As I prepared my questions for Carla Geneve, I couldn’t believe the ironic timing of our interview. I’ve had a terrible flu for the last two weeks and have had the lyrics to her best known hit, ‘Greg’s Discount Chemist’, bouncing around in my head:
“I walked down Fitzgerald Street
Greg’s Discount Chemist, I buy pseudoephedrine
Nasal decongestant, Codral Cold and Flu
I take a night time tablet and I lay down, thinking of you”
As I took my night time tablet, I prayed I would be feeling a little better and my sinuses would be a little clearer for the next morning.
I waited outside Moore & Moore Café in Fremantle for Carla. She arrived wearing a vibrant yellow t-shirt paired with black overalls and greeted me with a warm hug.
“Are you sick too?” I asked her, as I noticed a slight sniffle.
“Yeah,” she laughed, “All of my friends tease me when I get sick because of my song.”
I told her I was on Codral Cold and Flu tablets and we both had a bit of a laugh.
Geneve started playing guitar when she was twelve and although she never considered becoming a rock star, music was always something she saw herself continuing with in the future.
“I think as a kid I wanted to be a marine biologist. It’s kind of a common one, hey?” she reminisces.
Since moving up to the big smoke from Albany to pursue her music career, the nineteen-year-old singer-songwriter says her music has remained the same at its core up until now.
“I always knew what I wanted very strongly but I think from now on it will probably change a little bit with the next era of my life, if you know what I mean… it sounds very dramatic calling it an era,” she muses.
Recognisable from her witty lyrics and powerful, distinctively unique vocals, Carla Geneve has played at festivals such as Falls Festival and Laneway and supported acts including Cat Power, Good Doogs, Jen Cloher, Stella Donnelly and John Butler. She even filled in for Missy Higgins when she was unable to play her show at Kings Park in February, the biggest concert Geneve has performed to date.
“That was just a bit crazy, we were so lucky to do that. I was like: hey, I’m not Missy Higgins and I’m sorry. This is not what you want right now but it’s what you’re going to get,” she says.
When asked about her writing process, Geneve reveals her favourite place to write is inside her house. She likes to spend a couple of weeks writing in one room, before moving onto the next. Boredom is also a great motivator for her song writing if she is ever on tour alone.
“Hotel rooms usually help because I literally have nothing else to do. It’s like, I can watch How I Met Your Mother or write a song, pretty much,” she jokes.
“I think I write about relationships a lot. You know, some people might say it’s a cliché and maybe it is. I’m not ashamed of writing love songs. A lot of music is about that for a reason,” she shares.
It is no secret that Geneve is introspective and wise beyond her years from her lyrics. She goes a level deeper by adding, “You don’t have to just write about another person, I think you can examine yourself and other things in the world in that context as well.”
Carla Geneve’s debut self-titled EP was released last Friday. All of the songs featured on it were written over the course of two years, with the intention of a record in mind from day dot.
“We wanted to release this EP – not in it’s final form – but when we recorded our first single, so it’s like: let’s get it out,” she says animatedly. “I’m excited to put it out and I’m pretty happy with it as well, but then I’m excited to do the next thing.”
When asked about her feelings on her upcoming international US tour with San Cisco, Geneve shares what a whirlwind few weeks it’s been for her:
“I haven’t really had a second to think about what it actually means yet, but I guess I’ll think about it on the plane. It’s incredible, I can’t really believe it.”
Carla Geneve’s self-titled EP is out now, available at your nearest record store or via online streaming.