NewTracks New Artist: Gretel

NewTracks New Artist: Gretel

Making it onto NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation with your debut single is no mean feat! Rangitoto College and 2018 Rockquest National Final alumna  Gretel Donnelly has achieved just that with her beautifully flowing song Catch Me If You Can. Find out a bit more about this very capable newcomer here.

Can you tell us a little about your musical self.

I’m Gretel Donnelly. I was born in Deniliquin, Australia (aka the middle of the bloody outback) to Kiwi parents. I moved to the North Shore when I was 10. I’m a vocalist, producer, play bass guitar – and dabble a bit in keys.

What high school or other music training was important to you?

One of my favourite things in high school [Rangitoto College] was being involved in jazz combos, playing with other students and teachers who inspired me everyday to explore new techniques and genres. I was also involved in the school choirs which was so fun and necessary for me as I feel that’s where I learned most of the vocal techniques I use on a daily basis.

What other projects might we know you from?

You might know me from Smokefree Rockquest last year where I came in second nationally and also won the electronica award.

How did your music evolve from your beginnings in songwriting to what it is right now?

When I first started writing music I was heavily into garage rock as well as ’80s new wave. I then got really into jazz and RnB at school, and got more and more interested in the digital sounds and that all evolved into my music today.

What makes Catch Me If You Can stand out for you as a single?

Catch Me If You Can stands out to me as a single because I find myself singing it absent-mindedly more often than other songs, and I can only hope it does the same for others!

What’s the story behind Catch Me If You Can?

Catch Me If You Can started off with the beat and I remember struggling for a while with the lyrics. Then one night I woke up giggling my butt off cuz all I had in my head was the lyrics, “The wider the eye, the prettier the guy. If his jaw can cut through cheese then he’s good enough for me.” Those lyrics set the tone for the song and the rest of the melody and lyrics came a lot easier after that revelation!

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

My favourite part of the song has got to be the last chorus. It’s the climax of the song after all – the pinnacle part of bop in the song.

Who did you write/record/produce the single with? 

So I started writing/mixing this on Logic at home – I then got to record it for Rockquest. Chris Mac and Scott Seabright recorded and produced the vocals with me, and mastered it.

In one sentence, what do you want listeners to take away from this song.

I just want listeners to be taken out of reality and be taken in their own dreamworld, whatever that may be for them.

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

Same as how I knew this song was a single really – a catchy hook with a point of difference that leaves you singing it in even the most inappropriate situations!

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for, with this band or others?

Later on in the year I’m hoping to release another single that’s gonna be quite a contrast in vibe from this one – but that’s all I’m gonna say about that for now…

Can you name three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

I’d like to think these songs would work well:

George: Vacant City

Bene: Evil Spider

Bailey Wiley: Zaddy

Have any previous song applications not been get included on NewTracks? Got any advice for people out there?

This is actually the first time I’ve applied for NewTracks and I was super stoked to be in it. The only advice I have is to be confident in your music and don’t lose hope if you don’t succeed on the first go, keep trying and exploring to expand your musical palate.

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with in the application? 

I didn’t have many problems with NewTracks application actually – was nice and breezy.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I’m real into Sniffers!

How can we find you on social media?

Instagram: @congretelations

Facebook: @noregretels

Any last words?

Kowabunga my dude,
Kind regards,
Gretel Donnelly

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