Alexis Tucci loves hanging out with her sons at the skate park and cheering for them at baseball games.
But the 47-year-old mom has another identity, as one of the hottest DJs in the LGBTQ party circuit.
“She has her unique sound but also gives her heart out, transporting the gays to some new dimension,” partygoer Martin Lipinski, who is gay, told TODAY Parents. “She’ll make you boogie and smile, and forget about anything that may be bothering you. She’s a queen, a DJ, a mother and a friend — all at once.”
The St. Louis mom of two doesn't look like other scene DJs — and that may be her secret to success. In addition to her signature sound — which she describes as a mix of disco, afro, house and deep tech — she thinks motherhood gives her a special power in her highly competitive industry.
"I’ve always just been a nurturer for my community and for the people around me," Tucci says. "So with them looking at me and seeing the mother figure and having been through what they’ve been through and then with my music being so uplifting, positive and feel-good, it’s a trifecta that is very healing.”
Tucci fell in love with the scene when she was 15 and attended her first warehouse party. Right away, she felt a sense of belonging.
Although Tucci identifies as straight, she knew the gay party scene was the place for her. Her father, Kim Tucci, was a well-known businessman in St. Louis who owned a chain of successful Italian restaurants and was revered for his civic contributions. When his Catholic school daughter came home and told him she'd fallen in love with the gay community, his only reaction was to support her fully.
“He didn’t care what my friends look like or what they were into as long as they respected our family and supported my career,” Alexis said.
As Tucci built a business in electronic music events in St. Louis, her father was one of her biggest cheerleaders until his death in 2019.
“I would go into a room where he was with other adults and because the media always talked about raves and young kids in a negative way, I wouldn’t really speak about it,” she said. “I would come in apologetically explaining what I do and my father would railroad over me and be like, ‘You should see the things she builds! She makes something out of nothing but people come and dance all night long. These kids just all come together. They have a common bond, and they just come together and dance.’ He just got it.”
Many of her contemporaries in the LGBTQ party scene left St. Louis for bigger cities like New York or San Francisco. She stayed. Why? Her family and community.
“I couldn’t leave, because I never felt like I was going to leave my scene that had given me so much, that meant so much to me, in the hands of people that would carry on the legacy the way I needed it to be carried on,” she said. “It became my whole ethos.”
While Alexis has been on this journey for decades, the last few years have been especially busy for her. Her St. Louis party, Nightchaser, started in 2012 and moved to a larger venue in 2021, hosting thousands of revelers. She also was booked internationally for her design skills. While DJ’ing in a back room to let off some steam after setting up a space in the Poconos, attendees heard her and demanded that she officially spin at Utopia, a larger party scheduled for Isla Mujeres in 2021.
Jakes Resnicow, the producer of Utopia, told TODAY Parents via email, “Her musical style — so unique and infectious, rooted in disco — instantly won me over.”
“In every set, you can feel the love and passion in her craft,” he added. “Her love of the music and in bringing joy to each of us comes from the heart ... Her star is so bright.”
After that gig, she gained an even larger LGBTQ following from all over the country, and began snagging opportunities from coast to coast.
Tucci spent most of June booked and busy, performing at Planet Pride in New York City — an event that welcomed 10,000 attendees in Brooklyn — as well as Chicago, Washington D.C. and West Hollywood. She said wouldn’t be able to travel as much if it wasn’t for her ex-husband, who is the primary caretaker of their two teenaged sons while she is traveling.
Together with Chris for 11 years and married for six, the couple have two children: Holmes and Kingston, now 16 and 15 respectively. She took some time away from her event production company when her kids were younger, but still continued to keep her business alive.
“Chris really has kept everything balanced between us, really. He wears the hat of routine and putting systems in place so I can do this,” she acknowledges of their co-parenting. “I can’t live this life without Chris holding it down for me which he has this whole time.”
Holmes and Kingston love that their mom is a popular DJ in the LGBTQ community, but like most kids, they're not overly impressed by their mom's work.
While her own children are the most precious mirror pieces in her disco ball of life, Tucci looks at all the dancers on her floor as her kids. She hopes that both her presence and her music is healing.
“All of these boys have experienced hurt because of their sexual orientation,” she said.
“My friend Darius stood with me looking down at the dance floor. He said, ‘I don’t know what you’ve seen, but you’ve seen something and when you play your music, it not only acknowledges the pain that they’ve gone through, but it gives them permission to release it,'” she said.
“This entire community has taken it upon themselves to watch me soar. It’s so emotionally overwhelming. It’s humbling.”