Phebe Edwards

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Words: @hannaholarewaju
Photos: @torhillsphotos
Stylist: @vividliy

Have you been in a situation where you’re feeling overwhelmed? Feeling smothered or oppressed by another person? You’re probably thinking to yourself that you need some space. You just need to run away and find yourself again. Well, that was the exact motivation behind Phebe Edwards single ‘Space’. It features the dreamy Cameron Bloomfield and has all the allure of a love song, however the lyrics tell a different story. In fact the story tells of a need for space from the one you love, not forever but just for a little while. Something I'm sure we can all relate to.

 

I met up with Phebe one afternoon to get to know her story. And as an experienced vocalist in the industry, performing with the likes of Jessie J, Rita Ora and Craig David, we had a very insightful conversation. In her latest release, she chose to preach the need for space instead of a regular love song. And I wanted to know why..x

PE: This song is about a desire to still maintain your individuality whilst in a relationship. It’s about needing space for you to remember or even realise what you want for yourself in your life, without constantly having to factor in the needs of another person.

 

H: But isn’t that what having a relationship is all about? Fusing your lives together.

 

PE: Yes. Most definitely. But at the same time, if you don't take the adequate time to remember you, you risk losing yourself.

 

H: Are you speaking from personal experience?

 

PE: Yes. This song speaks of my experience.

 

H: Every artist says this. That their music mirrors their lives and all experiences are genuine and truthful. You are currently working on an EP, how much of your current life experiences are going to be in there?

 

PE: Hmm. Interesting you asked that. Because recently I have been thinking about the fact that most of my fans and listeners… don’t even know half of the things I’ve been going through.

 

H: Is that because you haven’t been so transparent through your music?

 

PE: I would say… I have stayed silent on some things that I need to be more open about. For myself, to set myself free. But a positive thing about being an artist is having this responsibility to be vulnerable, so that you can help others be vulnerable.

 

H: I understand… is there anything in particular you want to say?

 

PE: I do, but I need to do it in a tasteful and meaningful way. This story can not be diluted or disrespected.

We then have an intimate conversation about the ups and downs of her marriage, which unfortunately led to divorce. And also about the loss of her step-son to cancer and how she’s been dealing with it all. She’s been through a lot recently, but because of it calls herself Phenomenal Phebe. A persona that she is eager to express more in her music. She believes wholeheartedly in the artistry of being a musician. With her main mantra being ‘when you sing a song, the story needs to be reflected in the performance’. 

 

With her main influences arising from gospel, r’n’b and jazz, and her experience as a vocalist for the likes of James Brown, Macy Gray and most recently Gabrielle, Phebe has an abundance of experience in bringing a performance to life.

H: What makes a great performance to you?

 

PE: One with heart and passion. In my career so far, I’ve had to adapt and change to different genres, so that has given me such a diverse exposure to music and performing. But a common theme is the passion. And this free form of expression that just bursts forth on stage. It shows that it comes from a truthful place.

 

H: Why is that so important?

 

PE: I believe its important to acknowledge your feelings. To take that space and become comfortable with accessing that side of you. I’m honestly speaking to myself, because I know that’s something I’m still learning how to do. But I’ve been yearning for a release of emotion. For an environment where I can say and feel how I want. Which I definitely want to do through my music. And you will definitely feel that on stage

 

Since 2014, Phebe has been making her way as an independent artist and has achieved much. With her first single ‘Say Suttn’ reaching number 14 on the R’n’B charts and a sold out show in The Jazz Cafe. She has already come a long way. But with her sights set on more expression, more honesty and more music. We have a whole lot more to look forward to.