- Words Notion Staff
Making emotional dance music for the disenfranchised youth, Pretty Girl talks supporting Fred again.., selling out headline shows and blowing Boiler Room out the water.
A badge of honour for any electronic artist down under, Pretty Girl’s signed to Steel City Dance Discs – the recorded label founded by techno stalwart Mall Grab. Cultivating a scene that’s transpired internationally, the imprints brought us music from Skin On Skin, Loods and countless other Oz-based producers. With a fondness for funky fusions of UKG and techno, the Melbourne native’s proved her worth over countless tracks and EPs, and in the advent of new single “All Good”, she’s ready to go global.
Releasing irresistible club tracks with euphoric sensibilities, Pretty Girl recently supported Fred again.. and remixed his collaboration with Romy, titled “Strong”. Adding to the accolades, she also performed to 6000 people for a Boiler Room in her native city. And later this year, she’ll be over here to play a run of debut UK shows at festivals like Love Saves The Day and AVA.
“All Good”, Pretty Girl’s latest indulgently atmospheric banger, revels in the artist’s ethereal voice. Backed by chunky breaks and melodious bass, the tun lives up to the emotional dance music she’s cultivated herself. It’s universal, cry in the club music that invites its listeners to dance off any woes they possess.
To celebrate the single’s release, we spoke with Pretty Girl about supporting Fred again.., selling out headline shows and blowing Boiler Room out the water.
Hey, how’s it going? Everything good down in Oz?
I’m well thank you, and the vibes are actually quite good in Australia (well, in Melbourne) at the moment. It’s summer and there’s lots of exciting things on.
We have to start by talking about the “Strong” remix – how did that opportunity come about? Were you a fan of Romy’s before?
I’d been a big fan of Romy’s since I started listening to The xx as a teenager and I was really excited to see that she’d started a more electronic-oriented solo project. She actually just hit me up to do the remix, I’m not sure how she originally found me but she is a Pretty Girl fan, which is so wild to me. I had so much fun doing the remix, especially because I don’t usually get the chance to work with other people’s vocals.
You supported Fred again.. in Melbourne recently, how was that experience?
Super fun. My set was a short DJ set but the crowd was extremely keen. Seeing Fred’s set was also incredible, he’s so talented and so passionate and it’s so inspiring to see. As an upcoming artist being involved in hectic productions like that it is so rewarding. It definitely makes me believe in myself as an artist and also see the potential for my own work. Also, even now with covid somewhat behind us, it’s still so emotional to see a live show. When Fred played “Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)”, that was one of my soundtracks to the pandemic. I would always listen and imagine dancing to it on a dancefloor, so it was really emotional to finally have that moment.
Your newest track “All Good” follows up the remix, can you tell us a bit about the single?
So, “All Good” is the first single off my forthcoming EP ‘One Night, One Time’. It’s actually the last song I made for the EP. I wanted to slyly drop it, but once my label Steel City Dance Discs heard it, they were like ‘that’s the strongest song and it has to be a single.’ It’s definitely one of the most emotional songs I’ve ever made, it comes from a real place of sadness after a heartbreak last year. I made it in the dead of winter 2022, living in a tiny freezing cold house in North Melbourne.
If feels very personal, do you find that songwriting and production help you process difficult emotions?
For sure. Actually, I find I can only make good music when it comes from an emotional place. I struggle to just make music for the hell of it, or because I need to for my career, or any reason besides needing to get something off my chest. Before I wrote “All Good”, I had struggled for so long to find inspiration, especially for my lyrics. I was writing songs about being stressed, or apathetic, but nothing was hitting hard enough. “All Good” really poured out of me. I wrote the bassline one night and it all just flowed from there. When I started making music as a teenager, I needed the release of being able to put my feelings into a song.
The dance space is one that has historically felt very male dominated, something that’s thankfully changing. What advice would you give for young people who wanted to get into production or music making?
I agree, I think the change we’ve seen in the last five or so years is fantastic and I’m so happy to see so many young women and gender nonconforming people inspired to make music too. To anyone wanting to get into production, I would say, have fun with it, use the internet as a resource to learn how to use the programs, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to make something incredible immediately. I cannot even tell you how average my first three years of demos were, and I still have a lot to learn. Also, go out! Go to clubs, events, festivals, meet like minded people who you can learn with, support other artists doing the same thing, and make friends in the world you want to be a part of.
Reflecting on 2022, what are you proudest of that you achieved – songwriting or otherwise?
Damn, reflecting on 2022 is a crazy feeling for me. I achieved things that I didn’t think would be possible for a long time, like playing Boiler Room, supporting Bonobo, or selling out my headline show. It was so intense and I honestly can’t comprehend what those achievements mean to me yet. I am most proud of the EP that I wrote throughout 2022, which is out April 14th. I think I really pushed those songs to their limits and when I listen back, they really capture the whole year for me, from the best moments to the worst.
The video is really fun, it’s shot in Melbourne – was it nice being able to document and creatively immortalise the place you call home?
Absolutely. Some of the settings hold a special place in my heart, especially the bridge that we filmed the final scene on. I grew up around that area, in Kew and Northcote, and have many memories attached to that place. I love Melbourne and am proud to be from here, we have a really exciting music scene, similar to London, and there’s something for everyone.
You’re playing some dates in the UK this year, how are you feeling for that? Anywhere you’re excited to play?
I am feeling mostly excited with a tinge of nerves. I feel it will be a completely different world to what I’m used to and that is a daunting but exciting prospect. AVA festival in Northern Ireland is probably what I’m most excited for, just because I’ve watched Boiler Rooms from it since I was 18. But I’m actually just excited to play club shows, I don’t get to play as many in Melbourne because I save my live set for bigger events, and I really miss playing in clubs regularly.
Is there a track that audiences really resonate with or respond well to at your gigs?
Definitely my song “Sun Phase”, since it’s the biggest hit, but also any of the tracks off my first EP ‘Middle Ground’. It’s always such an incredible feeling bringing a song like “Arc” in and hearing people start yelling and singing the lyrics.
What else are you excited for this year?
I’ve been working on my live set for the past month and am really excited to play it at headline shows. It’s got all the new songs off ‘One Night, One Time’, and I’ve again reworked a few of my older songs like “Rely” and “Arc”.