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Meet Priska

Today we’d like to introduce you to Priska.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
When I was three years old, my mom dropped me off at a friend’s bookstore in Houston, TX. She returned hours later to discover I’d spent the entire three hours facing the bookshelves singing to myself. The bookstore owner was rather charmed by this and could recall with a smile years later the shy, tiny girl who was lost in her own musical world.

I was raised in a very religious household. My father is a pastor and my mother was our church translator, so I was accustomed to seeing both of my parents on stage, singing and speaking, week after week. Growing up in the church allowed me constant access to music: I learned to harmonize by poring over the notes in a hymnal, slowly bending my voice to sing notes outside of the melody. I joined the worship team at 12 years old and was “rebuked” for trying out Christina Aguilera style runs during “Amazing Grace”. (To be fair, their criticism was likely due to the fact that I didn’t sound very good rather than a call out of my stylistic choices.)

At school, I was bullied for a number of years and found it a good reason to retreat even further into the recesses of my mind. Of course, it was difficult but in some ways, I’m grateful for the people that made me feel like an outcast, it taught me to be comfortable with spending time alone and it opened up my imagination in a big way.

At 15, I wrote my first song and it felt like I’d opened up a tap and couldn’t close it. It was one of the most validating, empowering feelings I’d ever had. The only problem was, I still wasn’t a very good singer. I was still singing for hours at a time each day, so my mom concluded that if I was going to do something this often, I might as well get training for it. Voice lessons really transformed not only my voice, but my entire person. My voice teacher, Louie Reyes, was patient, demanding, and unconventional. Gaining the courage to sing full out in front of one person took almost a full year; I found it completely terrifying but once I built up to it, I felt invincible.

From there, I took my newly written songs and went door to door to different coffee shops to ask them if they wanted live music at their establishment. I’d often set up my clunky Casio keyboard in the corner and sing and play, unmic’ed. I had NO idea what I was doing but blind courage kept me going.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m a singer/songwriter and storyteller. I try to write songs about love, loss, and learning to be the hero(ine) of your own story. I absolutely love performing live because no two audiences are the same so it’s a brand new experience each time. You can find my debut EP “State Change” on all streaming platforms.

In 2018, I started focusing on collaborative music projects. I’ve been working closely with artists Paul Dateh and Abraham Kim (who happens to be my husband). Our first single “You Were Mine (For the Summer)” is my first foray into team co-writing, it’s available on all streaming platforms.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
I wish that I didn’t spend so long waiting for permission to create the art I wanted to make.

I spent so much time searching for a magical person who would help take my music to the next level. I didn’t think I had what it took to do it on my own, I needed external approval. And perhaps, 10 or 20 years ago, this may have been the case, but now we live in a time where boundaries are being broken, genres are being splintered and recombined into unrecognizable, zany arrays, and technology for recording is more accessible than ever.

There is no room for excuses, I had to face the fact that the only thing keeping me from doing the damn thing was me. Discovering my own autonomy has been its own battle, but it’s been one worth fighting.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find me at @priskamusik on almost every social channel. Come follow me for updates on my music and other uncategorized shenanigans! Also, not to brag but I’m an avid “liker”, I double-tap like it’s going out of style. I do not hold back.

I also release covers and originals on Spotify/Apple Music, a big shout out to Travis Atreo for his work on producing my first cover series. If you like sad piano music, I’m just a “+” away from landing on your playlists.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Yellow Image: Rozette Rago (So sorry this is vertical but hopefully it’s got enough free room to crop!)
Image #1: Design by Rose Liang
Image #2: Jonathan Chou
Image #4: Chris Denzel
Image #6: Klarisse Gepilano
Image #9: Klarisse Gepilano
Image#10: Sheldon Chau

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