Phoebe Ryan recently performed at Bonnaroo.
What did you think when you first found out you were performing at Bonnaroo this year?
“I was like, ‘No. There’s no way. That’s insane.’ You always hear about Bonnaroo being ‘The Festival.’ It’s so legit and here I am. I wouldn’t say I’m legit, but here I am.”
Is this your first time performing a music festival of this size?
“It is. Last year I sang at Electric Zoo [with Tritonal] for an EDM song I wrote, but this just felt way different having your own music to perform –totally different vibe. But yes, this was a very big crowd and really awesome.”
What did you want your audience to experience during your set today?
“I actually got to talk to some girls who were just walking by when they heard my first song. They were like ‘Oh, let’s stay and watch this.’ By the end of my set they fought through the crowd to come talk to me. They were like, ‘Who are you? Where did you come from?’ That’s the type of response I love the most.”
You’ve written songs for Bea Miller, Oh Honey, and Tritonal. At what point did you decide to start writing for yourself?
“My producer Kyle Shearer was the catalyst. When I first heard the music we worked on together I was like, ‘This is what I want. This is the sound I want for myself.’”
Kyle produced your debut EP Mine. How did you find him?
“I met Kyle through my manager Zack Gurka. He sent me to Nashville on a very casual writing trip just to meet some people he thought I would write with well. I ended up falling in love with Kyle. I was like, ‘I need this kid in my project. I need his sounds. I need his soul.’ I just knew.”
Has this past year been a breakthrough?
“A year ago I was in Nashville writing my EP and now I’m playing Bonnaroo. Everything has been an absolute whirlwind. I’m just trying to do the best I can everyday and take the next step. Keep climbing the stairs. I don’t know where they’re going but I’m climbing them.”
How does it feel to have your debut EP released?
“It’s amazing. I’ve been waiting so long to put out my own music. It’s just crazy. I don’t think it has hit me yet.
Just curious, is your hair always going to be green?
You often mention your pet parakeet Bert. Who takes care of him when you’re on tour?
“My ex-boyfriend got a parakeet while we were dating. I already had one and he decided to get one too. When we broke up, he moved out of the house but left his parakeet. So I called him and said, ‘You know this is still your bird. I have to be gone for a few months. Will you help?’ He’s been very sweet by taking good care of the birds. It’s just a messy divorce situation.”