Local artist profile: Sherri Parry
THIS week we speak with singer-songwriter and performer Sherri Parry, who you can catch at various venues during this weekend’s Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival
What initially motivated you to become a musician and songwriter?
I picked up a violin when I was seven because my sister did. I quickly realised I hated it and found a larger hunk of wood, turned it sideways and chucked the bow. I played the thing relentlessly while belting along to Paramore songs for long enough that the rest of the house knew all the lyrics. At some point I realised I was kinda good at stringing a melody through pretty words, and I belted those instead. But I didn’t realise that I could pursue a career from something I loved for a long time. If I’m honest, it wasn’t all that much of a decision but instead a very, very lucky path I landed on.
How would you describe your style and how did you develop it?
I have no idea. The music I write seems to drastically change depending on what’s happening, what I’ve been listening to lately, how much fresh air I got that week. The best description we’ve gotten it down to is a merge of alt pop, neo soul, folky melodies and jazzy chords. I’ve never really intentionally worked on developing my sound. Maybe that’s why it’s a complete mess of genres.
Which other musicians inspire you?
The musicians I get to work with! My band mates, my friends, which I’m lucky are synonymous. Watching them love what they do and how beautifully they do it is what inspires me.
What are some highlights you have from your career so far?
Definitely John Butler. I was extremely lucky to open for him at the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival in 2019 at Ulumbarra Theatre. I was shit scared. I’d been sick with a cold for weeks beforehand and I was so nervous to be on the big stage, opening for a world-renowned musician. But the second I stepped on stage, I felt so welcomed and loved by the cheering audience. I hadn’t even done anything yet. The set I played was easily one of the best feeling ones to date thanks to that audience.
How has your practice been affected by COVID?
How hasn’t it been affected by COVID, would issue a shorter answer. COVID completely uprooted everyone’s lives but it did it so gutturally to the performing arts. For a hot minute there, a lot of us lost what we lived for. To make things even spicier, I’d released my album Leave The Flowers six weeks before the first lockdown. Coming out of that era is still a task sometimes. But now I have years, literally, of new perspectives to write from because of it.
How can people check out your work?
I’ve got all the usual things where you can find me @sherriparry. There’s lots of music on Spotify and lots of wine and cat content on Insta. Sometimes there’s music there but I won’t promise it.
What would you say to young regional aspiring musicians who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?
It’s definitely not an industry for the faint of heart or thin skinned. But no matter what level of it you find yourself at, it’s extremely rewarding. If you have a passion for it, do it