With a strong track record already under her belt, Pretty Girl is heading to new levels, releasing her debut official single, 'Sun Phase'.
Pretty Girl is more than one to watch in Australia's underground dance scene. Her Soundcloud discography alone has cemented her as a mainstay in Melbourne/Naarm's tightknit electronic community, with her 'Rely (Vodka Lime and Sad Mix)' cut becoming a tastemaker favourite across ones and twos in the country. Off the back of it and her impeccable selecting skills she's already shared the stage with the likes of Willaris K, Skin On Skin and DJ Boring, DJed on Triple J's Mix Up and remixed Sydney/Eora lord Human Movement.
With a track record that strong under her belt, she's now taking the lead on her career with her first, official debut single, 'Sun Phase', out tomorrow via Gallery Recordings. We are fortunate enough to be premiering the track exclusively here today.
'Sun Phase' acts as an ode to her home town of Naarm (Melbourne). A melting pot of vast and distinct sonic influences combine together to create a warm and soulful house groove. Ambient fused synth chords similar to the likes of Andras combine with an all enveloping percussion section, creating a headphone or sound system escape route from the happenings of the world. Her vocal acts as the glue to the tracks elements, chopping up spoken word syllables and melodies alike to give the track a personal, reflective and nostalgic feel. The release will also see Human Movement and DJ Life on remix duties for the already near perfect track, adding their respective production flares to the established sonic universe.
Alongside the premiere below, we chat to the producer about her coming of age as a producer, being involved in a tight knit electronic scene and importantly, the ethos of the track.
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What drew you into music creation initially? Did it snap in overnight or was it something you always wanted to do?
My background and making music was a very slow progression. I was a very big GarageBand user as a child. And then when I was at uni, and I was going out a lot and experiencing a lot of different music. I was making more and more music, and randomly people were listening. One day, I realised, this is actually what I want to do. It's excites me more than anything else and I feel very drawn to it. It feels very much like it's what I'm meant to be doing.
Do you feel like you became more motivated now that being an artist is the end goal rather than a side hustle? Or was making music a different experience for you after flicking that switch full time?
I think at first, I was a lot more motivated. It's been a really big learning curve. My idea of what making music properly looks like, is a lot different to what that looks like to me now. I had this idea, I'm going to do it and I'm going to do it full time. Then reality kind of set in and I realised how long it was going to take to get anywhere. I was I guess more relaxed, making music back then. I kind of just did whatever and I would do it as a very expressive thing. Now it's quite different. There's a lot more pressure.
Your 2018 project, ‘Daisy Chains’ almost has an RnB tinge to it or like a spacey, ODESZA feel to it. Long story short, how did creating music like that transition to the warm super dance focussed house stuff you're on track with now?
I always wanted to make dance music. I think you need to have a lot of skill and a lot of understanding to make dance music sound good. Whereas that sort of that bedroom pop, ambient vibe worked a lot better with my skill set at the time. It was within the limits of what I could make. But as I invested more time into making music and also just listening to a lot more genres and honing in on a more energetic sound, then that was the transition from what you would have heard on ‘Daisy Chains’ to what you'll hear later this year and on Friday.
People always have this assumption with dance music that it’s easy. Do you feel like the producer skills of good moving dance music are underrated?
Definitely. What can sound so simple a finished mastered release is so hard to emulate in the bare bones of a DAW, from getting all of the compressors right, all the effects, making sure everything's balanced. That was something that I didn't understand for a long time. I just would reflect and think, “Why doesn't my project sound like all the music I listen to?” Then kind of realised a long way down the track, oh, there's actually a lot of skill and importantly that there's a lot of stuff happening under the surface of the song as well.
'Sun Phase' is the first official original release from you, what made that track make sense as an official introduction for the project?
It's got a lot more energy than anything I've released previously and it reflects a lot of development in my sound and my skill. Sun Phase is actually quite different to any of this stuff I have coming out in the future. It's a lot happier and a lot more upbeat and a lot warmer. It'll be a good place to start in terms of introducing my new material to the world.
Talk through the creation of the track. Did it start with an initial objective for a vibe or did it just fall onto your lap?
I do definitely start with an objective for a vibe, but it's more of like a holistic idea across all of my projects. I won't sit down and say, “I'm going to make a song that feels like this,” because it just never seems to work out that way. I find it really hard to start with an idea and conceptualise it on the spot. It always finishes somewhere else. For Sun Phase though, I wanted to make a house track with those really euphoric synths a really crispy little hi-hat to make just a a cute song.
You utilise your vocal on the track. It’s a unique and pretty rare thing to do. What inspired that, and is it a challenging thing to do, or is it pretty natural?
It's definitely more the latter. I don't actually think I could ever put someone else's vocals on my songs. It just feels right to use my voice. I think that personality comes through with my vocals. They typically feel very candid and the song feels way more real to me when I'm singing on it.
Your track record is very strong despite COVID and it feels like now you are truly coming to show your talents. Did you feel/do you feel a slight imposter syndrome in the dance world given how cultish it can be? If so, how have you dealt with it?
On some level? Yeah. I think it's because I've wanted it for so long, I've dreamed about it for so long. I think that's where the imposter syndrome comes in. It's not “How did I get here?” It's more like, “Is this really happening?” I tend to get insecure a lot, even though I do get a lot of positive reinforcement. I sit around thinking, “Do people actually like it?” I thin keveryone goes through that.
Your tight knit with your friends with a really good crew in Melbourne. How much of your learning, involvement and credit do you give being interactive with your community both for your love of dance music and also your career learning so far?
A lot. There's some incredible people in the industry doing similar things to me. Music’s best when it's shared with people and to be surrounded by people that have the same love for dance music is amazing. It's a very connective. art form. In terms of like, my knowledge of the industry, my sort of belief in myself as an artist, the friends that I've made over the past year or so, who are also DJs, and producers have been so helpful for me, because it's really made me believe in myself as an artist.
What are your goals for the release on a sentimental level? What do you want a listener to do/feel/ experience when listening to the track?
The one feeling that I really, really wanted to capture with this song is, you know when you're at a festival or at a day partyand the sun is low in the sky, hitting your face, the DJ is playing some nice, fun energetic house music and you're surrounded by all your friends and you're just really happy. That's what I wanted out of ‘Sun Phase’.
Words by Parry Tritsiniotis