‘I’m really proud of how much my sound has developed over time.’
Bringing us an artist from the southern hemisphere, our newest team member Krysta Daniels chatted to New Zealand-based singer-songwriter Paige about collaborating with Violet Skies, her personal approach to lyricism, and the early belief Billie Eilish had in her.
Hi Paige, thanks for taking time to chat. If you had to explain your music in 3 words, what would they be? Probably heartfelt, fun, groovy.
What inspired you to start creating music? Growing up my parents always had music playing music on the radio constantly which formed my love of music. In terms of creating music I watched a lot of Disney channel shows growing up like Camp Rock and Hannah Montana which had that concept of making music and becoming a star which fascinated me.
Who are your big influences in the music industry? My biggest influences are probably Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish and Michael Jackson because they are exciting and they constantly evolve as artists. I also really love Charlie Puth, Dr Dre and Pharell in terms of music production.
Has the pandemic given you time to perfect your craft, if so, how? Definitely! I think it’s mostly given me a lot of time to be more mindful about what direction I want to go in creatively. I’ve probably done less creating during this time and more brainstorming.
What other creative outlets have you explored during quarantine? I’ve taken a lot of interest in drawing and animation, and I’ve also learnt a lot about ceramics and making things out of clay. I’ve really enjoyed exploring these things and having a creative outlet besides music.
In your latest release, ‘Lonely’, did both you and Violet Skies write the song? If so, how did you get the lyrics and music to come together and create a perfect combination of both your sounds? So Violet sent me her original version of the song with just her singing it and asked if I’d like to write a second verse. I loved the song and thought it was super relatable so I wrote the second verse about my experience. I used a similar melody that she used for the first verse and just changed the lyrics to fit. I then recorded it at home and sent it back to her and thankfully it all worked out well!
‘I want to show vulnerability in my music and help people feel less alone in their struggles.’
Are the lyrics you write personal to your experiences? 100% I like to be vulnerable and write about real experiences that I go through, mostly because I want to encourage people to be open about how they feel towards mental health and other things that are hard to speak about. I also want to be vulnerable and help people feel less alone in their struggles. There are also upbeat songs like “hit n run” and other fun songs that are to come out that I write from a fun place rather than a real place.
What influenced the lyrics in your song ‘Too much to h8’? I was in a position where I was being guilted for not loving somebody back who had feelings for me. So writing lyrics like “I don’t have to be made for you” or “You don’t own my soul” is my way of validating my belief that I am my own person and just because somebody “loves me” doesn’t mean that I owe them anything. I also say “Let me go Love me and let me grow” meaning that if this person really did love me in a selfless way they would let me go and be happy on my own.
Your song ‘Cold Blooded’, feels like a reflection of a dying relationship – you say ‘love me when I’m cold’, what does this mean? Do you tend to be distant? It definitely is. It was a hard song to write because I was owning the fact that I wasn’t the best lover or the warm person I wanted to be. That lyric in particular was talking about the fact that I was unsure if I wanted to continue a relationship but while I was deciding I wanted this person to love me anyway. A very selfish concept but I like the honesty and humanity in the song. We have moments of good and moments of shame and I think it’s good to sing about all experiences we go through.
I remember when you went live with Billie Eilish on Instagram a couple of years ago, how did you two originally connect? Was this a big career moment for you? Connecting with Billie Eilish was a really big moment for me. I like to think about speaking with Billie less as a career moment and more as a personal thing just because I was such a big fan at the time and respect her so deeply. Funnily enough, I never expected it to impact me career-wise, but it did huge things for my career. It’s crazy that someone like Billie can hold so much power by doing something as small as mentioning me a few times on Instagram. I’m grateful she reached out to me, she believed in me before most people did and gave me a lot of confidence.
Your voice and music combine to make a silky smooth sound, reminiscent of R&B and elements of pop: why do you gravitate towards this unique calming sound? Thank you! I guess I can’t really understand why my voice is the way it is or control how it comes out but if I had to guess it’s probably because these are the two genres I grew up listening to. I listened to people like Jojo, Chris Brown, Neyo, Michael Jackson to name a few so maybe I was influenced by these people’s voices.
In 2020 you brought out your highly anticipated EP, ‘Always Growing.’ How do you feel your style has developed since your first collection ‘On My Own? I’m really proud of how much my sound has developed over time. When I wrote the “on my own” EP I didn’t have any resources production wise and only had my guitar and garage band so when I wrote the “Always Growing” EP with a few producers that could make my songs sound exactly the way I wanted them to it was really exciting for me.
What is your favorite song off the EP and why? Probably “Waves” because that song took 2 years to produce and it was such a hard song to finish and it ended up sounding exactly how I wanted it to. I also have a soft spot for that song because I wrote it long before I had a following or a producer to help me and I wrote it in my living room.
And finally, What are your plans for after quarantine? 100% wanting to tour! Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while! I really want to travel and introduce my music to people outside of NZ so hopefully soon enough!
Thanks for chatting with us Paige. Thank you for finding interest in my music and connecting with it! I appreciate the love so much!
Interview by Krysta Daniels