I’ve never been much of a cat guy. Their indifferent attitude is a little off-putting, not to mention that their food smells suspiciously delicious. Plus, when I was a kid my dog got his ass handed to him by a much smaller cat, an incredibly embarrassing incident for the both of us. Luckily, today we’re dealing with a cat that makes me smile broadly rather than shudder. I am of course talking about the fabulous Deena, and our premiere of her brand spankin’ new track Black Cat.
Deena flirts with danger and heartbreak on her rousing, sultry new track Black Cat.
Deena is a folk singer-songwriter with a touch of blues who is based in good old Bris-vegas but originally hails from Yokohama, Japan. She released her debut album Lone Wolf two years ago, and after much performing, writing, contemplating, and then starting over again from scratch Deena is poised to release her follow up Black Cat. Ahead of the release and her subsequent Aussie tour Deena spoke to Happy about her physical and emotional journeys taken to get to this stage, the importance of having a good support team and her love of food.
HAPPY: Here we are on the eve of the release of your sophomore album! Could you tell us about the road travelled to get to this point?
DEENA: Black Cat was a bit of a troublemaker. I graduated from university mid last year and was met at a crossroad with what I should be doing with myself career wise. I paused on gigs, doubted my music and let the recordings collect dust for a while. Once I got my mojo back, I had the mixing done again to give a fresh spin on them, collaborated with Graham Ritchie to come up with a remix of one of the tracks and then decided to do a crowdfunding campaign to help fund the rest of the things I needed to do to get them ready – mastering, manufacturing and a music video. Since then I’ve been in Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia to celebrate the release of the first single off the record, Cupid. I’ll be coming home tomorrow from South East Asia to kick off the second single and album Black Cat in Australia.
HAPPY: How does this experience compare to the release of your debut Lone Wolf?
DEENA: Black Cat was definitely different. I had a great backing band behind me of Joe Fallon on electric guitar, Jack Killalea on bass guitar and Luke Sampson on drums and so I had them to lean on while recording the album. I also did this album at home in Brisbane so I had the support of many talented locals, friends and family. For Lone Wolf I went AWOL and told family and friends I was backpacking around America for 6 months when in fact I set up camp in Orange County to record my debut album. I had never really publicly dabbled in music before then so I was scared to tell people what I was doing. No secrets for Black Cat now (laughs).
HAPPY: The title track for your album Black Cat seems to relate a story of a risky flirtation with a questionable individual, am I correct?
DEENA: Bingo! Lone Wolf was influenced by a passing of a close friend of mine and Black Cat was about a heartbreak that could’ve been avoided.
HAPPY: Recently you’ve been doing a lot of touring and gigging around Asia. I imagine that must be something else?
DEENA: Most definitely, touring in Asia is one of my favourite aspects of music. I’ve met some amazing and inspiring people that encourage me to keep trudging along. It’s only second nature for me (being half Asian) to want to take my music beyond Australia and share it with both sides of my heritage.
HAPPY: You’ve also have Remedy PR in your corner, how does that impact on your career as a muso?
DEENA: Being an independent artist also meant that I was a one man team for a long while. So having Remedy PR take care of one facet of the music business has been a huge help. The girls there are absolutely passionate and amazing. It has also allowed me to have more time with creativity and songwriting – I sometimes forgot that that is what a musician is all about. As an impact on career, the press they’ve lined up for me means that I get exposure to different audiences I haven’t had before.
HAPPY: Your album titles seem to follow an adjective/ animal pattern. Is there any chance we may see Ponderous Octopus hitting the airwaves anytime in the future?
DEENA: Did you have to spoil the title for album number three?! (laughs) I take my albums as collections of stories throughout my life so I wanted each of them to follow a theme as I bound them in chapters.
HAPPY: At Happy we always like to talk about music that makes us feel super duper dandy, so what makes you happy?
DEENA: Easy – food, travel and of course, music. And food.
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