Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Pixie Athena! Together we discussed fairies, falling for humans, their EP “Hypomania”, what is next, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing?
I am doing amazing! Enjoying this sunny and warm weather, and feeling very inspired by it.
2. Mustard wonders what your relationship with music was growing up?
My house was filled with music. Between joining choir in fourth grade, participating in musicals, and my siblings playing instruments, I was always in arms reach of something melodic.
3. You began singing in fourth grade, along with being a choir member for 10 years and teaching yourself piano at 17. When did you decide you wanted to become a musician?
I loved singing and music, and always identified as a singer. When I was 16, I started competing in international slam poetry competitions on the Dallas Youth Poets slam poetry team and writing lots of rhyming poems. Our wonderful coach and internationally awarded slam poet, Joaquin Zihuatanejo asked me, “have you ever thought of writing music?” On return from that slam in New Mexico, I wrote my first song. I released it on Soundcloud, it’s called “your move”. Since then, I have not stopped writing music and consider myself a musician.
4. Who (or what) influences you?
I am influenced by many artists and producers including Amy Winehouse, Ben Folds, Beach House, Metro Boomin, Jamie xx, Holly Walker, Maribu State, Kaytranada, Homeshake, Aretha Franklin, etc. The list goes on-I truly love all genres and I can find inspiration in any composition.
5. Is there a song or album that had a significant impact on you?
Lately, I’ve had a great connection to an album my brother showed me, “Soft Sounds from Another Planet” by Japanese Breakfast. The album has a lot of pain, as it was written when her mother passed from cancer, but it is incredibly beautiful, experimental, calming, and lyrically methodical. It’s definitely the most unique album I’ve heard in a while, combining live instruments with wavy synths and tasteful vocal effects. Not to mention the melodies and chords fit together exceptionally well.
6. You hope to take listeners away from their world momentarily and manipulate their ear-drums in a positive, trip-tastic manner. Could you share more about your creative process?
My creative process typically starts with me sitting down at the piano and messing around with chord progressions, and from there I hear a vocal melody that fits with it. From there, I sort of adlib lyrics until I find a line I’m satisfied with then as soon as I have a progression I hook up my midi keyboard and start tracking the progression in logic. From there, I pick out the synths then add bass, drum beat, etc. and continue tweaking and writing lyrics it until I feel it transcends reality until pause is hit!
7. Pixie is in your name. How have pixies influenced you both musically and personally? Do you have a favorite story containing pixies?
So pixie is in my artist name because I loved the 2014-2017 “pixie” We Heart it/Tumblr aesthetic that was primarily partially lead by Joanna Kuchta. It is also in my name because one of my friends from college called me pixie and I thought that was cute & fit me. Also, my middle name is Fae Ann – and fae, means fairy. Finally, along with my pixie describing my sound as an ethereal element as people have said, it is a good distinguisher as there are many other “Athena’s” on the market, got to stand out!
8. In 2018 you released “A Song for You.” How did it feel to have a song out in the world? Were you speaking to yourself on this single?
“A Song for You” is actually a cover song that I decided to put my spin on. I sang it for someone I was very close with at the time.
9. Humans sometimes “fall” for each other. Was this the inspiration behind your single “FALLING?”
Actually, my song “FALLING” is more self reflective and intrapersonal rather than describing relationships. It was about my struggles with substance use to cope with my feelings of dissatisfaction with my behaviors and self worth. It’s definitely and anthem for self destruction, deception, and anxiety. I state that I’m falling “head first in the shallow end, reaching for solace in my darkest of friends” This means that I’m diving into destructive people and behaviors, and living my life on day to day, surface level.
10. How do you know when you are falling for another human? Do humans need to do something specific to cause this to happen?
I think you know you’re falling when you are clusmy, giddy, and happy beyond containment. In a standard Chet Baker sings…”lately I walk as though I have wings, bump into things…like someone in love…” It’s. child-like excitement that keeps you hooked and itching to see that person. It’s definitely a natural high.
11. 2020 saw the release of your EP “Hypomania.” How did the mood of Hypomania inspire your EP? When did you come up with the concept? Could you share what it was like to put this EP together?
The mood of Hypomania inspired my EP as the title track describes my more tame episodes with bipolar disorder. I struggle with this disorder and I wanted to give an insight into my feelings and experience with it. I came up with the concept in early 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. This EP wad a blast to put together. Actually, all the songs were projects i used for my songwriting class at UNT. I find when you have a deadline, projects are much easier to churn out, and the quality will surprise you! I also had my friend Jonah Trachtman play the instruments and produce the track for October’s Over, which he did an incredible job on. Stay tuned for more work of Jonah’s appearing in my discography!
12. Is Doctor Poison a legitimate and certified practicing doctor?
Haha, no he is not a certified doctor, but he is a certified manipulator!
13. Two weeks ago you released your latest single “day tripping.” What was the inspiration behind this single? What are some things that can trip up your day?
The inspiration behind day tripping was kind of being gaslighted and purposefully misled by someone. They tell you one thing, but their actions display the opposite notion. They say they love you, then they turn around and destroy all you’ve built. Things that can trip up my day are a bad hair day, a sub-par weather forecast, and most of all, manipulative and conniving individuals.
14. What can fans expect from your upcoming single “Craving?”
had to postpone the release of “Craving”, but I am working on a major passion project, putting time, effort, mulah, and love into it. Can’t wait to share it.
15. What is next for Pixie Athena?
Next for Pixie Athena are two shows this summer! One at Fevermatic on June 21st, for the Divine Lady Collab-I will be performing a 3 song set. July 29, I will be performing at Rubber Gloves in Denton opening for a Girl’s Night Out fest.
16. Where can readers listen to your music?
My music is out on all streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Soundcloud, etc. Click the link in my instagram bio to get direct songlinks!