Phoebe Ryan is currently on tour with Charlie Puth, and his fans were quick to embrace the “Chronic” singer-songwriter in their.. er, enthusiastic embrace.
“They’re super intense,” laughs Ryan from a mid-tour stop in Ohio. “But it’s all been so positive. They’re intense with love.”
The 24-year-old has been lucky in the business of finding the support of big name stars’ sign offs. In October, Taylor Swift tweeted out a handwritten list of “Songs That Will Make Your Life More Awesome” with Ryan’s “Mine” in the number two spot.
“People have to remind me that it actually happened,” the L.A.-based artist admits. “I thought maybe I was crazy and that just happened in my head. I can’t believe she took the time to listen to my song, and then write it out on a piece of paper that she liked it. That blows my mind.”
Ryan, who studied audio engineering and sound production at NYU, dropped 5-track EP “Mine" from Columbia last summer, and she plans to release her first studio full-length in the near future. Her raspy, dance-friendly vocals have drawn comparisons to the likes of Tove Lo and Ellie Goulding and her new single, "Chronic," just got the Knocks' treatment, soon to be released at a later date. She chats about her new single, how she keeps her hair so great and that time she was in a scream-o band.
So what’s the deal with “Chronic”? Is it about a happy love or a sad love? I can’t decide.
I would say that it’s not negative, it’s more of a positive thing. It’s fun, but not like puppy love. It’s totally the honeymoon period.
What’s your writing process like?
Some days I’ll start with a specific word or concept, but then some days I’ll write all the melodies and fill in the words later. I get bored pretty easily so I have to constantly entertainment myself.
What’s been keeping you entertained while on the road?
I’ve been watching “Rick and Morty” lately. It’s very weird and very funny.
Is there anything you always bring on tour with you?
I guess it’s less about what I bring and more about what I acquire. I’ve been getting some amazing stuff lately. Like I got this Nascar jacket from a gas station in Louisiana.
A gas station?
Gas station fashion is real. And I went to an aquarium in Cincinnati and got T-shirts and jewelry. I’m wearing a T-shirt with a giant squid on it now.
Speaking of style — how do you keep your hair so green?
I feel like people would be surprised by how little maintenance I do for my hair. The dye I use is just super strong and it’s bonded to my hair because I’ve been using it for years.
Which kind is it?
I used Manic Panic when I first started dying my hair but that would wash out in three days so I use a way more permanent dye now. My hair dresser was like, “If you use this, there’s no going back.” And I said, “Yes! I need to be green forever!” It’s by Goldwell and I have to sneakily buy it on Amazon because you’re not supposed to be able to if you’re not a professional [hairstylist]. I stock up when I can find it.
I heard somewhere you were in a hardcore band, is that true?
Oh it’s very true. I’ve been in all sorts of bands. I was just reminiscing about it about last night actually — about how much fun we had, and how bad our shows were. [Laughs]
What was it called?
Well, it has a curse so I’m not sure you can print it, but it was John Wilkes F—k. Like John Wilkes Booth, the guy who shot Abraham Lincoln. It’s still online somewhere.
You have to.
How did that even come to be?
I was in college and I had my close group of friends and we were super nerdy about being in the studio at all times. So one day my friend called me and was like, “I got a band together, let’s just improvise a whole album.” We got into he studio and just started doing this super punk scream-o thing and put out an EP in six hours. It’s still one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.
Did you ever play live?
We did one or two shows and then I was like, “Guys, I’m going to ruin my voice forever if we continue.” But it was great, we had fake blood everywhere.