"Flowing from [...] minimal loops to stadium-scaled grandeur” by Rolling Stone Magazine (Australia)
“...a cosmic experience buzzing with sonic energy” Happy Mag
"An ebb and flow of harmony and mystery" The Autumn Roses
“A live-looping frenzy", classically-trained singer-songwriter Sophia Exiner, also known as Phia, makes music that is abound with luscious layers of harmonies, vocal percussion and vivid pop sensibilities.
She has honed her remarkable live show over hundreds of performances across Europe, from bars in Southern Italy, to fisherman’s villages in Iceland and major music festivals such as Melt Festival, Berlin Festival and Fusion Festival in Germany. She has also performed on national television in Australia (Spicks & Specks, 2014) and Germany (TV Noir). In 2014 she was invited by Rolling Stone Magazine (Germany) to record a David Bowie cover for a special CD compilation.
Her newest release is The Woman Who Counted The Stars EP, described as “a cosmic experience buzzing with sonic energy” (Happy Mag) and "Flowing from [...] minimal loops to stadium-scaled grandeur” by Rolling Stone Magazine (Australia).
The new EP encapsulates Phia’s ferocious creativity, with the five tracks brimming with layers of glitter and grit, heralding the arrival of a bold new sound for the Melbourne-born singer- songwriter. Pulsing, distorted drums and intergalactic juno synths collide with fuzz guitar and vintage casio keyboards, as Phia’s longtime production collaborator Josh The Cat realises a sonic vision that manages to be both lush, raw, and emotionally affecting. Phia’s effortlessly charismatic, crystal-clear vocal soars
The Woman Who Counted the Stars EP is a rapid fire follow up to her debut album The Ocean of Everything, which was recorded in her then-home of Berlin with the aid of a Musicboard Berlin stipendium, awarded to Berlin residents making integral contributions to the Berlin Music scene.
The album, released in August 2016, features the kalimba, an instrument she has made her own through her unique use of it through effect pedals and loops. Recorded in Berlin at the famous Funkhaus studios and mixed in New York, U.S by Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Deerhoof, Dear Reader) with the aid of a successful crowdfunding campaign, Double J hailed the album as “bright, catchy as hell pop”, with Dom Alessio (Triple J) declaring it “a bundle of joy”.
Earlier this year Phia was a co-recipient of an Australian Council grant along with fellow singer-songwriter Georgia Fields. They embarked on a 20+ national Sky & Sea tour, lending their distinctive sound to each other’s material in a one-off, fully-collaborative live show, accompanying one another on everything from kalimba to casio, electric guitar to tambourine.
This tour was one of three for the indefatigable artist, after the Sky & Sea tour, Phia left for Europe, where she played a whirlwind 18 shows around Germany, the UK and Austria in support of her new EP, and her final tour for the year sees her deliver her unique live-looping show to 5 of Australia’s capital cities.
“Heartstrings' is bright, catchy as hell pop done with absolute surety from Phia." Double J
“[Heartstrings] is a bundle of joy.” Dom Alessio, Triple J
"Charming as hell." Gen Fricker, Triple J
- Rolling Stone Magazine (Germany) has “...great expectations for Phia’s debut album”.
- Featured in Artrocker’s (UK) top 6 acts of Focus Wales 2015. “International pick is Phia aka Sophia Exiner who comes from Melbourne (AUS) via Berlin. A live- looping frenzy of percussive hands, vocal beauty and the oddity that is the African kalimba. A lovely and clearly a very exportable proposition. From Later with Jools to the Festival Hall, it is not difficult to imagine Phia playing them all.”
- “Sophia Exiner is one of the most underrated of Australia's musical exports. Under her stage name Phia, Exiner creates lush, hypnotic pop music with beatboxing, a loop-pedal, a kalimba and silky smooth vocals reminiscent of Regina Spektor. Her latest single "Do You Ever?" is a perfect representation of her skills: a bouncy, explosive song about teenage love and "kissing in-between class," laden with the sorts of jerky beats and lush vocals that are bound to make it a hit." IndieShuffle (2013)
- “...Probably the most appealing thing Phia does on “Do You Ever?” is the way she keeps her cadence & pitch in a constant state of flux. Moving from quirky falsettos, deeper tones and back to her normal singing voice, it’s clear that keeping her music in the normal realm of what pop music is supposed to sound like, just isn’t in the cards for Phia. It’s for this simple reason why we think “Do You Ever?” will definitely catch on with listeners.” Hilly Dilly (2013)
- Sounds Australia: “Phia has been getting a lot of attention here in Berlin... and the room is currently 100% spellbound with her right now.”
- Grampians Music Festival 2018
- St Kilda Festival 2017
- Named a highlight of the 2016 Sydney Road Street Party by The Age.
- Appearance on national television in Australia 2014 (Spicks & Specks) and Germany 2013 (TV Noir)
- Invited to Fusion Festival (Germany) 3 years in a row (2013, 2014, 2015)
- Berlin Festival 2015 (GER)
- Melt Festival 2015 (GER)
- Karneval der Kulturen 2015 (GER)
- Fete De La Musique 2015 (GER)
- First We Take Berlin 2014 (GER)
- Berlin Music Week 2013 (GER)
- Warsaw Music Week 2013 (POL)
- Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2011 (AUS)
For EU management contact Kai-Uwe Müller at email@example.com,
For Australian and other inquiries contact Phia at firstname.lastname@example.org