Kelly Brouhaha has been travelling across Australia in her van ‘Pamela Vanderson’, wowing audiences with her soulful voice. After three years of her first release Brouhaha has launched her newest EP Mama Didn’t Raise A Quitter. Brouhaha packed up her life in Adelaide leaving behind her mortgage and her marriage in order to find true happiness and pursue her love for music. I was curious to find out what life and music on the road is truly like and luckily Brouhaha gave me the insight I sought after.
What has it really been like living on the road for three years?
I've been living on the road since July, touring in and out of Adelaide for three years. It's pretty hectic, some nights I’m in friends driveways, other nights I’m on a random part of the road, some nights I’m in caravan parks - but sleeping in the van is the best place I’ve slept in years. It's great to have my own space out of peoples houses to help with feeling grounded while I’m away from home for so long. You know, I've got my own tea cup and can make my own breakfast in the van and that makes a huge difference.
Are there things in everyday life that you miss or realised you took for granted?
I really miss my own couch and Netflix subscription, you can't slob about in other people's houses. I got the flu a few weeks ago and that was hell living in the van and feeling so poorly, I was lucky to have a touring muso mate offer me their house while they were away. I don't think I could tour the way that I do without the support from the independent music making community.
What is the best part about travelling? Other than performing music of course.
Hearing people's stories and people watching. Humans are fascinating.
You recently performed on the 24th of September at The Grace Emily Hotel, how long has it been since you’ve performed in Adelaide?
The last show we played was a live to air on three d radio in June, prior to that was a show at Adelaide Oval for Fringe this year.
How would you describe your sound?
Was music and travel always a part of your life?
Yes. I've always played and always wanted to travel, my family and their friends are big into caravan and camping in their retirement and I thought why not give it a crack now.
Do you have a number one story to tell us from your travels?
I parked in-front of an elderly man's bins in Balranald once and got yelled at.
Do you think you could ever settle down in one spot again?
I'm not sure, there's so many great spots in Australia it'd be hard to pick one and settle in. If I was to settle again I think it would have to be back in Adelaide around my family and close friends, or if they'd all be willing to move to Mullumbimby with me, I’d be ok with that too.
If you were to live by one mantra, what would that be?
Jump, and the net will appear.
How do you apply this mantra to your life and music?
For the past three years I’ve been jumping into this project bit by bit with no idea if it will work, or where I’ll find the money, or if I’ll even be able to sustain it - I’ve luckily had some great support around me to keep it going, I crowd-funded part of the record and won a grant for other parts of it. My family's been great and the community of musicians around the country helping me along as I go has been an absolute godsend.
What are some of your favourite spots across Australia? Why?
I love the mountains near Mullumbimby, and anywhere north of Sydney with a beach. I think those serene nature centres are really where my heart is at, and anytime I have the chance to have a few days off and just sit in nature is a pretty great way to live.
Images provided by Kelly Brouhaha