KST Connects with Boca Chica

Boca Chica is one of those rare assemblages that does not allow its sound to be classified into a particular genre.

Begun by childhood friends Hallie Pritts and Susanna Meyer, Boca Chica has gained popularity in Pittsburgh and beyond by blending sounds of folk, bluegrass, country and indie rock. Their debut self-titled EP is a collection of seven original songs and is a bold entrée to this young band’s beginnings as a distinctive voice in Pittsburgh music scene.

Boca Chica’s front-woman Pritts, 28, of Pittsburgh, shared with writer Michelle Massie & KST Connect some of her inspirations and influences as to how she creates her unique sound.

Genre: Indie-Folk

Current project: Boca Chica

Web site:

MM: When did you become interested in music, and who were some of your earlier influences?

HP: I spent a lot of time listening to my mom’s record collection when I was a kid.  Some of my earliest favorites were Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Carol King; Donovan; and the Beatles.

MM: Which artists are you currently listening to?

HP: Currently, I’m pretty into Andrew Bird and Dr. Dog.

MM: What inspires you?

HP: Seeing live music is really important to me.  If I didn’t see great bands on a regular basis, I don’t think I’d write songs.

MM: What is the importance of recognizing women in music?

There are tons of women doing really cool things out there, but it’s a bit harder for them to get their stuff recognized.

MM: What sets Boca Chica apart from other bands?

HP: We like to sort of dabble in a few different genres—folk, of course, but we’ve been a bit more rock and roll lately which is fun.  We also have been known to play a little country, a little “freak folk.”

MM: What have you learned as a working artist that has helped you in your career?

HP: I guess it’s important to ask yourself if this is really what you want to do.  If you knew that you were never going to get recognized for your art, if you were never going to make any money, would you still do it?

MM: How important is it that you write your own material?

HP: I don’t think I would have lasted very long if I wasn’t playing my own songs.  It’s fun to play covers, but it’s more cathartic to play your own stuff.

MM: How would you describe your creative process?

HP: Creativity comes and goes.  Sometimes you’ll write three songs in a week.  Sometimes you won’t write anything for three months.  It’s hard to chase it down.  You just have to wait for it to come.

MM: Any new projects on the horizon? Can you tell KST Connect about it?

HP: Oh yes.  We’ve got a new album in the works.  It’s about 75 percent done.  We’re hoping to put it out sometime this year.  We worked with Machine Age Studios in Polish Hill.  Christopher McDonald engineered it and is doing a lot of the production.  I’m really excited about it.  We have a great band and great songs and I can’t wait for it to be done.

MM: What can your fans look forward to from you in the future?

HP: A new album!  And new songs.

MM: What would you like your legacy to be?

HP: Wow!  That’s quite the question! I’m not sure how to answer that, but I would like it if someone picked up our record in 30 years and could listen to it and still think it was good, I would be happy.

Boca Chica appears at SUNSTAR March 5, 2009 along with Joy Ike, Heather Kropf & Bianca Atterberry.

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