SR: We would like to walk a few steps of your career, chronologically, starting from the beginning: when and where was your project born?
PHE: I first officially “decided” to pursue a career as a solo artist in the fall of 2015, while studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Although I have always written music and loved performing — participating in my high school plays, choirs, vocal ensembles, and basically any other extra curricular that involved music or theater — it was during my 5th semester at Berklee, that I decided to take the dive into exploring the career of solo artist. And so, I decided to host and perform in my first ever show backed by a band, made up of my friends and I. I had never performed in front of a band before, and it felt like a logical step in figuring out if being an artist was something that I would actually want to pursue. Safe to say I fell in love. I had never experienced anything quite like performing a bunch of music you love, live, with your friends. The energy in the room was out of this world.
It was also around this time when I been truly exploring writing music for myself with the intention of releasing it under the name Phé. I began working with a friend of mine, Christian Mombru (now based in Atlanta) to produce and write music that would eventually be compiled into my debut EP, CRISIS — which was released independently in December 2018. Mombru was the first producer I had ever really worked with, and in my collaborations with him, I was learning what it meant to explore “my sound” and figure out how I wanted to represent myself as an artist. Definitely no small task for a 21 year old still trying to figure out who they are as a person. But, it was in this collaboration with Mombru that the vision for my first project came to life. After we had put together a handful of songs that we were happy with, I brought on another producer and mix engineer, Jaime Estalella to work with us to take the project over the finish line. Jaime is now my partner and main collaborator!
Between 2015 when we started writing music for the CRISIS, and 2018 when the project was released, I graduated from the Berklee College of Music, where I studied vocal performance, music business, and songwriting for four years, I moved to Los Angeles to be able to focus my energy on my career as an artist, interned and assisted artists such as Ella Vos, Solange, and Jared Leto, and had the opportunity to perform in a number of venues across the United States. Since then I’ve also had the honor of performing on the Canadian TV show The Launch, performing at the 2019 Canadian JUNO Awards with Sarah McLachlan, shooting and releasing two music videos for my first two music videos, “wtv, it’s cool” and “Worst Days” with the amazing, Brit Phelan, had my single whatever it’s cool played on Canadian radio, and I’m now working towards creating a really exciting new project which I can’t wait to share.
It’s definitely been a rollercoaster of a journey, with all the emotions, uncertainty, and deeply personal exploration that can go into making and releasing music. But I wouldn’t ask for anything else! And it means the world to have had the support and encouragement that I have had along the way. xo
SR: Do you ever think about the sensations your music conveys to listeners?
PHE: Oh, yes definitely! While it can be hard to remove yourself from the music and look at it objectively, from a listener standpoint, I always try to put myself in the shoes of a listener and to let go of my own personal ties to the work, as its creator. It’s my hope that my music allows listeners to enter space in which they feel empowered to explore their vulnerability and inspired to better understand the world around them.
SR: What is there besides music in your life?
PHE: Besides music, my life is full of friends and family, cooking, baking, yoga, meditation, reading, writing, spending time in nature, enjoying TV shows that I find engaging or captivating, inquiring into the world around me, and other forms of artistic and creative expression such as embroidery, digital design, intuitive movement, and dance.