In just one year, 18 year old Gretta Ray has made a bold entrance into the music scene.
Beginning 2016 with the release of her debut EP ‘Elsewhere’, she proceeded to win the triple j Unearthed High competition, along with the 2016 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition for ‘Drive’, as well as touring with Japanese Wallpaper, performing at Falls Music Festival and Beyond The Valley for the first time, and graduating high school.
To top it all off, her songs ‘Drive’ and ‘Unwind’ managed to make the short-list for triple j’s Hottest 100.
Despite the enormity of her achievements, Gretta is humble and grateful for what she has been able to achieve while trying to balance her final year of school with her music career.
“The more that I come to terms with the fact that school is actually over and that I don’t have to go back, the more I can reflect on the year and just be very happy with how I was able to balance the music stuff and school at the same time,” Gretta says.
“I consider those things as incredible work opportunities for me and that this career is something that I want to do my whole life. I always have to look at the bright side of that, so I never wanted to showcase the fact that I was overwhelmed when I was. I just wanted to present myself as very grateful for the opportunities that I was getting.”
After a massive year, 2017 is already looking a treat for the talented Melbourne musician, with the upcoming release of her new track ‘Towers’ and performances at the St Kilda Festival, Shimmerlands alongside alt-rockers City Calm Down, and Port Fairy Folk Festival coming up, among many others.
Now a high school graduate and seasoned singer-songwriter, Gretta says this year is the time for her to focus on her music, setting herself the goal of completing a full length record and record it over in Nashville with her producer Josh Barber.
“This year I am lucky enough to be in this position where I can focus on music and just focus on that. The next couple of months for me consist of performing a lot, and writing as much as I can. And in regards to songwriting, I am definitely pushing myself harder than I ever have before. I know it’s doable, but it’s going to take a lot of persistence and just committing to writing.
“This is the first time that I have approached song writing as a job, and not used it as something that I can do aside from doing my homework.”
A committed and creative individual who has a side-love for photography (check out her perfectly captured Instagram pics), Gretta admits to being quite the perfectionist when it comes to her music and photos (while claiming to actually being “a disorganised person in general”), making songwriting a little bit harder, but definitely more rewarding.
“I have been writing songs for 10 years now so I’ve been through the period of time where you just write song after song. Now the more I write, the more I feel this need for the next song to be better than the last song. So I kind of set myself this very high standard, which I think has worked very well so far. When I wrote ‘Drive’, I knew that it was one of the best songs I had written and considering the response that got, it only motivated me to continue to produce work of that standard, if not higher.
“I definitely take a lot of time to get every lyric, and every line, and just the whole structure of the song as perfect as I feel I can get it.”
Written by Talia Rinaldo
When & Where: Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy – March 10 – 13 2017