Out of her small bag fell a good dozen perfume samples.
“I bet there’s more in there,” I ushered her on.
As Buzzy rummaged through her red backpack bag. She explained that she’s changed her perfume every four months since she was in her early 20s. The 27-year-old artist said that one of her great regrets was the year she spent only wearing Glossier You.
She’s an open book. That was my first impression of her as a person. As a musician, her melodious vocal stylings and moody beats paint her as something more of a mystery.
Her music is stripped down and clean. Frequently it’s just a synth, her vocals and room to let it breathe. Like her song Coolhand, she is fearless when it comes to baring it all. On a daily basis, Buzzy is not the daring type.
“I am so afraid of change and leaving the house and going places,” said the artist. When she does experiment with new things it’s usually because someone else introduces her to it.
“I get so much inspiration from that because there’s so much fear in that, in leaving and going to a little town up in Northern California,” Buzzy explained.
Her other methods of inspiration are eclectic and personal.
“I am so nostalgic,” Buzzy moaned as she explained her deep attachment to her collection of diaries. “It’s probably for the worst, but I am not present at all. I am constantly digging up pictures from my past or diary entries.”
If her diary alone won’t do the trick, she falls upon her collection of around 80 perfumes help transport her back in time.
“I have a crazy perfume collection cause I assign a scent to a period of 4 months, so that if I need to dig up inspiration I’ll smell, like November of 2013, and then I am immediately transported back to that time,” said Buzzy.
When a listener called in to mention their favorite perfume, Buzzy couldn’t help but gush and in seconds a waterfall of samples cascaded from her bag.
Her current scent, for anyone interested, is called Baccarat Rouge 540 by M.F.K..
Before the perfume and the diaries, there was only music; backyard shows at age five met with flowers and applause from her family, and a portable karaoke machine she was inseparable with at age seven.
“I’ve been singing since I could start screaming,” said Buzzy. “And then my screaming turned into singing.”
It was over a decade after she began writing her own music that Buzzy Lee first performed.
“I was terrified because I didn’t know how these songs were going to translate to the stage,” Buzzy disclosed. “It was the first time I ever played keyboard on stage while singing. That was a highlight because, well, I didn’t know I could do that.”
She was able to harness her fear and use it as a tool of empowerment. It wasn’t her first time, and it certainly isn’t her last.
You can find all of Buzzy Lee’s EP Facepaint on Spotify. And be sure to look for her new album this upcoming spring.
Article and Interview by Jenny Lee