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10 Questions for Singer/Songwriter Prita Grealy

1. Hello Prita, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be a singer?

Hello! And thanks for having me! My background: I grew up in Australia and moved around a lot, with my family who were quite ‘alternative’ or as I normally say ‘hippy parents’. I was always singing ever since I was little, and would jump at the chance to perform in school plays, drama, dance, music, whatever, I wanted to be on that stage. During high school I performed in every talent quest and ‘open mic’ I could, and later auditioned for two Jazz Conservatoriums (I thought I wanted to be a Jazz singer). I was knocked back from both Jazz Schools but realized it later it was a blessing in disguise as it sent me down another route to continue developing my own ‘singer songwriter’ style.

It took me years of studying all kinds of things and working different jobs just doing music on the side before I took the plunge to do music full time and had the courage to pursue my dreams. I got loads of great experience being in different bands touring and performing solo before I took that plunge.

The defining moment for me was sitting on a beach in the Caribbean after working a busy season on a private yacht as a stewardess. I was in the middle of a two years working on the yacht and I realized that I had been letting my music go and my heart was yearning for more, (there were tears and lots of journaling on that beach) so I made a decision from that moment on to follow my music wherever it lead and say ‘yes’ to opportunities that came my way. I literally got up from that moment and heard music in the distance.. I followed it and it turned out to be a band playing on the beachfront of a hotel. I sat and listened for a while then got the courage to go and chat to the guys in their break, I asked them if they knew anywhere I could play in town and they offered for me to open their set the next day! So I did, and at that gig there was a guy from the local radio station who asked if I’d come in for an interview and play on the radio, and from there it just continued to snowball and every chance I got I’d talk to bands and always got invited to play some songs. It was a really great way to start performing again and get my confidence back.

After that I got invited randomly ‘out of the blue’ to play in Thailand at a 5 star resort beach club for a month, which perfectly coincided with my break on the boat. I was playing 4 sets a night, 6 nights a week and really threw myself in the deep end saying yes to this opportunity. Something clicked in my head after that gig, I realized that maybe I could travel and play music and still make a good living. Another 6 months of so of working the yacht season and then I decided to go home and pursue music full time and give it a chance. I played cover gigs and original gigs and really started putting myself out there with the help of booking agents and getting my promo stuff together.

After a few years at home building up my music career, I decided to tour Europe with my songs, and that led to eventually moving to Berlin to pursue a career over here. I’ve now been based in Europe as a touring singer songwriter for the past 6 and half years!

2. What projects are you working on at the moment?I’m currently co-writing a lot with other songwriters and producers both for music licensing opportunities and for my new album.

I’m currently co-writing a lot with other songwriters and producers both for music licensing opportunities and for my new album.

3. What do you do to stay at the top of your game as an artist?

I try to stay fit and healthy as much as possible in my body, mind and spirit. For me regular running and exercise, healthy eating, lots of water, good sleep, journaling and keeping in touch with other musicians is really important. Practicing my songwriting and craft by doing it regularly and challenging myself to be consistent with work routines. And going out to see other musicians perform when I can and get inspired!

4. How do you create consistent work and opportunities for yourself as an artist?

I email new venues and opportunities regularly and keep in touch with past venues too. I am always on the lookout for what I want to do next and pursue leads that come my way if they seem like a good fit. I have also worked with several booking agents in the past who were great at sending work my way too.

5. We do a lot of mindset work in Flow, how important is it to have a healthy mindset as an artist and how do you keep yours healthy and positive?

I think it’s really important to have a healthy mindset, and its something I work on a lot as I think every artist has times when they slip into self-doubt or fears. It’s a natural part of the game and its’ challenging to always stay positive especially when you get knock-backs or rejections, or you get tired and worn out, but you just have to deal with it and move on, and believe there is something better coming up for you. I do a lot of writing and journaling my thoughts, goals, dreams, to-do lists, everything gets journalled.. I also find running really helps clear my head – getting more into my body and ‘out of my head’ is really healthy for me as I’m a big ‘thinker’, and dancing is great too! Also staying in touch with friends and other musicians who are going through similar things really helps to decompress and feel understood and supported.

6. What advice can you give to singers who are struggling to get their music heard?

I would say first things first, make sure you have a good online presence set up - basic website + social media, that looks professional with all the promo things that a venue, booking agent, radio, interviewer, fan might be looking for: bio, samples of music, videos, pictures, gigs dates, media quotes etc, or whatever you have to get started. Then do the gigs, get out there and get stage time, every gig teaches you something, you are always learning. Reach out to people if you want to be heard – target specific people at radio stations or newspapers, ask for what you want and don’t give up. Network and get out there and see what other people do too.

7. How important is social media for you as a singer?

Social media is a great tool for artists, its such a good way to keep in touch with fans and I also reach a lot of venues that way too. I think it’s important though to focus on the ones that you enjoy and not over-do it by scattering your energies too far and wide if its not going to be effective. Pick 3 that work for you and be consistent. I also find it’s a learning curve to find which ones work for you and how to best use them, there’s always gonna be a new shiny thing to follow.. but I think the best ones connect you to the people that like your music and share a bit of your story and who you are. I personally prefer instagram + facebook at the moment. I don’t do snapchat and have tried some others and let some other ones go! As musicians we also have to keep up to date with websites and mailing lists aswell as youtube, spotify, soundcloud and all the various music things so it’s good not to overload with too many things!

8. What have been some of your career highlights?

Opening for some really big bands and artists like Simply Red, Ed Kowalczyk, Mental as Anything, Ross Wilson… Playing in some really exotic locations like the Bahamas, Thailand, Greek Islands, and all over Europe.. Sometimes the small gigs are really special too, there might be a person you meet and have a conversation with that connects you on another level, or a magic moment from an intimate concert that you remember.. I’ve also played some really great festivals with lots of people in the audience and the amazing feeling you get when everyone is right there in the moment with you.. and being in the studio making albums is always a happy place for me too.

9. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back to a time when you were just starting out as a singer and maybe struggling for opportunities and a healthy income, what advice would you give to yourself?

Get your promo stuff together, contact booking agents and get on the books to help you get gigs, be brave and contact venues yourself, book in advance and keep the calendar filling up. Think of all the places live music is played and find out how to get into places like that – there’s weddings, conferences, markets, festivals, online concerts, loads of places you can play. Just keep contacting people and places, you never know where one lead might take you.

10. What advice do you have for singers who are looking for record deals or who say want to hit the big time?

Define your own success and strive for that. If you want a label – go for it. If you want to play in festivals – apply for them. If you want to make albums – do it! There are many paths to ‘get there’ and it’s all possible. Decide what you want and make plans to make it happen, be brave, go for opportunities, andask for what you want! Sometimes its being in the right place at the right time, Sometimes its planning and preparation. Keep following your dreams and go for what you want.

Thank you!

To hear Prita's music check it out on the following links -