The Timid Sons: The juggling act begins

Trip Wood, Tre Mason, Frank Robertson and Preston Little relax after a long day of work, school and band practice. Photo by Kate Sullivan.

Story by Hannah Garrett and Caleb Jones

The band lounged around on the couch after a late night practice session, visibly exhausted but genuinely in love with the opportunity they have to make music.

However, The Timid Sons, comprised of Trip Wood, Frank Robertson, Tré Mason and Luke Brown, only get to make this music after their full days of work and school. They come together late at night to practice and develop new songs, and wake up the next day to do it all over again.

The band’s only studio-recorded album to date, a self-titled work, includes its most popular single, Cocaine Lips. This up and coming band loves to play shows in the Birmingham area, but also likes to travel as well.

“It all started when Frank walked up to me in the food court and said he had a song idea,” Wood said. “We weren’t in a band yet, but he proceeded to pull out a napkin with the words ‘cocaine lips and a hurricane smile.’ I was expecting a chorus or something at least, but all I got was a phrase.”

“That ended up being all I needed though; I took the napkin back to my apartment, sat down and wrote the whole song that day. In that moment The Timid Sons were born,” said Wood.

The band’s name, The Timid Sons, came about when Robertson was reading a book called “I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son” by Kent Russell. The book itself is based off a famous Davy Crockett quote.

With a band name and one song under his belt, Wood was ready to churn out music at a rapid rate.

“This book really resonated with us,” Wood said, “The idea that a father would really rail their son and be that openly disappointed with him made the realization that we are all born into expectations. People naturally have expectations of us. While you are born into a world of disappointment, that doesn’t mean that you are a disappointment. While we are imperfect, and while we aren’t necessarily a band with full time musicians, we accept it, move on and make music we want to hear.”

Wood said he had a handful of ideas already in his head from the previous few years. At the time he didn’t think he would actually use them. Some of the lyrics he had were from experiences that happened that month and others were just things he thought about and wrote down.

Following their first song, “Cocaine Lips,” the band spent about a month recording eight songs at Mountain Brook Community Church. The album came together so quickly because Wood would spend days on end recording music, often times sleeping in the studio to maximize histime.

“Back when we were recording, a few days would pass,” Robertson said, “and I wouldn’t have seen Trip, so I would stop by the studio. I found him there multiple times, tucked away by himself, with lots of cups of coffee, some fresh, and some not so fresh. Trip would have this twitchy, kind of crazed look about him, but he was producing our songs at a ridiculously fast rate. Sometimes you just let the man work and appreciate the results.”

At this time, the band was moving quickly and Wood was rushing the entire thing because he wanted to have a couple of singles to release right away. Because of this, only three of the band members actually recorded on the album. It was challenging for their old drummer from Atlanta to drive to Birmingham every so often to record so they began to reach out to find a new drummer.

The Timid Sons faced several challenges in its early days, such as finding a permanent drummer in the Birmingham area, recording for the first time and singing in front of an audience for the first time. Wood said he was unsure of how to carry himself in front of others and found the experience of playing live nerve racking at first.

They are currently working on two new songs including one Trip wrote about a blind man called Jim James. The song, he explained, is about how easily we can get wrapped up in our own frustrations while much worse things happen in the world.

“I was driving back from my Spanish test and was obsessing about how bad I had done. I was drinking my Starbucks, listening to my favorite music, and just being super self-indulgent,” Wood said, “I was going down Lakeshore Drive and reached the part where there isn’t anything for about a mile and that’s when I saw this guy at the bus stop. He was blind, and he was sitting out there on the bench, in the sun, during the hottest part of the day, in the middle of the summer.”

“In that moment it became really obvious how self-indulgent I was being. Some of the lyrics I wrote were completely bashing myself and I had to refrain from keeping them in the song. How could I be so self-obsessed? This man is probably going to work right now, and probably not to his first job, more than likely, to his second one and he is blind. There was just a lot of things going through my mind at that moment and I was able to get it out on paper.”

Trip Wood:

What does music mean to you?

It’s meant a lot of different things to me, especially in the last few years. If I’ve learned one thing about music, it’d be this: Music can be a stress reliever, a medium to express yourself and so much more. However, once you start expecting something from it, you start to lose it.

How does your music reflect who you are as a person/musician?

Sometimes I worry that it reflects who I am a bit too much: fast, irrational, and not thought through.

Describe a typical day for you.

My average day changes frequently. Right now, the only things that are constant are how much I eat and that I write two songs’ worth of lyrics a day.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What role does your music play in that plan?

Hopefully I’ll still be pursuing music as a career. Like I’ve said before, the men and women that do this full time are incredible. It takes a lot of guts to decide to make your living off of something so inconsistent.

Frank Robertson:

What do you play in the band? How long have you been playing?

I play guitar and have been playing since about 7th grade

What do you do when you are not playing with The Timid Sons?

I work part time and am trying to figure out if I want to go back to school this coming year or pursue full time work.

Is it hard to balance music and work?

The biggest challenge is to feel like I’m being responsible in my pursuit of both. It seems like practices can only happen later at night, but I have to be up by 6 a.m. in order to start my morning for work.

What is your best memory with the band?

One of our first shows back from the summer at a venue called the High Note. It was one of our first shows at a legitimate venue with a real sound guy and PA system, and this stage that was so tall but not very wide. It was one of the first moments that “we’re a real band” clicked in my head.

What is your goal for the band?

To go as far as we can.

Banditos in search of BIG break

Photo courtesy of David McClister

Guitarist Corey Parsons sits down with The Local to discuss the band’s goals, influences and accomplishments.

The Banditos are natives of the Birmingham area, but currently live in Nashville as they pursue their music career fulltime. The band is comprised of six friends who describe themselves as more of a “gang” than a musical group. This rag-tag gang has been making music together for more than five years now. They started out playing in bars and out on the streets around downtown Birmingham. Now, they have put out a full-length, self-titled, album with a second album on the way. Guitarist Corey Parsons recently discussed the band’s journey with The Local.

What has been the biggest challenge that you have overcome as a band?

Being able to make a living by playing music is a challenge within itself.

How does the music you play relate back to your everyday lives?

Definitely, most everything we write has came from personal experience. And if not, it certainly does now.

What other artists (past or present) inspire you? 

Too many to name, but I’ll name a few that come to mind for the sake of the interview. Chuck Berry, Etta James, Gram Parsons, Ramones, Lightnin’ Hopkins, 13th Floor Elevators, Sly and the Family Stone, Dr Hook, Bob Seger, The Banana Splits, etc.

What are the band’s long term goals? 

To do our best to smooth the rough edges of life for anyone needing so.

What would you want your fans to know about the band that they might not?

We’re genuinely appreciative of them.

What inspires the lyrics for y’all’s songs?

It’s different every time, but we all take from personal experiences in some way or another.

What has been y’all’s biggest accomplishment so far? 

We just finished recording our second album. We’re pretty proud of it.

 

 

 

People of Birmingham: Micah Green-Holloway

If four years ago you asked Micah Green-Holloway where he would be attending school, Samford University would have not even been on the list. Fast forward to October 2016, and he is set to graduate with his business degree in May.

“Being from Woodlawn High School,” Green-Holloway said, “I didn’t think I would ever be smart enough or have good enough test grades to make it into Samford. That’s when I learned about this program called My Brother’s Keeper.”

My Brother’s Keeper is a program designed to put inner city high school students into Alabama universities. There were only eight kids selected for this program, and Micah was talented and blessed enough to be one of those students.

Green-Holloway remembers touring Samford one day during his sophomore year where he met President Dr. Westmoreland. “I was talking to Dr. Westmoreland recently,” Green-Holloway said, “And he reminded me of what I told him when we were sitting in his office during my tour.  I told him, ‘not too many people make it past my stop sign.’ Not too many people make it out of Woodlawn. I was not going to be complacent. I was determined to make it past my stop sign, and I did.”

It was a long journey to get to Samford, but he has been making an impact ever since he stepped on campus. Green-Holloway made the Dean’s List both semesters of his freshman year, was selected to be a Samford Ambassador, and was given the Freshman Leadership Award. Needless to say, the hard work and determination he had paid off immensely.

Today Micah is an intern at Fix Mart and will be presenting a business idea to the Miami Dolphins, Marlins and Heat in the middle of December. This past summer he interned with the Birmingham Barons to try to get his foot in the door of professional baseball management–his ultimate dream is to be the General Manager of the Atlanta Braves.

Even though Green-Holloway has thrived at Samford, he has never forgotten where he came from and how he got to where he is today. That is why being an Urban Young Life Leader is one of the things that Micah is most proud of.

“I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to invest in the lives of kids the way that so many people have invested in me. When I look at these kids, I see the potential that a few years ago people saw in me, and it excites me to see where they will be four years down the road.”

Green-Holloway wants people to remember a few things when they think about his Samford career. He said, “I want people to remember that I loved the Lord with all my heart, that I not only did well at Samford, but that I left a legacy that lives beyond myself. I want people to see that I left a legacy at Young Life, at Ransom and on the campus of Samford as a whole. I want people to know that I never would have been able to do it on my own, but by the grace of the Lord and His faithfulness throughout the whole process I have been able to leave a legacy.”

Open for Business: meet the owners behind some of Birmingham’s newest retailers.

Over the past few months Birmingham has seen several new businesses open their doors all over the downtown area. A handful of those are eateries, but a few of them are one-of-a-kind retailers offering only the finest of goods, services, and clothing. The Local got the chance to sit down with a few of the owners and hear a little about the driving force behind these new ventures.

smallboxco

The first is Small Box Co. started by local entrepreneur and architect, Eric Tasker. Located at Railroad Park, the space is unique in its very nature. Eric created a retail space out of a shipping container in an effort to house local startups. The idea is for Small Box to act as a springboard for retail startups in the Birmingham area, allowing new entrepreneurs to test out markets, locations and products before moving into a brick and mortar location. First to fill the box is Rainy Day Studios, a retail collective of southern artists.

Eric was kind enough to answer a few of our questions over some Red Cat coffee.

Q: Describe your business in a single mantra:

A: Small boxes for big ideas.

Q: Why this current venture?

A:I wanted to create a space to help people achieve their vision. Small Box works as a building block for new retailers to gain customers, build their lines, and work towards acquiring a brick and mortar location in the future. Downtown is growing and as it is growing more retailers need to be brought downtown, Small Box helps these retailers gain the necessary sales and market leads in order to gain enough financing to eventually move into a brick and mortar.

Q: Any more boxes in the future?

A: I have the one for now; I’m hoping to open a few more located all over town, in effort to allow tenants to test their markets in different districts and neighborhoods.

Q: Favorite downtown activity?

A: I have two kids and my wife and I love to take them biking on the Rotary Trail.

Follow Small Box Co. on Instagram: @smallboxco, as well as current tennat: @rainydaybham.

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winsletrhyes

Mountainside Photo Co.

Opened in September 2016, Winslet and Rhys located in Avondale is a one-of-a-kind mercantile shop that was created out of two women’s dreams to provide Birmingham with a store of high quality, handmade goods. Both women spent much of their lives traveling around the world where they grew to appreciate the beauty in simplicity. That lifestyle resonates throughout Winslet and Rhys. The store has an exquisite line of household goods, women and children’s clothing and an array of locally hand crafted letterpress prints.

Between checking out customers and stamping letters, Brittany Baker the “Winslet” of the duo answered a few questions for us.

Q: What is the story behind the store name?

A: General Stores back in the day were generally names after the owner’s surname, and if it was a woman, her maiden name. We loved the idea of using our maiden names as the store name. ‘Winslet’ is me and ‘Rhys comes from Mallory’s maiden name Rice.

Q: Inspiration for the store?

A: Both Mallory and I moved to Birmingham and saw a need for a store curated for woman, so we designed a store we would want to walk into and shop!

Q: Favorite items in the store right now?

A: Yield Design Co.’s French Press, Hackwith Sweater in Peach and the House Candle.

Q: Most amazing place you have traveled?

A: Fez, Morocco. It’s Morocco’s hidden secret.

Q: Best part about being located in Avondale?

A: The neighbors (MAKEbhms.) It’s like having a little family all for each other!

 Follow Winslet & Rhys on Instagram: @winsletandrhys. Visit their website: http://www.winsletandrhys.com/

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artefactsupply

Artefact Supply was created out of one man’s void to find a local brick and mortar store where he could buy well crafted men’s apparel. Brandon Hays, a lawyer at Second Row Law, has a passion for any and all well crafted products. He made it his “passion project” to create the essential men’s apparel shop in downtown Birmingham. Artefact Supply is committed to supplying men with quality timeless apparel and goods, such as denims, chinos, sweaters and button downs.

While opening the store, Brandon Hays took sometime to answer a few of our questions.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born and raised in Birmingham. I graduated from Vestavia High School and attended the University of Alabama for my undergraduate. Later I graduated from  Cumberland School of Law and opened up Second Row Law firm with a few of my colleagues.

Q: Where did you draw inspiration from for your store?

A: On a trip to Austin, TX where I stumbled across a men’s store names STAG. Artefact Supply is really a passion project of mine, I’ve always been passionate about well crafted store’s and there wasn’t one available on this side of the mountain, so I opened one.

Q: How did you choose the brands you would include?

A: I searched for brands who were unique and cultured, but also had a good price point. Just to name a few: Life After Denim, 3Sixteen, Billykirk and Red Wing Heritage.

Q: Why 2nd Avenue?

A: 2nd Avenue is the heartbeat of downtown right now. Dining, bars, and retail are filling the area. A great place to gain foot traffic.

Q: Favorite place to be in Downtown Birmingham?

A: At Urban Standard drinking coffee and eating cupcakes or catching a concert at Iron City or WorkPlay.

Follow Artefact Supply on Instagram: @artefactsupply. Visit their website: http://www.artefactsupply.com/

Birmingham blogger Jessica Stroud on creativity and communication in an online world

As Birmingham continues to be a city of exciting new things popping up everywhere, people are staying engaged through the art of blogging. Here, local writers are able to share ideas, thoughts, and opinions on anything from new restaurants to wardrobes to match the season. Jessica Stroud started her own blog, “Daily Brunch,” and has been featured on The Birmingham Bloggers website multiple times. You can tell right away in her posts her love for the city of Birmingham and how to communicate that through writing.

southerndailybrunch.com//Jessica Stroud

southerndailybrunch.com//Jessica Stroud

Q: What was your reasoning for starting your own blog site, specifically about the Birmingham area:

There are two main reasons I started blogging:

  1. To enhance my creativity. Let’s get things straight, I am by no means creative in an artistic sense. I cannot play an instrument, paint a picture, or do any sort of d.i.y. crafts. What I can do is explain myself through writing. I figured if I started posting I’d have to come up with new ways to explain myself, and also create new material through trial and error. Managing and writing a blog has been a personal challenge that I have thoroughly enjoyed. It has helped me find new ways to think about things and challenge my brain.
  1. Express myself better. At first I felt funny asking my husband to take pictures of my outfits (see Instagram husband on YouTube for accurate review of our relationship) or write like I was talking to a friend on the blog, but now I feel more inspired and I’m just like “WHO CARES?! Come take this picture of me while I pose looking off into the distance.” This has been an extremely inspiring year for me. I have felt more like a woman in charge than I ever have! I feel my insecurities melting away. Thank you older age and wise mind! I feel like Birmingham has grown so much since I’ve been out of college, I love that there are always new places to see and new restaurants to try, it is the perfect city to expand your mind and get creative.

Q: What has the reaction to your blog been like?

When starting anything there will always be trial and error. Depending on the post and content it holds there will always be fluctuation in how many people click on the post and how many views it gets. I find that my outfit posts and recipes get more attention than any other post. People like to see pictures and something they can scroll through fast while waiting in line somewhere or browsing before they go to bed.

Q: Are there certain areas of interest that you feel most passionate about focusing your blog on?  

ARE THERE?! I want my blog to be about supporting women and encouraging them to follow their dreams. I want my blog to empower women and have those women empower women. I love it when girls are nice to each other for no reason, putting aside all the insecurities and jealousy, and just be raw with one another. That is what I am most passionate about and hope my blog displays that with every post.

Q: Why do you think blogging has become so popular for cities like Birmingham?

I have been blogging for almost three years and I am still a baby at it. I think the way readers and followers like to get their information is by seeing others display it or try it out and blogging does that. I also think people like to follow bloggers who are interesting and give them entertainment.

Q: How do you think the skill of blogging can help young college journalists?

It is a great way to explore yourself and writing styles that you may want to adopt or try on. It also challenges you and keeps you accountable, especially if you have followers who expect you to post!

Q: How have you seen the blogging community grow in Birmingham?

The Birmingham blogging scene is still growing and it’s fantastic. Ther

e are communities such as Birmingham Bloggers and Home Grown Bloggers that have gatherings and conferences that allow bloggers from all over the south come and learn techniques and ways to grow your blog. It is a great way to learn and meet people that can support you!  

Link to Jessica’s blog: http://www.southerndailybrunch.com

 

Faces of Birmingham

Birmingham lays claim to some trendy coffee shops, and Octane Coffee is no exception. Have you ever wondered exactly who the people are behind the counter serving this delightful coffee? They have intriguing stories to tell, and barista/mixologist Trenton Bell, has one of the finest.

Bell graduated from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School back in May of this year. “I felt a sense of calling to go [to seminary]; I felt internally that it was the right next step for me after college,” said Bell. He received his Master’s in Divinity and now awaits the Lord’s next step for his life.

Throughout his life, Bell has always had two main loves: Jesus and music. He felt the Lord calling him to combine those passions for the Kingdom of God and thus, the band Multis Project was born. Multis is Latin for many, and Bell chose this name because the purpose of Multis Project is to promote diversity within music.

Multis Project was somewhat born out of necessity. Bell and his friend, Louie Free, were driving back from a conference they had been leading worship at and were in line for another gig, but there was one problem, the next conference wanted the two guys to bring a band with them. “We put together a group of folks, and tried to put together as much of a diverse team as possible,” Bell said. “We have some hip-hop, gospel, folk and pop all mixed in together. We want to push the envelope and reach out to and unify diverse groups of people.” The band has been doing just that ever since their first performance back in January.

Bell constantly faces the battle of balancing being a full time barista and trying to continue to pursue his passion for making music. However, he does not really worry about it too much. “I trust that we [Multis Project] will go where we need to be at the proper time. We have patience in trusting the Lord, but we are persistently pursuing opportunities,” he said.

So if you need a delicious Carmelatto, or want to book a cutting edge band, look no farther than Octane’s very own, Trenton Bell.

Senior Spotlights

Ann Martin Foley

Major: Graphic DesignAnnMartinFoley

 

  1. What is the biggest thing you will take away from your time here at Samford?

 

I learned so many things during my time at Samford about my major, life, and myself. The experiences I had here made me into a better person and prepared me for my future career. The biggest thing I would take away from my time here are the relationships I’ve made. Whether it is with a fellow classmate or a professor who becomes a great mentor, these are relationships I wouldn’t change for the world.

 

  1. What is the best piece of advice you would you give to undergraduates?

 

If I had to give advice to undergraduates, I would say that it’s ok to do things on your own. It’s always fun to do things with your friends, but it’s also important to do an activity on your own. It allows you to focus on yourself and after college everyone starts to go do their own things and won’t be just down the hall from you.

 

  1. What are your plans after for graduation?

 

My immediate plans after graduation is to move back home for the time being while job searching. I hope to soon be working as a graphic designer in a big city like New York or Boston.

 

 

Hannah HollandHannahHolland

Major: Religion

 

  1. What is the biggest thing you will take away from your time here at Samford?

 

The biggest thing that I will take away from my time at Samford is the growth and maturation that occurred in many areas of my life.  I matured spiritually so much through so many mentors and friends’ counsel and encouragement and through so many opportunities to study the Bible and worship with other believers.  I matured academically as I learned how to really study and research and through the professors who I was able to glean so much knowledge from.  I matured practically through being independent, making decisions, and facing tough circumstances.

 

  1. What is the best piece of advice you would give to undergraduates?

 

The best piece of advice that I would give to undergraduates would be to make the most of the you have time at Samford as well as in the city of Birmingham by intentionally fostering and deepening relationships – relationships with people who are wiser and can mentor and guide you, relationships with peers who can build you up and hold you accountable, and relationships with those who you can pour into, mentor, and disciple.

 

  1. What are your plans for after graduation?

 

After graduation I am getting married and moving to Wilmore, Kentucky to pursue a Master of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary.

 

Happy Birthday 110th birthday Dr. Seuss!

  1. His real name isn’t Dr. Seuss
    – it’s Theodor Geisel!
  1. He went to Dartmoth College
    There he worked on the school’s humor magazine, the Jack o Lantern, and was later kicked off for drinking in his dorm with friends. He then started submitting his works of writing under the pseudonym – Seuss.
  1. He isn’t really a Dr.
    He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth began adding it to his pen name.
  1. He wrote 45 children’s books during his career!
  1. He was rejected a lot!
    His first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected 27 times before being published in 1937.
  1. He won several major awards, including: two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, the Pulitzer Price, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and a Peabody Award.
  1. He wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a dare.
    His publisher bet that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 different words.
  1. The cat in the hat was written to help children learn how to read after Life magazine wrote an article about illiteracy among school children
  1. Although he spent most of his life writing for children, he never had any of his own
  1. He died on September 14, 1991 from cancerseuss

Republican candidates are headed to Birmingham

Republican presidential candidates have been invited to participate in a forum at Samford University on Saturday Feb. 27 hosted by Yellowhammer News

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are the only two candidates that have been confirmed so far. Other candidates are expected to announce if they will be participating in the next few days.

Each candidate will take the stage individually.  Cliff Sims, Chief Executive Officer of Yellowhammer will interview each participant during the forum.

The event will be held in Samford’s Wright Center. Tickets for the event sold out soon after it was announced. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and people must be at their seats by 2:30 p.m. The forum will begin at 3 p.m.

Superstation WYDE will broadcast the Forum live on radio station 101.1 FM.

A Backstage Glimpse

Music. Spotlights. Deafening crowds. Cameras rolling.

To the fans that fill the auditorium, this life of entertaining in the music industry is one of pure mystery. But to Callie Phelps, daughter of gospel singer David Phelps, this life is normal.

“I know it’s not normal at all, but it’s normal to me because it’s just all I’ve known,” she explained.

Her father has been a musician since before she was born.

“I grew up on the road, took my naps in equipment boxes and behind the product table, and spent most birthdays at Chuck-E-Cheese in random towns for a really long time,” she said.

Callie Phelps is a Samford junior English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. Like the vast majority of her family—cousins included—her gifts are creatively and musically inclined.

She enjoys writing short stories and poetry, and has recently been nurturing a growing interest in interior design. To accompany these talents is her love for music, which she not only shares with the congregation some Sundays at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, but also with the world when she sings backup for her dad on his tours.

“It’s helped me become comfortable standing on stage without an instrument other than my voice.”

Phelps said she first began singing backup for her dad when her Aunt Sherri started losing her six-year battle with cancer in the fall of 2012.

In the two months preceding their aunt’s death, Phelps and her sister Maggie Beth Phelps, along with family friend Charlotte Richy, were prepped by David Phelps to stand in for his sister.

Sherri Proctor passed away in September of 2012, “and after that,” Phelps said, “we just kind of had to step up, and kept going. It’s a job,” she said.

Her father’s tours typically revolve around the seasons, the biggest ones taking place in winter and spring.

“The way he has it set up is really nice. He only tours on the weekends, and with some extension into the beginning or end of the week,” Phelps said, further relaying some variance when her father travels with the Gaither Vocal Band.

She described “a typical growing up and still typical week” for her and her siblings as one in which her dad would be home Monday through Thursday, and then gone for the weekend on tour.

“And so we homeschooled,” she said, “so we could hang out during the week and do school on the weekends when he was gone.”

As may be expected for a family of touring musicians, the Phelps family has grown especially close to each other.

Phelps considers each band member, regardless of biological relation, to be family. They often celebrate Thanksgiving together, and during Christmastime each year, host a Christmas concert on the family’s property—an old dairy farm converted into a musician’s dream studio and performance hall in Culleoka, Tennessee.

Now as autumn leaves begin to blanket the earth in preparation for the chilly days ahead, and semester finals ebb ever nearer, Phelps prepares once more for the busiest tour season.

“The world doesn’t change or stop just because you’re out on the road; if anything, it gets harder.”

Juggling academic demands with professional music responsibilities—including responsibilities toward fans, who are “constantly watching”, is not an easy task.

But as Phelps put it, “It’s a job.” And to her, it’s normal.