Carla Geneve is a Fremantle based musician who possesses an ineffable quality; you believe everything she sings. Her honest, gritty lyricism and raw but sincere charisma has enraptured fans around Australia, gathering heart wrenching hits under her belt like a damn hero.
Her string of singles like “Don’t Wanna Be Your Lover”, “Right Reasons” and the quintessential “Greg’s Discount Chemist” have impressed many and will open into a (undoubtedly brilliant) body of work in the form of Learn to Like It, her debut album out on April 23.
As a wildly talented 22-year-old WA native, who despite her high ratings, is criminally underrated, Ms Geneve is a fitting selection for day two of our West Aus music feature.
After a naughty PR mix-up had us interviewing her in the middle of her band rehearsal, on HER BIRTHDAY nonetheless, Carla very graciously offered us a few words of intrepid wisdom and warm sentimentality on the experience of being a Western Australian artist.
What is it like being a working artist in Perth?
Perth is my favourite city. I’ve been to a lot of places and WA is still my favourite. People talk a lot of sh*t about it and we do as well but it genuinely has such good vibes, pretty much wherever you are in WA the vibes are good.
In terms of being a musician, it’s kind of useful to be on the fringes of everything else. I think it’s pretty good because you aren’t swept up in anything, you have space to be the artist you want and it gives you perspective you might not get otherwise.
Are there any downsides?
Yeah there are. Obviously, we’re a pretty isolated place so the distance you have to travel if you wanna go touring is f*cking crazy. Like even for only a WA wide tour you’ve still got to drive heaps to get anywhere.
But even saying that, we get to see so much more of the country, we visit sh*tty little regional towns that are so brilliant. We meet all these characters and it’s more of an adventure. Honestly this past year we sort of forgot the rest of Australia and the world existed. WA’s big enough that we never felt very trapped.
Speaking of, what was it like being able to play shows or see live shows when nowhere else could? What was the feeling?
We have had the chance to play a fair few live shows this year. We’re actually playing one this Sunday, that’s what we’re rehearsing for now actually. So we’ve been really lucky.
But it is a bit hard not to take it for granted since everything seems so normal now. We’re so excited to be playing again and we are grateful because it’s so fun and we can keep working. But it's just not really something we constantly have on our minds.
Obviously we still feel heaps for other musicians who can’t work right now and I sympathise a lot with what they are going through. But yeah we do have to just appreciate what we have here.
What’s the music scene like as a musician over here? It seems like everyone knows everyone and you get the vibe that WA bands are friends.
Yeah, you’re totally right. It's such a lovely community and everyone is friends. And even with artists you might not have met or know well they are still so supportive of your work.
Artists like Jack Davies we’ve known for five, six years – we were jamming together when we were kids, teenagers. There’s guys like Spacey Jane, Franks Fish Tank, Supathick, who are so lovely and always supportive. We went on tour with the legends from San Cisco.
We also have loads of overlapping members between bands so it’s very share-y and fun. It’s not competitive or jealous really.
Abby May is like a cool aunt to the younger crew, Southern River Band are lovely and great mentors. There’s too many to count.
Ah the younger crew! Do you have any insider info on who you reckon might be up and comers we should keep an eye out for?
Yeah the younger crew are crazy good. I’m a music teacher so I see loads of them coming through. Mia June is really good, the band Detour is really talented. There’s a girl called Katie Schofield who is great. I’m sure I’m missing some but these are off the top of my head.
Alright we’ll finish with some quick fire questions!
Fave WA venue to play?
Mojos Bar in Freo. No competition, easy.
Regional gigs or metro gigs?
Ooh that’s hard, they have such different vibes. I feel pretty at home at regional gigs since I’m from Albany originally, so pretty comfortable with small towns. They are always an adventure because they’re usually at a pub or something where there’s less control so you don't know what’s gonna happen.
Metro gigs are really fun too but they have such a different vibe and atmosphere.
Perth or Albany?
Hmm well I grew up in Albany and it was great to be a kid but you can’t be a pro musician there, it’s just impractical. It’s the sort of place you grow up in, leave, and then return to die there. It’s such a lovely place but I couldn’t stay.
I live in Perth now and it’s not boring which is a plus.
Less of a quick fire, but would you consider moving over east or internationally for your career?
Nah, I wouldn’t. I like Perth too much. If I was forced, I’d go to Brisbane because they seem to have similar vibes but I’m pretty good here.
You can have a busy tour schedule and a successful career without leaving WA. It’s done heaps and I want to stay.
Listen to Carla's latest single 'Dog Eared'