We had the good fortune of connecting with Phé and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phé, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
This is definitely something I am still putting into practice and integrating, but the idea of work-life balance honestly didn’t really exist for me as an actual practice till the end of last year. But, since then I’ve grown to form an understanding that is more about cultivating an overall balanced and fulfilling life, and understanding that my work is A PART of my life, not a separate entity that moves alongside my life. So for me that looks like giving it an appropriate amount of mental and emotional space/energy, inviting play, and creating boundaries, in the same way I would with any of my relationships or other aspects of my life. So, while this practice will look different for everyone, I think the most important aspect for me in truly understanding and bringing about balance in the role my work has within my life has been this shift in perspective. Instead of trying to create work-life balance, I’ve chosen to prioritize fashioning my life in a way where my work gets to be an integrated part of my life in an empowering and positive way — rather than feeling like it is taking time from my life and thus feeling the need to balance it with my life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I got to where I am by always choosing to keep going, keep moving forward. By failing lots, falling down, picking myself up, and recalibrating. For a while I was really attached to a specific outcome, this ideal of success that I had adopted. And I think that really threw me off from moving with intention. It made my journey about the destination and not the process, which meant I was never satisfied with what I WAS accomplishing because it wasn’t that big picture ideal of success that I thought would bring me the happiness I was looking for. But now, I’ve chosen to move in a way that leaves me feeling empowered and fulfilled simply through the process and by actively creating and being in my life in a way that inherently fills me with joy and fulfillment. I wouldn’t call the artist’s journey easy. It’s definitely one that requires wearing a lot of different hats, lots of time, energy, and commitment, self-belief, and self-awareness. I’ve been able to overcome the challenges that come with being an independent artist first and foremost through the love, help, and support of my community. Beyond that, it requires creative problem solving and really just trying to be as honest as possible about what my vision, goals, and intentions are as an artist. What am I trying to achieve, and WHY? I think the trouble comes along when you’re not clear in your “why”, because then you don’t have a value system or guide map that informs your decision-making process and where you are trying to end up. So really asking myself, why do I want this specific version of success? Where did I get those ideas and beliefs from? Are they truly serving me or creating limiting beliefs and essentially sabotaging me from succeeding in a real meaningful way?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I gotta be honest, even though I’ve lived in LA for 4 years now, my understanding of it is pretty limited. As an independent artist, and being that I am living in the states on an artist visa, I am a girl living on a budget — both in terms of time and money. The time and money I do have usually get invested back into my craft. So I haven’t been able to explore the city as much as I would like to. But some spots that I do enjoy are, Disneyland ( hehe, I’m a huge Disney nerd), Salt and Straw, Momed in Atwater Village, there was this sushi place in my neighborhood called Daiwa Sushi that I really loved ( but it no longer exists sadly), and I’m always down for In-n-Out, I like exploring the arts district, and going to the variety of museums and gallery that in LA. But ya, I definitely don’t pride myself in my knowledge of LA and all the things there are to do here ahaha.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so grateful to SO many people in my life for their support and the contributions that they have made to help me get to where I am now! Of course, there are my fans and community, who are so supportive and loving. I couldn’t be where I am today without them. Then, or maybe even first and foremost, I need to give a HUGE shout out to my family. My mom, dad, sister, and step-dad have always been my biggest supporters, and being surrounded by their love and encouragement means the world. I don’t know if I would have been able to stick with this path and commit in the way I have without their support. I also owe a lot to my partner, Jaime, who is not only is one of my primary collaborators in music but also a huge emotional and mental support as my life partner and someone who I can confide in and lean on. Beyond that, some of the big players in my creative life that I am so thankful for include, Miyanda and its founders Fana Soro and Lisa Soro, Ndidi Cascade, Miscellaneous Productions and it’s founder Elaine Carole, Sarah McLachlan and the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, along with my voice instructor there, Kirsten Hawson. My high school band teacher Mark Reid. Gary Slaight, who awarded me a scholarship that enabled me to the Berklee College of Music. The Berklee College of Music for all the knowledge and practical tools they instilled in me, but also for the community they introduced me to. Christian Mombru, who was one of the 1st people I began exploring my musical voice and direction with. Alex Williams, who helped me bring together an incredible group of musicians for my first performance as Phé, which was a really affirmative and transformative moment for me in committing to this life path. Man, there are so many more people. My manager, Roma! All of my creative collaborators from music, to photography, to videos. The venues who have opened their doors to me, the promoters who have invited me to be a part of their shows and events. People and artists that I’ve interned and worked for. Publicists who have supported me and my work. The list could truly go on forever. I just feel so lucky to be connected to so many amazing communities and programs, creatives, and companies. It’s really beautiful to be able to build something like this, that is so meaningful to me, with others! And I am eternally grateful for everyone who has contributed to helping me get to where I am today.
The photo of me playing live was taken by @Electricvictory (IG Handle). All other photos were taken by Andrea Czarnota (@andreaczarnota, IG handle)