Meet Upcoming Australian Producer: Tokyo Twilight. “…stepping back sometimes and living in the moment is refreshingly healthy…”

When I created OA, my only goal was to help upcoming creators. I didn’t know how it would work, and I definitely had no idea how far it would spread – but thanks to you, the readers – I have been able to speak to some of the most talented visionaries worldwide.

For example, in this interview, I get the chance to speak with upcoming producer and DJ: Tokyo Twilight, from Brisbane, Australia. A musician since birth, Tokyo, whose influences include people like British producer, Bonobo, has gotten attention from music platforms such as Dynmk (music channel based on YouTube) and over 40,000 plays for his latest song “Little Things” in just under a week.

Although he’s relatively young, he’s already realized that this is a trying industry and that although it’s important to stay consistent, it’s just as important to “live in the moment.”

In this interview, I got the chance to discuss the backstory behind the name, the success of Little Things, and much more!

Enjoy…


Q: Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself?

A: Hey! I’m Jack. I’m a musician/DJ, and I live in Brisbane, Australia.  

 

Q: Is there a backstory behind your name? If so, explain.

A: I went to Japan about 4 years ago I think? Anyways I was on the flight back to Australia during Twilight, and for whatever reason, the full moon was nestled behind the skyscrapers of Tokyo in the distance, and the name Tokyo Twilight just popped into my head!

 

Q: You’ve used words such as “ambient-electronic” to describe your music; Who are some of the musicians (artists, producers, etc.) that influenced this sound?

A: It always depends what I’m listening to! But my biggest influence would have to be Bonobo, I’m in love with the way he combines electronic and organic soundscapes into one piece, it’s makes it sound so orchestral and grand, but also stays true to the electronic elements.

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Q: You’re relatively young, were you always attracted towards the arts? (specifically music) Does your family have a musical background?

A: I’ve been going strong since I could walk haha, I’ve always loved dancing to music, so anytime any Michael Jackson came on, the people around me would always get a show! I only really started to write music about 3 or 4 years ago, however things have become more serious and promising in this past year.

 

Q:  I’ve previously interviewed an audio engineer, can you explain to me what the differences between an engineer and a producer are? (Is producing more about making a beat, creating the “whole picture”, etc.)

A: Yeah, it’s actually very different process with the same intended outcome, which is to make something sound nice. A producer specifically focuses on the content and sounds of the music, and a sound engineer focuses on making that content sound the best it can.

 

Q: At what age did you get into producing? What made you gravitate towards it?

A: I got into producing around when I was 13 I think, I just started messing around on GarageBand, and then found Ableton which is what I use now. I was listening to a lot of Daft Punk and really wanted to do the same thing.
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Q: If I’m correct, the first song you released (that featured vocals) “Little Things (ft. DVNA) came out over the summer. What was the creation process of that song?

A: Yeah it was! With vocals at least. I’ve released quite a few tracks here and there beforehand but “Little Things” has been the start of what I’ve always wanted to do.

Basically, I had this chord idea and vocal hook I had been picking at for ages, and eventually I decided to send it to my good friend Dana (DVNA). She took the idea and transformed it into this amazing vocal performance and threw in some nice production ideas too, then it was an uphill journey of ideas that just kept flowing. We actually didn’t see each other in person the whole writing process, the power of the internet!

 

Q: Do you think you will collaborate with more artists in the future? Do you have any dream collaborations?

A: I’ve been listening to this LA based rapper Duckwrth lately, I love his flow and his tone, so yeah i’d love to do something with him one day!

 

Q: Since its release, the song has been played over 4,000 times on SoundCloud alone, featured on one of the biggest music platforms on YouTube: DYNMK. Did you think that the song would explode like it did when you made it?

A: I sort of made this song with the intent of appealing to pop lovers, my comfort zone of writing usually consists of more ambient sounds. I didn’t expect this one to get so much love, so I’m super thankful for it!

 

Q: You released the song during one of your shows, do you remember what the response was like? Were you nervous beforehand?

A: It’s tricky cause I tend to get in my own little bubble while I’m playing, and I usually forget to take a look up from my instruments haha! However, I had heaps of people come up and say that was their favourite of the night, so I was super humbled.

 

Q: You’ve actually held a number of shows since your debut, how do you usually prepare for them?

A: I’m pretty lazy when it comes to rehearsals haha, I usually just do a quick runthrough of my songs the night before and check that all my synths & samples are working cohesively with the tracks. I’ve been lucky to not get stage fright before shows, so that helps keep me calm.

 

Q: Now, you’re currently based in Brisbane (Australia), and OA is based in New York City; does it ever shock you to see how far your music has spread?

A: I’m so happy about it! I’d never thought I’d look at my Spotify stats and see listeners from the US and UK, so that’s very exciting.

 

Q: Are there any Australian based artists us overseas fans should have an eye on?

A: A fellow Brisbane local and one of my friends Golden Vessel, his stuff is stellar! I would also recommend checking out T. Scarlett and Marco, we work on a lot of music together, and they’re also Brisbane boys!

 

Q: You’re about a year into your career now, is there anything you’ve learned since being in this position? Is there any advice you could give up & coming musicians?

A: I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is to have all the patience in the world. I’m quite young for what I do so I tend to get ahead of myself a lot of the time. I find that stepping back sometimes and living in the moment is refreshingly healthy and helps my creativity.

 

Q: Lastly, is there anything you would like to tell your supporters?

A: Thanks so much for the love, new music very very soon!


If you enjoyed the interview and would like to continue to support Tokyo, be sure to follow him on Instagram & SoundCloud.
If you would like to hear his latest song, “Little Things” feat. DVNA – click here.

Meet London Based R&B Vocalist: Bassette. “It’s scary releasing something you’ve created…”

In today’s interview, I get the chance to speak with Bermudian vocalist, Bassette. The singer, currently based in London, has been around for about three years and after a small hiatus, is preparing for a major comeback early next year. In this interview, we discuss the struggles of debuting, the journey of finding her voice, and what’s inspired her from the start.
Enjoy the interview 🙂


Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself?

A: My name is Bassette, I’m 24 years old. I’m originally from Bermuda but, I’m based in London. I sing, write songs, laugh a lot and procrastinate too much!



Q: How would you describe your sound for those who have yet to hear your music?

A: Dreamy, bassy, lazy Sunday vibes…



Q: Your songs are generally about love & the complexity of it – why do you think you gravitate towards this topic? Where do you usually grab inspiration for these songs?

A: Everyone and anyone around me. I’m a good listener so my inspiration comes from friends, stories or situations mainly and also growing watching too many Jerry Springer episodes, observing trash relationships. (lol)


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Q: Your latest song “Bermuda” – which you’ve described as a “celebration of wholehearted love” has received praises being called “infectious” and “tranquil”. As someone involved in 100% of your music, what is it like to hear praises like that?

 

A: It feels great to be honest! It’s scary releasing something you’ve created or taken part in creating, you don’t know how it’s going to be received. Just because you like it, others may not and that’s OK but it’s a long process from the creation of the song to actually releasing it so when it’s received well and given it’s praises it makes the whole process worth it.

 

Q: For a period of time, London did not have any major artists producing R&B music, which is the category you tend to work around. I’m curious as to who some of your musical influences were growing up.

A: Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Destiny’s Child and later on The Weeknd & Frank Ocean plus lots more!

 

 

Q: You’ve stated that you only started pursuing music while in university. Was music always a “what if” type of career (dream career) in your mind, or was there a specific moment that you realized you wanted to do it professionally? Did your family support this decision?

A: I’ve grown up knowing I was going to be a singer, I just didn’t know how or whether it was realistic. My family wanted me to go down the route of school: university, get a job but I wasn’t feeling that so I thought London is the best place to be to pursue music.

My parents wanted me to go to university so, for them I went to university, for me I chose universities in London so I could start to focus on my music. Here is where I found my first manager, started going studio & writing writing writing.

About 2 years into my move to London, I just didn’t want to be at university anymore, I was there for the wrong reasons so I left and decided to focus wholeheartedly on the music. My family are my biggest fans now!

 

Q: The first time we heard music from you was in 2015, with the song “Cool Waters” which received buzz from indie music platforms (such as this) – what was the experience of writing and releasing your first song like? – were you nervous?

A: Wow! Cool Water is still one of my faves actually but I’ve removed it from online.

With my first releases, I would just write in my room, so I have notebooks and notebooks filled with lyrics and ideas. I would take my lyric and melody ideas to a producer and they’d work their magic and make it into a song.

With my first EP (which is not available online anymore) I was still finding my sound and who I was as an artist so I feel it was incomplete and wasn’t synchronised or the best I could do, so I removed it. One song from my first EP is still online though.

Yes! I’m always nervous when it comes to releases and everything else.. I’m just a nervous person lol

 

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Q: You followed that up with the release of your debut project Midnight Sounds. How did that project come about?

A: Yes, Cool Water was part of the Midnight Sound EP, which was released late 2015. I just wanted to release a body of work to be honest but again, I didn’t really understand my sound or where I was at musically so felt it was a bit rushed! I’ve removed it now!

 

Q: Around this time, London had been experiencing a new wave of artists, specifically in R&B, did you ever feel pressured into “fitting” the sound or did it influence you even more to get your music out there?

A: It definitely influenced me more to get out there.

 

Q: You followed up the project with a string of collaborations: “Playing for You” with producer Joe Hertz, “Boys with Guitars” ft. IshDARR & “Boys with Guitars” (Version 2) featuring Ms. Banks. Do you enjoy collaborating? Are there any artists you currently want to collab with?

 

A: Yes, I love collaborating. You can give two artists the same beat and the end results will sound completely different because each person adds their own personality and flavour so I love working with other people and hearing their ideas.

I would love to work with Beyoncé of course. Even just observing how she works, her creative process and learning her work ethic!

 


Q: Speaking of “Boys with Guitars” – what inspired you to release two versions? Did you specifically reach out to these artists for a collaboration?

A: Yes, we reached out to both and loved what both of them did on the track so release both versions.

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Q: After “Boys with Guitars”, we were hit with “Bermuda” which we spoke about earlier.

If I’m correct, this is the first visual you’ve released to accompany your music. What was the process of recording a music video like?

 


A: It was fun! I whole different world to what I’m used to! I’m grateful to Bossy Ldn who curated the video, we based the video off of their mood board so it was really cool to see their mood board some to life at the shoot.

Jack A Bowden directed the video with his team, so it was just fun vibes and positive attitudes all around. Ash Halliburton was the creative direction and built the set as we went along so all scenes were shot in one studio and built on the day! It’s pretty amazing now that I look back on it.

 

Q: As someone who’s been active for around 3 years now, I’m curious to know what part about being an artist is the most gratifying?

A: I love when people cover my songs! Like wow, you liked it enough to learn the lyrics and make a cover video! I always love watching them and I love seeing dance choreography to my songs as well.

Also, I love hearing the final product. When ideas you’ve had in your head have come alive!

 


Q: What are some things you’ve learned since getting in this position? Are there any words of wisdom you can give aspiring musicians when it comes to patience, work ethic, etc.?

A: Accept help from others, teamwork makes things happen. Remember that you see the finished product, artists don’t expose the hard work, time & effort that goes into a release

 


Q: You’ve remained relatively quiet for 2018 but is there anything we should be excited for within the year – early next year?

A: Yes! I have a whole project coming out during the early parts of next year! it’s actually done, we just need to sprinkle some extra sauce on each track. We’ll have our next single out early next year!

 

Q: Is there anything you would like to tell your supporters?

A: There’s lots of new music coming, bangin!


If you enjoyed the interview and would like to hear some of the music featured:

Make sure to stay updated with Bassette: Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud

Meet NYC Alternative Pop Artist: Chloe Lilac. “I would’ve never thought it would reach that many people…”

Coming off of a brief hiatus, Arcane is happy to present: Chloe Lilac. Raised in New York City, this Brooklyn native has become one of the most sought out alternative acts we’ve seen in a while. It seems the stripped down and laid back vibes Lilac offers in her music is just what we’ve needed in the industry.

Although she’s only been around for a year, her transparent lyrics and intimate performances has attracted a cult following (whom she calls “Flowers”).

Whether this is your first time hearing about Ms. Lilac, or you’re a self-proclaimed “Flower”, I think you will enjoy this insightful interview talking about everything from her influencers and street performing in New York City, to the release of her first song and being on tour!

Enjoy the interview!


Q: Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself?

A: Hey! My name’s Chloe Lilac, I’m a singer/songwriter/producer from Brooklyn, New York.

 

Q: Your music is generally Pop (specifically Alternative & Bedroom Pop (Lo-fi)) – I’m curious as to who you listened to growing up? Who are some current artists you’ve been listening to?

A: Oh man, I listen to all types of stuff.

Growing up I mainly listened to Frank Zappa and The Talking Heads, ironically enough I wasn’t really allowed to listen to pop music. Now, I listen to a lot of A Tribe Called Quest, Samm Henshaw, Mac Ayres, Mac Miller, Mac Demarco (many Macs), Lana Del Rey, Childish Gambino, Tyler, the Creator, Ski Mask, Car Seat Headrest and Hiatus Kaiyote.

 


Q: Did you always know that you would take on music professionally, or was there a specific moment that it all just … clicked?

A: That’s a great question! It’s been the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, and ever since I can remember I’ve been writing songs. I’ve always had an insatiable drive to do music. I don’t think I’d be able to do anything else.

 


Q: Once you decided to become an artist, how did you go about it? (Did you begin by songwriting/producing/performing/etc?)

A: I’ve been writing songs my entire life, and performing in bands ever since I was 8 years old. I began by producing my own songs when I was 10 on Garageband. Then when I was 13, a friend told me to check out this website, SoundCloud, it’s been history ever since.

 

Q: I know for a short time you busked (performing outside) , was it ever intimidating – especially living somewhere like New York City? Where did you get the confidence to do that?

A: Again, I was desperate to succeed in music and I had no idea how to infiltrate the music scene. I have the outrageous privilege of growing up/living in New York City, so my impulsive 13 year old brain concluded that the best way to go about getting exposure was to busk. I was never scared, I was honestly just so desperate for success that nothing mattered.

 


Q: After a short time busking, you were introduced to a producer named Bobby Yewah – how was it meeting for the first time? How has he helped you musically?

A: I LOVE BOBBY!! That’s the MAN. He took me under his wing and taught me so much about myself, confidence, and music. I’d come in with a song written, play it for him on the piano, he’d produce it out in like 2 hours (so talented) and then we’d watch Netflix and eat Wendy’s. He taught me how to be a recording artist. Not every take has to be perfect. Having fun in the studio and talking about real shit is important. Music is about connection. He also taught me that working with a producer is a collaboration. The song is both of yours.

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Q: Early last year, you released your first song “Reckless”, what was that experience like?

A: I was at a really interesting time in my life. I was being really reckless (hence the name) at the time and was really finding myself as a young woman. I wanted to write about how much of a mess I was. Being a kid in New York, you grow up faster than a lot of other places. It was the first song I had ever professionally recorded, and I was so nervous the whole time. Bobby calmed me down and was super patient.

 


Q: Once the recording process was completed, how did you feel listening to it as a whole? Were you nervous about releasing it?

A: I cried when I first listened to it. I couldn’t believe it was me. I honestly wasn’t that nervous, I was excited to see the reaction online.

 

Q: Do you ever get nervous when you release new material?

A: OH YEAH. Definitely, especially when it’s a song about a specific person.

 


Q: What type of advice could you give aspiring artists (specifically musicians) when it comes to debuting?

A: Just put it out there, take a deep breath and let it rock. Don’t try to control the outcome. Surrender to the process and everything will follow.

 

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Q: Almost a year to your debut, you released your fourth song, “Your Worst” which has accumulated over 10,000 plays (on Soundcloud alone). Can you briefly explain what the song is about?

A: It was about this guy that I really liked, that I’d on and off talked to for a pretty long time. We always ended up hating each other, then half a year to a year later we’d always end up back where we started. It had been a vicious cycle for a while. We were at the not talking phase and I missed him, so this was how I coped with it.

 


Q: What (or who) exactly influences you to write and how do you maintain creativity?

A: All my songs are about real shit. That’s why I get nervous about releasing them. Childish Gambino is my biggest inspiration, as well as Lana Del Rey.

 

Q: Shortly after Your Worst, you released, what can be called your signature song, “Stolen Liquor” – which was praised by sources like Nylon Magazine. Did you ever expect this song to catch on so quickly and reach as many people as it did?

A: Oh my gosh no – I screamed when I saw Nylon picked it up! That was crazy, Nylon is such an iconic magazine. Shook can’t even begin to describe how I felt. I would’ve never thought it would reach that many people in such a short time. It was really really cool.



Q: When you perform, does it ever overwhelm/encourage you to see just how many people enjoy your music? Where do you think you would be most shocked to learn you had fans? … Do you happen have a name (or any ideas) for your supporters yet?

A: I always get surprised when people like my music. I’m so in my head about it that when people tell me they like it, it takes me off guard (in the best way). I’m honestly always shocked to hear I have fans. It brings me so much joy. I have no idea what I’d call them, maybe flowers?

 



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Photo by Olivia Kearney

Q14: Speaking of performances, you are about to head on tour with alternative pop/rock singer Sasha Sloan for a few shows, are you excited? How did you guys even connect?

A: I’M SO EXCITED!!! I opened for Rejjie Snow recently, and then she reached out to my manager about me opening for her. I’m so grateful for the opportunity.

 

 

 


Q: Should the crowd be prepared to sing along to your latest hit single “Summer” while you’re on stage? What can we expect from your set?

A: Just good vibes and fun. I want people to feel comfortable dancing and feel at home! When I’m performing it should be a safe space for expression, I want everyone to leave with a smile on their faces knowing they had a good time.

 


Q: After the tour, should we be waiting for a Chloe Lilac project, and maybe even a tour/mini tour of your own by 2019? Are there any places/events you would like to perform in the future?


A: I just finished my EP, so hopefully it’ll come out soon! Camp Flog Gnaw is a festival I’ve always wanted to perform at. The Bowery Ballroom is a dream of mine to sell out and play. Also Madison Square Garden, but that’s a little more long term! I’d also love to go to London and Paris and do a couple shows there.

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Q: For a new artist, you have accomplished quite a bit, from countless stellar performances to acknowledgement from established sources in the industry – I’m curious as to what some of your goals (whether work related or personal) for the rest of the year are?

A: Thank you! I want to make good music, help out other artists and connect with as many people as possible, as well as build up my fan base and start my album. Also, perform a LOT. In terms of my personal life, try to be the best person I can be and the best friend I can be.

 

 

Q: Because you are such a consistent artist, and seem very hard-working, how do you spend your free time? What advice can you give other creatives about balancing a work and personal life?

A: I’m still figuring out the balance, honestly. I have an amazing group of friends that I love so much. My advice is: try to find like minded, supportive, creative people. Personally, I’ve found being sober or if not keeping it in strict moderation has helped me a lot with keeping my work life/priorities on track and keeping my drive up.

 


Q: Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your supporters?

A: Thank you all so much! Really, I’m incredibly grateful. Don’t hesitate to reach out! Big love to all of you and new music is on the way!

 


If you enjoyed this interview and would like to hear the songs featured throughout the interview you can choose from the selection below:

 

Lastly, stay updated by following her on: Soundcloud, Instagram, and Twitter!

Meet Aspiring Rapper/Producer: Phil Castillo. “Create music that’s out of the ordinary.”

As most of Arcane’s readers know – the site has been on a hiatus since the beginning of the summer. I had planned to come back sometime this fall, that is, until I received an email not too long ago.. For whatever reason, you guys have stuck around and I’d love to think that it’s because of the artists I have been able to introduce to you since the site’s start.
About a week ago, I was contacted by an upcoming artist from New Jersey. About four years into his career, rapper and producer Phil Castillo has released an overwhelming amount of music, his latest releasing being a rendition of SLCHLD‘s “Wednesday Girl”. As a songwriter, I (obviously) gravitated towards his full-length production projects  Heartbeats and Touch – but Castillo is more than just a talented producer.
He is an artist in in rawest form and hopefully that is able to come across to you readers throughout this interview. I got the chance to speak with him about his beginnings, getting help from bigger platforms, and much more.
Enjoy.


Q: Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself?

A: Sure. My name is Phil Castillo. I’m a 20 year old independent rapper & producer from New Jersey. Thanks for having me.

Q: How long have you been interested in music? Was it something you always saw yourself doing professionally?

A: I’ve been interested in music for as long as I can remember.

My family has always been lively when it comes to music, whether it’s having the radio on full blast, collecting CD’s and vinyls, or watching music video based channels on TV. It’s always been an influence ever since I was young.

I remember thinking as a kid that I wanted my life to be related to music somehow; if not in a creative way; like collecting albums like my dad, becoming a manager of a famous band, or owning a music store! [laughs] I don’t know, anything that had an outlet for music, I wanted to be a part of. I wasn’t sure how far i thought about becoming an actual artist.

 

Q: I know that you are both a rapper and producer, which came first? Is either lane more natural for you?

A: I started rapping around 2010. Nothing special was made around that time, it was just me messing around in GarageBand on the family computer with an iPhone microphone while no one was home, rapping over beats I found on YouTube in the style of artists like Eminem, Kid Cudi and Drake, to name a few.  I didn’t take it seriously until I released my debut album Wallflower in 2014. That was when I knew I matured as an artist.

Then came producing- which I dabbled in here and there, but didn’t fully pick up on it until 2017 where I released multiple full length instrumental albums. Though I love both rapping & producing, both lanes are the same to me in the way a love-hate relationship works. Some might even say I work too much as a perfectionist does.

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Q: As you mentioned earlier, your debut project was released over four years ago. Did you have any fears/concerns about how it would be received?

A: Yes, of course. It may be hard to tell now, but back then, I was extremely shy to even share my music with anyone. I used to overthink every little detail, especially because Wallflower was an album all about a reckless lifestyle I experienced while I was young. I feared people would get the wrong impression of me because I was around people that were influenced to do the wrong things.

 

Q: What was your creative process like throughout the creation of this project?

A: While I was still in school, I would constantly play music or write notes and drafts throughout classes to kill time. One of the albums I would constantly play that inspired the story behind Wallflower was Because the Internet by Childish Gambino because the concept ties in with a script that goes along with the album. I was blown away at how he brought a universe he created through music to life.

After school, I used to spend hours, days even, in my old friend’s home studio. I basically lived there. There wasn’t a second that went by where we weren’t away from the studio. We would spend hours working on songs and listening to the music we would create until the break of dawn came by. Then the day would just go by as normal. Wake up, school, home studio, get little sleep in, then repeat.

 

Q: Do you think as time has passed, has it become easier to make a cohesive project, or does it become harder with every release?

A: It becomes harder because with every release, as you take on many topics, you have to make sure you’re not running out of things to say while trying to grab the listener’s attention. You have to keep people on their toes, and make them wonder “what’s next?” instead of “really? that’s it?”

 

Q: A while back, I interviewed an audio engineer and they explained that there is somewhat difference between engineering and producing – do you take on both roles or do you focus solely on producing? Can you briefly explain what exactly the role of a producer is?

A: I take on both roles, and there is a difference between the two. The role of a producer is to build the song’s body. It’s what holds the song together. Engineering is about keeping the song and it’s volumes in a balance without having anything clash or clip and keep a smooth mix throughout the song where you can hear everything that it delivers. Engineering is not only about controlling the levels, but compressing it.

 

Q: As I mentioned earlier, you’re a rapper as well – have you produced all the music you’ve recorded to thus far?

A: No, I haven’t. I wouldn’t even call the songs I’ve made songs. They’re more like renditions, you know? Coming off of albums like Wallflower and The Blue Room Project, that was a time where I didn’t know a single thing on how to produce beats. What carried the album was the stories and the lyrics it held on each song. I think that’s what made albums like mine so special. I know some can call it unoriginal, but it’s my point of view I’m speaking about through my songs. No one can ever take your point of view from you.

 

Q: How long does it usually take you to complete an entire song?

A: When I make a song, the beat comes first. I have to think how the song should sound like. It could take hours to find the right sample, the right set of drums, and so on. When the beat oss finished, then come the lyrics.

I listen to the beat more than once to craft ideas, hooks, and flows. As far as recording goes, I have to be in a certain mood. It comes with it’s good days and it’s bad days. Some days, i can spend hours recording, and it doesn’t turn out the way i want it to, and then i put it to the side for a while.

I may not like my cadence, I may screw up a line, or I don’t say it clearly enough. It’s key to be comfortable enough for you to like it, and not just one take it. Anyways, mixing and mastering takes me a couple more hours to get it just right. To sum it up shortly, it would take me about a day to finish one song. I repeat the same process with others.

 

Q: When it comes to what your beats sound like or what you write about, are there any musicians or bodies of work you are influenced by?

A: Too many to name. I listen to a lot of rap, R&B, and Pop. Kanye West is like an idol to me. Childish Gambino, he’s an all out renaissance man. I love the way artists like Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar & J. Cole write. They all push me creatively.

When I first started producing, I was heavily influenced by Joji, Knxwledge & 9th Wonder. When I produce now, I’m influenced by Elijah Who, Aso, Tomppa, Sleepdealer, Jinsang, Idealism, jhfly, and Piglet Spacey…

Recently I’ve been inspired by Sango, Monte Booker, and ICYTWAT. I also love vocalists like Clairo, mxmtoon, Sophie Meiers… There’s a whole lot, [laughs] I can really go on.

Q: Are there any upcoming musicians you would like to work with in the future?

A: I can’t think of anyone at the moment, but i’d love to work with more rappers & vocalists!

 

Q: Has it been easy for you to find work/opportunities specifically when it comes to getting your beats out there?

A: It’s not. It should be so much easier. So many collectives and brands are only looking for one specific kind of sound that matches what they’re looking for, and it’s so boring. It’s like they’re not bringing their full potential to the table. There are so many artists like me that are so underrated and are overlooked that have amazing songs that are barely even hitting 5k. We need bigger creators to help branch out to smaller artists that deserve it for the work ethic they put in.

 

Q: What would be the best way for an upcoming musician to connect with you in the future?

A: Just message me directly! [laughs] I’m usually active on my Instagram. I try to respond as quickly as i can to all messages that i receive.

 

Q: You’re a somewhat “seasoned” artist, what has this journey been like so far? Do you think you’ve grown with every project?

A: I like to think my career grows every time I release a project. They’re like stepping stones to my history. For example, I made Wallflower when I was just 16. Listening back to that album, there were a lot of things that stayed true, and a lot of things that changed within time, and it showed on my future projects. I can’t compare an album like The Blue Room Project to Wallflower, because I was in a different headspace back then. I feel as if I learn and advance more with every one, and i try to show that.

 

Q: Have you developed a signature sound yet? Is there any kind of advice you would give aspiring musicians when it comes to developing their sound?

A: I don’t think I have, because I don’t want to stick with the same formula on every project. I like to stay experimental and try new things. The best advice that I can give towards aspiring musicians is to always stay out of the box. Create music that’s out of the ordinary and stray from your comfort zone, and everything else will follow your way.

 

Q: What are your hopes for the rest of 2018?

A: My hopes for the rest of the year is to just grow. As a person and as an artist. Become more widely known, be more consistent in releasing music, connect more with my fans, do more collabs, write more, perform more especially! Recently, I did a couple of shows with a band where I performed my 2017 album A Work in Progress front to back, and it was such a heartwarming experience. I’d love to do it more frequently!

 

Q: What was your experience like performing for an audience? Were you nervous?

A: Oh yeah, I was so nervous! [laughs] I was too paranoid thinking I might have a panic attack on stage. Even when I have so much fun performing, I feel like my inner shyness acts up, and as soon as I get off, all I can do is just sigh in great relief.

 

Q: Is there any event you can see yourself performing in the future?

A: If I could, I would love to tour! I’ve only done shows on the east coast around Jersey so far, so I would love to get familiar with more of the east and experience the west for the first time. I haven’t been to a festival in years either! I don’t even remember the last festival I’ve been to, that’s how long it’s been [laughs] but to be a part of a big festival line-up would be crazy to me.

 

Q: Overall, what is the message that you hope to convey in your music?

A: The message I hope to convey is that you are not alone. I make my songs for people who are just like me, in hopes that it reaches to those who don’t have a voice to express themselves or find anybody else they can relate to.

 

Q: Is there anything you’d like to tell your supporters?
A: Thank you all for listening! Words cannot express how much i admire all of you that take the time out of your day to press play on my songs, for it is more than just music to me. It’s love.


To support Phil’s music make sure to follow him on BandCamp & Spotify!

If you’re interested in working with him, make sure to follow him on Instagram & SoundCloud.  

Arcane Catches Up With: Phé. “I think now I have a much stronger foundation and a deeper understanding of what I do.”

When I decided to create Arcane, I hoped that it would gradually become a website that music lovers trusted to provide quality music from quality artists all over the world. In just these few months, I have been given the chance to interact with some of the most talented upcoming musicians from all over the world whether it be in here in America, Europe, or even Asia.

As I’ve mentioned before, Arcane is only as valuable as its readers make it, and because of you all, this will succeed. I take great pride knowing that our readers have occasionally stopped on the site when there are no new posts (at least, that’s what statistics show) and support the artists I have brought onto the site – whether it be through listening to their music, or sharing links to interviews, etc.

Another thing I take great pride in is, well – the success of the artists I’ve brought onto the site. Not only does it boost my ego to know that the artists I show on Arcane are actually as good as I think they are, I’m especially happy to see their growth as time goes on. In most cases, the artists I interview are in the beginning stages of their career and it has been a blessing to see them blossom into the artists they’ve worked tirelessly to become – an example would be R&B songstress Phé.

 

Some of you may remember Phé, but if you need a quick reminder, she is a singer/songwriter originally from Vancouver, Canada. At the time I spoke to her, she had just gotten settled in living in LA, California after graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. After the success of her two singles “Incredible” and “About Us” she admitted to hitting a creative block but stressed that she was still creating and looking into releasing more music within the year.

In a span of four months, I’m happy to say that Phé has made her return.

With the release of “Feel You” which she describes as an 80s pop-influenced R&B song, it’s almost an immediate reassurance that Phé has pulled herself out of whatever roadblock she was in. Staying true to her R&B love-ballad style of writing, it’s safe to say that she’s one of those artists who has the ability to pull at the heartstrings whether you want her to or not.

Listening to this song will make you feel like you are hearing the words of someone’s diary. Through her sultry vocals, it’s inevitable that you recognize the longing, specifically of a lost love in her voice. The song itself represents what most people who end relationships go through, coping, heartbreak, and even denial in some cases. Phé has mastered the ability to compose songs that touch the soul and make you feel like you are in every situation she has sung about thus far.

I briefly got the chance to catch up with Phé right before the release of this song and talk to her about “Feel You”, what she’s been up to since our last interview, and much more.


 

Q: Before we dive straight into the music it’s only right to ask, how are you? You’ve been taking care of yourself?

A: I’ve been doing well! Just trying to stay healthy and grounded — sometimes easier said than done of course.

 

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Q: What’s been going on since we last spoke? I know you did a little bit of touring, what was that experience like?

A: It’s been a busy couple months! I was on tour with Ella Vos for a little while, singing background vocals back in March, and then I got asked to come back on the road and open for 2 of her West Coast shows, which was really fun! That was actually my first time playing for an audience that was made of up all strangers, which was a super surreal experience. I’m trying to be patient, but honestly I’m just really excited to start touring and playing my music for people.

Besides that I’ve been doing a lot of writing with other artists and songwriters for a bunch of different projects, working on finishing up my EP, prepping for this release of “Feel You” (I can’t believe it’s finally out!), and have also been trying to spend more time writing for myself again.

 

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Q: Now, “Feel You” – I gotta ask, is this something you’ve written out of a personal experience?  And for those who have yet to hear it, can you briefly explain what the song is about?

A: Feel You is based on true experience, and was actually a huge part of my healing process at the time. I wrote the first version of the song about 3 years ago, after going through a really hard break up, during a period where I really wanted to be able to heal and move on, but everything around me kept reminding me of this person and the relationship we had. I was really struggling to admit that I wasn’t doing well, because I wanted to believe that I was better off or that he didn’t have the power to hurt me, but by treating myself like that and judging how I was feeling, I only made things worse.

So the song talks about the process of accepting where I was emotionally, recognizing the spaces in my life where this person still seemed to exist, and then trying to disassociate or separate him from those spaces. Beyond that, the song is about just trying to understand the parts of me that wanted to be able to experience and feel that same kind of love again, while also fearing the possibility of allowing myself to get hurt all over by opening myself up.

 

Q: How long did it take you to create the song? When did you know that it was “finished”?

A: This song itself was super easy to write, because it was just how I was feeling at the time. But it took a long time till get to a place where the recording and production felt right. I think there will always be a part of me that wants to keep working on every song I write. And as I enter new phases in my life, my understanding of each song changes, and so with that I always want to bring in new elements or change things. But it gets to a point where you just can’t give anymore of yourself to a piece, and I think that’s when you need to let go and put it out into the Universe and let it be.

 

Q: It’s been about two full years since your first release, do you think you’ve evolved as an artist with each release?

A: I definitely think I’ve evolved as an artist since my first release two years ago. I was in a very different space back then, and so much has happened both in my personal life and my musical life since then that it would be impossible for me not to have evolved as an artist and as a person.

I think now I have a much stronger foundation and a deeper understanding of what I do and don’t want for myself, and what is important to me, which has really helped me to navigate my way and stay focused. But I know there is still so much growth and learning to do, and I can’t wait to see where I’ll be two years from now!

 

Q: I know you’re working on your debut project, is there a title for it yet? Are you looking at releasing it this year?

A: The title of my debut EP is CRISIS, which is also the title track on the project. This project has been with me for a really long time, and has kept going through changes, but it’s really close to being finished, and so the plan is to release it later this year. I’m really really excited to get this project out into the world!

 

 

Q: Will the singles you’ve previously released be featured on the project as well or are you starting from scratch? Also, should we expect any collaborations?

A: All the singles will be on the project — along with two more songs and a couple interludes. Unfortunately there aren’t any collaborations this time around, but I definitely want to explore that for the next project!

 

 

Q: Overall, how has your year been, is there anything you’re looking forward to throughout the year?

A: Overall this year has been pretty crazy honestly! I’ve gone through, and am still going through a lot of big transitions, so there hasn’t been a ton of stability. But I’m learning so much and know that it’s all a part of the process. I’m really just excited to finish off this project and to keep writing new music and pushing myself as an artist. I think this year is going to be a pivotal moment in my career, I’m not sure how exactly, but I feel like all of this shifting and transitioning is leading to something big, so I’m just trying to brace myself and keep working on my craft, so I’m ready when that moment does come.

 

Q: Before we end, would you like to say anything to your supporters?

A: THANK YOU! A million times thank you! While these songs may start out for me, they are also for all of you, and I’m so happy that there are people out there that are connecting with my music and finding solace within them. I’m blown away every day just by the kindness, love, and support I am receiving, and it means the absolute world to me. So thank you for coming on this journey with me, I love you all. Xo


Make sure to listen to “Feel You” on SoundCloud and/or Spotify.

To stay updated with Phe, make sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.