Pheno is the creative project of native Canberra musician Jess Green. Green expresses strong feelings about never having to box herself into any particular genre, and as a freelance musician she explains she has gained such a broad spectrum of experiences in a wide range of settings that she ends up “borrowing from a lot of different worlds to make songs”.
Coming from a background as a jazz musician Green understands how certain types of music tend to alienate people because of their preconceived notions about it.
“A lot of people still have a narrow view of what jazz is, but for me jazz is freedom. It’s everywhere and it’s in everything.”
Green explains that she originally adopted the Pheno persona as a way to step outside of her identity as “Jess Green the jazz musician,” and to explore something new without predetermined ideas about her scope as an artist being imposed upon her.
“It was really important to me with this project to disassociate with preconceived notions others have of me and ideas I had about myself.”
Pheno produced her EP Dragon Year in 2017 where she showed off her vast experience as a musician. The record is a testament to what happens when artists have the freedom to experiment, but as Green explained to me it also encompasses a lot of the important elements of mainstream pop music.
Her aim seems to be to marry a deeply intellectual understanding of music with a lighter, more poppy feel that anyone can listen to and appreciate. The value of a short track, a great hook, or a catchy singable riff is certainly not lost on Pheno.
Having been away from Canberra for a few years Pheno is now taking the opportunity to rediscover everything the city has to offer musicians and creatives.
“I am excited to spend this year writing a lot of new music and playing shows in Canberra. I spent a lot of last year touring and didn’t have much time to get to know the scene here. It’s really nice to start feeling like part of the community.”
Pheno is wasting no time in getting involved with the Canberra music scene in 2019 having already played gigs at some of our great local venues. Her next appearance will be at HYPERSPACE, taking place on 7th March at the Canberra Theatre Centre.