m been traveling a lot to DJ as Hexxa and have been releasing music/working on a lot of music to come out in the near future to establish myself more as an artist in the community.

In what ways has the EDM community embraced your identity? Have you faced any challenges or prejudices along the way?

The EDM community has embraced my identity with insane amounts of love and acceptance, but I’ve also faced lots of rejection and hostility along the way. There are so many people out there that adore what I bring to the table with Hexxa, they love the energy I bring and the different vibe I curate with my drag. I get lots of compliments and love, but that has also come with a lot of animosity and rejection. Some people I’ve interacted with along my journey haven’t given me the time of day or do not take me seriously because of me being a drag artist that DJ’s and produces. I know that drag is a HUGE statement and can be intimidating, trust me, I was intimidated by drag at first too but that does not justify not having respect for them. I would be ignored by other artists at gigs or not even acknowledged at times. It gets lonely at times when people don’t want to give me the time of day just because I’m presenting myself different than the normal DJ out there. I try my best to interact with everyone and give them all the love and respect they deserve even when I’m not receiving it myself. I hate that I have to run the extra mile to prove myself to others in the community at times, such as promoters or other artists that don’t think I have what it takes, but I end up proving them wrong. When people truly get to know me and see what I can do, their whole impression of me changes. I wish it wasn’t that way, but I knew going into this scene doing things the way I do them, that I would face these challenges and obstacles along the way. I won’t let that stop me from being successful and being taken serious by those who view me lesser than I am; however, I greatly appreciate and have so much love for those who believe in me and show instant love without even a blink of an eye.

How do you use your platform as a DJ to raise awareness and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility?

Becoming a drag artist also means becoming. an advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility. Drag queens are beacons of POWER and ENLIGHTENMENT in the community and it will always be my duty as a leader of my community to speak upon what is right, wrong, and more. I always make it known at events that I’m super grateful to be the first drag artist to make their presence known at this show/festival and shout out my community to make known that we are HERE and we are not going anywhere. Visibility is extremely important in spaces where the LGBTQIA+ are the minorities.

What unique perspectives or insights do you bring to the EDM community? How do you feel this has influenced your creative expression?

There are very few or little drag artists in the EDM community, me being one of them. I like to say that my presence in the community is where the LGBTQIA+ meets EDM. I’m combining two worlds together and creating a bridge between the two. I bring a whole new element to the EDM scene by being a pioneering drag artist and leader. I aim to inspire and empower others in both communities to give them the confidence and power to be themselves, whether it is with what you are wearing, the makeup you put on, or your gender expression. By being a drag artist in this scene, I’m bringing a whole new element that many people in the EDM scene have never witnessed before and creating the interest for drag that people never have experienced that now do! This influences my creative expression by continuously fueling and pushing me to continue doing things different and to continue relentlessly being myself. I’m creating a new path in the scene and for those ready to embark in this new movement, all are welcome with open arms and love.

Can you share any memorable experiences or interactions you've had within the EDM community that highlight the importance of inclusivity and acceptance?

My most memorable experience was winning the “Toast of the Coast” competition to win the chance to play at North Coast. It was one of the hardest competitions I’ve participated in and I made top 3 and came out as the winner and first drag artist to play at this festival, which was a major win for me and my community. I would advertise at every one of my drag shows during pride month last year to gain votes and support from my community and gave a speech at Lancaster Pride telling people my mission in the music scene of bringing inclusivity to the EDM community and to take that prize home, in the end, was such an achievement. I was received with so much love and praise when I was given the opportunity, interviewed after my set at North Coast, met so many people at the festival, and received so much love. People would come up to me and tell me how much they love what I am doing in the scene and they see me going for what I am doing. The support from my peers means a lot and I will always value the love and support from those in the community that see the value of my mission.

What advice would you give to other individuals, across any community, aspiring to make their mark in the EDM community or the music industry as a whole?

Don’t be afraid to make your presence be known and always wear confidence whenever you do anything. Assert your power because we are meant to be taken serious and if you want to make your mark, make that your goal to do so. It is extremely crucial to being yourself confidently because if you wear that energy and others see that, it speaks volumes. Always remember your intent of why you are doing things and know that there are others out there that possibly look up to you for your confidence and strength to make strides in the community.

Looking ahead, what are your hopes and aspirations for the future of the EDM community and its inclusion of ALL artists, but especially LGBTQIA+ artists?

I really hope that by genuinely being myself and by confidently being Hexxa in this community that I can give others the confidence and power to be whoever they want without fear and judgment of others. I want to see more inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community in the music scene and for others to not blink an eye at it and just see us as is. No judgment, just love and acceptance. This EDM community is one of the most loving and accepting communities out there and has shown me how the world could be if we all practiced P.L.U.R., but there are still some out there who aren’t inclusive or view us as different which needs to change. There needs to be more diversity of music lineups and more spotlight on queer artists that aren’t given the voice of platform to showcase their art/talents and I won’t stop pushing tides through the scene until changes are made for me and my people.

Any closing thoughts:

I’d like to thank you for giving me the time of day to share my story and experiences during my time as a drag artist in the EDM community. It is so crucial to bring attention to this and features like this help prove my mission as an artist and highlight the LGBTQIA+ community and we greatly appreciate that. Thank you again.

This DJ leaves a unique mark within the rave scene, reminding us that true artistry knows no boundaries. Inclusion and celebration of individuals like Hexxa are so important, and it’s something we here at The Festival Babes will always advocate and speak up for. Make sure to catch Hexxa on Thursday, July 27th at 2 pm on the New Camp stage at Big Dub Festival!

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