I have been spending time with Phebe Edwards…
who reveals the story behind her latest cut, Space. Edwards talks about working with Cameron Bloomfield and Kadeem Clarke on the song; whether it all came together quite quickly; the incredible artists she has worked with in the past – whether forthcoming gigs with Gabrielle are getting her excited!
I ask what producer Luke ‘G-kid’ Grant brought to her current single; how her tour schedule is shaping up; if music allows her any spare time to reflect – she recommends a new artist we need to get involved with.
Hi, Phebe. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been good, thank you. Apart from tackling the flu; I’ve enjoyed seeing the response to my new track, Space - so that has, somehow, helped me keep my mind off the achy joints and blocked nose!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hey there listeners and readers. My name is Phebe Edwards and I am an independent singer-songwriter from London. I’ve worked in this industry for a long time as a backing vocalist and featured for various artists - and now, finally; I have the chance to release my own music...
Can you name some of the other artists you’ve worked with?
I’ve worked with Liam Gallagher, James Brown; Rita Ora, Jessie J and Stormzy, to name a few. Most recently; I featured on the song, Focus - it is on Craig David’s latest album.
What can you tell me about the single, Space? What is the tale behind it?
Space was written about three years ago and features Cameron Bloomfield. It expresses the sentiment of being trapped in a stifling relationship - from both a female and male perspective.
From past performances, I’ve I have been known to sing high and with power. Space shows a very different side of my voice: it’s an emotional ballad that was written from life experience.
It sounds quite natural and personal. Was it easy putting the song together?
It started from talking about different phases people go through in relationships. The process was very organic: the lyrics developed alongside the music.
Cameron Bloomfield and Kadeem Clarke are on the track. What was it like working with them?
These guys are a joy to work with. Such a laugh! Every time we’ve been in a session together, it’s been hard to finish and actually go home as our vibes are so cool. They are so lovely and funny, too!
Luke ‘G-kid’ Grant produced the song. What, do you feel, he brings to the song?
I’ve worked with Luke on a few songs now and there’s something about his production that excites me. Every time I go to Luke with an idea and he says “leave it with me”; it’s guaranteed that, the moment you hear what he’s put together, you're going to be happy with it. Listening to the growth of the song, from the initial writing session to the production of the track…I couldn’t wait to sing on it!
Is there going to be more material coming before the end of the year?
There sure is! I’m working on the next release as we speak - and keep your eyes peeled for the E.P.
Which artists did you grow up around? I hear shades of Mary J. Blige in your tones. Is she a big idol?
I have a few idols: Mary J. Blige is one of them! Along with Fantasia Barrino, Coko from SWV (Sisters with Voices) and the great Aretha Franklin. I was brought up listening to a lot of Gospel. I’m a massive Whitney Houston fan, also...
Her songs, vocals and lyrics are a great inspiration to me.
I believe you are opening for Gabrielle soon! Are you a big fan of her work?!
I’ve worked with Gabrielle for a long time on numerous occasions - and I sure am a big fan of hers! She is a phenomenal artist and a lot of her songs hit home for me, lyrically and emotionally. I’m so excited to have been invited back to the iconic Jazz Café in Camden to open for her album launch on 8th May!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Personally; 2017 was a massive learning curve for me, which taught me so much about myself and, also, my music. 2017 redirected my purpose for 2018: take my music to the next level (of what I promised myself and my listeners).
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Seeing my first single hit number-fourteen in the R&B charts in 2014 was a memorable moment for me.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
From personal experience; consistency, persistence and patience are key. Try not to miss opportunities to showcase your talent, no matter how big or small. Keep pushing and networking and, with all the highs and lows, keep believing in yourself.
IN THIS PHOTO: H.E.R.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
To be honest; I love H.E.R. at the moment. I was gutted that I missed her recent show in London. Love H.E.R. - check her out.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Everyone knows I love a cup of tea. I’m actually a tea-a-holic, in fact!
I also enjoy a good boxing session at the gym. Fitness has become a new focus of mine and, recently, I have gone through a big transition with my health - and I aim to maintain it.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I’ve currently got H.E.R.’s Focus on-repeat – enjoy (smiles).
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