Interview with Canadian Indie Pop Artist Prescilla Una (by: Jovin Tardif)
I am just going to say it. I am not George Stroumboulopoulos, but I watched the way George would interview individuals on MuchMusic when I was growing up and I simply just loved his look, style and his interviewing abilities. Why did I start the story this way? The reason why I am mentioning Strombo is that I met Prescilla Una. Prescilla Una is a Canadian indie pop artist, indie freelance writer and storyteller. I can just imagine the way George would interview Prescilla Una.
I decided to watch some of Strombo’s work on Youtube to see how he added that element of “cool” to his interviews. Did I succeed? Let’s find out. Meet Prescilla Una. Please take a moment and read her story. She is a tremendous talent and a wonderful individual. Today, Prescilla Una tells the story of her past, present and future. Just a heads up, her new album drops in April 2020 and I got my hands on her new song “UP”. (looking around) So…what if I took the video off the table when Priscilla Una wasn’t looking. Will she notice? I did it for you my loyal fans. Don’t tell her, it’s our little secret. (Only kidding) Please enjoy the interview and tell others.
1. Let’s go backwards before we go forward. I always enjoy learning how musicians got into music…Prescilla Una, can you talk about being in the school choir at the age of 5 and discuss being classically trained at age 11?
“School choir was a joy. Music and dance were also a big part of my upbringing. When my grandmother would host parties, she would always allow me to be the DJ. My aunt was the first person who taught me how to dance and she was a good singer. My entire family loves music, it was always around.
My mother named me after ELVIS’s wife. My family never had the extra funds to place me in a music school, but I prayed to God one day I would get theory learning. In my amazing public middle school, I learned and had the best time learning classical and jazz. I joined the school choir, jazz/classical band, and formed a music nerds meet up in the music room with other friends who also wanted to practice.
There, I learned from friends how to play basically all instruments on a fundamental level. It was always fun playing the drums. I was later sent to a gifted program with a few other kids to learn more in-depth about music. I was always that student that the teacher would ask me to play an example on my flute…a true music nerd.”
2. I wondered if you can let us know what musicians and/or bands have inspired you over the years and why?
“Madonna for her bravery and style. She was the first song I remember as a child. She made me feel sexy. Alanis Morissette for her truth and edge. Lana Del Rey for her mystery and passion. Maya for her sweetness. Avril for her edge. Tony Braxton for her bassy and passionate sound. Gwen Stefani for her fashion and band style. Nelly Furtado for breaking through. Spice Girls for the girl power movement and platforms. All-female power Houses in music.
Trent Reznor for his business and musical genius. Deadmau5 for bringing EDM to the forefront in Canada. ELVIS for his timeless music. Michael for his entertainment and soul. Justin’s for the dance and musicality. Roberto Carlos for his focus on God. U2, Beatles, Nirvana, and Bob Marley for there focus on making a world a better place.
The list can goes on and on”
3. How did learning the guitar change the way you do music? Prescilla Una, what kind of music were you playing when you first started?
“The guitar is an orchestra on its own, having 6 strings. When I picked up the flute in middle school, it was a good foundation but it wasn’t strong enough on its own to create full songs.”
4. You released your self produced debut album called MUSIC THERAPY in 2014. Can you tell us a little bit about the album and the musical styles?
“Music Therapy was a compilation of songs I wrote when I learned the guitar in 2008, a 6-year project. I didn’t intend to be a recording artist, but it felt like a natural next step after composing and performing for years. It was a challenge to find great people to record with. It was risky on all levels, including emotions and Financial.”
5. What was it like the first time you played live to an audience Prescilla Una?
“I booked Cameron House, where Barenaked Ladies performed. My right thumb was raw from practicing so much, I was playing in pain, but it was a large turnout for my first time, about 60 people. I promoted myself, designed the flyer. 2012 is when I got heavy on social media for my events.”
6. Can you tell us a little about composing music and what it entails?
“Composing music, in its technical form, here are the elements;
Texture(verse, chorus, bridge)
For me, I either have a dream of a song which I later translate to my guitar…I get inspiration…or I simply mess around with my guitar.”
7. You wrote poetry back when you were 11. How would you describe your writing style compared to now?
“When I look back at my poetry, it was structured and emotional. I was a very quiet and shy kid so the creative outlet helped me through tough times in my life. Nothing has changed except for writing about different things and wanting to always try a new type of style from what I have already written.”
8. What are some hobbies you enjoy doing outside of music, Prescilla Una?
“I love all sports and spending time in nature with my family, friends and my dog. I also love dancing.”
9. Can you tell us about how you are helping with Artists Development and music events in order to help the music community? Can you talk about Peaceful Revolution Music?
“PRM was officially founded in 2014 when I started setting up indie events for the arts community. Various artists from all different types of backgrounds and skills would come out and perform. I would promote, get photographers and videographers, host and perform myself. This helped each new artist get more experience and each seasoned local artist an opportunity to network and perform. I personally stopped creating events as I made little money and I was working too much which made me pass out and burn out in 2016. I plan to help other artists in producing and music distribution once I establish myself.”
10. Word on the street is that a new album is coming out soon. Prescilla Una, what can we expect? Will the style be similar to your debut or different?
“Yes. Enlighten album is due to release April this year. It’s totally different. My production skills have improved from the last project, you can literally hear it. The goal was to make the sound quality world-class. The heart and soul speak for itself and is left for the fans to tell the rest.”