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PRITA The Wheel Of Friendship

Prita Grealy
Prita Photo: Rachael Ward

“It’s very different living in Germany to Australia; there’s certain things you miss… but you can really be yourself when you put yourself out there.”

Paying a visit after three years of living and performing in Europe, Prita heads to Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle, this Saturday, December 20, supported by Lucy Peach. BOB GORDON checks in.

What were you expecting when you left for Europe and now, three years later, how has it all actually played out?

I left with a hunger for travel and exploration. I also wanted to see how audiences would react to my music in different countries and see whether I would have a bigger platform in Europe. I have found that the music scene in Europe and especially Germany is really supportive of my style.

When I first left Oz, I had a two-month European tour planned with shows in Athens, Prague, Estonia, the UK, Berlin and Holland. While I was away I decided this is what I wanted to keep on doing – touring Europe. So I went home and packed up everything, got my visas and headed to the UK. After a few months of touring in the UK I knew I needed to find somewhere else and ended up getting a random email from a fellow musician friend in Berlin, Jaimi Faulkner, who had a spare room in WG. So I took my chances and left to Berlin. I always had a good feeling about Berlin and it really just took off from there – I think when you commit to something and do everything in your power to create it – it just happens. I got a booking agent, started getting gigs, and although it was quiet the first few months it gave me a chance to explore Berlin’s music scene and then I got really busy just touring all the time.

I’m really happy with how it has turned out, I’ve met some brilliant musicians and made some really great friends. I’ve recorded and co-written songs with producers here and really been able to come into my own strengths as a professional singer/songwriter.

Has the travel had an effect on your writing?

I think so, yes. I mean you go through a lot of different emotions when you live far away from your hometown and your country. You go through a lot of culture shock and new experiences and having to learn another language to survive and thrive. It’s very different living in Germany to living in Australia; there are certain things you miss and other things you love. But you can really be yourself when you put yourself out there.

What are you drawn to write about now?

My latest song is called White Clouds and the one before that was Umbrella Days so I guess the weather (laughs)? No really, it’s much more meaningful than that.. but that definitely has an influence as well when it starts getting dark at 4pm in the afternoon, and the sun hasn’t even shined through the clouds yet. My newest song, Berlin, is about feeling homesick but then finding your place in a new land.

Describe your ‘live loop show’ and the evolution it has taken to this point?

I mix elements of hip hop, soul and folk using the loop station as another instrument. My show started as acoustic guitar and vocals, but over the years incorporating the loop into it has meant I can build up a bigger sound for a solo show. I record everything live so it’s never exactly the same twice, the vocals are layered up in harmonies to create big choruses, and I use percussion and beat-box in some songs to give it a different feel. It’s a constantly evolving thing as new ideas are incorporated into the songs or live ‘mistakes’ turn into new parts of the song.

What are your plans heading into the New Year?

My plans for the New Year are to continue touring around Germany and the UK and possibly head to Spain later on to tour with some other musician friends. I’m also planning a trip to Cuba with my man, which will be amazing! I love Cuban music and hope to pick up a few tricks while I’m there. Apart from that I have a bunch of new songs I want to record and have found a really great hidden gem of a studio in a 300 year-old building. It’s built on a water mill and has a great vibe – and a great history – it was burnt down and then re-built after the war by French and German carpenters – it’s called the Wheel Of Friendship. So album number #7 is going to start being created in the New Year!

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