Dizzy Fae, 18, just earned her high school diploma, but that’s not all she’s been adding to her résumé.
The St. Paul native’s first-ever song — the dreamy, compelling R&B track “Color Me Bad” — debuted on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio station in 2015. She then featured on Su Na’s “Complexion,” scoring almost a quarter-million YouTube views. In the past year, Fae has opened for the Internet, Kehlani, Poliça, and others, and now she’s gearing up to tour with Lizzo.
Fae’s unique sound isn’t easily pinned down. She enjoys being compared to Sade, but says most people arrive at FKA Twigs. Her favorite comparison? “I prefer when people compare me to a feeling.”
If Fae’s music is a feeling, one might call it a bittersweet longing, a deliciously foggy angst. Her voice is hazy, wizened, and soda-fountain sweet. Occasionally there’s a theatrical tremor to it, which she chalks up to her training in opera and classical music.
Attending high school at the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts immersed her in a community of budding actors and musicians. She describes her time there as somewhat idyllic, featuring a J-term where students spent a whole month rehearsing for a dance called “Finale.”
“It’s a refreshing school,” she says, “like the Refreshers at Starbucks.”
Fae often compares her feelings to food and drink. She says she experiences sensations similar to synesthesia — a crossing of the senses experienced by roughly 4 percent of the population. Along with many other artistic types, Fae sees music as movies in her head, and certain images bring to mind smells or flavors.
“When I’m making music with people, I’ll say, ‘I want something sparkly at the top of the beat,” she says, “Like chimes. Like sparkly water.”
Describing her music, Fae turns to a feeling she gets from sardines, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. “They’re weird and sometimes you don’t know if you like it — but you like it,” she says. If that sounds too specific, that’s not Fae’s intention — she says she hopes listeners make up their own mental movies to her soundtrack.
This winter, Fae’s gearing up to release a song called “Skin Care” and an accompanying music video she directed herself. Viewers can expect “skateboarding, some furry walls, dancing, leotards, and a white boy,” she reports, “[The video] steps into this Dizzy girl’s head.”
“Skin Care” should pair perfectly with Lizzo’s major-label debut, last month’s Coconut Oil EP, and the upcoming tour in support of it. Fae’s “super stoked” for the jaunt with the Minnesota-launched superstar, describing it as “a family thing.”
As her career accelerates, Fae says she’ll keep following her favorite philosophical maxim, the Law of Attraction, which posits that positive or negative energy respectively yields positive or negative results.
Fae’s current mindset is positively ambitious — “I want to build an empire,” she boldly states.
We’re not betting against her.
More from Music