“It’s okay to say no” – Phoebe Green is embracing freedom and trusting her instincts to be her best self

PHOEBE GREEN lets her true colours burn bright on the cathartic, self-affirming ‘Ask Me Now’. Find out more with our latest Dork Mixtape cover feature.

Words: Stephen Ackroyd.
Photos: Sara Carpentieri.

Emerging from the kaleidoscopic haze of her critically acclaimed debut ‘Lucky Me’ [Dork, five stars – Ed], Phoebe Green has blossomed from an undeniably brilliant alt-popster into something even greater. With her new ‘Ask Me Now’ EP, the transcendent Manchester singer-songwriter embraces an exhilarating new chapter of radical self-discovery, unfettered authenticity, and the sheer euphoria of artistic emancipation.

As Phoebe recounts herself, the seismic creative shift heralded by ‘Ask Me Now’ has ushered in a renaissance of profound personal growth and rekindled self-belief: “I’m a hundred times happier and more myself than I have been in years, which is a huge relief,” she admits. “I’m releasing independently, which feels really freeing. I’ve always wanted to do as much as I can for myself, and I think I’m finally in a place to be able to.”

This hard-won liberation is the resounding clarion call reverberating through every fibre of the EP’s existence. Having mutually parted ways with former label Chess Club Records, Green has firmly grasped the reins of her artistic destiny, embracing the autonomy to sculpt her sound without compromise. “I’m editing a music video that I shot at the weekend for my song ‘Relevant’! I’m so excited about it,” she effuses with palpable exhilaration.

Green’s inaugural strides into this uncharted territory of creative control were underpinned by invaluable lessons extracted from the whirlwind of her debut album rollout. “I learned that a lot of the time when I demo, I am producing as I write, that I can trust my instincts and ideas, and it’s okay to say no to feedback that I don’t agree with,” she divulges, imbued with a tempering of hard-won wisdom and steely self-assurance.

Yet for all the undeniable triumphs of her artistic rise, Green’s path has been one of constant evolution – an understanding that collaborative exploration is the ultimate catalyst for uninhibited creative progress: “I do really love collaboration now,” she continues, “and I think the album process taught me to be more vocal about my strengths and my weaknesses.”

It’s a philosophy that has permeated every facet of ‘Ask Me Now’, with Green crediting the EP’s gestation to the forging of a profound creative kinship with producer Steph Marziano. “The whole thing has truly been a dream come true. Steph Marziano and I have truly become best mates, and I could not be more thankful to her for giving me a space that allowed me to be vulnerable,” she reflects with unmistakable fondness.

It really was a collaborative time for Phoebe, with fellow confidant Paige Kennedy’s alchemical touch helping breathe life into lead single, ‘Relevant’. “Throughout the EP writing process, I learned that working with friends doesn’t make the process any less professional; being in a creative space with people you love who can support you through it all is honestly a dream come true!” Phoebe raves. “They challenge me more, and I feel able to be challenged, which is something I’ve struggled with in the past because I wasn’t as sure of myself. We wrote a song each session; the EP was written in four days essentially.”

Like a radiant blast of potential realised, her latest work is a celebration of Green’s evolution into her most authentic, uninhibited self. “‘Ask Me Now’ has really captured the happiest time of my life so far. I’m continuing to grow into myself and to accept that healing doesn’t make me any less interesting of an artist,” Phoebe gushes, clearly in a very good place. “I’m in love, and I’m content, and nothing is linear, but I’m doing my best,” she professes with candid vulnerability.

Photo credit: Sara Carpentieri

“I’m a hundred times happier and more myself than I have been in years, which is a huge relief”

Phoebe Green

This ethos of unguarded vulnerability courses through the EP’s thematic core, with even the order of its songs mapping Green’s journey toward radical self-acceptance. “The tracklisting represents the acceptance of vulnerability and calming the fuck down,” she explains. “I think I’ve been very protective of myself and felt that to do so, I have to be angry at anything or anyone who’s wronged me, but I had to let that go in order to process things,” she expounds.

Woven into the tapestry is an undercurrent of wry self-awareness, too: “I use humour a lot in ‘Relevant’, but the songs get more sincere as the EP goes on, which still makes me cringe a little bit, but not as much as it used to.”

Amidst this panorama of hooky confessionals, no singular vantage point refracts Green’s multifaceted introspection more vividly than the duality of ‘Relevant’ and ‘Embarrass Me’. Wildly contrasting in tone yet united through their shared wellspring of candour, these diametrically opposed poles give voice to the complexities of Green’s world.

“I really do love them all equally for very different reasons. ‘Relevant’ is very bold and fun, and ‘Embarrass Me’ definitely feels the most vulnerable and brings up the most discomfort,” Green says, her deft ability to embrace the full spectrum of human emotion shining through.

At the opposing end of the spectrum reside the reveries of ‘I Think That I’m Getting Boring’ and ‘I Could Love You’ – songs that speak to the ebbs and flows of romance that encapsulate the EP’s overarching radiance. “‘I Think That I’m Getting Boring’ and ‘I Could Love You’ are love songs in totally different ways; they feel like relief and surrender and joy. I love them all!”

For an artist steeped in such profound personal and artistic reinvention, Green is strikingly self-aware of the serendipitous nature underlying ‘Ask Me Now’s existence: “It definitely feels right for me to be releasing it at this moment in time,” she considers, “within a year of it being written and whilst I’m still in this funny transitional period of finding my feet as an independent artist.”

Photo credit: Sara Carpentieri

“I’m loving the sudden surge of sapphic pop music”

Phoebe Green

With her newly liberated energy has come a deep attunement to the power of art to both reflect and inspire the human experience. “I’m loving the sudden surge of sapphic pop music that has truly made me feel so validated and uplifted,” she shares when asked what’s currently influencing her work. “I’m inspired every day by queer artists that are unapologetic and take up the space that they deserve, I’m trying my best to do the same in my own way, everyone is so themselves.”

“I’m definitely the most optimistic I have been in a while for the future of alt-pop music.”

Green’s immersion in this artistic renaissance is matched only by her restless creative wanderlust, with each new move fueling an insatiable appetite for further exploration. “I’m always working on something these days,” she reveals. “I’ve just finished recording vocals for the next single, which I think is one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”

For all her exhilaration about the roads yet to be travelled, Green’s thoughts remain firmly rooted in the electrifying possibilities awaiting ‘Ask Me Now’ as she, at last, takes the effervescent collection to the stage. “I’m absolutely buzzing to play these songs live; we haven’t yet! We’re rehearsing this weekend for the gig at the Grace in London [6th June, make sure you’re there – Ed], and I’m so excited to get face-to-face reactions when we are finally in front of an audience,” she offers excitedly.

With ‘Ask Me Now’, Phoebe Green has unfurled her wings and soared into a universe of even greater creative possibilities. She was already one of the best new talents the UK has produced in ages, but free from constraints, emboldened by the thrill of self-discovery, and propelled by an unquenchable artistic fire, her voice reigns supreme – a supernova blazing ever brighter. ■

Phoebe Green’s EP ‘Ask Me Now’ is out now. Follow Dork Mixtape on Spotify here.