London-based cool girl Lex Hearth a.k.a Lex on the Decks across her socials is a badass feminist creative. Lex works in marketing at Nike by day and juggles many a freelance creative project by night and weekend – yeah she’s a real life superwoman. From DJing in Mayfair to hosting podcasts that unpack the human side behind iconic female musical artists, Lex speaks to Wishu about her passion for providing women with the information needed to pursue a creative career with confidence.
Wishu: Was there a particular age or moment where you realised that you truly are a creative?
Lex: The obvious answer is always. I studied drama at uni but aged 25 was a moment when I truly realised how creativity was so fundamentally important to my lifestyle. That’s when I realised that not creating would be soul crushing and that the need to create was a necessity.
Wishu: At this lightbulb moment, what was your main creative outlet?
Lex: Aged 25 was when I founded Cleopatras Worldwide – my online publication. I started DJing aged 21 and did a lot of drama when I was young so those were my outlets then as well as radio and presenting towards the end of uni. Music was my first love but I didn’t understand how it could play a role in my life at first.
Wishu: Why the name Cleopatras?
Lex: The slogan of Cleopatras is ‘power and femininity’ and the core idea is that femiine characteristics are powerful. I started the publication at a time where society was suggesting women had to adopt masculine characteristics to succeed in the workplace and publications targeted towards women were very fluffy and didn’t speak much on careers or ambition but more so diet and appearance. I felt women weren’t always given the right information so Cleopatra is this symbol of navigating femininity in a man’s world.
Wishu: Was there a specific pindrop moment which spurred your desire to found Cleopatras or was it a collection of events and feelings?
Lex: It was definitely a collection of events that made me want to do my own research. I read a lot of ancient stoic philosophy from the Roman period. While reading, I learnt about why I make the decisions I do and I felt a real sense of power as if I could create the type of world I want and what thinking patterns I needed to adopt to strive. Then I started writing and that writing needed a home and that home was Cleopatras.
Wishu: How would you describe your own particular brand of feminism?
Lex: I think the fundamental issue is information and the way we direct women’s vs men’s attention and until we correct that we won’t get proper equality. There seems to be a lot of stalling in women’s careers especially in early stages so providing information is key so that women can succeed and feel confident. I don’t know if I like the word empowerment because it sounds like something given to you. I’d prefer women to feel a sense of power within themselves.
Wishu: You have a podcast ‘Hot Girls’ that looks deeply at femme musical figures from Gwen Stefani to Queen Latifah. What and how do you think we can learn from looking at other female artists and their trajectory to becoming a legend and in some cases genius?
Lex: I really wanted to strip away the superhero identity of female artists and instead unpack how they got to where they are. I know there are so many amazing up and coming artists and if you’re looking at Lauryn Hill’s body of work, for example, then looking at her influences and challenges will be helpful to your success. You can then look at her choices and decide which could apply to you. I wanted to celebrate female artists as human beings not brands. It’s also nice to have a zoomed outlook on someone who you admire and realise they also were posed with many challenges and you can learn from how they overcame them. I wanted to produce these journeys into a digestible format. Many of these women found their own record labels and those moments can be inspiring.
Wishu: From your experience in marketing for Nike, what is the relationship between your role in marketing and how you work as a freelance creative?
Lex: When it comes to juggling work and creative freelancing, the hardest thing is time. Nike is the most creative brand I’ve worked with by a mile. They always want to be enabling culture and invest in artists so in that sense working with them is very complimentary.
Wishu: Do you think your knowledge of marketing applies to DJing and sensing what listeners want?
Lex: Not so much really. I think DJing is so intuitive but the marketing side comes in handy for building a brand for yourself and understanding how brands work with musicians but with DJing I had to learn so much on my own. The podcast was a great way to learn because I interviewed quite a few DJs so I could take those insights and learn from them.
Wishu: Do you have a favorite place to DJ in London?
Lex: I’ve been playing a lot at Mnky Hse in Mayfair this month. The sound system is great and the lighting guy is stellar. Everybody there gets so into it. But in general I don’t have a favourite space. I also love radio which has its own fun as in I can play songs that wouldn’t necessarily work on the dance floor.
Wishu: Where does your love of House music come from?
Lex: I love all music but when I was around the age of 9 I used to love trance music, of course mainstream dance because I wasn’t old enough to go out haha. I love rap and hip hop too and having a constant rotation of new music too. I just love music that brings people together and makes them wanna have a good time.
Wishu: Your podcast is called Hot Girls. How do you define a hot girl and how can we subvert the traditional patriarchal definition?
Lex: For me a Hot Girl is someone who is owning themself. It’s not about aesthetic hotness it’s about power and self value and being smart.
Wishu: That’s how men are valued on attractiveness to be honest!
Lex: Exactly! That’s what’s hot for me! If you think of a hot object, what makes you want to be around it? Its attraction.
Cleopatras – www.cleopatrasworldwide.com/ – @cleopatrasworldwide
Personal – @lexonthedecks | Soundcloud
Hot Girls – www.podfollow.com/hot-girls