An Interview with Alice Phoebe Lou
Rocking the Daisies is fast approaching. The annual colourful lifestyle and music festival in Darling will happen next weekend between the 5th and the 8th of October. The line up this year is an interesting mix of local and international artists, carefully chosen by the organisers who’s task it is to make sure every year is bigger and better than the last.
This year the talented Alice Phoebe Lou is also on the line up. The young independent artist will be returning from Amsterdam after a performance there, to perform at Daisies. I caught up with Alice to talk about her work and the festival:
Hi Alice. Since this is your first interview with DPC, please give my readers a little background… where are you from and, besides music, what makes your world go round?
I was born in Cape Town, but after travelling around Europe on my gap year I decided to settle in Berlin in 2013 where I have been staying since earning my living as a musician. My passions are to travel and collaborate in different artistic disciplines and 35 mm photography is my hobby.
Great! So, you started off busking around Europe – Which in my opinion, is one of the best forms of musical art. But how did you get onto, shall I say, “actual stages” and into more organised events?
It was quite a steady and natural process, as I was playing on the streets pretty much daily and club owners / other musicians / festival organisers would see me and ask me to play at events or collaborate on projects. Since the beginning, I’ve played in many different contexts, always enjoying the diversity of playing all sorts of stages.
Wow! And, what about your music, do you think, makes people stop and listen?
I guess being incredibly vulnerable and singing melancholic personal songs on the street definitely catches people’s attention. I try to create a comfortable and enticing bubble, through many different techniques you learn as a busker, to make people feel as though they are welcome and in a safe space. It’s incredible to see the mixture of people that are attracted to it.
Looking at your social media accounts, you travel quite a bit. Obviously you are enjoying this journey to the fullest! What are some of your favourite destinations? …and why do you keep coming back to South Africa?
I have different favourites, depending on what kind of space I am in and weather I want to be social or introspective. I love going to New York and spending time there alone, writing music and exploring the city. Just as I love going to remote and beautiful parts of Europe (like Bulgaria) in order to connect more to nature. The east coast of South Africa is just about the most beautiful part of the world in my opinion and I love coming home every year and making little road trips. I spend about three months of the year in South Africa every year, simply because I love my friends and family and need to get a proper dose of it all every year. It helps me re appreciate all the things that I’ve taken for granted and also appreciate the new home I’ve created in Berlin.
Why is it important, to you, to stay independent and not sign with major music labels?
Every artist has their own journey and the structures that fit them the best. For me personally, that structure is a more independent one. I enjoy the freedom that comes along with being your own boss.
Now on to this year’s Rocking the Daisies, will this be your first performance at the festival? And what are you planning for your set?
I played RTD in 2015, which was really a wonderful homecoming. This year I am able to bring two members of my band so that it can be a bit closer to the shows that I perform at festivals in Europe and I will be playing a few new songs from the upcoming album.
That’s great. What’s special about this event?
Well, it’s a massive festival with a high level of production, and it definitely has a lot of support for local up and coming artists. I think that each year, I am proud and happy to see more friends and musicians that I look up to on the line up, and I hope that RTD will continue in the efforts of enriching the local music scene.
Every year the festival sees a lot of new comers who attend a festival for the first time. You obviously travelled a lot and been to festivals before, any advice for them?
Hydrate, look after your homies and don’t be aggressive (sexually or otherwise). I probably sound like a mom, but that’s how I feel!
Haha! Good advice... Who else on the line up do you recommend we see?
Felix Laband is my all time favourite, consistently inspiring. Floyd Lavine always makes me groove. Leeu & Mvelo are so dope ! Lucy Kruger is a total power house of a woman. And Pierre Estienne is the vinyl god and I love it !
How important are festivals in creating a platform where local artists can show their talent and craft to South African audiences?
So important, and I feel as thought they have a huge responsibility to not only give local artists a platform, but also to up the cachet and pay them what they deserve to uplift the scene and make sure that artists can live from what they do.
What can we expect from you in the future? Any albums, tours or music videos coming up?
I will be releasing an album early next year that I am eagerly working on. And there will be a dope South African tour in January, gonna drop the deets soon!
Awesome! All the best.