Peyton is like any other college student, except with a few fascinating creative credits to her name. Her calm, R&B-mannered sound easily attracted a strong audience to her Soundcloud and YouTube. To put it simply, the internet has made her career, and now, with songs like “Sweet Honey” and “Lifeline” on Issa Rae’s hit HBO show Insecure, we had to learn a little more about the Houston artist.
It's kind of funny that we’re talking now, because about a year ago, I saw you perform with Sales. It was a fun show. How did that happen, and what was that experience like?
Yeah I loved the show. It was just the connection through the internet. I hit them up, I was just saying that I loved their stuff, they said they love my stuff. It was just that simple. I just let them know that if they ever did a Houston show that I could open up for them.
It's been a whole year since that performance. How much has changed since then?
I'm constantly progressing. I mean, every time I do a show, I get better and better. That was one of my favorite shows that I've done. I've made more music since then. Also a change in sound, not completely, but like going to the next level.
I want to go back to your beginnings. What made you go into music, and what influenced you growing up?
Pretty much everyone on my dad's side of the family is a musician, so I naturally gravitated toward it. I went to Parker Elementary Magnet School, and they're very fine arts intensive. By ages 5 and 6, I was already learning how to sight-read, pitch recognition, and the basics of music. So I was pretty serious at a young age. From there, I was always involved in music. I was in different ensembles around Houston; I always tried to go to schools that focused on the arts. I went to HSPVA for vocal music. I was always great at writing my own music, and I knew I could be really good at it.
What are you working on right now?
I'm just making a lot of cool stuff, so I'm piecing it together, trying to make it cohesive. That's the end goal, but I'm mainly focusing on making things that I really like. I'm not in any rush. Some artists feel like they should be releasing music, like, every month. They're not even a hundred percent confident in it. I just want to be sure of everything, but I'm not overthinking any of my stuff.
You’re just taking your time.
Yeah, I just want to be sure of it and truly love it. My end goal is to make things [that are] classic—not just stuff for this specific time. I want to make things that are timeless.
You just described your music as timeless, but how else would you describe it?
I struggle answering this question all the time. No matter how much I think about it, it's still pretty hard. I have aspects of R&B and soul [in my music], but I've been influenced by so much. I’d describe it as something that will last forever—things that give me the feeling of opening the gates to heaven.
Have you been performing shows in Houston recently?
Most of my fan base has not been in the city until the last year. When I first started out, I would always be doing a show every other weekend. Right now I'm focusing on creating my music and then performing that. I've recently gotten back into doing shows in Houston. Two weeks ago I opened for Charli XCX—a month or two prior to that, there was a benefit for families affected by ICE.
I find it interesting that you just said most of your fan base has been outside of Houston. How did you build that?
It's just the internet. You put yourself out there, and anyone’s bound to find it. I was working with other people who had connections in other parts of the world.
Is that how you partnered up with Insecure?
So, at the beginning of the year, Issa Rae used two of my songs for her YouTube channel “Issa Rae Presents.” I didn't know that she knew any of my music, honestly. She reached out to my team. She wanted my music on her show, and we worked something out.
How did you initially react to that?
The day of, I didn't fully believe it was going to happen. I was just nervous—I started to think it was, like, a joke. I was frantically texting my manager and other people being like, What if they don't even play the song? What if they're playing a joke on me? It was still hard to believe.