Melbourne-based pop singer/songwriter Gretta Ray has been making a name for herself over the last few years, and she's just released the video for her new single Love Me Right, as well as her debut album, Begin To Look Around. It's a culmination of the sounds she's been producing since we first heard from her, and it's a great entry point for new fans, as well as a great example of what her fanbase loves so much about her music - it's delightful Australian pop all the way through.
The songs on Begin To Look Around were written throughout 2019 and 2020, and the end result is a celebration of the lessons that life teaches us along the way. If you're a fan of pop music that brightens up your day, then you'll want to give this a listen. To celebrate the release of the album, we spoke to Gretta about her music, the Australian music industry, as well as which musicians inspire her most. Check out the video for Love Me Right below and read on to find out all about Gretta!
What first got you into music?
My family got me into music at a young age. I’ve always loved to sing, and when I was 5, I joined a choir called the Young Voices of Melbourne, which I was a member of until I was 18. My parents played a lot of incredible records around the house when I was growing up, which meant that I was constantly immersed in great music. It made perfect sense to me that I would grow up to write my own music, so I started songwriting as a hobby when I was 7.
Who inspired you to make music?
Many different artists inspired me to make music, but when I was young and just starting to write my own songs, I was mostly influenced by Taylor Swift and Missy Higgins.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I’m a pop artist, but having grown up mostly listening to folk and country singer/songwriters, I’m attached to elements of that organic sound. My music is a hybrid of synth-pop and lush, cinematic instrumentation.
What is your creative process like?
Over the past few years, my creative process has involved a lot of co-writing sessions; working with lots of different collaborators and creatively throwing paint at the wall to see what sticks. After we have the bones of a full song, I’ve continued to work on perfecting that piece of music in the production process that follows.
Which musicians do you admire?
I really admire Lianne La Havas. Her level of musicianship and her deep gratitude for performing and sharing her music had me so awestruck when I opened for her in 2017. I’ve loved watching Dua Lipa become one of the most brilliant live performers in such a short amount of time. I also love newer Australian artists Sycco and MAY-A who are absolutely killing the game despite the pandemic, and my friend Maisie Peters is the hardest working songwriter that I know.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
So many people, but at the moment Julia Michaels is at the top of my list. I loved her debut album so much and think that I could learn so much from her writing.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I’d say thank you for being so supportive of me and I can’t wait to see you at a show when it’s safe to play one!
Where have you performed? What are your favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
I’ve headlined shows in most states in Australia, and have also toured North America, played in L.A and also played quite a few shows in London. My favourite venue is the Enmore Theatre in Sydney I think, and I do have upcoming shows for October so I’m crossing my fingers that they can safely go ahead. If they don’t, I hope next year is filled with shows!
What is your favourite song to perform? Tell us a bit about it.
I really love singing the first song that I ever put out, which is called Unexpected Feeling. I think when I hear people sing along to that song I feel really proud of myself for how much work I’ve done for my artist project since that little song came out. I also love covering Drops Of Jupiter by Train, because it’s such a good singalong song!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
I think just to be kind to people, no matter how stressed or busy you are, and to be grateful. Sounds pretty simple, but I think those things are the most important things to be.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Probably the fact that it’s such a boys' club. A lot of progress has been made, but gender inequity is still so alarmingly prominent in the music scene and I’d love to see much more of a shift in that area.
What can we expect next from Gretta Ray?
When it’s safe, all I want to be doing is playing shows and sharing my new music with as many people as possible. After that, I’m just going to keep making records, forever. I plan on having a long career as a songwriter and a performer.