Dirty Dozen: Gitta De Ridder

 

Gitta De Ridder, 2016Anglo-Dutch singer-songwriter Gitta De Ridder has announced the release of her new album ‘Feathers’ on September 21st.  An album which follows a true creative vision, focused on the words that make stories come to life, it explores relationships, romance, family and cities, and all that makes us human. Recorded mostly in Gitta’s London home-studio with one-take vocals and guitar recordings layered with children’s toy instruments, cello’s and other sounds; ‘Feathers’ was created intuitively, realising the treasures are in that what comes naturally.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
Growing up in the Netherlands I left my family home at 19 which led me on a little bit of a journey around Germany, Italy, Ireland and finally the UK where I settled in 2008.

I guess musically it was a similarly long journey through different genres and musical forms arriving back at my original ‘voice and guitar’ setting in 2014. I was lucky enough to record my first single ‘Mr Yesterday’ with Jeremy Stacey who inspired me to follow the ‘focus on song, simplicity and live performance in recording’ route. This led me to record my first EP ‘Come find Me’ with a couple of wonderful players all live in one room, this was released early 2015. After this I wondered where to go next, I wanted to make my first Album but didn’t know how and with who. I started to Demo tracks and realised that working on my own I had a lot of space for exploring production and arrangements and it all felt really honest and nice to work in that way, so that’s how I ended up doing the Album by myself. Live takes in my home studio, layered with all the sounds I could find around me. Then enriched with some wonderful playing by some friend-musicians. The Album is out on the 21st of September and I have rarely felt more excited!

How would you describe your music?
My music it would fit within the ‘modern folk’ bracket. It’s guitar based songs with a lot of focus on the words and the feeling that comes with the words. I try to keep things simple and leave space for my vocal to say what it needs to say.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
I grew up with many influences but I’d say most shaping are artists such as Anais Mitchell, Ane Brun, Iron & Wine, Rachel Sermanni, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and more. The list goes on. I love a good song, some heart-filled words and some musical honesty.

What are you currently promoting?
On the 7th of September my new single ‘Even If’ came out leading in to the release of my first album ‘Feathers’. It’s been some time coming and I’m so happy to finally be able to put a more substantial body of work out into the world! My heart and soul went into this and I can’t wait to share!

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
To be quite honest the Album is full of songs very close to my heart. One I’m very fond of is ‘Till The Day That I Die’ also due to the arrangements on the track and what the words mean to me, but I’m not sure it’s overtakes the others in fondness-levels 😉

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been listening to a lof of Agnes Obel, Villagers, Gregory Alan Isakov, Angel Olsen and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy in the last weeks. Oh my there is so much beautiful music out there!!

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
That’s a tough one, but something that’s always meant a lot to me is Iron & Wine’s ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’

What are your hopes for your future career?
To be able to write, make records and perform the songs to people who want to hear them. The more time I have to do this, the more grateful I feel. Even though I’m at the start of my journey I feel so happy to even be able to do this! It’s such a beautiful journey!

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Ah, well, I’d go into the Studio with my friend ‘Stephen Hodd’ (which is already part of my plan) and record Album #2, if we could be able to do live recordings with a bunch of amazing musicians and string players. Also I’d love to one day do some shows with an actual orchestra. Blimey that would be magic. I’ve seen Fink do this amazingly, it’s very inspiring!

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Being able to play music, travel and connect to people on such an emotional and personal level. The conversations with my ‘fans’ are so heartwarming at times and I feel so lucky to be able to share my world with those around me!

And the worst?
I guess sometimes I feel bogged down by all the ‘Admin’ side of things. The business choices and financial side of things can make things quite hard. I always try to do the best I can but we’re always partly at the mercy of who we know and who is willing to help us forwards.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?

Yes! THANK YOU FOR LOVING MUSIC! first and foremost. Without people loving music people who love to make music would have less reason to do so. And I hope you come check out my music, and if you like it do let me know! 🙂 I’m out there on all the social media places and such, so I’m easy to find!

Author: Rudie Humphrey

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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