We had the good fortune of connecting with Phebe Starr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phebe, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
When I was young I realized I was a little bit crazy. I didn’t have time to work that out and have a career at the same time, so a creative path was something that allowed me to navigate both things at once.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a songwriter and artist from Australia. I grew up near a small town, on a farm without telephone or internet reception. With no music teacher around, I taught myself how to play music by ear on my nylon guitar, by listening to classical radio and cassette tapes. I spent hundreds of hours alone discovering sound + pitch and creating weird sounds! While still at high school, I managed to hustle my way into my first music job at a 5-star holiday resort playing jazz covers for tourists. As soon as I left school I moved to Sydney, Australia, and have been working as a full-time independent musician since 2014, after my debut song ‘Alone With You’ was picked up by the biggest national radio broadcaster in Australia. I have been living in L.A. on and off since 2016 till now.
I am someone that has always struggled with language in the traditional form. I have dyslexia, synesthesia, and sensory overload issues. This has always made sounds, visual elements, and storytelling more appealing to communicate my narrative and connect with other humans. I use sounds, colors, and imagery to explain my ineffability. I like art that has mystery, complexity, and symbolism. I like that art has the ability to speak about a range of emotions, often those that can not be put into words. Art is the soul of society, an access point to those who also struggle with language or feel colloquial language doesn’t explain the depth and complexity of their human experience.
This year I’ll be releasing my first album ‘Heavy Metal Flower Petal’. After a reshuffle of plans, thanks to Covid, I’ve regrouped my thoughts and made some interesting visuals that help communicate the emotions behind the record.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I don’t know if I can answer this and feel good about myself. Most of the things I like are quiet secret places where nobody goes. I like places in L.A. that are not hip or cool. I like exploring places like Glendale and Burbank. I like having a bite at Pasadena Sandwich Company or going to Ojai for the day. My ideal day consists of having no agenda and stumbling onto weird and beautiful things. I guess if you have the right company it doesn’t matter what you do!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
- To my first horse ‘Ice Cream’ who was my best friend and who I took for granted.
- To my 3 siblings, who started a family band without me, thus inspiring me to seek revenge by pursuing a career in music.
- To my ex-husband who showed me there are no mistakes, only pathways.
- To my audible account for gifting me a way to hear stories without being constrained by my dyslexia and poor eyesight.
- To my Manager, Jade Nazareth at Our Secret Handshake, who sees things, knows things and does things.
Other: Tic Tok: @phebestarr
Cary Fagan – Gold under eyes Raex – On tiled floor