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Five Minutes With Phoebe Ryan

Music

Mar 25, 2015

Future pop stars, take note: If you want to grab the internet’s attention in a major way, we suggest taking a page from Phoebe Ryan’s book. The L.A. singer and songwriter (who’s collaborated with artists like Bea Miller and Skizzy Mars in the past) recently made a leap into the solo spotlight with the ultimate one-two punch. She dropped a mashup of R.Kelly’s “Ignition” and Miguel’s “Do You…,” meaning, two equally irresistible songs were stuck in our brains at once.

After the covers shot straight to the top of the Hype Machine chart, the 24-year-old is now rolling out original material. Her recent singles like “Mine” and “Dead” might have totally different messages (more on that below), but each one is pure, glittery pop magic. Featuring soaring melodies complemented by Ryan’s own ethereal vocals, this is music that’s supposed to be big — whether you’re blasting it in your car, or whether you catch her this spring on tour with The Knocks. Turn up the volume and meet Phoebe Ryan below.

How did you first get into music? 
I’ve actually been performing pretty much my whole life — in first grade I freaked out when I didn’t get the lead in the school play. I was also a drama major at a performing arts high school, and totally obsessed with Shakespeare. I competed in the National Shakespeare Competition when I was 17. I always get a little nervous on stage but somehow it’s the best feeling in the world.

When exactly did you decide to do your R.Kelly cover?
I did that R. Kelly cover over a year and a half ago. I’ve just been sitting on it, waiting for the right time to release it.

Did you ever expect it to blow up so quickly? 
I always thought it would do well. Because honestly, who doesn’t like that song?

Since R.Kelly’s “Ignition” is a classic karaoke pick, what are your top three karaoke songs?
“21 Questions” by 50 Cent, “Back At One” by Brian McKnight, and “Summer Nights” from Grease.

What were some of the bands you were most obsessed with growing up? 
Growing up I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan, The Strokes, Ben Kweller, A Tribe Called Quest, Guns N Roses, Broadway soundtracks, and 50 Cent.

Who inspires you now? Lately I’ve been obsessed with Jeremih, The Weeknd, DeJ Loaf, Ariana Grande, and the new Björk record. I know my taste is weird/lame/whatever/who cares.

Tell us about “Dead.” What’s the story behind the track?
It’s a song about feeling super lucky with the way your life is going, and wondering if you deserve any of it. I constantly feel that way. I am healthy, my family and friends are wonderful, and I have the coolest job… but I fuck up a lot, and that confuses me.

What are some things you’re bringing with you on tour this spring with The Knocks?
Pokemon cards for BRoc, sriracha sauce for JPatt, champagne, and dancing shoes!

What’s next for you?
Dope things, working my booty off.