Interview by Dee Theart (@deetheart)
Photo by Robert Paul Kothe
Alice Phoebe Lou is as interesting as her name sounds. A little mystical and with a whole lot of talent, she is bound to mesmerize us at Park Acoustics this month. Originally from SA, she has basically been on the road ever since finishing school, with her base being Berlin. Let’s get to know her.
For people who haven’t heard about you before, please describe your music for us in three defining words.
Melancholic, jazz-inspired, lyric-heavy.
We can’t wait to experience your music at the next Park Acoustics! What can the audience expect from your show?
Looking forward to it too! Well, my band went back to Berlin, so I was going to do the show solo. But I decided to ask a few friends in Jo’burg to join me on stage. We are going to have one rehearsal the day before and just wing it, so you can expect something fresh and fun.
Sounds amazing! You’ve enjoyed both South African and overseas touring extensively. Do you enjoy being on the road and taking your music to new and exciting places? Any favourite destinations or gig spots?
Being on the road is something that I really enjoy and that comes naturally to me somehow. I consider my suitcase to be my home and I am lucky enough to have wonderful friends and places to stay in more and more cities across the world. Some of my favourite cities to travel to and play in are New York, Copenhagen and Cape Town.
Your past shows in Cape Town were sold out, and The Good Luck Bar show was also packed – what comes to mind when you see crowds like this in your own country?
It’s an amazing feeling to come home to see family and relax from a year of touring, and then be surprised by the response to the concerts here. It’s been a special home coming! The shows have felt electric and the support has felt very real.
Do you have a favourite song on your 2016 album Orbit and if so, what and why?
I guess that “Society” might be my favourite, because the lyrics and the sentiment of the song are very closely related to my ideals and outlook on life. Also working on the track was a lot of fun and the process was very dreamy.
What would you say is the best compliment you’ve ever received about your music?
I am lucky enough to receive a lot of incredible compliments when I am playing on the street, people coming up to me after the shows and telling me how it made them feel. Probably the best compliment was from a stranger that then became a friend, who had been in a very deep depression and anxiety that had stopped him from being able to do anything, and he heard me singing and said that suddenly he saw things in colour for the first time in a long time and broke out of the depression he’d been suffering from.
What’s your top music festival must-haves?
As little as possible. One small bag with a few essentials. Lots of water.
While you’ve been in the country, have you been watching other live musicians?
Been so amazed with the flourishing music scene in this country. People that are inspiring me right now: Thor Rixon, Amy Ayanda, Cute Couple, Nonku, Fever Trails, BCUC, Go Barefoot and Felix Laband.
What happens after your South African trip – where to next for Alice Phoebe Lou?
Off to Berlin on Sunday after Park Acoustics, then the UK to start recording my first song for my next album, and then heading to SXSW in Austin! Got a big year ahead!
Let’s make sure Alice Phoebe Lou gets a warm send off for her last SA show. She’ll be on the Park Acoustics stage at 14:15.
Join the event here