Premiere: Phöenix Lazare // Under The Light
Written by: Kayla Lee
Phöenix Lazare // Under The Light
Carving out space in what can be an oversaturated city is no easy task, and Nashville’s Phöenix Lazare proves that hard work and determination yield tangible results. Phöenix resides in Music City, works at a label, holds a degree from Berklee College Of Music, and is set to release her new single “Under The Light” on December 7th.
Listening to “Under The Light” is like falling through a prism of sound. A multitude of layers rush by as the sonic landscape unfolds. Phöenix’s smooth vocals vibes effortlessly with the futuristic feel of the track. It’s a simple yet immersive pop track, with a heavy electronic influence that still maintains indie roots.
You can exclusively stream “Under The Light” right here at Out From The Pine Box at the Soundcloud link below! You can also read an interview with Phöenix where we talk Berklee, where to catch a killer show in Nashville, and more.
Q: You've received a bachelor's in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music. Since you're originally from Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, what inspired your decision to attend Berklee?
A: It was a dream of mine to attend Berklee. I knew there was nothing else I would rather devote my life to than music. The decision stemmed, of course, from being accepted into the college, but mainly from being accepted with a scholarship.
When I found this out, my heart was in it, and my small island community was extremely supportive. A month before I left for my first year, I organized a benefit concert to fundraise for tuition costs, performing with my friends and family at the local theatre. Before I knew it, I was living across the continent in the beautiful city of Boston, receiving a bachelor's degree in Songwriting.
Q: After graduating from Berklee, how long did it take to make the move to Nashville, and what has your experience in Music City been like so far?
A: I actually moved to Nashville before I officially graduated - in my final semester I took an internship at a local independent record label and finished a couple of courses online. I was craving change; after living on both the West and the East coasts, I wanted something new, something different... Nashville was it.
Living in a city surrounded by music, unfamiliar faces and connections from school seemed like the perfect transition to try out new material, learn more about the industry and perform in historic clubs. The community in Nashville still astounds me - it's not every day you find such authentic support from strangers, especially in the music industry.
Q: Your signature sound has been described as "a warm blanket of sound." What are your favorite artists that embody that feeling?
A: My biggest musical influence is Joni Mitchell. She taught me to write songs as if I'm writing a letter, by opening up and pouring authenticity onto each word. Whenever I listen to her music, it feels warm, like I've just taken a shot of whiskey sitting beside a fire. I want to give people that same feeling when they hear my voice: like putting on your favourite sweater or reuniting in conversation with an old friend. Whether accompanied by an acoustic guitar or electronic synths, this warm atmosphere is something I hope carries through my music.
Q: With your new single "Under The Light," what lyrics laid the foundation for the song, and what does this single mean to you?
A: I wrote this song with my good friend Jose Castro in Boston. He had the initial idea for the song and wanted to explore it further - that's where I came in. The title, "Under the Light," was actually the first line we wrote together, and it also happens to be the very first line of the song. To me, the lyrics are ambiguous, yet precise. Uncomfortable, yet secure. "Can't stand your tone crawling in my skin" was the line that gave me a personal connection to the song, reminding me of old relationships and the importance of removing toxic presences in your life.
Q: What's your favorite Nashville venue to perform at and / or catch a show at?
A: My favourite venue in Nashville (currently) is called Analog. It's a new space on the West End that's mysteriously hidden inside the Hutton Hotel. When you walk in, it's like you've been swallowed by a sea of ambience. It's a beautiful room with couches, tables and chairs scattered around a beautiful mid-size stage that sits underneath a wacky chandelier and purple velvet curtains. I've had the pleasure of performing there, and always looking forward to shows at Analog.