It’s been nearly four years since Phoebe Ryan first began making waves in pop music, beginning with a cover and moving into her own singles, high profile collaborations and more – but, it seems like for her, the best is yet to come.
I sat down with Phoebe before she opened for Carly Rae Jepsen in Dallas, whose Dedicated tour she supported for 16 shows across the U.S. this summer. She’s as effortlessly cool as I imagined, but relatable and easy to talk to – something that I imagine comes into play when she’s writing songs, too, that connect her with listeners. When she began, she was focused primarily on songwriting, though still working on her own music simultaneously, which she went into straight after graduating from studying production and engineering at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music (who also boasts the likes of recent artists on the rise like Maggie Rogers and Fletcher).
Eventually, she hit the moment where she realized it was time to start prioritizing herself as an artist; something that came with time and confidence, or in her own words, “I just got more sassy and I know what I want.” Relatable. Yet, after years of writing songs for other artists, it was easy to continue writing but this time, for her own voice. Her first song, Mine, released in 2015, is still a fan favorite, so it’s safe to say she made the switch well.
However, for someone who had just begun putting herself forward as an artist, she’d been working with producers, etc. as a songwriter who then jumped on to work with her for her own music. Quickly, Phoebe worked on several big collaborations, including songs with The Chainsmokers and Tove Lo. When talking about these collaborations, it seems most came about pretty organically:
“Most of my collaborations are just with friends. Each of them came from a place of genuinely liking another artist and wanting to work together.”
But now, she’s preparing to release her first full length album. And, while doing that plus touring with Carly seems like it may be overwhelming, she says things are in a pretty good place right now – in fact, these tour dates have been test subjects to her brand new tunes. She’s been interspersing new music with some old in her set, even changing the set list the first four or five shows after seeing what songs people reacted to.
When asked about her new album, Phoebe says: “It’s different than music in the past. I was adamant about real instruments being played on everything, so it’s more folksy/indie. I was experimenting with a weirder side of my brain; the storylines and kinds of songs I like to sing are the same but the soundscapes are more mature and have developed further.”
In advance of its release, Phoebe recognizes that she has a mix of both new and old fans and says it’s been exciting to play for both this tour. She says Carly’s fans have a great ear for good music and the response was awesome, and she’s super thankful for her own fans.
“I take so much pride in knowing my fans are genuinely good people, and I try to build a following based around friendship and communication and positivity and just good vibes. Huge thank you to the fans for showing up every night and having an open mind about everything.”
Phoebe promises new music “soon!” so we’ll be anticipating it right alongside the rest of you.