Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Phé, I’m 24 years old, and originally from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I’m an independent contemporary R&B artist and songwriter, currently based in Los Angeles, California.
Growing up, I was very theatrical and was drawn to the stage at a very young age — quickly becoming involved in dance, theatre, musical theatre, and choir. So performing has always been a huge part of my life, and being able to express myself in those creative mediums was a super lucrative tool for me.
Fun Fact: I grew up on Disney Princess movies and Winnie the Pooh, love Disneyland and hope to write my own Disney Princess movie one day — in which I would also star as the lead voice, obviously ahaha.
When did you first realize that you wanted to make a career in music and what brought you to that revelation?
I always knew I wanted a career in music and entertainment, but it wasn’t until I was attending the Berklee College of Music that I gave myself permission to really dive in and pursue a career as a solo artist. I think, deep down, I always knew that this was my path, but there was something that was holding me back. There was this fear of success that I was harboring, that stopped me from being honest with myself about what I wanted and the career and life I wanted to have. But, when I got to Berklee and really started writing for myself and exploring my expression as a songwriter, I opened up and gave myself permission to pursue the career I wanted and take that risk, but also to put myself in the face of success and accept that and feel like I deserved that.
You spent time at well-regarded music schools like the Sarah McLachlan School of Music and Berklee College of Music. How instrumental were those schools in honing your skills as a singer?
Both of those schools had a huge impact on getting me to where I am at now as a vocalist, performer, songwriter, business person, and just as a young woman. From a technique standpoint, they taught me so so much and helped me to really develop and strengthen my voice as a singer. But beyond that, they helped me to find myself as an artist and gave me a sense of support and community that a lot of your people do not get.
How would you describe your musical style?
I look at music as a very fluid thing. While I understand that sometimes it’s important to be able to categorize and describe things using recognizable and familiar buzzwords, I think that music goes so far beyond that. Music is expression. It’s storytelling. So to have this expectation that we are to stick to one style or sound can be really detrimental to the creative process.
With that being said, I always say that my music is very rooted in contemporary R&B, but I definitely draw inspiration from all sorts of styles, sounds, and genres. It really depends on the story I am telling and the emotions I am trying to evoke.
You were a background vocalist on the Marianas Trench song, ‘Shut Up and Kiss Me’, and Aloe Blacc’s hit single ‘The Man’. What did you learn from working with those talented musicians?
Those experiences were so different from each other, but both were HUGE learning experiences and really really fun. Both opportunities taught me that you need to be flexible, and ready to try out different things on the spot. Music isn’t necessarily linear, and the creation process is very much about flow and bouncing off each other. So being able to be comfortable in the studio and creating, learning, and performing parts on the fly is really important. Before both of these experiences, I didn’t really know what to expect when going into the studio. And now I know, expect the unexpected ahaha.
You’ve recently released your debut EP “CRISIS”. What can audiences expect from this set of songs?
CRISIS is a story and is really meant to be listened to in order from top to bottom. It details my first experience with love and heartbreak, with each song being a snapshot of a different moment in time throughout my journey of it all. It was a way for me to stop running from the pain I was experiencing and really allowed for me to understand my feelings in order to then begin to heal and move on.
Each song has its own sonic landscape, based on the emotional and narrative context of what is going on — so the body of work touches on a lot of different sounds and styles. But, R&B is definitely the home base of it all.
The lead single off of “CRISIS” is called “Incredible”. What can you tell us about that song?
“Incredible” is the moment when I realized that I was falling in love for the 1st time. It goes through my experience with that realization, and the different emotions I was feeling — the confusion, the giddy excitement, the daydreamy warmth, the overwhelming intensity of it all.
I vividly remember after I wrote it, that I knew it was a song that I wanted to release as Phé. It was the 1st song I had ever written that I KNEW I wanted to release and share with the world.
What’s next for your career?
This year is going to be about the hustle, and getting myself to that next level as an artist. Now that I have my first body of work out, I have more of a solid foundation to work off of and grow from. I’ve planted my roots. So, I’m excited to allow myself the time to create new music, perform more, work on more visuals and videos, but also to just live. I didn’t give myself a lot of breathing space last year. So I think this year I am going to open up a little more space to simply live and enjoy myself.
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
Take the time to really understand yourself and your values. I think it’s so important to have a strong foundation and understanding of who you are and the kind of artistry/career you want to have. If you don’t have that understanding, you give people the opportunity to take advantage and walk all over you.
What’s your life like outside of the studio?
At this stage in my life and career, life outside the studio is very much like life inside the studio. It’s very music centric, always filled with creating, writing, singing, and producing. A lot of my time also goes towards administrative stuff like emails and contracts, planning, proposal writing etc — which I don’t think a lot of people realize! As an independent artist, there isn’t a lot of time in my day that isn’t about my career and work. There’s always something can or should be done.
Let the readers know where to find you online.