Kira Puru dropped her new single, Molotov, yesterday an is returning to Newcastle for a headline performance at The Cambridge Hotel on Friday 15 June.
The Newcastle native has truly stepped into the spotlight since the release of her hypnotic single Tension last October. The track has received over 1.3 million plays on Spotify, saw her sell-out headline shows in Melbourne and Sydney, perform as special guest for The Rubens & Vera Blue; and festival sets at Groovin’ The Moo Bendigo, Big Pineapple and Mardi Gras.
So here’s 10 questions we put to Kira Puru to find out a little bit more.
1 ‘Tension’ is your “return” to the solo sound you’ve been working on. Why is this an important release for you?
Tension is important because it sounds like me, the real me. And although I’ve always felt like I have reflected my true self in all my endeavours, this movement to the new sound feels like the most authentic portrayal yet. I hope to prove that further with it’s follow up, Molotov. I consider myself to be a complex mix of pained introversion, flirty banter, sarcasm and hard liquor…I feel like both tracks reflect that nicely.
2 The bass line in ‘Tension’ is super hooky and smooth. Where did you find that sound?
I’m not going to lie, it’s taken a lot of work. There’s a few songs we left on the studio floor, trying to find it. I think bass is a keystone in a lot of good music because of where it sits in the relationship between rhythm and melody. It’s also just a super sexy instrument, don’t you think?
3 Tell us about the video clip – Where did you find “the guy” and are those your hoops or were they on loan?
That guy is my good friend, Steven. He is also known as T-Bone and is Mojo Juju’s little brother. We have been friends for a million years.
I had someone lined up to play the part who pulled out at the last minute and on that very same day, Mojo sent me a video of Steve dancing. It felt kismet. He needed barely any direction and it felt as if he was born to play the dorky/suave dreamboat.
The hoops were on loan from my gorgeous friends at Vintage Garage in Melbourne and you should 100% go visit them.
4 You’re a Newcastle native. Tell us how you think the city has influenced your career and your sound.
Newcastle was the place where I started out, and the place where I met the people who convinced me that I was destined to be an artist. Growing up there taught me a lot about being real, working hard and standing up for what you believe in. It’s those fundamental character traits that have really shaped my music and my trajectory as an artist.
5 You play the Cambridge on Friday 15 June. Tell us about the show you’re bringing to town.
I have the most amazing band and we all feel tighter than ever after just coming off a sold out national tour with Vera Blue. This show is 100% about the music, and the music is brand new. The set is back to back party bangers if I do say so myself.
I have spent recent years writing music that was gentle, pensive and introspective and this new show feels like the organic antithesis of those years and that music. It’s raw, irreverent, loud, bold, confident, fun, sexual and sweaty.
6 How were the shows with The Rubens?
Mannnnnn, the Rubens are the sweetest. They’re all so involved in the decisions being made around them and they focus energy into being very present and considerate people as well as great and professional musicians. I felt very supported and appreciated on the road with them and it was such an honour to perform Never Ever as a duet with Sam right before it’s release. Oh yeah, and playing the Opera House is a bucket list item I casually ticked off on that tour also.
7 Can you explain what’s going on this (AWESOME) photo
Okay so Dan Sultan and I have been good friends since we toured with Paul Kelly together a few years ago. He and his partner Bronnie and I are neighbours…like we live three doors down from each other. That being considered however, we don’t get to see each other much cause we’re all so crazy busy. Our text stream is a back and forth of us unsuccessfully asking each other to hang out. Izzi Manfredi and I are old, old buddies from the days when the Preatures first started out and used to play shows with my old band. Like when they were ‘the Preachers’. In fact, I saw the Preatures for the first time in Newcastle in a little Renew Newcastle shop called Before it Began! Thommo is also a Fitzroy local and between our fave venues, coffee joints, bars and overlapping friendship circles, we cross paths on the reg.
On the afternoon this was taken, I was on the way home from shooting a band when Sulty texted me and said he was at our local and ran into Thommo and Izzi and told me to come through. Izzi was in town writing with Tookie from the DMAs, who now lives in Melbourne too, and this photo is basically us celebrating the miraculous unicorn moment that found us all together in the same city with an afternoon off.
8 At the end of 2017, you co-signed #meNOmore: An Open Letter to the Australian Music Industry. Can you tell us where the #meNOmore campaign is currently at?
I haven’t had a chance to follow the campaign closely to be transparent with you. I am of course an advocate for making the industry a safe working space for all women and non binary people and will do everything in my power to edge us ever closer to that goal. I’d like to see more people of colour included in the public discussion and I’d also like us to address the issues in our own backyard more directly. Let’s talk about why we are still enabling Sticky Fingers.
9 Tell us about working with Melbourne Indie Voices
Well they did it all on their own! When I debuted the new live set a few months ago, a woman approached me afterward and told me that a choir she was involved in was practicing Tension for an upcoming show. I was beside myself. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it along to the gig because I had one of my own that night but I saw footage of the performance and was completely floored. I feel like having someone cover your song is the highest honour…..80+ people covering it in harmony is a whole new level! I’ve since spoken directly with Phia, the choir director and we’ve tossed a few ideas around for future collabs, so stay tuned!
10 You’ve collaborated with so many amazing artists. What do you look for when you’re choosing to collaborate with someone? Asking for a friend.
The thing that most attracts me to collaboration is getting a peek into someone else’s process. Artmaking is so personal and we all do it in our own particular way. I feel like over time, you narrow in on this ‘bag of tricks’ that you favour and although that absolutely shapes your voice and stamps your flavour on your work – it’s also nice to challenge yourself to play outside those parameters when you can….I guess to expand your skill set, experiment and try new things in pursuit of new results. Staying still kinda frightens me. I feel like collaboration makes you a more diverse, adaptable artist.
Choosing collaborators/collaborative opportunities kinda just comes down to fit – whether or not I like the person and their work and the ability for the combination to yield rewarding results for either or both parties OR time – cuz I am BUSY. Or how much you can pay me. I love money 😉
If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live