By Marley Amphlett
Image: Callan Avis
Penny Purr embodies a unique brand of fierce femininity. When listening to Purrs’ tracks punters will notice a sudden change from soft, sweet-as-honey vocals to swiftly spat spoken word raps. Purrs’ lyrics tell personal tales of struggle and triumph.
Purr cites her creative outlets as a somewhat therapeutic process. “My creative journey began as a poet and spoken word artist so my main creative focus is the lyrical content, I use it as a way to express what I think and how I feel.” Says Purr.
“I was bullied a lot growing up and had many traumas which created struggles with mental health so poetry and music is what helped me with that and still does.” She continued.
With mental health week having recently concluded, conversations about depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental health issues are being sparked in the public sphere. Mental health is a subject Purr is more than willing to touch on.
“I do feel like publicly talking about mental health is becoming a lot more frequent, the more people that open up about it the more people understand that it’s such a common thing and something that we shouldn’t be ashamed of.
Taking care of ourselves is important – physically, mentally and emotionally once we’ve taken care of ourselves we can care for others and also lead by example for others (for my daughter especially) that is something that I feel is extremely important.”
Purr is a woman of many talents, juggling poetry, rapping, singing, motherhood and modelling. Purr hails from Whangarei, New Zealand and is now a Perth based artist performing on a regular basis.
Notable achievements for Purr include taking home the 2014 Perth RAW artist of the year award in the “Performing Arts” category. In 2015 Purr traded her seamless spoken word for singing, collaborating with Australian rapper, Bluntfield and commencing work with Hip Hop Producer Rob Shaker. “Welcome to Purrgatory” is currently available to purchase.
Purr describes her personal musical style as “A mixed bag of goodies!” It is clear that Purr has a passion and enthusiastic drive behind her artistic practice. “The music itself is a mixture of hip hop, R n b, soul, trap, a bit of dub step-it really all comes together as a result of how I feel, there’s really no limits to creating with the heart” she explains. Purrs music comes from a place of love, honesty and compassion.
So when Purr was approached by Corey Aksenov to participate in a Hip Hop based fundraiser to assist Princess Margaret Hospital she was keen to get on board. “Bluey’s Hip Hop for a cause” will take place at ‘Club Fiumano e Giuliano’ in Welshpool. The event commences on Friday 13th October 2017 and will continue on the following weekend.
Purrs performance will take place in Heat 2 on Saturday 14th October. “The main focus (of the event) is to raise as much money as possible to go towards purchasing the exoskeleton machine” Purr explains. An exoskeleton machine is a wearable device that has the potential to improve the quality of life for someone who has lost the ability to walk.
Purr is just one of many artists who will compete against one another in freestyle battles. Artists advertised to perform during Heat 1 are Modern Day Crisis, Yully, Lucid Reality, Jove, Concrete Block, Kaymass, Xavier Vincent and Mc Chriscoo. Heat 2 will see the following artists on stage: Sirit, Buttaz, Lil Hintz, Nabbi, The Strangers, Shifty, Greesy, Tyler Rivers and of course Penny Purr.
Flyer provided by Corey Aksenov of Pro Social Events/Bluey the Wolf.
The crowd votes will determine the winner. Votes can be placed via Facebook polls. Ultimately the winners are gifted prizes, which have been donated by generous sponsors, including. There is also the potential for ticket holders to win door prizes. Tickets start at $15.00.
“I get a huge sense of fulfilment doing things for others and just doing what I can if possible. When I was asked if I would be willing to do this event, it was a no brainer for me. I also have a little girl and she was in starship hospital in New Zealand when she was 2.
If it wasn’t for particular fundraisers and other organisations that volunteer to help children and families then things could have been very difficult for us so this is my chance to pay it forward.” says Purr.
So how does Penny Purr balance a successful music career and parenthood? Is it challenging to lead a balanced lifestyle?
“I find it pretty easy to balance the creative endeavours with parenthood when I’m focused on what brings me true happiness. They’re both extremely uplifting, although sometimes finding and keeping the balance is a little more difficult for me as I can get easily distracted.
My partner works away – but that’s why I try to reflect often and be aware of everything – constantly finding the things to be grateful for is another way to undo negative patterns and always coming back to asking myself why I do what I do and what results from those actions.”
Fortunately for Purr and other parents who wish to attend “Blueys Hip Hop for a cause” children are welcome. Artists have been asked to censor their material to showcase a family friendly vibe. However there is a licensed area for those wishing to indulge in a weekend beverage.