Phoebe Over Loving Making Music in Jersey

Phoebe Over is a talented emerging talent in the Jersey music industry and Dan Andrade caught up with her about the journey she has been on to date and what is next for the singer songwriter.

Oliver Doran Photography

How did you first get into music?

Me and my family have always listened to music be that driving in the car or at home. I used to go to an after school club when I was younger and all of the kids annoyed me so I always stood in the kitchen singing along to the radio with the adults. Music has always been around me and I have always loved it. My dad used to be in a band too and my mum is a good singer too so I have just inherited their love for music.

What kind of music were you into growing up?

My parents love 80s dance music, and my mum loved Michael Jackson so they are up there. I love Motown music too because of them. For me as a girl growing up I was very stereotypical! I loved Justin Bieber and One Direction which was standard for a teenage girl. My favourite song from around those times was ‘Love Song’ by Sara Bareilles and my all time favourite is ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King.

How about now? Who are you a fan of currently?

I actually like some smaller artists. There is a girl called Mathilda Homer and a guy called Rhys Lewis who are my go to right now. I am still into the classic old school songs as well. I feel I want to make music like the guys that I listen to, and if I could play certain instruments I would add more into what I produce. I will be able to, it is all a work in progress and I am always willing to learn.

When did you know that you wanted to take your singing more seriously?

I have always been so scared of singing in public. When I came to Jersey I performed a couple of songs for my friends and they told me that I was actually quite good, but I always thought that was just them being kind to me as a mate. I got almost ‘bullied’ into performing in front of 100 people for, what was a great charity event. I did four songs and from that, because it is Jersey someone there knew someone else who knew someone else and I ended up getting four or five gigs off the back of this one gig. I definitely needed that confidence boost.

When did you first write songs?

I still play my first song. It was originally called ‘A Cycle of Lies’ and it is based on my friends’ experiences with their boyfriends or other parts of their lives. There is nothing better than hearing a song and thinking that is so relatable, and that is what I tried to do with that first song. Looking back at my first songs, I don’t think they are the best but people still enjoy them. I feel my old songs have too many words and now I concentrate on the music side of things, how the chords sound and the rhythm of it. Music controls how you feel and I want to continue to write and make music which people can relate to.

What is the favourite song you have written?

I really like ‘Improbability’ because everyone listens to it and thinks of it as a love song when in a way it isn’t but it can be interpreted in so many ways. Hopefully one day it will be out for people to listen to more often.

What is more enjoyable, writing or performing the songs?

I am still so scared to perform! Writing a song feels amazing but the feeling after performing is equally as good. I would say writing because you can offload so much, but once you come off stage and everyone is cheering and clapping, hyping you up, it is a really good feeling. On stage I overthink too much and want it to be perfect. I am going writing on that one!

How good is the Songwriters Society here in Jersey?

It is such a good scheme. I don’t really like doing covers because people know the tune. If I play it wrong, they know it is wrong. So for me, I needed something to build my confidence and that is exactly what they have done for me. It is a nice warming atmosphere where everyone supports everyone and all the singers get on with each-other. It is fantastic.

How hard has Covid-19 and lockdown been?

Firstly, there has been nothing to write about! I like to write songs about my mates, what I am doing and how I feel, realistically all I was feeling was a bit trapped. It wasn’t just the performing I missed as well, it was the whole event. Meeting people, talking to other singers and that was the worst thing about it. That is what I missed the most.

How good has it been to do a series with local artists on Instagram?

I thought everyone likes to do covers and there is nothing more fun than performing with others so I thought I would go for it and ask around to see who would be keen. I have done five so far and three in the making which is exciting. They have been super fun and a good chance to try different styles, and as a result improving as a singer whilst making fun little videos. It is all friendship between us rather than competition too, so it is great to support each other and come together to sing these covers. If I had to pick one favourite I would go with the one I did with Monty Taft because of the destination and it was the first one we did. The sun was setting, we hadn’t rehearsed and we kept messing up the last line but we managed to get it so it was perfect in the video. I liked the one I did with Elisa Silva too because she played bass and I had never performed with someone doing that before so that was a great experience. They have all been so fun and I am looking forward to the ones coming up.

What has been your standout moment in your short career so far?

I did a live lounge set for BBC Jersey where I played three songs and I played it for Tim Hunter, and it was mental to be driving later and hearing myself on BBC Jersey. One day I got an email for Huw Stephens who runs Radio 1 and it said ‘your song is getting played on Radio 1 on Saturday’ which was obviously mental to read. Me and my girls all drove down to a car park and sung along as it played on Radio 1. I just thought to myself how far I had come. It was so emotional but such a great feeling at the same time. Gig wise, I really enjoyed playing at The Yard and The Distillery with the Songwriters Society because it was such a intimate gig but it was longer sets which I loved. It was all my own songs as well which is always great. The Kismet is another favourite of mine as the sun is setting.

What is next for Phoebe Over?

I have been working on a single at the moment. It is a song called ‘Rehab’ and I have been working with Nic Dinnie who is an excellent producer. We are making an acoustic version of the track as a little teaser of what is to come. That is coming up in the next few months which is super exciting. I am then hopefully going to be working on an EP which is exciting as it is not just the songs but also the artwork, video for it and different parts of it. That has been a long time coming but I am a perfectionist so I make sure when I do something, it is done properly before it is released. Make sure to follow my Instagram which is ‘Phoebe Over’ for future, exciting news as well.

It was a pleasure catching up with the vibrant Phoebe over a coffee. Go check her out on Instagram and support another talented singer songwriter emerging from our island. All at Sportscast Jersey would like to wish Phoebe all of the best for her exciting future!

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