Some days I feel like a balloon! I need to float away, I need to feel the breeze, the air, to travel into the sky, to dance with the clouds! I feel free! I feel strong! I want to give joy to the world! And I want to listen to Tae Phoenix! Her music is a companion to my balloon trips! Her thoughts are so specific, interesting and unique! I am so happy that she talked to me about everything! Poping Cherry proudly presents Tae Phoenix! (Interview: John Vlachogiannis)
Singer / songwriter / pianist… a musical brilliance! But who is Tae Phoenix in your eyes?
In a word: hyperbolic. Big voice, brutally blunt lyrics, breaks all the rules. But underneath the drama and brashness there’s brokenness and vulnerability, and a sense of fresh wounds that are just starting to heal.
How can you describe your album ‘Rise’? Why did you call it that way? Can music illuminate the dark?
Rise is a collection of interconnected short stories about getting perspective on and healing from past hurts and wrongs.
I called it “Rise” because I wanted to convey a sense of both freedom and being lost. What does a balloon do when its tether breaks? It floats away. I was going for a sense of escape, of rising out of hell, and soaring off into the terrifying unknown.
Can music illuminate the dark? I can’t say for others, but music definitely illuminates my darkness. For some people, it’s good cooking, for others it’s dance. I think listening to your own creativity is what illuminates the dark.
Music is life! We need good music! What inspires you to create? What makes you feel brighter?
My dreams often inspire me to create. I wake up and write down as much as I can remember, and sometimes those things turn into the stories I tell. Sometimes I’ll wake up with a melody or some instrumentation in mind, and then I have to get out of bed, find a recording device, and hum it out before I can go back to sleep.
As for feeling brighter, it’s when I’m around the people I trust. My core nature is like a golden retriever puppy. I want to bounce up to everyone and be their best friend and make them happy. But I know the world doesn’t treat people like that very well, so I’ve learned to guard myself. But I can be like that around people I trust. So when I can let the golden retriever puppy out, that’s really wonderful.
Do you believe in God? In Angels? Do you believe in you? What’s next in your life?
I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe in the supernatural or that unseen, sentient, magical forces direct the world around us. So no, I don’t believe in God or Angels in the literal sense.
That said, I’m aware at an instinctual level that I am connected to everything and everyone around me. The empirical facts support that assumption. I’m just borrowing this atomic structure for a minute. One day, I will die and disintegrate into the earth. The plants and worms will eat me and I’ll become a part of them. I will recede from living memory, as everyone who ever loved me will die and in their turn be forgotten. Then the sun will go nova and I’ll be spread from one end of the universe to the other, with everyone and everything else that has ever lived in our solar system. But by then, this thing I think of as “me” won’t exist anymore. I’ll have long since let go of my identity and be absorbed by the rest of the universe. In the long term, there isn’t a “me” at all. But in the short term, I do believe in myself. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be putting my music out there for the world to listen to.
What’s next in my life? I have no idea. And most days, I’m okay with not knowing. That’s the adventure, right?
Do you have a secret/ a message to share with Poping Cherry?
That’s a pretty broad question. But if you’re going to give me a megaphone to say whatever I want, then I’ll lay some feminism on you.
Women are people, not angels or demons. We’re every bit as flawed, difficult, and ridiculous, and disgusting as men are. The culture needs to stop putting us on pedestals (and knocking us off of them) and just let us be who we are.
I was going for a sense of escape and I saw you! Thank you Tae Phoenix!