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INTERVIEW: NYC Artist GOLDA

Pic by Laura Boyd

Hi Golda, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great! Thanks so much for chatting with me.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Planet Of A Girl”?

Sure. “Planet of a Girl” is about accepting yourself and deciding to go for what you want in life. It’s about knowing that you don’t fit a certain mold and deciding that you’re okay with it.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I’ve been immersed in the fat positive world for over ten years. I even spent a number of years as a fat positive blogger and coach. So for the most part, I’m very accepting of myself and positive about the way I look. But since I grew up fat, steeped in diet culture, and believing I had to lose weight in order for others to accept me, I still have my moments of doubt.

“Planet of a Girl” came from that place. I saw a picture of myself on stage and thought to myself, “I’m a planet of a girl.” Just meaning that I’m very round. But then I immediately thought, “well, what’s wrong with that?” I played around with that concept in the song, where the narrator basically accepts the fact that she’s a planet of a girl and asks the person she’s singing to to come along for the ride and be her satellite.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I shot all of the driving scenes on my iphone X, just driving around Queens and Long Island. My car is one of my favorite places to listen to music and I wanted to give the viewer that same feeling of driving around listening to a favorite song.

The single comes off your new album Be My Satellite – what’s the story behind the title?

There’s a line in the chorus of “Planet of a Girl” that goes like this: “I’m a planet of a girl, I know. Won’t you be my satellite?” So the song is basically saying, “Yeah, I know I’m a planet of a girl, but revolving around me might be pretty cool.” In other words, I’ve accepted who I am, why not come along for the ride? In a way, I’m asking the audience to be my satellite too. Like, I’m plus sized and I’m older than a lot of the artists you listen to, but you can still dig my music.

How was the recording and writing process?

I love to write, so when I started working on this album I had over 20 songs in consideration for the album. I only play bass, and my producer (Tony Calabro of Astoria Park Recording) is also my bass teacher. Tony plays all of the instruments on the album except for bass, which I play, and harmonica, which my husband Jeff plays. (Jeff is a wonderful guitarist too, and he’s my sideman when I play out.) I love the whole process of writing and recording. Everything from building out vocal harmonies to rearranging songs to deciding how “produced” a song should be is so much fun. Because of time constraints, we worked on the album in short recording sessions for over a year, which really gave us both time to listen to changes to each song and determine what the end result should really sound like.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?

In some ways, yes. My first album, A Little Luck, has some of the first songs I ever wrote, and in the last few years I’ve grown a lot as a songwriter in terms of lyrical and melodic choices. But both albums are still very me and very folk rock/ Americana.

What role does Queens play in your music?

I’ve lived in Astoria, Queens since 2005. Queens has always been a sort of middle ground to me: it’s got the great food and walkability of Manhattan, with some of the quieter comforts of where I grew up in Long Island. Astoria also has a great, eclectic music scene of its own. There’s a ton of great music here.

What made you want to deep dive more into your Blues roots?

I really never set out to write in any particular genre. I guess that’s one of the “perks” of being an indie songwriter. But I love to delve into sadness in my songs, and I love structure and repetition within verses, so those things together make my songs quite bluesy.

What aspect of body positivity did you get to explore on this record?

I feel like fat positivity and body positivity filter into my work in kind of subtle ways. “Planet of a Girl,” which I’ve already talked about a bunch, is perhaps a little less subtle.

“Reject You First” is also very much about rejecting others as a form of self protection. The kernel of that song came from my producer, who was then my bass teacher, saying to me that he thought I didn’t like him when I first started coming to him for lessons. In reality I liked him quite a bit, but I assumed on some level that he was this cool musician who wouldn’t like me. so I was guarded and maybe not so nice to him! It made me wonder too who else I had pushed away in my life inadvertently.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I find inspiration in so many places. Often it comes from a feeling I have, where I’m trying to tell a story that conveys that feeling. Often the words that direct the song come from that feeling. Like, the first line in “A Sunny Day Like This” is “I wore this dress to your funeral on a sunny day like this.” When I wrote that song, I was on a lunch break at work on a warm sunny day, wearing a black dress that I had worn to a friend’s funeral years before. I realized it was the same dress and the same temperature and I felt again that incongruity of feeling terribly sad on a beautiful day. Truthfully, those feelings are always my favorite to evoke in songs – the touch of misery when you should be happy or vice versa.

Any plans to hit the road?

For right now we’re just playing locally, but I hope to have us branch out a bit more and do more shows around the Northeast.

What else is happening next in GOLDA’s world?

I’m just looking forward to playing more gigs this summer and having more folks hear this album. And I’m already working on the next one!

Find more info here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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