We chat to Jessie Phelps about her latest track “Pisces,” a bluesy homage to star signs, chaos and creativity.
Hailing from the serene Midwest but now riding the creative currents of London, Phelps’ musical journey spans classic rock to her current genre-bending sound.
Phelps’ latest single “Pisces” with its dynamic chorus, mirrors the emotional tides of Piscean traits. Drenched in psychedelia, the accompanying visuals complement the track’s themes of chaos and creativity.
In our exclusive interview, Phelps shares insights into her music’s evolution, her London experience, and the powerful impact of astrology on her artistry.
With forthcoming projects, including an acoustic EP and the single “Hollywood,” Phelps’ fusion of reliability and eccentricity continues to captivate.
Happy: What are you up to today?
Jessie: Drinking coffee, catching up on emails. Later I’ll go to the gym and take my dog to the park. It’s a nice sunny day in London, can you believe it!?
Happy: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?
Jessie: I’m from the rural Midwest of America. Indiana. A lot of beautiful forests and rolling hills if you’re in the south part of the state, which is where I grew up. I spent my adult life in Indianapolis, a bit more of hustle-bustle, and where I really started playing music live.
Happy: Describe an average day?
Jessie: I like to stay active daily, so I try to go for a run or get a workout in, depending on the day. I’m a fitness instructor by day, so I usually teach a few classes. The parks in London are something to be said, so I am usually there once a day if the weather’s nice. At night I’ll be writing music or playing out- whether it be an open mic or a gig. Staying active and playing music are staples in my daily life. Otherwise, I’d lose my mind.
Happy: What did you listen to growing up that fuelled your passion for music?
Jessie: When I was a toddler, my favourite song was “Janie’s Got a Gun” by Aerosmith. I’d put my face up to the television whenever it came on MTV, try to sing it, but only blow spit bubbles. My parents were always playing music by the rock greats like Rush, Led Zeppelin, Queen, etc. So, it’s safe to say I was raised on rock and roll. My music interests evolved from classic rock, to punk, to 80’s metal, and basically every sub-genre of rock you can think of. If it has an anarchical element, I’ll listen to it.
Happy: Your new single “Pisces” is a vibrant exploration of your zodiac sign, rendered in a bluesy alternative rock style. Can you share what inspired you to use astrology as a creative framework for this track?
Jessie: You know the memes that say typical star sign traits? Any that I come across regarding a Pisces are usually spot-on. I know it’s not for everyone, or some people don’t really connect with their zodiac sign, but it’s a deep connection for me. Being scatterbrained and sensitive may have its disadvantages, but that’s what brings on my chaotic creativity, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Happy: The combination of grimy guitar strums and your husky vocals creates a distinct sound in “Pisces.” How did you go about crafting the sonic atmosphere that captures the essence of your personality and star sign?
Jessie: I have the producer, Ken Rose, to thank for this one. He really brought this song to life and gave it the personality it was asking for. Both of us are a bit kooky, and this sound is the result of two similar brains working together.
Happy: The chorus of “Pisces” evolves into an all-out rock odyssey, echoing the Matchbox Twenty classic “Push.” How do you think this powerful chorus mirrors the ebbs and flows of a Piscean personality?
Jessie: The way that the verses are quite laid back and nonchalant, then the crescendo of the chorus has big energy and emotion; it’s definitely in parallel to my personality. The song wasn’t written this way intentionally, which is pretty funny when you think about it.
Happy: Your move from the American Midwest to London adds an interesting dynamic to your music. How has this change in environment influenced your creative process and the sound of your music?
Jessie: There’s been a clear shift in my writing since being out here for a year. I think it’s not specifically where you go, but where your head is at. I’ve never been in this much solitude, which has really helped me slow down and sit with my thoughts. I hadn’t been writing much in the past couple years, and now it seems to be nonstop.
Happy: The bridge of “Pisces” delves into the emotional landscape, where you openly express being “lost inside my head.” How important is it for you to create music that’s not only relatable but also deeply introspective?
Jessie: It’s a release to write it out. Writing it down brings it face value, not something that can spiral out and become an anxiety monster in your head. Everyone has their own way of dealing and releasing, and it’s all just human emotion.
Happy: Your music video for “Pisces” incorporates psychedelic effects and showcases you in various settings. How does the visual representation of the song complement its themes and overall energy?
Jessie: The video is a compilation of videos I took in London. It’s colorful and chaotic, wild and weird. It’s the running theme of the song, and myself for that matter.
Happy: You describe your music as “reliable and a little bit out there,” which seems to reflect your own personality. How do you navigate this balance in your music, and what does it bring to your artistic identity?
Jessie: I guess it is a bit of a balancing act, but I see it more as trying to be good to others regardless of how flighty I am. I used to be late for everything, and then I heard that being late is having no regard for anyone else’s time. That hit me, and now I’m more on time for things.
It’s just growing and learning. I don’t think I could have said “reliable” 10 years ago, and most of my friends can vouch for that. But yeah, maturing in general- that’s come through my writing and my life. It’s helped me in more ways than one. I’m more steadfast with how I live and how I play and promote my music. Just be a good human, it works.
Happy: Can you tell us a little about any forthcoming projects?
Jessie: I have a few things in the works that will be released this fall- a live acoustic EP recorded at Tileyard Studios, my single “Hollywood” and a music video for it. I’ll also be in the studio recording a few songs that I’ve written while living in London. It will definitely be a bit of a departure from the “Pisces” EP.
Happy: What are your fav star signs/least fav star signs?
Jessie: It’s hard to say because I meet people with the same sign and get along with them very differently. Everyone has different paths. If you’re nice and fun loving and want to talk about obscure things that make you think.. hi, let’s be friends.
Happy: What makes you happy?
Jessie: Lots of things, but I’ll name what first comes to mind. Laughing with people I love, laughing with people in general, dogs (cats and any other animals really), meeting new friends, camping and roughing it, just being outside. The biggest thrill is being on stage with good energy all around. Did I mention dogs?