Five Things with Leesa Gentz from Hussy Hicks
1. Growing Up
I was raised on a heavy diet of country music – Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings… you get the picture. My sister and I started singing and playing when we were about ten and by age 11 and 13 we were out playing in pubs across Northern New South Wales.
These days I take most of my creative inspiration from our extended musical family around the world. We’ve spent the past ten years touring solidly and in that time have come across some pretty awesome people making the kind of music you just don’t get to hear through mainstream media. A very rough shortlist of my highly recommended is: Krystle Warren, The Mulligan Brothers, Liz Stringer, Karl S Williams, Kristy Lee, Schrav… it could go on forever. Plus Blake Mills and Mavis Staples (who I don’t know personally but absolutely adore).
3. Your Band
Hussy Hicks is essentially Julz Parker and me; we’ve been playing together since 2005 and over that period have collaborated with loads of wonderful musicians, most notably our rhythm section Tracy Stephens and Rohan Hems. We kind of accidentally became a band because we loved hanging out and playing music and both of us had the travel bug – Hussy Hicks was the result.
4. The Music You Make
A difficult-to-classify jumble of folk, roots, country, funk, soul, surf and ’80s-inspired power ballads. Our live show is always different depending on the day, but you can be sure it’ll be high-energy, interactive, fun and passionate with loads of harmonies, percussion and some pretty mind-blowing guitar playing.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
As an independent musician I absolutely love the musical world we exist in at the moment. I hear a lot of people complaining about the state of the industry and I find the constant budget cuts to the arts really hard to take, but all in all we have a wonderful global network of music makers and music lovers that support each other and work to build a really healthy creative scene. I’m grateful every day that I get to live amongst it.