Q&A with Jessie Phelps

by Lynzi Stringer

1/19/2018

Jessie Phelps photos: Courtesy of Facebook

Jessie Phelps of local supergroup Moxxie has recently been making a splash in the scene as a solo performer. A versatile musician and singer, Phelps has performed her acoustic sets at local venues such as Bier Brewery and Black Circle Brewing Co. Her next performance will be on Jan. 19 at Books & Brews Carmel. The Campus Citizen recently interviewed Phelps about her music, and what’s coming up.

Describe the sound of your solo performances for those who haven’t heard you yet.

My set is really random. A little bit of everything. One minute I’ll be playing a pop-rock song to tap your foot to and the next I’ll slow it down with a softer, soulful tune you can tell I wrote when I was a little more reflective. No matter what, I like to bring a lot of energy and feeling behind what I play. I want it to really hit you, so always expect that.

Will there be a solo album coming out anytime soon?

Eventually, yes. I’m currently polishing some of my older songs I wrote when the term “bridge” didn’t resonate with me musically. I want people to hear where I’ve come from. Some of these songs have been in my notebook collecting dust for years, so this album will be unlocking a vault, that’s for sure.

Who and what inspires you to write and perform?

So many things keep me driven, which I hope I can still say when I’m old and gray. Whether it be successful, talented musicians and professionals whose hard work has paid off, my fiancée and her positive way of seeing the world, or on the completely opposite end of the spectrum – the bad people and things in our world that I want to put a spotlight on.

Writing a song is just like a journal entry for me. Even if it’s cryptic lyrics, there is always something behind those words and music that I was really feeling during that period of time. It’s what keeps me sane. Performing it live is just the icing on the cake. Not everyone gets the opportunity to be heard when they have something to express, so I’m very grateful for that.

Is there a new Moxxie album in the works?

Absolutely.

I see you’ve lost 2 band members recently. Have you been able to find musicians to “fill their shoes?”

Moxxie has been around the music scene a lot but not for a lot of time. We started the group in 2015 and have been nonstop since, so growing pains were to be expected. It’s just a learning process; what works, what doesn’t. It’s been very beneficial but also trying, you just have to let it organically grow. It hasn’t really been a matter of replacing, but more so evolving. It’s been exciting to see the new people and ideas come into play and getting out of comfort zones.

What is your involvement in Girls Rock Indy? Will you be teaching this summer?

I’ve taught a Girls Rock drum class in the past and performed this past summer for their artist showcase. It was such a great thing to see so many girls so eager to learn and play music. I’ve played drums for the group, The Clams, for the past 5 years and the lead singer has been an integral part of their committee. She introduced me to Girls Rock. It’s truly one of the best organizations in our city. Teaching these girls at a young age that they can rock out with the boys and be true to who they are is an amazing thing. I hope to be a part of it again this summer!

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8zV96Sb7Jg

 

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