Artist of the Issue: Phoebe Tian

Ellen Lei and Zahra Karim

At just three or four years old, Lexington High School senior Phoebe Tian started her journey to become a musician. DNA talent-testing, initiated by her mother, revealed that Tian, who would always tap her feet to songs and sing passionately at karaokes, had a natural inclination to music. 

Tian began as a traditional Chinese singer but eventually transitioned to Pop and R&B. She is also a songwriter, writing to advocate for social change and convey her personal experiences.

“The song I wrote last year ‘We’re Proud to be Asian’ enacted a lot of Asian pride that led to rallies, so that’s the impact I want to have. And for my personal music, I just want people to relate and I want to speak to those who maybe need help or any emotional connection,” Tian said.

In sixth grade, Tian moved from China to the U.S., which allowed her to grow as an Asian-American musician. 

“I think the transition culturally and the different performing stages and performance culture in general was a big shift and challenge for me,” Tian said. “I really learned a lot from that time period. It made me who I am. Now, I’m not just a Chinese girl. I’m an Asian-American woman and I see myself from both sides.”

Tian’s favorite aspect of being a singer is performing and bringing joy to others. 

“I feel like the thrill of it goes into the adrenaline. I love singing to people and making them happy. I think it’s rewarding even though you are a little nervous. At the end, everyone wants you to do well,” Tian said.

Aside from singing and songwriting, other aspects of music are important to her life.  

“I started picking up different instruments like guitar, piano, drums, songwriting, and music production. It just became a bigger and bigger part of my life that I couldn’t just throw away. I felt like it was so essential to my identity that I devoted my everything to it,” Tian said. 

Besides being in the LHS all-female acapella group, Guacamole, Tian also founded the LHS Songwriting Club. 

“[The club] has a lot of fun together, we fool around, and we do brainstorming, workshopping, share our music, and just like writing and collabing in general,” Tian said.

Tian shared her personal experience from her journey with music and also advised aspiring musicians.

“A big thing throughout my music journey was that I had mentors to guide me in the right way. If you want to do music, you need a really big support system and the most important part is definitely yourself. You have to put your real emotions into the music, and really believe in yourself,” Tian said.

Tian’s latest album, Sixteen, is now available on Spotify, Youtube, and Apple music.