Ethereal and moving, Phoebe Coco shares her soulful electropop sound with the masses. Mesmerising from the word ‘go’, Phoebe can ensure your senses and bewitch the mind. We speak with the London-based songstress about her debut single ‘Silver Lives’, music videos and much more!
Why did you decide to become a musician?
I’ve never really thought about this as it has never felt like a decision. Pretty much everything I’ve done has revolved around music in some way. I’ve been performing as Phoebe Coco since my early teens alongside being involved with a lot of collaborative projects. However, there definitely feels like a lot of decisions to make within the vast terrain of the music world and one of them has brought me to where I am now releasing my debut album My White Horse & I.
What is the backstory to your debut single ‘Silver Lives’?
‘Silver Lives’ had a different backstory to all the other songs on the record. A friend of mine was shooting a video for Alexa Chung’s new range of clothes at Marks & Spencer. He asked me if I’d be up for writing something for it and I wrote and recorded a 60-second track in my studio at that time (the top floor of my grandmother’s house) with a Yamaha Portasound keyboard found in a jumble sale. M&S then told me that people were asking them where they could download the full track and, of course, there wasn’t one, then we thought why not make it one? So it began, working on this song with Marc Makarov and Vanessa Anne Redd along with the rest of my album.
How would you describe ‘Silver Lives’?
‘Silver Lives’ is a chance to escape, a road to freedom, the exhilarating feeling of being by the sea throwing caution to the wind. Your fortune is charmed and find yourself whisked away.
What about the music video for ‘Silver Lives’, what was the production like?
We had an unbelievable amount of fun making the video as I think you can probably tell by watching! It was made on 16mm by my friend and long-term collaborator AF Webb who, funnily enough, had filmed the video I made the initial music for. Alexa Chung’s ARCHIVE kindly provided us with clothes for the shoot and my sisters, Grace and Dorothy, who also sing and play on the album. Myself and our dog Scamper zoomed up to Southend danced on the pier much to the amusement and surprise of everyone and lived out the lyrics in the song.
What can you tell us about the music video for ‘Silver Lives’?
It actually created a legacy for the other videos to follow. Having put them together for a whole album listening party, I can see that there is a very strong thread that runs through them and together they create the whole visual tapestry for the album. Some of the decision and the feelings from that day really set the tone.
How would you describe your music?
It is a feeling, a mood, a story that describes itself.
If you could change anything about the single what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything with this single or any of these releases. It has been such a process making them and to me, music feels like an imprint of times passing. With music’s flaws and imperfections, it feels truly alive and always evoking. I feel ready for a release, in the true sense of the word, of the songs and I am really excited to perform them live and see them continue their journey in new ways. I’d now like to direct my energy now into recording new projects and the next chapters of the story.
What about changes in the music video?
Well, I have found that all the unplanned parts of the video, which is most of it, are the best parts. I suppose there is always room to incorporate a flying scene into this song. Taking off from Southend would be quite something.
Who inspires you as a musician and person?
I’m inspired by a lot of people at times before now. I grew up to a medley of David Bowie to Debussy to Bob Dylan to Blondie beside a lot of dance floor classics. I adore dancing, then and now, so what I hear when I am out really inspired me. Dancing or listening live creates a very unique connection to a piece of music for me and really takes me to a different place.
Do you have a message for our readers?
This year has been bizarre and difficult for everyone. I just say keep creating and keep connecting to what you love in ways that you can. I believe that community is beyond powerful and very necessary in the key to it all. I really hope that listening to the single and the album brings you joy.