Cape Town - Paxton Fielies has had to go through more than any typical 17-year-old. But that is the thing about Paxton - she isn’t a typical 17-year-old.
The young songstress has been on a roller-coaster ride since a video of her singing was posted to social media and went viral in November last year. Her stardom further rose when she won South African Idols Season 13, which was followed by a manic touring schedule in the beginning of the year.
March and April were spent working on, writing and recording her debut album while maintaining her busy touring schedule.
Mid rollout of her studio recording, she toured Sweden for charity and performance work, which saw her meeting, performing and being honoured by Queen Silvia of Sweden.
Paxton has now released her debut album, "This Is Me", alongside her smash hit single Angifuni. The album reached number one on the iTunes charts on its first day, and the song is on high rotation at all major radio stations.
It’s easy to forget how young Paxton is, especially when interviewing her because she knows what she is talking about.
There is a passion in her eyes when she talks about her music, and while she may appear timid, there is no denying how fierce and tough she is.
In the first of a two-parter interview with Paxton, she gets honest about some of the challenges she has gone through since winning Idols SA, and digs into what making her album was like:
Who is Paxton?
Paxton: “ Paxton is a weird, awkward, loving, caring and warm hearted person. She is just a girl that loves singing and is very passionate about music. She takes it seriously. She loves her family - her mom is her anchor. She is also a strong believer that faith can take you anywhere. More faith than fear”
How would you describe your journey this far? It seems like you were destined for this, especially after the video of you covering a Sam Smith song went viral. Then you entered Idols and subsequently go on to win it. Now you have your debut album out, and it all seems like it has been a rollercoaster ride?
Paxton: “ This journey has been very difficult, but it’s been one that I've grown so much from. Not only as a person, but also as an artist. My mom said to me that Idols raised me because I was away for so long, and I must say that I’ve matured so much. I’ve grown so much, experienced so much, I've learned so much. I took away a lot of lessons - from mistakes that I’ve made. Ultimately, it’s been amazing.”
What would you say has been some of the difficult parts of your journey?
Paxton: “ After Idols...You know there is this perception that Idols winners don’t make it and don’t get far, so ever since I left people have been watching me. Waiting for me to fall, and I’m trying to change that perception but it’s very difficult for us in singing competitions.
Trying to prove them wrong, has been the difficult thing, but I think I also have been trying to stop proving things to people and started focusing on my music and myself.”
How was it recording the album?
Paxton: “ I didn’t expect it to be so difficult. People believe that you just go in, you write songs, you record, you sing then that is it, and after that you put it out. But there is a whole marketing plan behind it.
“Look, we’re not ONLY artists, but we’re also businesses, and brands. We need to protect our brands and represent it well, which also comes into play with the album. For me, it was one of the most difficult processes that I’ve ever had to go through. I was so emotionally invested in it, and I wanted to be hands on. I wanted to know what was going on in the various departments. It was very very challenging, but it was amazing to have gotten the opportunity.”
What’s that moment like for you, when you’re in the recording booth and you’re standing behind the microphone?
Paxton: “ Sometimes when I’m in the booth, and I think back, I realise that there are so many artists that don’t have the chance to do that. They only have singles, so for me to get to work with such an amazing team at Gallo Records it is really a blessing.
“I don’t think I can ever thank God enough for giving me this opportunity because it is really opening so many doors for me. It is leading to so many things. It’s overwhelming but it’s really a blessing.”
How would you describe your sound?
Paxton: “ I wouldn’t be able to describe my sound, because I don’t have a specific sound. I didn’t want to limit myself when it comes going into a particular genre, so I tried a little bit of everything.
“There's a little bit of house vibes, the album is definitely leaning more into pop, but there is a little bit of everything for everybody.”
Part 2 of the interview will be released on Sunday 22 July 2018.
Paxton speaks about what it was like working with Tresor, Kyle Deutsch and The Voice SA winner Craig Lucas. She also previews why she named the album "This Is Me" and what is next for her.
Follow Paxton Online:
Get her music here: smarturl.it/Paxton_ThisIsMe