#BlackAltBae: @legothicpoet

With over 21,000 followers on Instagram, Alyx (better known as @legothicpoet), is a prolific alternative model based in New York. As my first subject in seven years, it was an utter delight to not only interview her, but casually converse with her as well. We completed this interview on September 30th, 2022.

Alyx, welcome to Black Alt Magazine! It's such a pleasure to have you.

Thank you for again for the opportunity to interview with you.

How long have you been modeling and what is it like?

I started freelance modeling in 2019 in the summertime. One of my good friends and mentors at WeJustWorkin invited me to come down to the studio for a photoshoot. At the time I didn't think of starting a modeling career, I just did it for fun. We took some great photos, and it was an amazing time. It wasn't till after that shoot another photographer had reached out to me that same day!  I was amazed, and thought to myself that it was a calling from the universe. Three years later here I am, modeling for alternative brands and being on the cover of magazines. I never would've though that would be me. It's almost like I'm looking into a mirror every time I achieve a goal in my modeling career. I give myself applause. 

And we applaud you!!! When did you first get into the alternative subculture? How did your family react?

It's odd how it all started, I remember when i was younger...I want to say around middle school age, I was watching DragonBall Z amv's, and one of the videos had a track to Breaking Benjamin's Diary Of Jane, which till this day is my favorite rock song by far.  I feel since then, it ignited my love for heavy metal, visual kei, trad-goth music..I never really turned back after that. I started to express myself in my clothing, like wearing all black with the spiked collars, the chunky demonias, and putting my hair in such extravagant ways. It was quite a journey I had over the years with my looks, and thankfully my parents never really judged me for that. Of course they would question me and say oh "you look like you worship the devil" or " you look like your going to a funeral", but they never forced me to stop being genuine to myself. That I appreciate my parents for. Even now when I visit home, I can see some of my style has influenced my brother. Although his style is a bit more e-boy, I still love to see I've had such impact.

First off, I remember the funeral jokes back in my day. It’s amusing to know that hasn’t changed, lol. It’s also heartening to hear that your parents are supportive. That part’s new, lol.

The funeral joke I feel will be a cliché that's here to stay forever. I don't mind it as long as people are being respectful at the end of the day. 

I'm really glad my parents are supportive of me in that regard.  I was scared when I initially starting dressing in a dark fashion, but they just see me as their weird daughter, and I'm okay with that.

You have an impressive following on Instagram. How long did it take you to grow your fanbase?

I've been on Instagram for a long time...since 2013 actually. When instagram used to be blue and white...oh those old days. Initially I made the page to follow my favorite bands. It wasn't until 2019 when I started freelance modeling, is when I decided to take being a content creator seriously. Last year actually, I had made a reel around valentines day telling people in that time of year, be cautious whom you give your heart to, and it went viral for a whole month and a half. I was really shocked, I was used to seeing 30 follows here and there, then it turned to 100 - 200 follows in a day. It took a lot to get used to the new "social media fame" but I've gained a lot of new friends and fans that support me, and what I create.

Do you have a team that helps land gigs, partnerships, etc.? Or do you negotiate for yourself?

I wish I had a team. That's one of my next goals to get a manager or agency to help me build myself even more as a creator and model.  For now I pretty much manage myself. I pitch the brand deals, go out and apply for gigs, set the time for myself shoots, and live by my own accord. It's peaceful.

I am in awe of the fact you do all this yourself, and that you basically built this large fanbase in merely three years. How much time a day do you actually spend working on your Instagram account? What tips do you have for other Black artists?

I spend a good few hours on Instagram, not going to lie. I do take mental breaks because that's most important. You never want social media to completely take over your life to the point you miss out in reality.  Real life starts outside, with real experiences.

That's how, and why I started becoming an influencer. I met people in real life, and I shared those moments online...building those connections. I say for those who want to do something similar, or content create, or be a model....go out and find those experiences and record them. It might be weird at first but it is something to get used to. After that it's all up to being consistent with content you and your followers love.

How do you make connections and what’s it like to pitch yourself?

Mmm...some connections I make to brands are through other models or content creators. I used to do that a lot when I first started, then I started to reach out to brands myself. Some answer right away, others took a while. For me I like to talk about myself, and how much I love the brand (most of them being my favorite alt/goth brands anyway) and I tell them what I can bring to the table as a model/influencer for them.

Most of the time, it's a yes from brands and sometimes I'm left on read or unseen, but I never rush a collab. 

Which Black alternative artists are you a fan of?

There are so many amazing artists out there that resonate with me. From Nova Twins, the lead singer Alexis from Straight Line Stitch, Iniko, to the lead AJ in the band Fire from the Gods. Seeing black alternatives in a space where we belong, and hearing the music they all produce makes my soul cry every time.

Are you familiar with Baby Storme? I ask because I recently watched a TikTok of hers where she was explaining her frustration how at Black alt artists don’t get sufficient support from Black media. What’s your experience been like?

I stumbled across Baby Storme a couple months ago. She's an amazing individual. I love that's she's creating more of a gateway for black alternatives to be themselves and not shut themselves out for being different. I love that she's very vocal about black alternatives not getting the amount of exposure as other races would, and it's true.  As a black goth/alternative, I have to work twice as hard in the industry. Having to always promote myself because the algorithm won't, even if I'm doing the same thing another person of a different ethnicity is doing.

How do you think Black media—and the Black community, by extension—can be more supportive of its alternative members?

Honestly in alternative media or black media in general, sharing and showing full support 24/7 is really all it is. If you see a black creator with an original sound, use it! Make it go viral! If you hear a new black artist go out and stream their music on their platform, share it, donate, go to their events. If they're making art, go buy it! Any form of support matters.

Any big plans in the future that we need to know about?

I will be trying arching my wings over to the Twitch platform soon. I recently starting getting back into playing video games, so I want all my friends, fans, and followers to come join me on my journey there.

I'll be playing lots of hack n slash games, and some VR games as well. I can't wait until I launch on the site.

Alyx, it was awesome meeting you, and I'm so grateful you agreed to do this.


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