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"My mum and dad have videos of me around the age of 3-4 dancing with my belly out like ‘look at me"

“Female empowering”, Birmingham based artist Pheleba formally known as ‘PhePhe’, decided to no longer “Hide behind the ego” reverting back to her original birth given name ‘Pheleba’, after being on what she describes as a personal journey of self love.

Finding herself in a new place of peace after giving birth to her second child, a beautiful baby girl named “zen” during the covid19 lockdown has resulted in her producing much deeper, honest, more heart felt, free flowing music.

She refuses to be identified under a single genre, as she has cultivated her own sound & continues to enjoy experimenting with new ideas during the production process.

Always wanting to learn more and master her craft, Pheleba hopes you continue to enjoy every new addition she adds to the world. We sat down to have a chat with Pheleba to find out more about her process and inspiration behind her recent single ‘Until’.

NEO: How would you describe your music journey?

PHELEBA:My musical journey has been a long and interesting collection of life experiences. I grew up in a big family. I’m one of 6 children! My sister (who I'm massively proud of right now) Kezia Soul just got through on The Voice UK so she is in Team Will!

My brother is a producer and my dad is a musician and my mother is an avid music supporter who knows everything about everything. We grew up going to loads of festivals like Glastonbury, being there as a kid made me so obsessed with music. My passion and journey of music has kind of stemmed from music being such a huge part of our family and also my own personal life experiences. I'm still finding it a great outlet for my own therapy.

NEO: What was the process and inspiration behind your recent single ‘Until'?

PHELEBA:I write from a really personal space. I have been with my partner now for 8 years and we have two children, a few years ago now we were not on the same page and we managed to work through a lot of stuff. Then when i was pregnant with my daughter last year those feelings came back to me and one of my closest friends was going through a breakup and i was telling her ‘Don’t worry, you will not feel like this forever’ and it is very true one day you wake up and you just don’t feel the hurt anymore. There is no time to put your finger on it and that is exactly what ‘Until’ is, it's just you are in this space until it gets better. Which is why the artwork for the single is the 5 of cups, that card in the Tarot reading represents the end of a relationship. Three cups are down and two are still up so it is kind of saying yes you feel down now but you are going to be fine, just wait ‘Until’ it turns ok again.

NEO: When experiencing a creative block, what do you do to combat it?

PHELEBA:Holiday! Everytime i come back from a holiday I get all this inspiration and new energy and I am like “Right we are going to do an album, music videos, the works”.

There is genuinely something about the sunshine, the sea and music playing that makes you feel so alive, even if it is random music playing I just get a boost and feel rejuvenated and creative.

NEO: What are your passions outside of music?

PHELEBA:I used to be a British Champion rhythmic gymnast. I still pop into the Birmingham City gymnastics gym and coach from time to time. If i was not doing music that is what i would be doing. I was so overjoyed when i had a daughter because she has got no choice lol she is going to be a gymnast. We did not find out if we were having a boy or a girl but an hour after giving birth i texted the gymnast coach and said “We’ve got a girl”

NEO: What is your favourite album of all time, no skips?

PHELEBA:It is a toss up between ‘Complex Simplicity’ by Teedra Moses there is actually no song i would skip on that and then, Miss Dynamite first album ‘A Little Deeper’ when i was a kid that was all i had on repeat!

NEO: When you were younger, what did you want to be growing up?

PHELEBA:This is going to sound really cheesy but i really wanted to be a performer. My mum and dad have videos of me around the age of 3-4 dancing with my belly out like ‘look at me’ all my school photos i was the eccentric one and i made sure i stood out lol its so embarrassing now but i love it because it is the only thing i have wanted to do

NEO: If you had a controller that had the power to rewind or fast forward which one would you press and why?

PHELEBA:I would want to go forward. I am excited to see my children grow and be a granny. I can not wait to see what type of man my son grows into. He is so interesting now and I am already like who are you? He really is his own little person right now and it will just be so exciting to see what he grows into and my daughter. Overall i'm just excited to see the life me and my little family form.

NEO: What emotion do you experience the most?

PHELEBA:I’m a lovey-dovey person. I experience being overwhelmed a lot but in a good way. I am the girlfriend that cries when I get a present or when the kids do something sweet. I think that I am overwhelmed with love. I write about love songs because I feel it and really enjoy it.

NEO: What do you hope to achieve by 50?

PHELEBA:I need a big house! Like i was have said something different a year or two ago but 2020 and now 2021 has had us in our houses so much, myself and my family are like “we need a new house”

We need the big garden for the kids and just more space in general. My aim by 50 is that the universe sends us this big country house or big space. I also want to achieve fulfilment, I don't want to be 50 and still be chasing something I think that is going to fulfill me.

NEO: What is one thing that you are deeply proud of in your life?

PHELEBA:Musically my biggest achievement is that i have managed to self manage myself for many years without a big team and my life achievement would be our kids. Having them has made us feel in some sense we are a part of the racial divide and we did not even realise it was a thing that people are concerned about what we label our kids as. I am proud to be a mixed race woman with mixed race children.

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