SLUG Picnic: Phobia the Greatest
August’s SLUG Picnic lineup features youngassNICO, Phobia the Greatest and MOD. The show takes place on Aug. 28 at 230 S. 500 West in Salt Lake City. Tickets are $5 with picnic seating at 5 p.m. and music from 6–9 p.m. SLUG Picnic is sponsored by Daily Rise Coffee, Dented Brick Distillery, Gem City Fine Foods, GREENbike, Les Madeleines, Sparrow Electric and Squatters.
Phobia the Greatest walks into the studio and listens to a beat. In 10 seconds, she knows if she can record to it. “I get in the booth, I get on the mic, I sing how I feel,” she says. Her craft, once manifested as poetry in composition books, has now erupted into an art form that leaves behind writing and comes up with songs on the spot. The contagious confidence of her high-spirited sound reflects the energy of this musical process.
Years ago, you would have found the independent musician around Salt Lake City, mainly in the West Valley area. Now you can find her playing pool party shows near the ocean in L.A. or filming a music video with Royal & The Serpent, seizing the opportunity to collaborate within the capital of artistry and networking. She got a new car and a new apartment and continues to take initiative to make everything around her the greatest. “I like having creative control and having control in general,” she says. “Having control of what music sounds like, what image is, what it’s like when I drop something. I like the control to drop things and make videos when I want to instead of depending on a label.”
She and her team put in all the work on their own. There is no label, no management and no investors—everything put out by Phobia comes from her own time and money. The extra work pays off, giving listeners the raw flavor of Phobia the Greatest as she intends it. “I do what I want,” she says. “I don’t like being told what to do—I don’t want to be told how to dress [and] I like to be myself.”
“I get in the booth, I get on the mic, I sing how I feel.”
As Phobia proceeds to go harder than ever, her music continues to set her apart from one single genre and attracts different audiences. Although she feels her rap music is more popular, there are nothing but good things for herself and musicians alike who create within multiple genres. “That’s the thing about making art—each genre is a different emotion. My music is a reflection of how I’m feeling,” she says.
Phobia’s newest single, “Love Me,” portrays her intoxicating and explosive feeling of pure rage. This song reads like a love letter dripping with the good energy Phobia sends off to one of her main inspirations: all of the haters. “When people do something different, [other people] hate on it, but they have to understand that’s their art,” she says. What Phobia’s haters neglect to comprehend is that their energy of downplay has only fueled her path of purpose. She aims to make people feel good and get back into their groove. She says, “I want to lift others’ energy up and have a positive impact in the time that I have here.”
Hate is just an outlier in life, which is ultimately what inspires Phobia. With all of these new and invigorating changes, it may be no surprise for listeners to learn that “Love Me” is just a sample from her next EP, called Taking What is Mine. “This next album is going to go even harder,” she says of the release.
“I want to lift others’ energy up and have a positive impact in the time that I have here.”
“Love Me” prepares you to show up bossed up and is just the beginning of the adrenaline pump to be anticipated with the new album. Fans can expect Phobia to share different sides of herself and different sounds than what listeners are used to. In the meantime, be looking out for Phobia’s music video for “Love Me,” coming sometime this month.
You can see Phobia the Greatest at SLUG Picnic on Aug. 28 at the SLUG HQ. If you miss it, you may likely find Phobia listening to her own jams as she eats out at all her vegan favorites, wearing her new jeans with that to-die-for vertical split at the ankle.