Interview: Paige on her single 'Bloom', performing live, and more.
First starting out sharing covers via YouTube and Instagram, Paige has begun a journey to become her own artist in the past few years through the release of her own original music, and has gone on to perform opening for Ruel, George Ezra, Nina Nesbitt, and more.
We spoke with Paige about her latest single 'Bloom', developing her live sound, and more...
...I have to realise that I’m not perfect, but also give myself a little bit of credit because I’m trying my best to get better. I think it’s important for other people to know that not everybody is perfect.
COUP DE MAIN: ‘Bloom’ is such a bop! And it’s a really joyful song to listen to as well. Is that what you want your listeners to feel after listening to it?
PAIGE: Yeah. I wanted it to be fun, because I think my past, all of the other stuff I was making before that was quite emotional and I don’t want everyone to think that I’m just a sad gal. I also wanted to have a song to play live that was really fun, so that’s why I did a more upbeat sort of song.
CDM: Have you been performing it live yet? I feel like it’ll be so fun to play live!
PAIGE: We started performing it live in February, so we’ve been playing it a bit which is awesome, and now we’ve got it down. People start to know it when they come to gigs, so it won’t be messy or anything.
CDM: Do you feel more comfortable now performing without a guitar?
PAIGE: It’s so funny, the first time I performed without a guitar, I was just so nervous about it. Now, it’s like I don’t want to be holding a guitar. I love being able to move without one, and I feel way better without one, which is so weird because I thought it’d be hard for me. It was at first, but now it’s all good.
CDM: It’s quite a different vibe to some of your previous releases like ‘Alignments’. Do you think this is the direction you want your future music to sound like?
PAIGE: Yeah. We wrote ‘Bloom’ in a way that was trying to get away from the acoustic artist label. I don’t like when people label me as an acoustic singer, and I think that if I heard about an artist and they were like ‘acoustic artist’, I’d be like, “Oh, okay, nothing more to it.” So that’s when I took the song to Josh Fountain and we tried to make it with a little bit of acoustic guitar, but a bit more of a banger.
CDM: Have you been enjoying experimenting with different sounds and production in your music?
PAIGE: Yeah! I’ve always wanted to get better at production, but because I’m not the best yet, I like to take it to people who can do really cool stuff with it.
CDM: Then you can learn from watching them work on it!
PAIGE: I’ve been trying to ask questions and stuff, because I can’t wait to get more into that sort of thing. It’s so much easier to watch someone do it, then do it yourself.
CDM: ‘Bloom’ is also your first song to be released through your new label, Sony NZ! How have you found the experience of working alongside a label on your music?
PAIGE: It’s been challenging I think, only because I’m so used to being able to put stuff out straight away. But then when you work with a label that want to get marketing stuff down and sort out all of that, it’s so different because you have to wait so long. I just have to learn to be a bit more patient in the future.
CDM: It must be hard when you write a song and you just want to put it out straight away.
PAIGE: Yeah! I’m not good at planning stuff, I’m very in the moment. So that’s been challenging, but apart from that it’s been really awesome - like, having so much help. A year ago, I always said that I just need some help with releasing stuff, and now I’ve got it, so that’s really awesome.
CDM: The line, “I’m not perfect / but I try my best,” is a very relatable line! Why do you think that’s an important message to share with your fans?
PAIGE: I think I like to show that flaws are a normal thing. I said that because I wanted people to know that it’s not an easy thing to be able to grow, and learn your lessons. I wrote it in a time where I was really struggling to embrace my wrongs. It’s easy to deny them. I have to realise when I’m wrong, and I have to realise that I’m not perfect, but also give myself a little bit of credit because I’m trying my best to get better. I think it’s important for other people to know that not everybody is perfect.
CDM: Since our last interview you’ve collaborated with a lot of fellow NZ musicians like Balu Brigada and JessB - how have you found that process?
PAIGE: I really loved collaborating with JessB, just because I knew that a goal of mine was to do a collaboration with other people, and I knew a big reason why I wanted to be an artist was to be able to collaborate with artists that I love. It’s been really fun, and it’s fun performing with them too - I’ve performed with Balu Brigada, and that was so cool. It’s so nice when you can share your talents with other people, and you learn so much. I used to be really against collaborating, I was like, “Ugh, I don’t want my ideas to be thrown away,” and now I’m like, “I’m learning so much from other people,” so it’s been really fun.
CDM: Do you find it different when you’re working on songs that are collaborations with other people, as opposed to music which is just purely your own?
PAIGE: I think it’s about the same. I think I put more pressure on myself when it’s my song. When it’s a collaboration I find it more fun, and there’s more direction in a collaboration I think, because you understand each other’s vibe, and you work with that. If you’re working alone, you’re like, ‘Oh, am I going to try something new today?’ You have to rely more on yourself than help from other people.
CDM: Your Twitter bio is “pls do ur part in helping the planet” - what do you think young people can be doing to help the planet?
PAIGE: I think that educating yourself is a big, big thing. Back in the day I was always like, “I’m such an environmentalist, blah blah blah,” but I wasn’t really educating myself in how to help save the world! But the way that I contribute to the wellbeing of the planet is I don’t like to buy clothes that aren’t recycled - if you buy clothes from stores, they all come wrapped in plastic; that’s a big thing. I don’t eat meat. I try to use vegan body products rather than micro-beads. All vegan products are environmentally friendly. I think the biggest thing is educating yourself, and realising how much plastic you use in a day.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAREN ISHIGURO
MAKE-UP BY LOCHIE STONEHOUSE
Paige's single 'Bloom' is out now - listen to it below: