In math, X is used when there is an unknown. Basic algebra is when you start learning what steps you need in order to solve for the value of X. As you learn, move forward, and grow, the processes on how to solve for X increase and it becomes more difficult to figure out.
The cover of CollXtion II shows an adult Allie X with a dunce cap and literal pieces missing from her body, random blocks of herself scattered across the floor. “CollXtion II is about looking at your life and trying to put the pieces together of who are you now,” she explained to me before our shoot at loft in downtown Los Angeles. “It’s sort of a recognition of a lost identity and a reclamation of a new one. I don’t think I’ve reached that point yet but it’s the process.”
Allie X’s second album is continuation from her journey set up in her debut,
CollXtion I, specifically the narrative and the concept of X, a universe that she created as a safe haven to put those fragments of yourself together. This process not only became actualized in her music but also in how she expressed herself externally.
“I’ve always dressed and presented myself in a way — and I’m not unique in this — that covered up anything I was insecure about,” she admitted. “When it came to becoming a singer and a performer, it was about exaggerating everything that people liked or were attracted to. I wouldn’t call it a persona because I think it was also inside somewhere but now I can fully express that specific part of myself.”
“After hiding your body for so long, you figure out the best way to do it, right? [laughs]. You figure out what parts of your body you want to showcase, and what parts of your body you want to hide. In my case, I like to show my legs but hide my short torso. A part of the reason I like to wear sunglasses is because I feel like my eyes are a weird shape and now it’s grown into the concept of ‘X’.”
“It’s about finding your own truth in that chaos.”
And with CollXtion II, X expands. It started as a sanctuary for Allie X herself, and now has evolved to welcome anyone who is still searching for that unknown variable. It’s taking ownership of the unsolved and embracing the journey to its answer, even if there ends not being a definitive one.
“I see so many female pop stars — not that I’m a pop star — and the message is always body confidence: be yourself, you’re beautiful the way you are. And I see my fans and I think that they’re beautiful — and I never think they should change anything about themselves. My message is that it’s fucking hard and we all have insecurities. I know what self hate feels like and let’s work through that together.”
It’s important what Allie X is bringing to the table, which is that relatable quality that many people latch onto their branding but rarely ever have it. What’s great about her is that she’s not afraid to hate herself at times but also, reshape that negativity to discover what it is that she truly loves about herself. And that is where women start to finally see themselves reflected in their pop stars.
“I’m a really big dreamer and I’m proud of that. I’m a fighter. I’m quite brave and quite bold. I have a really good sense of humor but I think the older I get I think I’m losing it. I’m really honest. Something I’ve learned being out in LA and having a team and being somewhat of a public figure is that you do need to be vocal — especially a woman. You can’t trust that other people knows best just because they’re older, have more money and more experience.”
By inviting us into the world of X, Allie X has slowly been able to peel back parts of herself that she necessarily didn’t like. Yes, the sunglasses are coming off but the music is also shaping into something that may still be undefined but is on its way to some sort of solution.
“The world is awful and amazing and crazy and scary and beautiful and overwhelming and I feel confused by it but it’s ok. It’s about finding your own truth in that chaos.”