Gena Perala recently released her sophmore album

‘Eclectic’ sound on new LP

White Rock-raised musician inspired by unique upbringing

A White Rock-born-and-raised musician has put the finishing touches on her sophomore album and is preparing to hit the road to promote her music.

Gena Perala’s Exactly Nowhere was released in June. She began writing and recording the tracks for it – a mix of genres ranging from pop-punk to country – in 2010.

“I just keep hearing that it’s eclectic and diverse and (critics) can’t quite pinpoint a genre, which I think is great. I never set out with a genre in mind. I just write songs and they are just written in such a way that they deserve a particular sound,” the Vancouver resident said. “Just because I’m not punk doesn’t mean I can’t write a song that has a pop-punk feel to it.”

The Earl Marriott graduate (1996) has previously released three books of poetry, and debuted her inaugural album, This Ain’t Pretty, in 2008. She is now gearing up to play a slew of venues from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and hopefully, tour in Europe.

Born to “carnie” parents, Perala, her brother and her mother would reside in White Rock while her father travelled with the carnival, eventually meeting up with him when school was done for summer break.

The unique experience helped shape Perala’s perspective, often meeting interesting characters while traveling the carnival circuit.

“It was just life for us. We were what you called ‘carnie kids’ and everyone kept an eye out for us. We just went from small town to small town,” she said.

“Because of the people I was exposed to, I think that probably made a difference.”

Perala continues to meet a variety of people – albeit a bit younger – in a different capacity now, as a facilitator for poetry workshops for teenagers. The workshops have included youth from juvenile correctional facilities as well as a handful of Greater Vancouver schools.

“One of my best friends is a teacher and she invited me to participate in a slam-poetry unit,” Perala explained. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been so nervous or frightened. I spent part of the class facilitating poetry with them and the poems were brilliant.”

Perala’s class spread through word of mouth, with more teachers inviting her into their classroom.

“It’s a great opportunity,” she said.

For more information about Perala, visit www.genaperala.com

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