ARTIST NAME: Gitta de Ridder


SONG TITLE: Man of the Light


ALBUM TITLE: To Our Children


ALBUM RELEASE DATE: 10/10/2020

GENRE: Folk/New Acoustic/ Singer-Songwriter

 

 

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This acclaimed singer-songwriter hailing from the Dutch Newlands performs with a purity and simplicity that would melt the heart of even the greatest cynic.

 

In her latest work audibly inspired by Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ and early day releases of Scandinavian songstress Ane Brun. She manages to cross genre-borders from modern folk and new acoustics to pop throughout her records while maintaining a clearly recognizable sound and style. Where the poetry of words meets the honesty and rawness of folk music, she brings in lightness and pop-edge without losing sight of meaning and authenticity.

 

With two albums and an EP to her name this lady has seen support from BBC6, BBC Scotland, IRE1, 8Radio Ireland, Dutch Radio 2, and Radio 5, as well as many local stations and Folk/Americana, focused blogs/publications. The recording of her 3rd album, being released in monthly installments throughout 2020, took her through 8 European countries on an 8-month tour in a converted old-timer Dutch postal-truck. This is a lady full of stories to tell and songs to sing who’s tunes will leave you with a smile on your face and a mind full of wonder.

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Tell us about your favourite instruments.
My favourite instrument would be the guitar seeing it gave me a wonderful tool for songwriting. That said I love little toy instruments. And if one counts the voice as an instrument that would be no.1 for sure!

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Tell us your preferred musical styles.
I love many styles of music, to be honest. But my preference goes to acoustic and world music. Music that is ‘song-based’ that tells a story or makes me feel something.

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List the name of five artists that have influenced you.
All in different ways: Paul Simon, Ane Brun, Gwen Stefanie, Bjork, Leonard Cohen.

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Tell us your recording experience in the studio.
When I first started doing my own records, after many bands/collaborations, I made a bunch of demos on my own. Friends responded really well to them so I got a couple mixed to see how they’d come out. And it worked really well! This is how I ended up doing my first record ‘Feathers’ that came out back in 2016.

 

For my second album, I craved more collaboration and had been wanting to work with my friend Stephen Hodd (Former projects of his include Lou Rhodes of Lamb and Passenger) so we went into the studio to record ‘For Everything a Season’ together. Recordings for this were split up into three trips of 4 days to a remote cottage where there was nothing but the two of us and the recording room. It was quite magical! We played about with sound and used the piano as reverb and toyed with all sorts of instruments.


For the third (and current) album ‘To Our Children’ I employed a combination of the two previous methods. Recoding the back-bone of vocals and guitars with Stephen in the remote cottage in Suffolk, UK – then I took this on the road with me and recorded additional parts myself during an 8 month trip through Europe. I worked with people in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, France, UK, and the Netherlands in an attempt to make an eclectic record incorporating many of Europe’s more traditional folk sounds.

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Tell us about your experience with the music industry.
Music is a spiritual thing, the music industry is not. It’s a business and business is about profit and sales. And a focus on profit or sales and creative freedom is a challenging mix.

 

The further I walk my own path the more I realize it’s about the fans and about me connecting directly to them. It’s not about ‘big’ and ‘many’ but about ‘real’ and ‘special’. But every artist needs to find their own way in this.

 

 

And for pop-music the game is entirely different as it’s often about mystery, being cool, and being put on a pedestal. The industry runs that game. But the industry also offers many tools for artists to build their own connection with followers. That’s the beauty of the current time I think.
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Explain vocal training.
Vocal training is about grounding into your own voice and giving it the physical space, breathe and support it needs to speak and sing with honesty and feeling.

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Discuss your songwriting.
Songwriting for me is about letting go of judgment. It is about flowing with whatever comes and giving ‘crap’ songs the light of day too as they are stepping stones to the next thing.

 

Stagnation comes when we stop the flow and judge ourselves too much in the process. It’s about feeling. I suppose though it’s helpful to have an understanding of the structure and some other basic songwriting rules/methods, and all rules are there to break.

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Tell us your other talents apart from singing.
I make my own illustrations, write stories & poetry, build my own website, self-manage and release my music, play guitar, and a bit of piano, and organize occasional events/festivals.

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Tell us your plans in terms of your music career.
To keep creating music and art and to keep bringing something meaningful to people that need it. Whatever shape or form that will take, time will tell.

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Tell us the worst experience in your music career.
There are none. All things lead to another thing.

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Discuss your music career in detail.
I started singing at 6 in a kids’ choir, played the violin. I stopped playing the violin but started playing guitar at 12. I started writing songs then too. I love it! From school band leading to my own band, to another school band, to studying music in a music school (B.A. of music) to all the different projects I’ve been part of (rock band, trip-hop duo, pop/rock duo, solo work started in 2014) 1st EP in 2015 (Come Find Me), album 1 – 2016, album 2 – 2018, album 3 – 2020. And we’ll see from here… 🙂

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Tell us what fans are saying on your music.
They say all sorts of lovely things. The most heart-warming being that my music somehow made them feel something real and meaningful. Or made them think differently. Or see the world perhaps differently in a brighter light.

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Elaborate on your music project.
I write songs and love recording them/performing them and sharing moments with folks that want to listen. Just me, most of the time. I’d love to be in a position to do more band/group performances but who knows what the future holds.
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State the reason you are into music.

Music is emotion. We can only experience music in the ‘here and now’ as it is never static. And it is a vehicle that can bring us home to ourselves.

 

 


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