Getting To Know Gena Rose Bruce

Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Gena Rose Bruce has recently been turning heads with her excellent new single ‘Blazing Radio’. We asked her to tell us about herself:

I am new to all this music thing, although I have been playing live around Melbourne now for around two years in one form or another. Longer than that if you include my dancing and singing classes from when I was 11. In a top hat. And sequins.

“Blazing Radio” is the most surprising music I have made. It’s very different to what I have done up to now. It shows you what can happen when you get a tune going with some decent lyrics and then work with a well-credentialed studio producer to mix it in a way that lifts it to a level you never thought possible. But in the end, it’s still just a great tune with a driving beat.

Melbourne is the best place for live music. There is no other city like it. Playing live is the best way for me to work on refining my sound and my style. The way an audience responds or doesn’t respond to my performance is pretty good feedback to whether I am doing it right or wrong. Although I played a gig recently and there was dead silence. It really freaked me out. I thought they must have all fallen asleep or something but it was the exact opposite. When I finished a song they went wild. They were hanging on every word and every note – but in complete silence.

I spend too much time thinking about all the possibilities of where I can take my music. I am enjoying playing lots of live shows and meeting and mixing with lots of musicians and other performers. I hear so much good music it’s just so tempting to say I want to sound that good, I want to sound just like them, which is great but somehow I have got to keep my own style and work with developing that.

My single launch at Yah Yahs will be my first headline show in months! With new songs, new band members and some familiar stuff as well. Come along, it won’t hurt.

It might surprise people to learn that my live show is mostly my own music. I play only a choice few covers. I have always wanted to be both a songwriter and a singer. You would think by now that surely every song worth writing has been written. There’s still a lot you can do with just a guitar and a voice to come up with something fresh. Then you add another guitar line, a backup vocal and maybe a keyboard and you have suddenly done something quite inventive and new. That’s something cool. When I stop enjoying that I will quit the business and go back to checkout chicking. Maybe not.

In the future, the not too distant future, it will be 2 August. That sounds like a good date to mark in the diary for a gig at Yah Yahs.

Keep up to date with Gena, and learn more details of her upcoming single launch at Yah Yahs in Fitzroy, by following her on Facebook.

bobby townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend