The distortion heavy R&B EP with an intriguingly edgy undertone . Teetering on the edge of danger, the undeniably sensual body of work is both captivating and unnerving.
Drawing you like a sirens call there’s something simply alluring about the gritty bass line contrasted against phe’s soulful vocals and dainty ad-libs.
Beginning her journey in East Vancouver, Phé fell in love with the arts at a young age, taking to the stage as a dancer, actress, and singer.
The R&B singer continued to nurture this talent, but it wasn’t until Phé graduated from high school that she made the decision to officially pursue her career and post-secondary education in music.
She attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where the R&B singer studied vocal performance, music business, and songwriting, developing her unique style and refining her songwriting skills.
Here’s what happened when we spoke to the singer about her New EP and more.
Describe yourself in three words?
Awkward, theatrical, empathetic.
What three things set you a part from other R&B artists?
My perspective — I think the one thing that sets all artists apart is each person’s unique perspective. It’s the thumbprint that makes my music mine. And it’s through that perspective and those experiences I get to express and relate to people.
I’m awkward — I look at music as a way of bringing people together, rather than to idolize and lift up one person. I want people who listen to my music, see me play live, etc, to feel like that are a part of a community with me, the awkward girl, rather than separate from me — this untouchable artist. Cause that’s not what I am or what my goal is.
My music — because of the above two, I get to make the music I make. No one has the same exact experiences, and no one is the same, so because of who I am, how I experience and understand the world, and how I then express that understanding, I get to make the music that I make. And because other artists experience and understand life differently, they get to make their music the way they do. Music for me, is a huge form of expression, and being honest in my writing helps me to better understand myself.
Before branching out and doing your own thing you spent some time as a backing vocalist. What was the most important thing that experience taught you?
Working as a backing vocalist has honestly taught me so much — about the industry, working with other people, and myself as an artist. It showed me how important it is to always be ready to work and to get creative. No matter what the situation — whether you be working on your own project or for someone else — you always need to be ready to get creative and for things to change on the fly. Things can move very quickly, and it’s important to be able to adapt with them.
If you had to pick who would your king of R&B be?
I mean, I grew up fangirling over the 2000s R&B legends, so I will always have a soft spot for that moment in music. With that, I am going to have to say Usher is my guy. He spoke to my young heart, even though I was really too young to even understand what he was talking about. But the unsung hero of R&B is definitely Mario. Dude doesn’t get enough credit ahaha, “Let Me Love You” is like one of the best songs of the 2000s.
Crisis is a very bold title. How did you come up with the concept and what does it represent to you?
Well, a crisis is described as “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made” and also “the turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death.” Both are rather intense, but I had found myself at this point where I was being really self-destructive and selfish, and I realized that I either had to change the way I was treating myself and the people or I would end up not recognizing myself, completely isolated, and potentially at a point that there would eventually be no coming back from.
And the whole EP sort of goes through the moments leading up to and following that realization. It’s the spaces in which I had left bits of myself that lead to my own eventual “CRISIS”.
Let’s talk about ‘incredible’ first of all There’s a dope guitar solo on the track which I absolutely loved. Why did you decide to make ‘incredible’ the leading track?
‘Incredible’ was actually one of the first songs I ever wrote that I knew I wanted to release as an artist. I had written many songs prior, and shared them with my friends and family, but up until ‘Incredible’ I had never written anything I felt represented me as an artist, and that I wanted to release into the world.
But beyond that, ‘Incredible’ is simply the beginning of the story I am telling throughout the EP. It was the moment that I realized that I was falling in love for the first time.
Moving on to ‘About us’, it’s is a very honest track, describe what it felt like when you listened back to it for the first time.
At first, I didn’t totally know what ‘About Us’ what actually about. I knew I had all these things I wanted to say, and all these feelings I felt, but it wasn’t until after I had written it and sat with it for a couple days that I realized what the song actually meant and represented. I had written this song for myself, to extend the permission to just love me and make my relationship about myself — because no one else could do that for me.
What did the writing process for this project teach you about yourself as an artist?
‘About Us’ was one of my first experiences with going into a co-writing session (when you write with another person) with the intention of writing a song for myself, and coming out of it with a finished song that I really wanted to release. Prior to this, I had done all the writing for my songs on my own, so it was really interesting and eye-opening to bring someone else into that processes.
Were there any lyrics where you thought “I don’t know if I can say that” and how do you get past that?
I don’t think I’ve ever had an “I don’t know if I can say that” moment, but I’ve definitely had the “I don’t know if I want to have to explain myself” moment. When you talk about something in a song it really opens up a conversation around whatever it is you are singing about. So I’ve found myself, a couple of times, writing a song and wondering if I want to open up “that” discussion, or have to explain myself surrounding whatever experience or feelings I am singing about.
If everything goes to plan, what does a successful 2019 look like for you?
If everything goes as planned, 2019 will be full of really diving deep and exploring. I’m just excited to be making new music without giving myself too many barriers or guidelines. I want to produce more and really start working on strengthening that muscle. I found that dipping my toes into production last year because a new and exciting source of inspiration, so I’m stoked to continue to explore that. I want to be collaborative and work with people who are totally different from myself. I want to learn new things and create music that feels good — whether that be through dancing in your room or having a good cry.
Rumor has it that you’re also a dancer. Are there any plans to explore that side of things further this year?
Ahaha the rumors are true, I grew up doing all sorts of dance — mainly West African, hip-hop, jazz, and tap. I would definitely love to bring more a physical element into my work, especially in terms of my live shows and really being able to use the space. I really do miss dancing, and just having that creative outlet, so I would love to be able to get back into exploring that.