An Interview With the Australian Songstress, Writer and Actress, COLE PHOENIX!
Posted On 28 Nov 2017
Cole Phoenix is a singer, songwriter, scriptwriter, novelist, writer, producer, actress and director born in Brisbane, Australia. She creates music that encompasses elements of pop, soul, electronic and rock music. She has worked in feature films such as The Ruins alongside Shawn Ashmore and Jena Malone and Bright Flame, currently in development which Cole wrote, produced and stars in. She was nominated for Best New Top 40 Artist of the Year in 2015 at the New Music Awards alongside Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor and Charli XCX.
Her recent single “Back Back To Me” is a contemporary party song with cheek, mixed with old school sass and brass.
Connect With Cole Phoenix Here:
Learn more about Cole Phoenix in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood? What is a song you are loving these days?
And Thank you for your time! I am in English Bay in Vancouver. Does the sound of waves hitting the rocky shore count? It’s very windy here today and the waters are choppy. Love the rhythmic slap of the waves against the shore, whether the shore is rocky or sandy – it’s a very soothing sound!
A lot of Madonna songs manage to get me into a good groove – along with the whole bubbly gamut of 80s pop – it wasn’t just the fashion that was colorful, the music was incredibly vibrant too! A song from a much earlier era that you might not expect – but would be remiss of me not to mention as one of my favorite feel good songs – is Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”… But music from my ‘best friend’ Frankie also always gets me in a good mood. He’s my French bulldog and believe me he has a dynamic soundtrack of snuffles, snores, snorts and other sounds not the nicest to mention – but his versatile frenchie tunes never cease to get me in a very happy mood!
Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” (ooh and I forgot to mention Right Said Fred’s “I’m too Sexy” gets me in a good mood too 😉 ) I also like Adele’s “Water Under The Bridge” and Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.”
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Honestly I enjoyed performing in musicals, writing poetry, plays – I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. So that’s why I tried my hand at many different vocations. Literally too as I even did hand modelling for the movie scene!
Singing a Doris Day classic ‘Que Sera’ at a karaoke diner as a six year old (obviously I’ve always had a love for Old Hollywood movies and musicals) I had a standing ovation that night – which probably indicated something was viable in my voice as it involved people putting down their cutlery and pushing back their chairs mid meal – an arduous effort 😉
Was there a time where you thought of doing something completely different?
Yes and I did do something different, as a matter of fact many different things! But I always still kept and always will keep coming Back Back To Music … I guess that is essentially me. So BACK BACK TO ME makes perfect sense as the first single from my forthcoming EP.
Overall, how do you think 2017 has been for you and music career? What are you most excited about for in 2018?
An exceptional year – I explored many more sides of me musically… I’m excited how the EP came about and turned out, I hope other people will be excited too!! As I just mentioned – people hearing my new music! Ultimately I would love to touch them in some way, make them feel something special through my music.
Do you think you will make any New Year’s Resolutions?
To keep developing myself as an artist. There’s always something new to do to improve oneself!
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown and current home has affected you and your music today?
I come from the land DownUnder – and it is a land of drought and flooding rains… I think the Aussie sensibility of “she’ll be right mate” has led to my easy going and approachable persona as well as my down to earth approach to music, the problem is that sometimes this on-the-verge-of lackadaisical attitude can also trigger a let-it-be attitude instead of persistent pushing and driving a project forward – but I’ve worked on eradicating that procrastination as I’m focused solely on music now and want to see that music being heard!! Also as regards Australia, maybe the literal climatic extremes of my country infuse my music and that’s why it’s been widely called eclectic – combining elements of pop, soul, dance electronica and rock.
Your resume is quite extensive so I am curious to know how you are able to balance being a singer-songwriter, scriptwriter, novelist, producer, actress and director?!
As I mentioned I’ve now learnt to hone in my focus a bit as too much juggling and not enough hands can be a bit demanding… Even for a former hand model 😉 Music has become paramount for me, so my songs and songwriting takes priority and eminent prominence – but I do have a script in development and ideas for more stories. I’ve had some short stories published by a university for the national library and a script that received recognition in the state wide Queensland Young Playwrights’ Awards. Like I said though, getting my music out is the mission I’m predominantly set on, especially this 2018!
Do you find that they all require the same part of your brain and skillset? Do you prefer doing one more than the others? How do you have time for it all?
I’ve spent a little too much time delving into all sorts of subjects, the positive side is I know a bit about different aspects of the entertainment industry from behind-to-in-front of the camera/scene – so I know how difficult these jobs are and it has fostered a great sense of respect which I now have for all the people who work behind the scene…However, I feel it’s too hard trying to master multiple projects and they each do require different skill sets so now I’m pumped for releasing my music and set and ready to perform my new material. That is going to occupy my mind and my time for sure! One thing though that all my pursuits share: the passion for storytelling. That’s one thing I will always hold dear to heart, creating ART from heart. Now I’m ONto sONgs to communicate my stories and aspire to inspire and connect people through my music.
How did your latest single “Back Back To Me” come together? What was the inspiration for it?
I have snippets of the behind the scenes for BACK BACK TO ME on all of my social channels – twitter , facebook, instagram @thecolephoenix …. perhaps these pictures tell the story best! The track encompasses my love for retro music, BACK BACK TO ME is brassy and sassy – but contemporary too. The fun song modernizes my love for old school cheek- something I could see a 1940s/50s starlet sing but in a modern 21st century club!
When do you hope to release more new music and a full collection of new songs?
Soon! Again make sure you connect with me on social media and I’ll ensure you’re among the first to know.
Do you have any final tour dates to wrap up 2017? Where can people see you play live next?
Please refer Back Back to my reply above 😉
What do you think of social media today and the importance of it for artists now? Do you find that it’s hard to keep up with it all?
How fortuitous, my two earlier answers answer this one perfectly! I feel that social media is integral in this digital age. I have reached a whole new fan base through social media that I may not have been able to connect with otherwise. People from Germany, Brazil, Japan – my music has traveled to more places than I have managed to and that’s mainly thanks to social media. Also, a variety of people that it may be hard to meet in person – from producers to actors – fortunately for me through social media they have found me and discovered my music and my songs have thus spoken on my behalf 😉 Although it can be frustrating to live with this technology, I don’t feel you can live without it… Possibly a Catch 22 – but it’s a Paradox I’m open to embrace with two wide open arms!
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Music has always been a mouthpiece for artists to speak from their heart and inspire and invigorate others’ hearts and spirits. In dark times it is even more essential that music enlightens and connects us, reminding us of what we each have in common, a need to give love, a need to be loved…as well as a love for free spirited dancing 😉
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Too many to name, we’d be here forever! The list is endless and keeps growing with new emerging talent. Some of the key influences and influencers from my past I’ve already named (Madonna, Marilyn, Adele, Rihanna, Taylor) but there’s also Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, ABBA, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Billy Idol, Prince, Elvis, Britney … like I said we’d be here for an infinite time if I outlined them all. I’d love to work with so many and any who’d like to work with me 🙂
What do you hope your fans take away from your music? Do you think there is a greater music in your songs?
I hope they thoroughly enjoy my songs and that the music moves them in an intangible and tangible way!
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about becoming a musician one day?
All that glitters isn’t gold. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll but don’t stop ‘till you get enough!
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
Don’t give up, give your all! I did give and I will continue to give my all to my music – and I truly hope YOU will keep coming BACK BACK TO ME