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Isle Of Wight Emerging Artist Of The Month: Phoenix Lopes

The story of this month's emerging artist, Phoenix Lopes, is one of patience and overcoming lockdown stimulated disillusionment.

At 22 years old, the singer-songwriter has taken a composed approach to honing her craft — releasing debut single 'Fake Love' in September.

Phoenix spoke exclusively to Isle of Wight Radio's Dom Kureen about her hopes for 2023 and beyond.

Hi Phoenix – how did you get into the music industry?

I started at Platform One, did my two-year BTEC, went through to my degree and I'm now studying my Masters.

That was my 'in' to the industry and I've just released my first song.

It hasn't always been a seamless journey to this point, has it?

I've always loved singing, but lockdown really hit me hard and I wasn't sure it was something I could do.

The last eight months I've had my desire rekindled and now I'm really pushing to make a mark (in the industry).

Once I've finished my Masters in June I'll probably look into doing some backing work as well.

There’s an ethereal quality to your music – which genre would you say describes your sound best?

I feel like it's floated across a few genres over the years.

I love the neo-soul and pop elements of music and I love soul singers.

Your first single – Fake Love – is on Spotify – did your own experiences inspire the track?

The song's about toxic relationships: the red light thing where you see past all the stop signs and then realise you should have taken notice.

I took it from my own experience and tried to put that into my lyrics.


I find when writing from that emotional base, it's a case of almost taking it away from the personal aspect to make it more user friendly or relatable.

Do you find it easier to write in that high state of emotion?

It depends, sometimes I can spontaneously write a song in ten minutes and it's pretty much ready to go.

There are other times when I just sing into my phone when I'm feeling something intense — it might not make sense at the time, but comes together later.

You've got a bit of history at the Isle of Wight Festival haven't you?

I've performed there for the past five years as part of various different bands.

This year was my first there as myself, and even then, I was playing completely different songs to what I'm releasing now. 

In 2023 I'll be involved with both the Hipshaker and Platform One stages, and I'm hoping to get onto a few others as well!

Who have been the best musicians you've seen live?

I recently saw Sigrid, as a band they are incredible with how tight they are.


Sigrid

It pushes me to be able to play like that for so many people.

Does seeing local artists gaining international acclaim drive you even more?

It would be amazing (to emulate them one day), but I'm very much at the start of my journey.

I'm pleased I'm just starting out, if I'd released a load of stuff years ago it wouldn't have been as good.

On that note, are there any Island musicians who have inspired you?

Charlie Oriain is an amazing songwriter who's very into folk music.

He's not blown up as much as Wet Leg, but to see someone I know make an impact is a massive inspiration.

Do you have other releases in the pipeline?

I've just been in the studio recording my second single and there are a few more that are ready to go.

I'll probably leak out a few songs because it's less daunting in my brain than a whole EP.

I'd love to put a few tracks out initially and then focus on a gem of an album.

How important has Platform One been to your development?

It's been major for me. Without P1 I wouldn't have played at the Isle of Wight Festival or have access to the resources and support.

What does the future hold for Phoenix Lopes?

I want to release my next single in January, so watch this space!

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