Pride Month Spotlight: Pixie Labrador
Photo Credit: Nikki Dy
It's week three of our LGBTQ+ artist spotlight, and this week's artist is Pixie Labrador! Pixie is an out lesbian artist who writes songs that are raw and real. If you're a fan of the singer-songwriter genre, or you like music that will hit you right in your feels, then you need to give her music a listen.
Her most popular song on Spotify, “What's It Like” is a song about a girl who got away and moved on to someone else. The music is soft and melancholy, and the lyrics are heartwrenching. It's the type of song you listen to if you're going through a tough break up, or if you're looking for music that will really make you feel something. “What's It Like” is a great sample of what the rest of Pixie's discography; sad, and incredibly thoughtful. There's a beauty to her music that comes from her clear and earnest voice, and honest lyricism.
We reached out to Pixie for an interview, and it's clear that her thoughtfulness is not only part of what makes her music unique, but part of who she is as a person. Her responses are in depth, fascinating, and well worth the read. Check out the interview below, and then go find her on Spotify and follow her on her various social media platforms!
Your lyricism is fantastic. What's your writing process like when you sit down to write a song?
Thank you! Writing rarely ever comes easy for me. Out of all the different elements that come into play, lyrics take the longest amount of time, and have the most revisions. I normally start with an idea or a prompt for the “story” of the song, or what it’s gonna be all about. Then, a chord progression depending on the vibe I want the song to be. When I’m happy with that, I write my melody and lyrics at the same time by humming or singing jibberish words along with the chords until something fits, and then I build or revise on top of that. I don’t believe in a singular or definite process in writing a song. So for me, it’s heavily trial and error.
In writing my own music, I try to stay inspired throughout the entire process by listening to tons of music in between sessions. For example, if I’m ever out of ideas, I’ll listen to a song I really like, or that can act as a peg for the current song I’m writing. I’ll try to notice things that capture me, like a lyric or a melody, and analyze what makes it so captivating. Lastly, I’ll see if I can somehow incorporate a similar style in my own music.
One thing I always keep in mind is that I never write full songs in one go because there comes a point in writing where my ears get tired of listening to the same thing over and over again, and that can get me really frustrated. To avoid that, I write a little bit at a time, whether that be a stanza, or even just a few lines, with a few days worth of breaks in between. This way, I can listen to the song with fresh ears every time, and it just gives me a better, more objective perspective to evaluate if I like where the song is going. When I’m happy with everything, I pick a friend or two to send a demo to, and if I get a good reaction, that’s when I know a song is ready for sharing!
Which of your songs mean the most to you, and why?
This is a pretty tough question if I’m being honest, but I think I’d have to go with For You because I feel this is the song I put the most emotional value into when I wrote it. My listeners know me for writing rather sad lyrics, so writing a sweet love song like this was a different (and quite difficult) experience for me, especially because it was meant for someone I really cared about at the time; I wanted to make sure my message to this person had a genuine impact.
Another reason why this song means the most to me is because of its lyrics. You’ll notice that the melody is quite repetitive, and this is because I wanted to put a lot of focus on the lyrical aspect of it. Throughout writing, I kept asking myself how I could say I love someone without actually using the word “love”, and that was an interesting mental exercise for me, and a good mindset. Generally, it’s easier for me to write about pain; so naturally, I exerted the most effort with this song. Thankfully it paid off, because this one seems to be one of the favorites among fans, specifically because of its lyrics.
In your opinion, what's the best way fans can support LGBTQ+ artists?
Nothing different from any other performing artist: Come to our gigs, listen to our music, and spread the word! It means the most to me when fans I normally see on social media (like Twitter, for example) come to see me at gigs and approach me.
Listeners don’t realize how much a simple post or share can do. If you’re passionate about an artist because of specific things like their style, their advocacies, etc., it also helps a lot to be active on threads looking for new music. My name, for example, comes up a lot on “LGBT musician threads” and “Sad song threads”. You’d be amazed at how much people use these simple things as references to find new artists.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Dodie (aka doddleoddle) heavily influenced my style of writing, and was the push I needed to start my own YouTube channel in the first place! She inspires me so much because of her genuine connection with her audience, her incredible talent, and I believe she inspires a lot of young people to achieve their dreams, seeing how far she’s come in the past couple of years.
I listen to a lot of musical OSTs as well, like Wicked, RENT, and more recently, Waitress and Dear Evan Hansen. With me currently studying music in uni, I’ve learned to better appreciate orchestration just as well as composition, so it’s really interesting to notice how different combinations of instruments can play around to create different moods.
I also can’t get past this question without mentioning Rebecca Sugar, the creator of Steven Universe. I highly admire her creativity when it comes to chord progressions and playing around with tone colors, melodies, and so much more.
As an out lesbian artist, what advice would you give to aspiring lesbian artists?
As artists in the LGBTQ+ community, I strongly believe in the importance of writing out our advocacies! Because my message is to encourage self-love, acceptance, and normalizing the LGBTQ+ in media, I don’t sugarcoat those kinds of things in my music. I use she/her pronouns when mentioning a love interest. I talk about the realities that we, as queer people, face. These little things can inspire more and more people to do the same, and possibly open more eyes and hearts to the fact that we are 100% valid. We can make a change by being the change we want to see.
Currently, what's your favorite song by a fellow LGBTQ+ artist?
She Keeps Me Warm by Mary Lambert, hands down. Back in 2015, when I finally and fully accepted that I was queer, I listened to this song non-stop. It’s one of my favorite songs to perform live as well, because it’s simplistic but beautiful, and there are always at least a few people in the audience that know it. It gave me sense of comfort at that time of confusion in my life, so I think this song will always have a special place in my heart.
What do you like most about performing live?
It definitely has to be the connection I feel with the audience. I make a lot of eye contact when I perform, and so I love seeing the reactions that people get when I come on stage, or when I sing a certain lyric that really hits them, or when I see one or two people from the audience mouth the lyrics to my songs as I sing them. There have been a number of instances wherein I’d be singing What’s It Like, and one person would pull out their phone and start waving their light to the beat of the music, and it creates this chain reaction and it looks so beautiful from the stage. To me, it’s as if we are saying to one another that we are here and fighting together. I truly live for those moments.
Do you have any projects or upcoming shows you'd like to plug? Feel free to drop links to all of your social media accounts!
No details for upcoming projects or shows as of the moment, BUT I can assure you that I’m always writing, brainstorming and jotting down ideas for a new record! In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @FairyFunFwee, and YouTube and Spotify at Pixie Labrador to keep updated! When I’m not posting original music, I post covers, music I’ve done for schoolwork, and even non music-related things like pole-dancing, and just everyday snippets of my life.