Though undeniably catchy, Josephine Philip is far from your average artist. With chilling melodies, soul-baring lyricism and a penchant for story-telling, Philip has dropped her new single “She Said” — the fifth and final single from her solo album, We Get Lost And Found. Released alongside a cinematic music video, “She Said” is a spellbinding display of Philip’s ability to move her listeners while facing some of the darkest elements of the human psyche.
Opening the visual at an abandoned public pool under a soundscape of gritty guitar strings, the scenes slowly unfold to reveal two women who share different perspectives of the world: one free and in her element and the other consumed by her own self-consciousness. Alongside the music video, “She Said” becomes more than just an exploration of being a woman — it is a beacon of advice that can inspire every generation to live life to the very fullest in spite of our inner burdens.
To celebrate the release, we sat with Josephine to discuss her musical inspirations, her hometown and her personal take on the track. For the full interview and to stream the track and music video, head below now…
Hey Josephine! How are you?
I’m good thanks! I just released my first solo album, which feels great and also slightly nerve-wracking.
How has this past year been for you?
It’s been a strange year- good and bad, hard and light. The contrast from how the world was just a few months ago with full lockdown and the pandemic all over the place to a much more normal life, but then all of a sudden war in Europe. That has all affected me deeply. I have also had a year fully immersed in my solo project. I have released 5 singles, and in May I released my first solo album We Get Lost And Found.
Talk us through your journey, how did you first get into music?
My passion for music started when I was 14 and taking guitar lessons. My teacher really wanted me to sing while I was playing, and he was surprised when he heard me sing the first time. I had always liked to sing, but I didn’t know that I was actually good at it. When I finally discovered my voice, a new world opened up to me. I have played in many constellations from ska music in my band Favelachic, to LSD-pop in my duo JaConfetti, pop-noir in my duo Darkness Falls and also done collabs and features with musicians such as Trentemøller and Christian Löffler.
In 2019 I started making my first solo album and it continued into 2020 when the pandemic hit the world. It was a really overwhelming time where nothing felt certain. There is a lot of melancholy in my songs but also hope. I have always been very interested in duality in life, that nothing is either/or but rather both. For me it can’t have one thing without the other. I need to get lost before I can be found. I also have another project, ‘Philip | Schneider’ with singer and composer Hannah Schneider – who is also my business partner in our joint label Midnight Confessions. ‘Philip | Schneider’ is an experimental duo with one foot rooted in sound and the other in visual arts. We have a common background in popular music, and an interest in the voice and its performative possibilities. Together, we create seductive, spacious compositions, performances and sound installations that engage the body, ears and mind. Working with this project had a great synergy with my solo project and I love how one project can give inspiration to another.
And where are you from?
Do you think your hometown has impacted your sounds in any way?
I love Copenhagen, and without a doubt I am sure it had an impact on my sound. Inspiration for me comes from so many different sources but mostly from what I surround myself with; music, films, art, literature, friends, living and dead colleagues and so on, but also just in the surroundings I move in.
Congratulations on your new single “She Said”! Talk us through the creative process!
She Said is first of all a song about being a woman. The song unfolds from two perspectives – one being young, carefree and full of hope, but also feeling insecure and scared to make the wrong decisions. The other perspective is delivered from an older narrator, who has lived life – singing to her younger self, wanting to give advice, but not wanting to interfere, because she knows that life has to be lived and experienced, good or bad, wild and mundane. The track is a celebration of all women and a reminder to believe in oneself. The song was written with a very minimal instrumentation, so the production happened in the process after the songwriting. It was my producer Lasse’s idea to make the gritty drums and very sparse production which I think really suits the song.
It’s told through two perspectives, what made you what to tell the story in this way?
I kind of see myself right in between those perspectives. I am not really young or really old, but I can relate to both sides. For me these two perspectives are relevant and very universal. I like that it’s a song about womanhood and a reminder that one has to believe in oneself. We kind of took that vibe with us when we made the video for the song. Fryd Frydendahl who is a very talented artist and my very good friend directed the video. Trine Dyrholm, who is a Danish actress extraordinaire is playing up against my character (the narrator). I think she is extremely cool, and I respect her highly. I love the fact that she said yes to be in this video because it represents exactly this relation of solidarity and sisterhood.
And it’s a celebration of women, how do you think we can celebrate women more in the industry?
By celebrating their actual skills and merits and taking them seriously. Equality now!
What do you hope people take away from your music?
Not too long ago I had a very special experience at a concert. After the show a man came up me and the band and thanked us for the concert. He looked at me and said, “some singers make you happy when they sing. When you sing you make me feel depressed. I mean this as the biggest compliment. Look at me I am about to cry, your singing moves me deeply”. I hope that my songs will move something in people.
Who would you say inspires you?
I get very inspired by my surroundings, and also by other artistic expressions such as contemporary art and performance, film and literature. But I also have a lot of musical influences as choir works, jazz standards, experimental music and classical music. I have been on quite a journey. I had a couple of years where I wasn’t even sure I wanted to make music anymore. I just didn’t feel it, and I couldn’t figure out where I belonged. I finally realized that I had to let go of everything to find some kind of neutral state. I started singing jazz with my amazing friend Lennart who is twice my age, and I started singing in this atypical choir (Korage) with these amazing Danish female singers and I re-found my joy of singing. I love singing and I really love putting myself out there, I had just been in a dark space, which kind of shut down my fire, but after going back to basics and remembering what I love about performing and writing music it became healing. To give an example, my song “The Clue” is kind of an homage to Nina Simone’s version of Billie Holiday’s song “Don’t Explain”. “Don’t Explain” was written by Holiday in response to one of her husband’s affairs. When he tried to explain away why lipstick was on his collar, Simone responded disgustingly “Take a bath, man; don’t explain”. For me this is an inspirational tribute to the great women, their sound, storytelling and courage, that took to the microphone and stage before me.
What is next for you? What are you most excited for?
I am really looking forward to playing live. It feels great to be able to play live in front of an audience after such a long time with various restrictions. I look forward to sharing this album with as many people as possible. I wish people can take it with them into their lives and make it theirs, that was my hopeful intention for the album.