Gena Rose Bruce first came to our attention because of her visually striking videos including “Angel Face”
The song comes off Bruce’s debut album Can’t Make You Love Me. This Australian artist was due to make her American debut at SXSW. Her introspective lyrics have a life all their own. She recently released a cover of Harry Styles Adore You
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Can’t Make You Love Me?
GRB: I think the whole production process was dragged out longer than I would have liked due to the fact I was working multiple part time jobs trying to pay for it all. Between writing, recording, mixing then mastering, it can get very expensive very quickly.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about Tim Harvey. How did you meet? What made you decide to have him produce the album?
GRB: I had known Tim previously just through the Melbourne music community, and we had always shared a real appreciation for the same type of music. When I played Tim the demos to the album he responded with all the same references to me and I could just get a sense he was truly passionate about working with me on this project.
FEMMUSIC: I read your songwriting starts with lyrics. Can you describe your songwriting technique?
GRB: It’s different every time, but for me to even begin creating I need to be in a good head space. To be able to allow myself to write with no judgment, that takes a lot of restraint and patience as naturally you want everything you write to be the best and it can be completely disheartening when it’s not sounding the way you want. Words are always what I’m drawn too, It will often start with a sentence or a refrain then I will take that to the piano or guitar and go from there.
FEMMUSIC: Please tell me about your vision for the album.
GRB: There was no real vision at the start, I was just going through a hard time personally and needed a project to dive into as release. It then naturally became a work of songs about healing and moving on.
FEMMUSIC: Now that Can’t Make Love You Me is out and touring is suspended. What are you writing now?
GRB: Well it’s been good chance to stop and reflect, I think I am still in a stage where I am writing from personal experiences and using writing as a way to deal with life.
FEMMUSIC: On that same line, COVID-19 has impacted everyone differently. Have you found any new creative outlets with it?
GRB: I’ve been learning classical piano via Zoom lesson and that’s been really fulfilling.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
GRB: There really isn’t one song that jumps out, but more like artists, I can’t get enough of Roy Orbison’s voice right now, That has really influenced the new music I’ve been working on and the way I am composing the melodies.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
GRB: I have found I have always had this hesitation to refer myself as a guitarist, even though I’ve been playing guitar for 13 years. It’s like as a women you have to be exceptionally good to be able to refer yourself as musician and to not have people tell you how to play or give you “tips” constantly. I’m lucky to have a great band and support team around me where this type of mentality is not tolerated.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
GRB: Bryan Ferry, because he is a musical legend and to witness that voice night after night would be something very special.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
GRB: I think there needs to be more financial support from the government, there is so many people working in the industry that are managing 2 or 3 jobs at a time, just trying support their art and that can really take a toll on our mental health.