Interview – Penelope Pettigrew

Penelope Pettigrew is a pop singer with a difference, as her songs are much better than the usual slew of samey songs usually found in the mainstream pop charts. I recently checked out her song Jelly and wanted to find out more…

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Jelly, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song? What does the title refer to?

Jelly was written by me, Justin Martins, Matt Riley and Justine Eltakchi, and was produced by Justin Martins and Matt Riley.

It’s short for jealous, it’s a brag song with a bite. It celebrates stepping into your power and finding who you are, while also telling the haters to like it or lump it. This is an attitude that I want to empower my followers with so they worry less about what people say and just keep being fabulous and living their truth.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

The pandemic did put a hold on the live performance side of my work, but I spent that time writing and recording. The live music scene took some time to come back so I spent that time performing at Universal which is a drag club on Oxford Street. It was there that I started to explore more of myself as an artist and ended up evolving in so many ways. I’m so grateful to the community that I’ve become a part of for welcoming me in with so much love.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I have started co-writing, all of my latest and upcoming releases are co-writes, I love the process of collaborating with likeminded people, bouncing ideas off each other and seeing where it goes.

In terms of recording, I spent so much time on stage as a live singer so adjusting to the recording booth and maintaining the energy I feel on stage has been interesting, but a great challenge.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future? Have you started writing for an EP or an album?

I am in the last stages of finalising my first EP, I will also release two more tracks from the EP as singles between now and September.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

My influences include Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Todrick Hall, Tove Lo, Ashnikko, Kim Petras, & Netta.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world?

I am based in Sydney, it is so encouraging to see more and more queer artists in the Sydney scene!

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

My EP launch is September 16th at Universal on Oxford Street. I am also performing songs off my EP in a Cabaret Cirque show called Tender at Low 302 on Crown Street in Darlinghurst. We sold out our first run of the show and are excited to bring it back on July 1st.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

The show is an auditory and visual sensory feast where audiences will be immersed in a sexy and enticing experience; from passionate power house vocals by yours truly, to a cast of incredible dancers and mind blowing aerialists, as well as live musicians. There is for sure something in this show to tantalise any individual.

Any last words for the fans?

To my wonderful fans – I want to thank them for showing me so much love and support and I want to encourage them to keep living their truth and being a positive influence on the world around them. You never know what that one small act of kindness can mean to someone.