St. Pete-based Instagram star YungBBQ talks pop culture, Gen-Z humor and public dancing

Viral entertainer Alexis Feacher wants to transition from Instagram fame to full production sketch comedy and content creation.

click to enlarge Alexis Feacher aka "YungBBQ" in front of St. Petersburg's Bandit Cafe. - ADAM COLE BOEHM
Adam Cole Boehm
Alexis Feacher aka "YungBBQ" in front of St. Petersburg's Bandit Cafe.
Driving through south St. Pete, you might see a young woman equipped with a speaker, a stool and a phone hard at work in the middle of the street. And that work usually involves energetic dancing, detailed costumes, and the nonchalant acceptance of her neighbors.

With a staggering 1.7 million followers on Instagram—Alexis Feacher aka YungBBQ–is a 22 year-old native of St. Petersburg who loves vintage clothes, pop culture, and just being your typical Gen-Zer.

Feacher started the Instagram account Yung BBQ—which stands for “Young Beautiful Black Queen”—in late 2019, and her follower count hasn’t stopped growing since. Two years and a million followers later, Feacher feels like it's time to delve deeper into the world of content creation. Her name can be pronounced as “B-B-Q” because of the aforementioned acronym, but Feacher says “barbeque” is fine too, because she’s “got the sauce.”

From dressing up as celebrities and movie characters, to recreating music videos and encapsulating nostalgia with original characters like the “Uncle that gives you $20 just cause,” Feacher has the impressive ability to be multiple people at once. With her finger on the pulse of pop culture, YungBBQ has an endless pool of content for her loyal followers.

Steve from Blues Clues, Tina Turner, that random, 5 year-old meme you still think about—Feacher can do it all.

One of Feacher’s most popular videos is a 10-second impersonation of R&B singer Omarion, where she copies his movements frame-by-frame. Every single detail—from the crisp dance moves to their outfits— are eerily similar. And at a whopping 1.1 million views on Instagram, Feacher doesn’t need any context to make her fans laugh.
When asked the loaded question of “what inspires you?”—there was a long pause before she answered.

“Early 2000s nostalgia, going to cookouts, being around my family, just observing how different people interact with each other,” Feacher tells Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. “Growing up in St. Petersburg I’ve always been surrounded by different types of music on the radio or around town— and that was inspiring too.”

And you won’t just see acting, skits and parody from Feacher’s Instagram, Facebook or Youtube either. Just a quick scroll through the YungBBQ page and you’ll see splits, high jumps and other impressive moves. Feacher—a classically-trained dancer— has been busting moves for a majority of her life.

If you're one of Feacher’s many followers, you might have noticed her painstaking attention to costume details or her signature move called the “BBQ Swerve''—where her hands travel from the top of her head to her knees amidst a hip-shaking motion. Feacher says that when people recognize her on the street—which is pretty often— the BBQ Swerve is often requested alongside her catchphrase, “What Da Freak?”
click to enlarge Feacher doing her signature move, the “BBQ Swerve." - ADAM COLE BOEHM
Adam Cole Boehm
Feacher doing her signature move, the “BBQ Swerve."
Only a few years out of high school, Feacher impersonates niche memes, early 2000’s pop culture references and Disney movies that only her peers would really get—like her SharkBoy and Lava Girl dance that reached upwards of 800,000 views on Instagram.

Her typical “set” is usually the street of her childhood home in southside St. Pete, as her neighbor’s cars can be seen politely swerving out of the way in the background of some of her videos. But she does have a few choice locations throughout the city that get blessed by the "BBQ Swerve" from time to time.

“The alley behind the (now-closed) Iberian Rooster, man, I can’t count how many videos I’ve filmed there,” Feacher says with a laugh.

The video where she reenacts the obscure meme of a lady dancing by the pool, was shot at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort on St. Pete Beach, while her  viral reenactment of Omarion’s cringey dancing  was filmed in downtown’s Williams Park.

“I try to bring Florida culture into my content, and you’ll see me do Florida-style dances like sticking & rollin’ and jookin’ if that video calls for it,” Feacher says. “But to be honest, I do a little bit of everything.”

But to her millions of non-Tampa Bay fans, these hyperlocal details couldn’t matter less.

And with her extremely detailed costumes, it makes sense that she loves fashion just as much as she loves dancing. One of her most frequented spots in the Burg’ is Central Avenue’s Wendy Closet, a vintage resale store. Her outfit in the accompanying photos was completely thrifted from Wendy’s Closet, as it compliments her beloved lime green Air Force 1’s—the shoes that she’s been dancing in for years.

Feacher was already dancing by the time she was in kindergarten, and was involved in many arts programs throughout St. Petersburg. Her older brother and manager, Charles Smith, works as a professional choreographer. She and her two other brothers grew up attending the Boys & Girls Club’s arts programs at St. Pete’s Royal Theater— a historic Black performance space and movie theater that dates back to the 1940s.

“I've always done hip hop, but while in those programs I also studied jazz, modern and ballet,” Feacher says. “Those different programs kind of made me realize that dancing was something that I wanted to do long term.”

Feacher graduated from Gibbs High School in 2017 and was involved in many different types of sports and spirit week activities as well. She worked at a local Publix until August 2020, and balanced YungBBQ and her cashier job for about a year before making the plunge to be a full-time content creator. In several of Feacher’s earlier videos, she can be seen dancing in her green Publix vest, sometimes at work. Now, she makes a living mainly through brand partnerships.

Only about two years into her career as an entertainer, Feacher has already partnered with powerful brands like the NBA, BET, DSW, Footaction, Spotify, Atlantic Records, Netflix and Nike—as she was the face of its exercise app’s first virtual dance class.

And large corporations aren’t the only powerful folks noticing her content, either.

Celebrities like Diddy, Chris Brown, Teyana Taylor and SZA have reposted her videos over the past few years. K Michelle reposted one of her earliest videos in 2019, after YungBBQ lip synced her single “Rain,” on one of those “dreary, Hurricane-season type of days,” as Feacher describes. Feacher, a self-proclaimed “Disney kid” who re-creates a lot of mid-2000s Disney channel content, fangirled when the OMG Girlz acknowledged her reenactment of one of their nostalgic pop songs.

And although Feacher has reached a global audience, most Tampa Bay-based fans are shocked to find out she lives here.

“People never expect me to live in St. Pete because most content creators live in LA or Atlanta,” she says. And while she enjoys living in her hometown in her childhood home, she can see herself living in a big city one day. Feacher frequently travels to film different videos for brand partnerships, but still loves to call the Burg’ home—although she does note that “downtown is getting a little crowded.”
click to enlarge Feacher in front of Central Avenue's Dr. BBQ restuarant. - ADAM COLE BOEHM
Adam Cole Boehm
Feacher in front of Central Avenue's Dr. BBQ restuarant.
Feacher tells CL that it was her childhood dream to one day open her own nonprofit dance studio—a dream that doesn’t feel too out of reach these days. Although throughout her life she was always encouraged to stick exclusively to dancing, she has a fierce desire to become as multifaceted as possible.

“I don't want to have to call up someone to film a video for me, or come over just to do my makeup,” YungBBQ says. “I want to learn how to do pretty much everything myself so I don't have to rely on other people. I want to be trained enough to be able to dabble in a bunch of different styles of entertainment.”

She notes that it's common for internet stars to be stuck in a niche, giving their followers exactly what they would expect. Feacher looks to break this mold, and constantly evolve as a dancer, entertainer and influencer.

In addition to her wildly-popular Instagram and Facebook accounts, she’s slowly starting to build up her Youtube channel “That’s so Lex,” as it's an entirely different outlet that doesn’t limit her to one type of content. She’s delving into sketch comedy writing and direction, and just started editing her own videos in Adobe Premiere Pro.

And as the kids do these days, YungBBQ is also learning different content creation skills by watching Tik Tok tutorials. At 22 years-old and less than three years into her career, things are only looking up for Alexis Feacher and her YungBBQ empire.

Of the youngest generation of budding Tampa Bay celebrities, soon enough locals will be boasting that YungBBQ reps their city.

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