Waikato songstress Coral Pitcher is professionally know as Coral. Always passionate about music Coral knew from the get-go she wanted to be a singer.
Her soulful voice has been likened to Adele, Amy Winehouse and Gin Wigmore and she has been paying her dues the hard way by doing gigs and applying a real Kiwi ingenuity mentality with every dollar she has made from playing in pubs and bars around the North Island being re-invested in to her career, most recently into a trip to the USA.
Coral Pitcher has just got home from America where she competed in ‘The World Championships of Performing Arts” in Long Beach, LA where she took home 5 medals including 3 Gold a Silver and a Bronze also making it into the semi-finals.
Team New Zealand was called ‘The Black Stars’ where 44 competitors and supporters all met at the airport and flew to America together decked out in team uniforms. Each team in the competition consisted of singers, dancers, actors, models and variety acts.
New Zealand had an amazing result with over 30 Medals being won and 3 team members making it into the finals including 6 year old model Deangelo taking home ‘Junior Model of the Year.’
Originally from Morrinsville, Coral’s career is a family affair with mum Emmeline acting as business partner, roadie and song-writing partner with sister Naomi as makeup artist.
Growing up, Coral says she was influenced by watching live music and playing her guitar, rather than listening to music on her headphones.
Coral has also released her debut album ‘My Addictive DNA’ last year. She says the album took around a year and a half to record at a friend’s home studio with songs that Coral and her mum Emmeline had written together. While promoting her new album last year Coral and her mum posted several short videos to social media of her doing different things to promote her album including Coral getting her album name tattooed on her forearm. Her album made it on to number 1 on the “NZ Heat Seeker Charts”.
“I grew up going to folk festivals and my mum was an impersonation artist so she worked with a lot of other artists who performed Michael Jackson, Queen, ABBA, and Fleetwood Mac. This had a big musical influence on me, even though they weren’t the actual artists, but they were singing their music so I got to know a lot of those bands through watching them,” says Coral.
Coral would head along to shows to watch Emmeline perform which turned into a job at age 14. Coral would take on tasks such as helping set up the gear, lighting, and sometimes jumping up on stage to sing a few songs as well. It later progressed to the mother-daughter duo doing shows together.
“It was a very fun way to grow up a different way but this was always what I wanted to do – be involved in music in some way”.
Coral gained experience and confidence from busking at local markets from the age of 8. Her aunty had an art stall at the Frankton markets so Coral and her cousins would join her and sing for pocket money.
During her schooling Coral says she always had support from music teachers at Hamilton’s Nawton School, Maeroa Intermediate and Fraser High. She knew from the get-go that music was her passion.
Coral has been writing her own music since she was 14. She collaborates with Emmeline on songs. Often Coral will come up with half a song and then the two of them finish it together. “It works perfectly as sometimes you can question yourself, thinking ‘does that even make sense’ so it’s nice to have that support and encouragement” says Coral.
In 2008 Coral was a participant in “New Zealand’s Got Talent” where she made it to the semi-finals after placing in the top 12.
“All of us competing were like a family, they were all wonderful people. It didn’t feel like we were competing against each other we were just loving being there and supporting each other so it didn’t really matter what happened after that”.
Another career highlight so far for Coral was opening for fellow Waikato-based rock band Devilskin in 2015.
Coral has an incredible ability to connect with her audience. Her raw, honest lyrics have resonated with her fans and her fan base has grown exponentially over the last few years. Coral’s Facebook page has over 7,000 followers and she has amassed more than 123,000 views on her YouTube channel.
Coral and her mother have recently become business partners for Signet Soundz – Coral is the CEO and Emmeline is the creative director. It had been Emmeline’s business for the past 15 years, and Coral came onboard as a singer 10 years ago however they wanted to make it official with their new partnership.
“The ultimate aim for the company is to be a music production company, having recording studios and being able to help youth because there are so many amazing artists out there.”
Coral says “It was an honour to represent New Zealand in The Performing Arts. It was an amazing experience and met so many talented people from all around the world, I made some contacts which I will be talking to through via email which is really exciting”. Her focus is now is to keep up with live shows and start working on her new single “Long Island Ice Tea”.