phem Trusts Her Gut (And Her Gut Is Taking Her Places)

If you need a new song to belt along to in your car this week, allow us to remind you that phem dropped a new track just a few days ago. The alt-pop star has always been great at writing lyrics that touch on real, raw emotions and relatable shit, then pairing them with bop-worthy rhythms and vocals that are fun to sing along to.

Her latest track, “Slippery Slope” is no different. In fact, it’s arguably one of her most vulnerable songs yet. She reflects on her early days when she was working odd jobs at a mini-mall to get by. While it’s relatable (who hasn’t worked a somewhat embarrassing side hustle while chasing their dreams?), it’s also motivational, because she’s clearly come a long way. She’s currently gearing up for a spring tour with Avril Lavigne and has collaborated with some of our fave pop-punk names—including MGK and Travis Barker.

We sat down with phem to talk her new track, getting vulnerable, and what it was like getting the call to hit the road with the punk rock princess.

phem dons her “mask” in her video for “Slippery Slope”

This song feels like an especially vulnerable one. Is it tough to be an open book with fans? Or do you prefer it that way? 

It’s very tough for me to be open, not so much with the fans though. They really get me and I get them. I think it’s everyone else that freaks me out, but if I’m not vulnerable and honest through my art, then there’s really no point in doing any of this, so I always figure out a way to get to the core, to the truth of what I’m feeling—as hard as it may be sometimes. 

I really like the message of the song. What would you say to fans who may have grown up without much money or resources, who are trying to make a dream come true? 

I think as long as you have a way to record yourself and post it online, you don’t need a ton of money to make things happen! All you need to do is be creative and express your true unique self—people will recognize that!

What is the significance of the mascot head in your new video? Where did that concept come from? 

Being an artist and public figure, there is a certain pressure to presenting yourself. I wanted to flip the idea of phem on its head. Make a caricature of myself, something I can put on and take off. 

In the song, you touch upon your sobriety and the stigma that comes with that. Is this something you’ve experienced often? 

I think I’ve had plenty of onlookers stigmatize me over the years. Mostly about my sexuality… the music I make, the things I care about, or how I dress. 

Big congrats on your upcoming tour with Avril! What was getting that phone call like?

Thank you so much! [It was] definitely a pinch-me moment. I never get too excited about anything anymore because I’ve had so many “almosts” in this profession, so I waited until I saw the flyer to really freak out.

Which song are you most excited to perform live?

I think “Slippery Slope” is going to be insane. I played it once before in December and people already knew the words months ago from just me teasing it online. 

What has been the most rewarding part of your journey as an artist so far? What are you most looking forward to?

The confidence I’ve gained from trusting my instincts. Everything always pans out infinitely better when I trust my gut. I know my aesthetic & vision better than anyone else. I don’t have to answer to anybody. I make the rules, I make my world come to life, nobody can take that away from me. But what’s even more rewarding than all of that is that other people understand it, resonate with it, and find themselves in it—there is no greater feeling than that. 

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