Phebe Starr writes big anthemic pop songs that have captured countless imaginations. And now she's started a record label.
Phebe Starr grew up in a tiny town on NSW's North Coast. Using all her spare time to listen and create music with no training - just a whole lot of artistry and experimentation - gave Phebe her ambitious, songwriting foundation. After relocating to Sydney, Phebe's first EP Zero was released in 2014 and her songs ended up on popular television shows Offspring and Dance Academy. Aside from the syncs, Vogue magazine and Perez Hilton and a plethora of other media agencies and influencers endorsed Phebe's indie pop gems. With a bagful of successful musical stories tucked away, Phebe relocated to Los Angeles for a few months. Ever on the hunt out for new sounds and muses, she expanded her artistic horizons and dreamt up her current offering, a six track EP entitled Chronicles. Now she's back in Australia. And, in the same manner as her first EP, the music resonates with the zeitgeist. Her first single Feel My Love and its subsequent remix have hit over three million Spotify plays. Listen through the whole EP and find a gem called Lavender Scars which is - oh, just listen to it! Sigh. If that wasn't enough, Phebe has also announced a brand new record label, and has been working with a very exciting and uber talented singer/songwriter named Muki whose first single sky-rocketed through Spotify's stratosphere within days of being released. (Music Love will talk to Muki soon. She is definitely one to watch). In the meantime, Phebe took some time to chat with Music Love about her journey so far, the new album, the new label, and the fact that last week on her mother's farm, a giant python ate a pet guineafowl. Never short on excitement, it would seem. Make sure you listen to her big anthemic pop songs and support a woman who started, literally, with nothing but her dreams. Corny, but true.
What does music mean to you?
Music is an old friend. I've spent my whole life with music. It has various forms in my life and what it means to me continues to change all the time.
How did your musical journey begin, and how did you get to where you are today?
I began playing music by ear. I grew up isolated on a hobby farm inland from Coffs Harbour. When you are a kid surrounded by bush with no internet, phone and bad TV reception you learn how to entertain yourself pretty quickly. Music was something I made unconventionally throughout my childhood. I didn't have lessons, I didn't know what was wrong or right. I just played to express and enjoy, and that fearlessness has really carried throughout my career and my personal approach to making music. I got here from getting involved in everything I could... haha!
Tell us about your new EP Chronicles
I wrote Chronicles soon after I moved to LA where I often asked myself, why am I doing this? Does my art have any value? What is it I'm trying to say? Those questions [made] me reflect on my story until now. My desire for freedom. My struggle with pain. The joy in triumph. Those human emotions. Each song is a reflection on a chapter of my life hence the name Chronicles.
You are managing a record label. How did this come about?
I've been working on various projects with developing artists. [My label] Palace is about giving those artists a supportive start. The intention is very humble in the sense that it's a little home for the music I've been a part of, to be released and grow.
Tell us about your first artist
Muki is the first artist I've supported through the first stages of her career. I've been working with her for about two years. She's so fun and feisty. My band and I love PC Music and heavy electronicia. We saw Charlie XCX + SOPHIE play in Austin a year ago, and we were obsessed. Muki had been working on her music for sometime and couldn't find the right producer. Aaron Reyes who was in my band did a session with Muki while we were on tour in Australia. From the first day, we knew their collaboration was really special.
It seems to be going well with Muki's song debuting at number 5 in the USA Spotify Viral charts?! Congratulations. What do you think has led to such a successful debut?
I believe it's now at #3 on the global charts and #4 on the US. Honestly it's just people sharing the song. Aaron and Muki are both incredibly talented and this response just reflects on the quality of music and an audience who are thirsty for a sip of sass!
How do you balance being an artist and now running a business for other artists?
I believe in the power of community. Art is made collectively. We all contribute but the success of one person isn't because of one person. I have an amazing manager who supports me and in return I have the capacity to support others.
What was the last thing you heard or saw that blew your mind?
My mum went to the chook pen and there was a huge snake in there and it ate her guineafowl. Watch it here
What is your favourite place in Australia?
I'm headed on tour