KIRA Puru is ready to seize the moment for herself.
That’s the attitude the Cardiff-raised musician is emboldened by upon the release of her new single Molotov.
In recent years the Melbourne-based artist has earned widespread respect within the music industry for her ability switch seamlessly between genres in various collaborations.
One minute Puru’s offering up her smoky vocals to Paul Kelly’s bluesy The Merri Soul Sessions, next she’s singing along to Paul Mac’s electronic bangers and then she mixing it up with Aussie hip-hop heavyweights Illy and Urthboy.
In recent months she has been touring the country, supporting The Rubens and Vera Blue.
However, Puru is ready to command the spotlight for herself. Following on from the success of her pop single Tension last year, which attracted 1.3 million Spotify streams, Puru’s focus has turned to pushing ahead with her own material.
“The last couple of years I’ve primarily spent my career in collaborations,” Puru says. “I think I’m going to focus on my own stuff, however, I never say never.
“If something amazing comes along I’ll probably jump at it, as I can’t resist.”
Because of her constant collaborations Puru’s musical output has been relegated to a series of singles.
Has working with others restricted her solo momentum?
“In some ways it may have worked against me in that I have focused energy on other things which weren’t my main career, like my solo work,” she says.
“However, I’ve worked with so many amazing people and got memories, experiences and skills that will last me for the rest of my life, so I feel very confident and very comfortable where I am because of the stuff I’ve done in the last couple of years.”
Molotov is unashamedly pop. It opens with a bouncy bass line reminiscent of Portugal. The Man’s Feel It Still, before Puru provides her flirtiest vocal about being “a molotov/I’m gonna get this whole party off.”
It’s like having the Midas touch, but for partying.Kira Puru
The track is also autobiographical.
“I’m notoriously up for a good time and it’s about me being able to bring the party vibes,” she laughs. “It’s like having the Midas touch, but for partying.”
For an artist who initially made her name as a soulful diva singing in the style of Amy Winehouse and Etta Jones with her former Newcastle band The Bruise, Tension and Molotov have been surprising twists.
But Puru says she’s merely embracing the music she’s always loved.
Her album collection is filled with pop releases from Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Destiny’s Child.
“I’ve always listened and loved pop music,” she says. “I think the music I was making [before] didn’t sound like the music I was listening to until now.
“I was always making heavier, more depressing, cinematic rock or dark kind of alternative music.
“Because I was being more experimental and introspective, but now I’ve probably emotionally and psychologically worked my way through my issues and now I don’t feel like I need music for therapy, as much as celebration.”
Puru last spoke to Weekender in 2016 when she was performing at The Lock-Up’s Beat Bender. During that interview she outlined plans to release a debut solo EP following a successful crowd-funding campaign.
However, the EP never arrived.
Puru explains following a change of management she discovered new musical collaborators and uncovered a desire to write more upbeat pop songs. The result was Tension and Molotov, which will appear on that long-awaited debut solo EP, likely to drop late this year or early in 2019.
“The last two years since then has been an experiment in uncovering that material and rediscovering what that sound was,” she says.
“I stand by those songs that I haven’t released yet, but I wanted to make sure what I was putting out was the most authentic version of me.”
Kira Puru returns to the Cambridge Hotel next Friday.