With a voice that often garners comparison to the late Amy Winehouse, it’s clear Rita Satch was meant for music. Much like Deejay Lala who we met last month, Rita grew up admiring the sounds that Lauryn Hill gave the world. She admits that poppier music wasn’t really her thing, saying, “I was that weird kid at school who listened to old school rock and roll, jazz and blues. I grew up on Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles, all of the greats.” In her teen years she fell into ‘90s rap but really found solace in acts like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. Her influences and natural gifts soon shaped into a sound that has helped gain attention in her local soul scene — one that she comments is all about community. She and some of the other artists from it are actually working together on a project called “Women of Soul.”
Her voice has also landed her on stage with some of Australia’s best; Renee Geyer, Kate Ceberano and Christine Anu. She pinches herself every time a show with one of these women gets booked and while it is an eye opening and grand experience — Rita admits that there are definitely some other artists on her bucket list when it comes to who she’d love to share a stage with. Paolo Nutini, Robert Glasper and Mathieu Chedid are just a few she names off the top of her head.
Rita’s voice is impeccable, but what I was really drawn to was her songwriting. Balancing personal with out of the box, the songstress opened up about when she puts pen to paper, “I find that it is always easier to write what you know, it’s when you’re most honest and often that’s what people resonate with the most. Having said that I don’t always write from a personal perspective, it’s often fun to experiment with different writing techniques and try something out of your comfort zone. The other day I wrote a song from the perspective of a homeless man who I saw busking on the streets of Paris while I was over there. He left such an impact on me that I just had to write about it.”
A lot of her music also touches on love and heartbreak, and is an undeniable theme throughout her work. She penned “Love You Like I Do” after a breakup but assures us that she does go deeper than that; evoking childhood memories as well as her travels. Basically the things people relate to, which takes us back to heartbreak (of course). When you write a song called “Heartbreaker,” one has to know that person’s advice for dealing with such pain. Rita’s advice is to stay away from those people unless you like the drama; which she admits she does because it helps with her writer’s block sometimes.
Heartache aside, Rita has had quite the ride so far with her career. She once got to hear one of her idols, Mary J. Blige, doing vocal warm-ups backstage at a festival and she just got home from a European tour this summer. So she’s taking a short break before she gets back to work writing new material, but she’s also open to returning to the UK for more shows next year. So be on the lookout for more to come from Rita Satch come 2016.