Britta Phillips

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Britta Phillips
BrittaPhillips 2007.jpg
Phillips performing live in New York City, New York, in 2007
Born Britta Phillips
(1963-06-11) June 11, 1963 (age 53)
Boyne City, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
  • actor
  • voice actor
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Dean Wareham (m. 2006–present)
Parent(s)
  • Peter Phillips
  • Joan Binkley
Website brittaphillips.com
Musical career
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • bass guitar
  • guitar
Associated acts
Notable instruments

Britta Phillips (born June 11, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and voice actor.

Phillips' music career spans more than 30 years. She came to prominence in the mid-1980s as the singing voice of the title character of the animated television series Jem. She has also been a member of the bands Luna and as one half of the duo Dean & Britta, both with her husband Dean Wareham, and has had a solo career which has included one studio album: Luck or Magic.

Phillips has also been an actor, with roles in films, including the 1988 comedy-drama film Satisfaction.

Early life[edit]

Britta Phillips was born in Boyne City, Michigan, but grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.[1] Her father, Peter Phillips, was a musician, songwriter, jingle composer and former music teacher of Paul Simon,[2] who also worked on several Broadway plays. At the age of 19, Britta Phillips moved to Brooklyn, New York, to pursue a career in music. In 1985 Phillips' father, through his musical contacts, secured an audition for her for the role of "Jem". Phillips was hired on the strength of her demo for the show's theme song and that version was the one used in the opening credits.[3]

Music career[edit]

Phillips was a member of the bands The Belltower and Ultrababyfat in the 1990s and Luna from 2001 to 2005. Since then, Phillips has released albums with fellow Luna bandmate Dean Wareham as the duo Dean & Britta. Wareham, a former member of the band Galaxie 500, toured with Phillips in 2010 performing the band's back catalog.[4][5] Phillips has also toured with Ben Lee.[6] Phillips and Wareham have also composed original score for the Noah Baumbach films Mistress America and The Squid and the Whale and the Morgan J. Freeman film Just Like the Son. Their song "Knives From Bavaria" (Sonic Souvenirs) appears in the Olivier Assayas film, Clean (starring Maggie Cheung). Their song "Your Baby" appears in the Italian movie "A/R Andata e Ritorno", directed by Marco Ponti.

In 2001, Phillips provided vocals on the Anika Moa album Thinking Room.[7] In 2007, Britta produced and recorded a cover of Neil Young's "I Am a Child" for the benefit CD Cinnamon Girl - Women Artists Cover Neil Young For Charity. In 2010, Phillips performed vocals on the MGMT single "It's Working" from their album Congratulations.[8] 2016 saw the release of her debut solo album, "Luck or Magic" on April 29. It contains 5 covers along with 5 original songs.

Acting career[edit]

Britta's first acting job was as the singing voice of the lead character in the animated series Jem, alongside actress and singer Samantha Newark, who provided Jem's speaking voice.[9] The series ran from 1985 to 1988.

In 1988, she co-starred in the teen rock band movie Satisfaction, also starring Justine Bateman, Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Trini Alvarado and Scott Coffey. Phillips performed several songs during the movie and is featured on the soundtrack album. Also in 1988, she guest-starred in an episode of the cult TV show Crime Story, in which she played a former homecoming queen turned high-class escort in Las Vegas, Nevada ("Always a Blonde"). She followed that with a starring role as a nurse in the pilot episode of the short-lived TV series Nightingales.[10][11] From 2005 to 2008, she voiced various characters for the Adult Swim series Moral Orel, most notably as Bloberta Puppington. In 2006, she featured as herself in the Luna band documentary Tell Me Do You Miss Me. Since 2010, Phillips has voiced various characters in Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, most noticeably Elizabeth Frankenstein. Both Moral Orel and Mary Shelley's Frankenhole were created by Dino Stamatopoulos. In 2010, Phillips appeared alongside Wareham on Yo Gabba Gabba! in the episode titled "Ride".[12]

Britta had a cameo, along with Dean Wareham, in the Noah Baumbach film, Frances Ha (written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig).[13]

Personal life[edit]

Phillips married musician Jody Porter but the couple divorced.[14] In 2006 she married musician and Luna bandmate Dean Wareham during the recording sessions for their album Back Numbers.[15]

Discography[edit]

Solo album

Year Title Label
2016 Luck or Magic Double Feature

Singles

Year Title B-side
1984 "Through the Eyes" "Through the Eyes" (instr.)
1985 "Don't Think Twice" [Promo-only] "Don't Think Twice"
1986 "I Just Can't Help Myself" "I Just Can't Help Myself" (instr.)
2009 "Shine Your Light" (with James Iha) "You Can't Escape"
2014 "Love"/"Fallin' in Love" (with Dean Wareham) -

References[edit]

  1. ^ "From the Vault: Britta Phillips interview « NewBeats". Newbeats.com. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  2. ^ "Simon & Garfunkel Central Park Tribute - dedication to Peter Phillips". Contactmusic.com. 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Drew Ullrich Interviews Britta Phillips | Smalldoggies Interviews: Britta Phillips". Smalldoggies Magazine. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  4. ^ "Britta Phillips of Belltower interview". Whenthesunhitsblog.blogspot.com. 2010-09-13. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Dean & Britta tour schedule". Deanandbritta.com. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  6. ^ "Drew Ullrich interviews Britta Phillips". Smalldoggiesmagazine.com. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  7. ^ "Thinking Room personnel". Cduniverse.com. 2002-03-05. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  8. ^ "MGMT official website "Congratulations" personnel". Whoismgmt.com. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  9. ^ "Cartoon Character Puts Singer Into Spotlight". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  10. ^ "Britta Phillips Interview and acting career details". Newbeats.com. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  11. ^ "Rock Jem Britta Phillips interview". Rockjem.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  12. ^ "Yo Gabba Gabba Dean & Britta details action". Stereogum.com. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  13. ^ Noah Baumbach: "Frances Ha" is my reinvention, 16 May 2013, retrieved 7 May 2016 
  14. ^ Queen, Larry (2011), Sixty most beautiful minutes with Britta Phillips: Indie Rock Siren, retrieved 7 May 2016 
  15. ^ Dean & Britta, retrieved 7 May 2016 

External links[edit]