Erisy Watt is a Nashville-raised folk artist based in Portland, OR. Consistently referred to as “the next-in-line to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones, her music is an exercise in what contemporary folk today sounds like at its peak.”
Inspired by both her time spent studying and working along the central coast of California and in remote regions of Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal, Watt’s music invites listeners to rejoice in the beauty and freedom of wilder places. With several US and international tours over the past years, Watt’s shared the stage with acclaimed artists John Craigie, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Mr. Little Jeans, Shook Twins, Kuinka, Dustbowl Revival, Royal Jelly Jive, T Sisters and Rainbow Girls and is now gearing up to release her debut full-length album on July 26th, 2019.
Watt is a Nashville-raised creative but didn’t truly begin sculpting her sound until moving to the west coast to attend school in Santa Barbara, California in 2011. Growing up on Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and an eclectic mix of Brazilian Bossanova artists, 1960’s folk singers, and powerful female figures, Erisy had a natural likeness for all types of music that would positively impact her sound in the future. Today, she harkens comparisons to both Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones and uses the guitar, and banjo, plus creative energy with longtime collaborator Jeremy Ferrara, to create timeless melodies and lyrics. Flash-forward, 8 years later, the singer-songwriter has coined a genre born from her diversity and wanderlust. Presently, the artist juggles releasing new music to the world, while exploring every corner of it, and spent 8 out of 12 months of her latest songwriting process living out of a suitcase.
Glide is thrilled to premiere the jazzy single “Light” that incorporates the most palatable traits of Laura Nyro, Nick Drake and Ryley Walker. From the opening rain dropping drum beats to the crisp guitar, Watt bends together world and jazz into a summery late 60’s style jazz-folk that fills a bucket of poignant notes.
“I remember, distinctively, learning the minor 9 chord that this song starts on and continually returns to, and I fell in love with how it sounded on my guitar. It reminded me of so many Brazilian songs I know and love, and after playing it over and over again, this song just kind of happened. That chord gave rise to a melody and eventually, the lyrics found their way in, from different journal entries over the past few years.
I’ve kept journals since I was 13 and I think that’s where my love for songwriting began. Fear is a common theme in these entries. I recognize fear within myself all the time, which is nothing to be ashamed of — fear is an important evolved human trait — and it helps keep us alive and out of danger. But fear has a pesky way of overstepping its boundaries, stifling our creative potential, our relationships, our everything. I allow fear as a passenger in my life, but stop it before it takes the wheel. For me, acknowledging fear (what it sounds like and looks like) is a strategy that inhibits it from guiding my decisions or actions. And a lot of the time, acknowledging, for me, means singing about it.”
In addition to performing, Watt founded benefit concert series Cabin by the Sea as a way to intertwine her deep reverence for live music and passion for positive community action. A traveling concert series that raises funds and awareness for local organizations, Cabin by the Sea has raised over $8,000 for area nonprofits and musicians since its founding and continues to bring the community together to groove, give back, and gain awareness. Erisy splits her time helping lead Habitat Conservation Programs around the globe and working to have a positive environmental impact on small and large scales. She aims to use both music and work to inspire positive community action, give a voice to those that are doing good and bolster ongoing movements to find and implement solutions.