Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Louise Page: Breaking Into A Male-Dominated Memphis Music Scene

Photo by Michael Cardwell

Photo by Michael Cardwell

Louise Page is a local Memphis musician making strides in the music scene by just being herself.

She started playing music in the summer of 2016, and now she is recording her second EP and working on her first music video.

I met Louise through friends of friends, and I always admired her spunk and personality. It was not until I saw her first performance that I recognized her raw talent. Her songs sound like poetry mixed with piano, and each song has imagery more beautiful than the last. Needless to say, I have been keeping up with her musical endeavors ever since.

Photo by Olivia Frantz

However, what I have admired the most about Louise is her ability to perform within such a male-centric music scene. As a result, I decided to ask her what life as a Memphis musician has been like since she started in 2016.

Choose901: Tell me a little bit about your time in the Memphis music scene.

Louise Page: My background in music is total band-geekdom. I started out as a classically trained pianist and was in the marching band in high school. I’ve been playing live original music in Memphis since the summer of 2016. It started out with me just playing a little solo pop-up shop on my crappy plastic keyboard, and has bloomed into me playing venues like the New Daisy, the HiTone, Growlers and Minglewood Hall with an eight piece band comprised of some of the most talented musicians in the city.

I feel extremely blessed and lucky for every opportunity that’s come my way – from recording my first EP last summer at Young Avenue Sound, to playing Grrl Fest, Za Fest, the upcoming Lucero Block party, and too many other rad shows to count. I can only attribute this growth to a genuine love of music and performance – it is like air to me, it is my joy, and I’ll never stop – combined with how beautifully Memphis supports local musicians, and the insanely dedicated, hardworking, talented people I’ve been lucky enough to work with and collaborate with such as my bandmates and the other people I have recorded with, Annalisabeth Craig, Eva Brewer, Jawaun Crawford, Victor Sawyer, Michael Laurenzi, Michael Todd, Calvin Lauber, Blair Davis, & Daniel Quinlan.

I can only attribute this growth to a genuine love of music and performance – it is like air to me, it is my joy, and I’ll never stop – combined with how beautifully memphis supports local musicians.

Louise Page

Photo by Brenna Pepke

C901: What serves as your biggest source of inspiration?

LP: I’m constantly inspired by other musicians. A couple of my favorite artists are St. Vincent and Fiona Apple. I’ll play their songs over and over again to try to study how they got that mood, what the form of their song is, what instrumentation they used, and pick apart and store away the pieces that felt effective.

I’m also really inspired by all my sweet friends in Spaceface, local psychedelic rock phenomenons. They’ve been my friends for over 5 years now and have really pushed me to dream bigger and supported me. Love them forever.

I’m inspired by poetry. I’m inspired by literature. I’m very inspired by nature and animals. I’m inspired by visual art and my friends who create it. I’m very inspired by my own personal experiences – the ones that wrench all the way down to my gut. If I can cut to the core of that experience and extract the seed of emotion that is universally human, and implant that feeling into a song or a lyric, that’s when music becomes truly transcendent and effective. It’s a difficult thing to achieve, but it’s what I’m always reaching for.

Photo by Olivia Frantz

I’m very inspired by my own personal experiences – the ones that wrench all the way down to my gut.

C901: How does it feel to often times be the only female musician to play at a show?

LP: It is so noticeable to me. Thankfully, I have two other rad, female musicians in my band, Eva and Anna! So, I’m never truly alone. However, it sticks out to me when I’m the only woman on a bill.

As a woman, I’ve had venues try to get away with not paying me, or not respecting  business agreements – and for all I know, they treat men the same way, but that’s not the vibe I usually get.

It does feel that I’m expected to be this complacent, happy-go-lucky fairy princess; people don’t expect me to have any sort of business acumen. It has all been a learning process, but I do feel that I need to work harder, smarter and better, to garner the same respect and positive attention.

C901: What are some other female musicians in Memphis you love and look up to?

Photo by Sam Leathers

LP: I love Magnolia forever and always. Look up her stuff! It’ll break your heart and heal it again. I always get inspired listening to her. I love Nots. I love Sweaters Together. My friend SJ is doing some really unique stuff with her band The Outcry. My friend Allison Kasper has just started releasing her beautiful music and I’m so excited to be playing with her at her first official show at Growlers on February 26. Alyssa Moore is a complete badass constantly recording songs that make my head spin.

There is so much talent in Memphis, and I know I’m missing some people. Come out to Grrl Fest this year if you wanna catch some of the best female acts in the city. It was a complete blast last year!

C901: What upcoming shows are you looking forward to?

LP: So many! I’m really looking forward to playing the Lucero Block Party on April 14. I’m so honored to be on that bill and to be a part of such an iconic show. Check out my website for a full list of upcoming shows! Definitely come see us play this Thursday, 2/8, with Monticello and Rock Eupora at the Hi Tone!

Photo from Spaceface Halloween Show

C901: What has been the biggest challenge for you?

LP: My biggest challenge has always been believing in myself, but I’m making strides on that front. Just last month I quit my full-time, city government job that was preventing me from booking all the shows I wanted to. I finally had enough faith and confidence in my passion, drive and talent to pursue music more whole-heartedly. I believe confidence is my only true hurdle to fully realizing all my schemes and dreams.

C901:What are your goals for this year?

LP: I have such an exciting year ahead. I kicked off January by recording a new single at Young Avenue Sound, and we’re going to begin filming my first music video to accompany it this March. I’m back in the studio this April to record my second EP – I’m so excited to showcase how far my songwriting abilities have come in just one year.

Most exciting of all, this summer I’m taking this show on the road for an East Coast tour! Stay tuned for dates!

To anyone who has ever come out to a show, downloaded my music from Bandcamp or iTunes, or just streamed one of my songs on Spotify, you mean the entire world to me. Thank you for listening. Love to all.

Listen to Louise on Bandcamp, iTunes or Spotify.

Get tickets to her upcoming show here.

Keep up with her musical endeavors on her Facebook page, Instagram feed, and website.

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