Sietta will leave you mystified when they take the stage at the 2014 El Grande Festival.
Sietta will leave you mystified when they take the stage at the 2014 El Grande Festival. Contributed

Smooth sounds of blues enthusiast smoke up El Grande

HER vocals are filled with deep beauty and tranquility - smooth, obsessive, strong and uniquely intriguing. And together with bass player and songwriter James Mangohig, Caiti Barker is making a mark in the music industry as Sietta.

Originally from Adelaide, Caiti Baker and James have spent many years moving from their birth city to places like Darwin, Brisbane and now Melbourne.

The duo met in Brisbane in 2005 and were unaware at the time their talents would later combine.

Caiti said it was slightly weird moving around so much.

"It's just so nice to come home to a house - and for the last three years we've both been living out of backpacks and suitcases. But in saying that, I get itchy to travel."

And for Caiti, travel is certainly something in her blood.

Her father was a blues musician back in the day, raising talented Caiti on a "good healthy diet of blues, soul, blues rock and roll…all pre-1980s," she said.

As a child Caiti would travel up to Darwin once a year for a two to three week stint, with her Dad's gigs as a blues musician.

"Blues is the foundation of all pop music. It's timeless," Caiti said, now obviously a huge fan.

Since those days, the singer has travelled Singapore, London and Liverpool - her favourite being London.

"It's a no brainer - we found our music definitely goes down well in London."

It's mostly based on something that's affected myself or James or friends and family. Otherwise I can have the ability to take on a roll of someone else - character playing

James and Caiti are both passionate people and their caring nature is evident through their song lyrics and melodies.

Both work in youth work, although Caiti is a graphic designer by trade.

Currently Caiti works for an emergency care services agency for underage minors coming through immigration as asylum seekers.

"Hanging out with a lot of youth and identifying with their stories, hearing about their backgrounds and upbringings, I guess ignites ideas for narrative and song writing," she admitted.

But generally, Sietta's songs spring from personal experiences.

"It's mostly based on something that's affected myself or James or friends and family. Otherwise I can have the ability to take on a roll of someone else - character playing," she said.

Caiti said they had probably released about 35 songs and definitely written 200-300 using a combination of techniques to write their music.

"Depending on where we are or what the mood is, we could sit down and write together on a guitar, or James will give me a drum track and I'll build cords for him to add in later, or he'll give me some lyrics and we'll work together on those."

Yet whatever the method, Sietta has come through with some beautiful results.

"It's definitely blues music, soul and the sounds coming out of the UK at the moment," Caiti said.

"We use a lot of percussive music, world folk and world indigenous music."

The duo even write for Universal Publishing (writing for other artists). The refined singer said some of their songs are synced to TV and movies.

They have been played on Packed to the Rafters and, "we have a song coming up on Wentworth," Caiti said.

Later this year the duo plan on a trip to the Canadian Music Week in May.

"It's been approved," Caiti said with a touch of excitement. "We have slots and it just depends on funding now."

Sietta's second album, The Invisible River, will also be a must-check-out at its release on February 21.

"It's very exciting," she said. "And we're also really excited to come to Gladstone - to experience it in the festival form."

DETAILS

WHAT: El Grande Festival

WHERE: Bojangles, Gladstone

WHEN: Saturday, March 29



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