From pushing on through discouragement to breaking limitations others would set on them, self-empowerment underlies everything non-binary, pansexual artist PLEXXAGLASS brings to the table.
PLEXXAGLASS offers up a dark, haunting take on ethereal pop music and shares their struggles and observations through enchanting vocals that glow with a mystical edge.
We sat down with PLEXXAGLASS and talked all things music, working with Mike Shinoda, old AIM screen names, The Handmaid’s Tale (that finale though!!!) and everything in between.
Beyond the Stage Magazine: How long have you been making music? Did you always know it was what you wanted to do?
PLEXXAGLASS: I have a long performing history— I did musical theater and choir growing up. I always knew that I wanted to perform in some way and it was always clear to me that singing was wear I naturally excelled.
Unfortunately, I had a vocal coach and mentor in HS that discouraged me from pursuing music as my major in undergrad, so I went after acting as a focus first. I found my way back to music in my early twenties and never looked back.
BTS: What is the inspiration behind your tracks “LILITH” and “DYD?”
PLEXXAGLASS: “LILITH” was first inspired by the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, actually. I was really fascinated by the character study and dynamic presented between the main character, June, and the main wife, Serena.
I was intrigued and horrified by the idea of women who are so indoctrinated into their religious ideology that they will go along with practices that even harm themselves.
BTS: “DYD” was initially written after I left an abusive work environment but the song became so much more after two year of waiting to release it.
Now, it really is a symbolic telling of how far I’ve come to accept myself and to leave the toxicity of people who didn’t want to accept me for who I am behind.
BTS: What was the process of creating “LILITH” like?
PLEXXAGLASS: When Mike Shinoda reached out to me about producing it, the song actually wasn’t finished. I only sent him what I had at the time, which was the intro, first verse, and chorus.
I had struggled for a couple of years to finish it, trying many iterations, and none of them ever feeling right. His interest in working with me really lit a fire or inspiration in me, so much so that when I sat down to work on it seriously, I finished it in only 20 minutes.
The actual production was amazing. I was, admittedly, nervous about what Mike’s interpretation would be. I didn’t actually think he’d do a bad job, of course— it’s Mike freakin Shinoda after all— but the thought did cross my mind a couple of times like, “If I don’t like it, how the hell am I going to tell Mike Shinoda that I don’t like his work? How am I going to reject Mike Shinoda?!”
Of course, that was not what happened. I’m so thrilled with the work he did on the track. He’s really so incredibly versatile and brilliant.
BTS: What is your songwriting process like?
PLEXXAGLASS: I wish I were the type of songwriter who can just wake up in the morning and say, “I’m going to write a song today!”— but I’m sadly not like that.
Everything I put out has to come from pure inspiration. I try to do what “they” say, which is to just write shit down… whenever it comes to my head, just write it down.
And I do that— my notes and voice notes on my phone are filled with stuff like that, but when it comes to everything that I actually release, those songs were all finished in a fever of inspiration within like 20 mins. I really do get struck by a muse like that. So I have just given up on trying to force songs out of me. I just don’t work with that.
BTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your music?
PLEXXAGLASS: Dark Pop/Alt Pop. Power Vocals. If you like Florence + the Machine, Bishop Briggs, Perfume Genius, Lorde…
BTS: What is one main message you’d want fans to take from your songs?
PLEXXAGLASS: Growing up, I always felt slightly off from the rest of my friends, like there was something different about me.
I had a close-knit group of friends, and I’m still extremely close with a lot of them to this day, but I still found myself feeling extremely lonely.
I want my listeners to know that it’s okay to feel that way and to reel a sense of belonging within my music. I am bipolar II and have an anxiety disorder… I’m very open about my struggles with that and strive to normalize talking about mental health.
BTS: What advice would you give to other non-binary folks who aspire to break into the music industry?
PLEXXAGLASS: I honestly still don’t feel comfortable giving advice like this. I only came out about a year and a half ago, and I feel like I’m still very much navigating that part of my identity. If nothing else, I’d just say, be you unabashedly.
BTS: Did you have queer role models in music?
PLEXXAGLASS: Janelle Monaé, Lil Nas X, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Tegan & Sara, Shea Diamond… there are so many who have paved the way for me to feel comfortable enough to be a proud pansexual non-binary musician.
BTS: Where does the name PLEXXAGLASS come from?
PLEXXAGLASS: The name actually came from an old AIM screen name from back in the day that I carried over with me to my IG handle. The OG origin came from an ex’s father who nicknamed me “plexiglass”, and I decided to sub in the “A” from my name. People would call me “plexxaglass” or even “plexxa” for short, so I figured why not brand the project that way if it’s memorable.
BTS: Tell us about your favorite moment on stage?
PLEXXAGLASS: When I’m performing on stage I’m a “showman”— I love to get into the audience and interact directly with them.
Before I perform my song “Liar” I usually give a background on what it’s about, which is my bipolar diagnosis. I have had a lot of people come up to me after shows and thank me for being vocal about it so publicly. Those moments are very special to me.
BTS: What’s next/on deck for you?
PLEXXAGLASS: I will be releasing my very first album in October, paired with a release show her in LA. Before then, I’m going to be filming a live set that I’ll post up on various platforms as well.
BTS: Anything you’d like to add?
PLEXXAGLASS: Follow me on TikTok @plexxaglass to get to know me in an even more personal way.