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Singer Lex Allen performs ‘Never look back’ in the Tap Milwaukee studios
Video by Bill Schulz

Lex Allen has endured a number of hardships: living in a shelter for part of his childhood; being bullied as a teen for his sexuality; losing his beloved mother Pam in 2015. 

But Allen has weathered the hard times in part through music.

“When we lived in the Salvation Army for a year, I was going through so many emotions as a kid, I was like, ‘Let me start writing,'” Allen said. “I kept being persistent, knowing what I wanted to do, and just kept moving.”

These days, Allen is a member of popular local collective New Age Narcissism, featuring rappers WebsterX and Lorde Fredd33, alternative soul singer Siren and other artists. He is preparing to branch out with his debut solo album, “Table 7: For Sinners and Saints,” expected this summer.

The pop album’s polished lead single, “Never Look Back,” is one of the catchiest and most uplifting songs to come out of the local scene so far this year. And you can expect to hear plenty of new material around town, including at Summer Soulstice and Summerfest.

Early influences: My older brother James used to DJ for the Toys, and being around him was really amazing. He would always play house, reggae, top 40, some underground hip-hop, mainstream hip-hop. There was always something to figure out and learn and dive into. And just being exposed to pop music as a kid, listening to KISS-FM, all the boy bands was fun stuff. Watching Whitney Houston perform on TV, I was like, “I want to do that. I can do that for a living, sing and have people feel something.” I’ve been doing music whole-heartedly for seven years.

Joining New Age Narcissism: About three years ago, I was at (member Christopher Gilbert’s) birthday party at Yield Bar, and I was in…