Phoebe Silva is an LA-based artist whose music comes from a place of authentic songwriting. Our team had the pleasure of hearing her new single titled “The Best Thing!” which is set to release on December 6.
Tired of being easily influenced & jerked around, she wrote this authentic record that expresses her vulnerability & sentimental driven feelings. The meaning? “the best thing I got outta you was this song.” “The Best Thing!” begins with jazzy instrumentation that serves as the song foundation. You hear various instruments that help create the atmosphere of the song. Phoebe Silva takes a different approach when delivering this record. Instead of a cheeky pop song, “The Best Thing!” was fun, vibrant, and bold, yet the lyrics exuded the emotion Phoebe Silva intended for. Despite the vibes of “The Best Thing!” feeling energetic & bright, Phoebe Silva vocal delivery was killer. The sass, tone, & arrangements impressed us so immensely. Phoebe Silva delivered her voice with a piercing strike to her listener, emotionally convicting the lyrics with every powerful vocal belt. Phoebe Silva’s voice is so rich in texture that you feel the angst through the song. “The Best Thing!” was an empowering record that will motivate women all over to get out any toxic situation that’s detrimental to their emotions. Phoebe Silva gave us a well-executed & finely-calibrated record that we can sing over and over!
Join Phoebe Silva for her release show for “The Best Thing!” on December 2nd at the Hi-Hat in LA! The evening will feature local favorites Brenda Carsey and Harry Katz & the Pistachios. Grab your tickets here
Welcome to BuzzMusic Phoebe Silva! Mind talking to us a little about your background? What inspired you to pursue music?
Hello! Thanks so much for having me! My music background literally started when I was born, my mom and grandmother were both Suzuki violin teachers. I started playing the violin when I was 3 years old. I started performing in community theater and taking voice lessons when I was 11 or 12. I studied violin and voice all throughout my childhood and earned a BFA in musical theater from the University of the Arts. I wanted to be on Broadway, it didn’t occur to me to write songs until I was in my late twenties, when I started teaching myself ukulele, mandolin, and guitar. My entire relationship with music changed when I started writing. It becomes something I chose on my own terms rather than following in the family footsteps, something I was very resistant to throughout my teens and early twenties. I fell head over heels in love with songwriting and gigging with bands around New York City, where I was living at the time. I don’t think I really found my authentic singing voice until I started singing my own songs, although I had been singing for 15 years. So I quit pursuing acting. Music made me so much happier and felt like a truer way of expressing myself.
Your single “The Best Thing” was so dynamically powerful! What were some challenges you faced in the production and creative process of it?
Thank you! I love this song. It was one of the first songs I wrote in LA when I was first thinking of pursuing music as a solo artist. It felt like a Declaration of Independence. I started writing songs with my ex-boyfriend about 6 years ago. I never thought I’d be able to be a songwriter on my own because I didn’t play guitar or piano or any chord-based instruments. But the melody and the lyrics were so clear in my head. I played enough ukulele to begin to write the chords and musical structure. I rely heavily on my guitarist friends to help me arrange my songs. I barely play guitar now, I’ve been teaching myself but I still don’t really know what chords I’m playing. All the music theory I took when I was a kid was lost on me since I only played a solo instrument (violin) and sang, so my ear is my strength. I also studied and now teach Suzuki method violin which is all based on ear training. Production-wise, it took me almost 2 years of performing “The Best Thing!” live to really feel like I understood how it should be arranged and produced. The arrangement is very collaborative for me. My friend Max Silver who produced the track is one of my favorite people to work with, our musical strengths complement each other’s really well.
How would you detail the arrangements in “The Best Thing”?
The track features rhythm guitar, lead guitar, keys, bass, drums, 3 part saxophone, 3 part backup vocals and tambourine. I wanted a big band kind of sound, and I wanted you to really hear all the instruments as if I was recording live, very old school. I love old music, I grew up on jazz standards and 50’s and 60’s Rock n'roll, Motown and girl-group harmonies. But I also love contemporary pop music. I wanted the track to have a throwback feel, but also I think the lyrics are more modern. I was listening to Connie Francis records recently thinking, man, it’s so heartbreaking how all these female-sung songs from that era are about being totally co-dependent on men. I love romanticism but I’d much rather write about romancing myself. Probably because I’ve been in so many toxic, co-dependent relationships with men who made me believe I needed their support in order to be creatively successful. Now I’m like, fuck that noise. I’m building up myself and all my friends. Also, the arrangement and recording of this track would not have been possible if I didn’t have such a rich network of talented friends and collaborators. I can’t play any of the instruments featured on this track the way they've played. My friends are completely incredible. I’m so so grateful for all the people who contributed to making this track.
How do you hope for this single “The Best Thing” to resonate with your listeners?
I hope people think it’s fun and empowering! I have a hard time not grooving along when I listen to it. I wanted to make a bright, clean, groovy, bluesy pop track. I definitely wanted it to have a commercial sound so it would be broadly appealing. The theme of breaking free from the expectations or attachment to someone who manipulates you because they can and because it makes them feel powerful... I think that’s really relatable to anyone. Ultimately the song is about self-empowerment, taking your insecurities and heartbreak and turning them into art. “The Best Thing” is really self-love.
Now that the holidays are approaching us, what are you looking forward to in the upcoming year of 2020?
I had a crazy year, man. I’ve worked really hard the last few years since I’ve been in LA to establish myself in the indie music community as a session player and collaborator, now with this track, I’m hoping to establish myself further as a solo artist as well. I am finishing up a second Single to be released in early 2020, as well as a music video for “The Best Thing!” And I have plans for recording tons more music next year! I love the music community in LA and am so grateful to be a part of it.