Gabriella Cohen - “I adore it and all the things we do and I don’t think of doing anything else.“By Kimberley Price
Gabriella Cohen’s mix of trumpets, strong guitar riffs and blues voice has found this genre-warping performer becoming increasingly popular amongst music lovers.
Since coming on the scene in 2014 with her band The Furrs, Cohen has since moved to solo work, releasing albums in 2016 and 2018.
“I guess I’ve been doing music since I was really little,” she said
“I became aware of the big, bad industry when I started The Furrs in 2014 and I guess we started doing it commercially.
“I’ve been playing since I was really young, it’s what I put all my energy into.
“I was self-taught. I didn’t do music in school until year 10, I wasn’t very good and the teacher wasn’t very good either.
“Although I did have a few lessons with this brilliant opera singer, which was really great.”
Listening to Cohen’s voice, her deep, round vocals are enchanting while her songs tell tales of love and longing.
“I write absolutely everything usually in my book, on guitar or piano. I’ve always done that and I really enjoy it.
“I used to only get inspiration from for real, unrequited love. That sounds trivial when these days you could be writing about so much more.
“But I’ve been really happy lately so I haven’t been writing as much.
“I need to force myself to write everything which I haven’t been doing.
“I’m generally inspired by nature. I’m a slave to the beauty of nature. I write in nature, not really about it. I just need to have trees and greenery around to look at.
“I live in Crystal Water which is a permaculture village half an hour north of Maleny. It’s the best, a green sanctuary and I never want to leave.’’
Cohen said when writing she usually got the melody first and the lyrics come after.
It might just be a catchphrase but she said it was all based around a good melody.
Breaking into the ‘big, bad industry’ as she called it was actually not a difficult feat for Cohen. Perhaps her original vocals – a mix of folk, blues and soft-rock – helped her establish a strong name in niche markets.
Or her alternative mix of instruments, from guitars, trumpets, shakers and more, helped separate herself from the others. Whatever the reason, Cohen’s tunes will have you grooving all afternoon long.
“All in all I’ve had a terrifically positive experience in the music industry,” she said.
“I adore it and all the things we do and I don’t think of doing anything else.
“I don’t think I’m the only one in this market though, I think it’s saturated, particularly in Australia. Which I think is great.
“I think Courtney Barnett really paved the way for girls on guitar singing folk songs.
‘‘Then alternative music has paved the way for stations like triple j, not the other way round — they caught on to the market.’’
Cohen said she believed people were discovering music online and for themselves and being inspired by artists through social media.
She said she preferred to think that’s what’s dictating the industry, not the other way round.
‘‘But I’m not part of the mainstream world so maybe my opinion is skewed.”
Opening the Riverboats stage on Friday, Cohen said she was excited to be going.
‘‘I think it’s a wonderful festival and it’s one of the last shows I’m doing with my band because we’re going our separate ways, so it’ll be special.”
Gabriella Cohen – Baby (Official Video)
Gabriella Cohen - I Don't Feel So Alive
Interviewed by: Kimberley Price.
Voice: Vivienne Duck.
Produced by: Kimberley Price and Vivienne Duck.
A Riverine Herald production.