THE Penny has dropped, and the ‘States’ are after Fremantle’s Penny Lane.
The 14-year-old musician, songwriter and actress has headed over to Los Angeles for an exclusive acting industry showcase just weeks after launching her debut single homeside.
Her time in LA has involved daily workshops, boot camps and rehearsals from 8am til 8pm. While there hasn’t been much downtime, she told the Herald she’s enjoyed spending time in Hollywood Boulevard and walking in the nature of the Hollywood Hills.
Penny told the Herald she loved seeing music being freely played on the streets. Her only problem with LA? Not having time to see more.
From busking Freo’s High Street mall and its FOMO precinct, she’s now on the brink of both a music and acting career. When asked if she’d like to pursue one more than the other, Penny replied, “I love both… they go together well and I am happy to go between them and see where they take me.”
She said while growing up in a musical household made it “everyday” and therefore more familiar, acting was a bit more mysterious and made her “more curious” about it.
Given her name and musical pedigree, there’ll be many local hopes that Penny will be Freo’s ‘next big thing’.
Mother Cathy Gavranic is a multi-talented music video producer, DJ and video jockey.
Penny’s father is late-great founder, guitarist and showman of acclaimed Perth rock-pop 80s outfit, The Stems. A beloved and influential figure, Richard was a member of various bands over the years, but success of The Stems took him on tours across Australia and the world.
It was her father that also created community-based, Fremantle studio school and music shop, that bears her name.
But it is only now that Penny is emerging into her own sound.
Her debut single Lavender Dice was recorded in three days and came out a month ago. It’s a dreamy, melancholic track, which puts Penny’s whispering yet strong voice and poetic lyricism at the forefront.
The song showcases what seems to be a easy vocal talent and natural inkling for melodies.
Subject-wise, Penny told the Herald the songwriting process was a new “experiment” of gathering random words but ordering them in a way to give them a personal meaning.
It’s a little like the influences that helped develop her musical style.
“Growing up in a music school.. I ended up being influenced by music everyone (there) loves, as well as music I love,” she said.
“I am always inspired by the original music that students write.”
Penny is an active member at the Penny Lane Fremantle studio and even teaches some classes.
Since losing her father, Penny and Cathy had to “build (the school) back” and it has been understandably difficult for them.
“We have made some changes like opening a retro store inside and an organic nursery outside that my sister Daisy runs.
“Dad’s friend Alan has reopened the guitar shop and we have turned part of the space into a venue that we hire out.
“All of these things have helped the school to recover.
“Baba Lala is going strong and our school holidays workshops are doing really well. It’s taken time but I feel like Penny Lane’s has grown,” Penny said.
Being a multi-instrumentalist herself, Penny says to look out for her flute and cello in future recordings.
The Herald has also been told exclusively about Penny’s band, Wyldfyre, who made national TV at the George Street Festival and are planning to record soon.
“We’ve almost got enough songs for an album,” Penny says.
You can listen to Lavender Dice and Richard Lane’s last album Silly Things at: https://richardlanerosebud.bandcamp.com/
Follow Penny on Instagram @_.penny._.lane._ and Facebook at Penny Lanes Music Workshop.
by DANIELA GARBIN