Interview: Phoebe Day

phoebe day

Sydney artist Phoebe Day releases her new heart-felt track,‘Place In Time’. The sultry tune is a blend of classic jazz and old school soul, fused with contemporary songwriting and production. We caught up with Phoebe to find out more!

Tell us about you new single, Place in Time.

Place In Time was the first tune I wrote for this recording. At the risk of sounding a little cliché, it was one of those songs that just wrote itself. I remember sitting down at the piano and within a few hours this ballad with strings had come into existence. Once I had taken the song to my producer Joel Sena, we wrote a band arrangement and recorded it a few months later. A Sharp Recording Studios in Riverwood is a dream to record in. We had this incredible old Steinbach Grand Piano (played by Mike Pensini), which gave the track that old-school warmth I was looking for. The real challenge with “Place In Time” was blending classic jazz/soul acoustic sounds with modern contemporary production. I wanted to re-create the mood of those vinyl records I grew up with, in a modern context. I was really excited and little nervous going into this release. I know that I’ve poured my heart and soul into this tune so I hope it resonates with people in some way. I also feel very humbled and grateful to be able create music with some incredible musicians and artists. Having “Place In Time” out there, finally, feels like breathing out months of bottled emotions. It’s almost therapeutic.

Listen to Place in Time below.

Where did your love for music come from?

I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t deeply in love with music. It all began listening to my father’s classic jazz, soul and blues records as a baby. The first instrument I fell in love with was the saxophone. My parents bought me this plastic sax for my fourth birthday. I was absolutely terrible – so it’s probably a really good thing I ended up with Joel! Somehow I found my way to the piano, begging my parents for lessons at five years old. There’s something about the dynamic range of the piano that got me. You can combine harmony, melody and rhythm in a way that no other instrument can. Playing for so many years really helped me as a vocalist and pushed me to develop my ears. Singing has always been my true passion. I don’t remember how it started or when it happened, but it’s just been the purest and most authentic way of expressing myself.

Who are your biggest musical influences that got you to love the soul and rnb?

I’ve always been influenced by the great soul/rnb singers like James Brown, Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone. I know Nina is known as a jazz/blues singer but I just find her voice to be so soulful. You can hear her pain with every note and it’s coming straight from her soul – that’s soul music to me. More contemporary artists like Robert Glasper, Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu have also really inspired me.

What does the future hold for Phoebe Day?

More creating and playing! I’ve got two more singles to release over September/October that I’m itching to get out there. These songs were all written around the same time and together they tell one great story. I’ll be playing a show with a full band at the end of October to launch these news tunes and I can’t wait to play them live. I’ve also been working with saxophonist/producer Joel Sena who’s releasing an EP in October. I sang two songs on his latest recording so I’ll also be playing a show supporting Joel too.

Any advice would you give other aspiring artists in the industry?

Keep going, keep learning and keep being creative. It’s really tough at the moment for independent artists looking to cut through the noise and be heard. What I’m learning is the importance of resilience and seeing every limitation as an opportunity to be creative. It’s easy to fall into the trap of following trends and creating music that we think will be ‘hip.’ If it’s not authentic, people will know. The best chance you can give yourself to succeed is to create music with your own sound. Find your niché and trust that there is an audience out there for you.