Weary Friend performing at Dubfest. (Kaitlyn Nickerson)
Weary Friend performing at Dubfest.

Kaitlyn Nickerson

Smith Hall’s Dubfest featured TMU favorite, Weary Friend

October 29, 2018

Flickering Jack-o’-lanterns, the smell of pumpkin pie, and steaming mugs of apple cider and hot chocolate of Dubfest were the backdrop to Weary Friend’s most recent TMU performance.

The singer-songwriter behind Weary Friend, Leah Phillipps, who graduated TMU with a bachelor’s degree in history last spring, performed two 30 minute sets at the event, including her first single “New Start.”

“She’s a natural performer,” Megan Philips, a sophomore Biblical Counseling major, said. “She gets the audience going with her music. She’s great at explaining it, and (it’s) all original, so that was really impressive.”

Leah Phillipps performed many times at TMU while she was a student. Last spring, shewas the runner-up at The Monty’s, TMU’s annual talent show. In fact, Phillipps’ first live performance was at the Blend during View Weekend in the fall of 2016.

“I came to View Weekend and heard her play that song about her sisters. I remember I recorded it on my phone, and I listened to it a few times,” Allie Rike, a senior Business Major, said. “I was like, man, this is really relatable. It would have been really cool to have been that girl’s friend.”

Phillipps wrote music long before she performed at the Blend or came to TMU.

“I started writing my senior year of high school,” Phillipps said. “I would even try to write before I learned guitar, and it was really stupid. I would just sing and make up these random songs to beats.”

Phillipps said she picked guitar in her senior year of high school. After she learned guitar, Phillipps wrote more. Eventually she began writing music that she was proud of.

“I don’t know what it was that made me want to write so bad,” Phillipps said. “I think I always had all these ideas in my head. I didn’t really find my music style that I loved to listen to until the middle of high school, and that became this outlet that I jumped into.”

Throughout her time at TMU, Phillipps continued writing and performing while also earning her degree and serving on Student Leadership Staff as a Wing Assistant and a Resident Assistant. Since she graduated, she has been working to get out her first single, “New Start”.

Kaitlyn Nickerson
Sign for Weary Friend at Dubfest.

“I would love to get more singles out. I would love to get one or two or three, and then from there I want to come out with an EP or an album,” Phillipps said. “The hard part right now, and what has been the issue for the last four years, is that I don’t have the time.”

While Phillipps is working on developing her music, she is also pursuing a teaching credential in history.

“It’s very confusing, because I have such a heart for both. I’ve just been wanting to give so much more time to do this,” Phillipps said. “I just want to get my music out there to see what the reaction would be. My hope is that my songs can be friends to people and something that they relate with, but it’s frustrating right now because I can’t do that.”

As an artist, Phillipps said her main goal is create music that gives honor to her subject, and she hopes that people will relate to her songs.

“I write it in a way that hopefully captures that theme of life that I’ve seen so far, where I can identify with it and somebody else can identify with it,” Phillipps said.

Check out Weary Friend on Spotify and Apple Music.

Video by Emmy Gaddy

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