Musician and TikTok phenomenon Addison Grace released their single, “I Wanna Be A Boy,” that discusses their own intimate tour with gender. Throughout writing the song and exploring what gender truly meant to them, Addison was able to discover their pronouns – he/they – and come out as nonbinary. Addison sings, “I guess I wanna be a boy,” coming full terms with this sincere and profound message.
Addison pondered with never releasing the song past his own social media, but after posting it online and observing the feedback, he knew that it deserved an appropriate debut. While speaking with B Drop, Addison states, “I initially started writing it when I was questioning a lot of things about myself. I’m very open with how I identify online and I’ve always openly been a queer creator, queer musician, and at that time I was really not understanding how I identified with my gender and how I felt about it, and so it started off as a song about gender roles and how I was jealous of guys and how they got to have certain things I couldn’t have. With time, I realized it was very much me explaining — in song form — that I wasn’t a girl and that I was nonbinary instead.
“A lot of people ended up relating to the song. I had trans men relating to it saying “I’ve always felt like that.” I’ve had trans women being like “I used to deny I was a woman and I wanted to be a boy; I wanted to be “normal” — quote, unquote. I even had my friends who were born female and identify as female feel that way because they felt they were a tomboy and never fit in with the “girlie girls” so to speak.” He continues, “Even though, for me, it’s a song about gender identity and finding myself in that way, I think really at the core — it becomes a song about not understanding yourself and wishing so desperately that you could and it’s a very vulnerable song for that reason.”
The cover art for the piece showcases several images of Addison while they were growing up, at different time periods. He talks about this, saying, “I feel like a lot of my work recently has been about growing up and about those awkward moments in your life, so for this song, I wanted it to be a collage of my face growing up. I didn’t want it to be something someone had drawn. I wanted it to be realistic so I searched through a bunch of scrapbooks and I found pictures of two-year old me, 10-year old me, 15-year old me and a picture of me from last year and we ended up crafting it all together because I’ve always loved the idea of putting photos together and it makes something else. I wanted to put stickers and all that because when you’re finding yourself, it feels like these weird puzzle that don’t fit quite right, so I wanted it to look slightly off… I really love it and it feels really nostalgic to me.”
The journey of coming out as non-binary for Addison was a difficult road and is something that he aims to inspire others with. They strive to empower individuals with the power to live their own lives as genuinely as possible. Through sharing his own journey, Addison nurtures the idea that gender identity is a voyage that they went on and hope that others can embark on as well.
More about Addison Grace
With an outstanding 3.8 million followers on TikTok, almost 400k followers on Instagram and close to 200k YouTube subscribers, Addison Grace become an online sensation through hard work and dedication. He began his journey online with an iPhone 6 and a dream, often encouraging his own audiences to follow their dreams despite their situations. Addison stands as waterproof that anyone can become an artist if they’re dedicated to the craft, stating, “You’re enough and what you’re doing is enough.”
As an activist for the LGBTQIA+ community, upcoming artists and mental health, Addison is known for disclosing his own individual experiences living with ADHD. He makes sure to communicate to his fanbases that “normal” is a made-up concept, and that the truth is very real. They transmit the importance of the truth with “I Wanna Be A Boy,” which you can stream everywhere now.
“She’s got an attack in her flow, juxtaposed with a finesse in her lyricism and a hunger in her vocal tone. Her family gave her traditions, Toronto shaped her, and California helped form her sound.” – Toronto Guardian
Toronto-based queer alt-hip hop artist, Lex Leosis, shares her EP, Terracotta, today– just in time for peak summer vibes. The now Tiktok rap battle champ is also debuting a brand new video for “That Feel,” which shows an easy, breezy afternoon of skating in the sunshine. Leosis’ signature attitude is in full force in video with her lioness hair, long nails and high energy.
“That Feel” feels like a celebration, and this new release deserves exactly that. The video was shot in both Los Angeles and Toronto. Director, Yohalmo, who is embedded into longboard communities in LA, shot all the California scenes. He brought together the cast and both main characters Shannen Soriano and Laura Paragano. Director, Sharleen Meinke, who also directed the “Wanted” official video, shot Leosis’ parts in Toronto.
The previously released single and outlaw anthem, “Wanted,” arrived with an icon Thelma and Louise-inspired video. The debut single from the project was the sunny, tropical-beat infused, “Won’t Wait,” which showcased a breezy, bouncy beat under Leosis’ vulnerable lyrics and she yearns for real talk and love, but not at the expense of self-worth.
“Won’t Wait” and “Wanted” were produced by Rainer Blanchaer (Drake, The Weeknd, French Montana, The 1975), who is an executive producer on the whole EP. Having met through Leosis’ roommate, Blanchaer became a pandemic pal, and one of the only people she’s seen consistently during lockdown. They’ve used their time making music together in Leosis’ bedroom studio and the result is Terracotta. Describing the new EP, she says:
“In the Terracotta pots process, clay starts by being refined and molded. Through fire, time, and attention to detail…the terracotta pot is complete. I wrote this project through the pandemic. I was coming off releasing “Mythologies” (March 2020) and I was sad that I had to cancel a lot of my roll-out plans. No interviews, shows/tours or celebrations. I put my whole heart into that project and to see that I couldn’t continue my rollout because of the pandemic was a big blow. Instead of letting it defeat me, I decided that it would make me stronger and that I would use this time to rebuild.”
Creating a space to make music in her bedroom, she decided on a re-design for her space to inspire her creatively. She says, “I started looking into color palettes that would inspire the re-design…and there it was Terracotta. The summer had passed and it was getting colder and we were all aware of what was about to happen. Locked down in the cold with little sun. Like a lot of other people, my mental health doesn’t do well in these conditions. My bedroom design had to be warm, it had to be bright and happy. It had to channel summer. The vision of summer 2021 represented a time where this might all be over and things may be better.”
She adds, “So as the pieces of my bedroom start to come together, so does this project. My space is giving me the energy I need to focus every day. I immediately started learning instruments (piano and MPD). The Terracotta bedspread becomes the place I write “Won’t Wait.” I started daily meditation and writing a verse every day. I was lying down on my geometric gray rug when I came up with the hook for “Reality.” I start working out more and envisioning my live show. I was surrounded by plants in terracotta pots when I penned “That Feel.” Then at the end of this writing period, I have a warm, bright home space, at the exact same time as I have this incredible project. One year later and I’m a completely different person.”
Leosis also admits, “The EP definitely had a muse. Someone I really love and has consistently inspired me. This EP details all the feelings I’ve had about them, and consequently, about myself over the last year.” A dedication to the softness that quarantine created in her, a part of herself she didn’t have time to look at before, she also had time to dig through her grandfather’s old jazz records that she loved as a kid. When he passed in 2009, the records were given to her but had been dusty until Covid made her slow way down. The piano, saxophones and live drums on those records inspired the live elements on the new EP and Leosis says, “He had this foresight to leave those to me. We used to sit in his car outside our house and just listen to Jazz and I loved music as a kid.”
Between her quality time with Rainer, her grandfather’s records and her time to be with herself, she found a way to channel summer’s warmth, growth and freedom into 6 tracks. Terracotta is out everywhere now.
Terracotta EP Tracklisting
Hold Yah Down
Known for her dynamic flows, aggressive stage presence and elaborate story-telling, Lex Leosisis a name you will soon remember. With a unique gravely vocal delivery, acrobatic flows, and a mastery of her instrumentation, Lex breathes life into Hip-Hop and mesmerizes with her rapping abilities. Setting herself uniquely apart by holding space for various causes and using her platform to support other women and non-binary artists and creatives, Lex is not afraid to give props where it’s due.
Born in the west end of Toronto, Lex Leosis has dedicated her life to her music and artistry. Juggling her hiphop career, a plant-forward cooking website and catering company, and holding down multiple jobs, Lex prides herself on hard work, discipline and survival, traits she picked up from her mother. It gave Lex the energy to perfect her craft, grow her career and exchange stories with artists from all over the world. Lex is loud, opinionated, constantly fighting for what she believes in and hungry to make something of the Leosis name. She’s got an attack in her flow, juxtaposed with a finesse in her lyricism and a hunger in her vocal tone. Her family gave her traditions, Toronto shaped her, and California helped form her sound.
From humble beginnings, Lex first found a home in hip-hop at rap competitions and cyphers. She met a number of creatives through online rap communities and has up and parted from Toronto multiple times to join her peers in cities all over the U.S. to collaborate, make music and perform. Sharpening her teeth participating in various rap battles, Lex was widely known as a hip-hop force that could outrap anyone. Spending most of her time in the Bay Area of California, Lex has allowed her traveling influences to expand her music sound and capability.
Lex spent 2017-2019 devoting herself to Canadian rap group powerhouse, The Sorority. The group made waves with a 2016 International Women’s Day Cypher, and went on to release a debut album and toured extensively, sharing stages with artist like Miguel, Joey Badass & Snoop Dogg. After the group disbanded in 2019, Lex lead 2020 with her debut full length, Mythologies, a darker trap-heavy project that allowed her to explore her Greek roots and family history. Despite a derailed album release plan due to COVID-19, she followed the project up with summer bop, Pull Up, and the rap/house collaboration, Swerve, with DJ Cazztekand released under Armin Van Buuren’s label, Armada.
Lex found opportunity and inspiration during COVID lockdown establishing a new sound, taking control of her artistry by learning keys, bass and taking vocal lessons. She formed a team of creatives around her and using her tools, experience and community, developed her quintessential Lex Leosis sound with smooth west coast vibey instrumentation under melodious hooks and biting hip hop verses. Searching for an outlet to continue to rap bars, Lex began daily duets on Tiktok and has amassed over a million views on her videos and had drawn the attention of Tiktok Canada and numerous artists from The Arkells to K Flay.
Keep your eyes on this rising star as she continues to blaze her own trail in hip hop.
*Photo credit: Natasha Gerschon
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