Young rocker launches debut

Carly Jorja. (Supplied)

Matt Hewson

Carla Jorja (aka Carly Robertson) might only be 19 but she’s no stranger to the stage.

The Ocean Grove native, has been performing with her musician parents Andrea and David Robertson and brother Heath since she was still in primary school.

“I grew up going to my mum’s gigs as a young girl and I used to get up and sing with her every now and then,” Robertson said.

“I started performing properly with my parents as the Von Robertsons when I was 11 or 12. I still play bass in the Von Robertsons, and I play drums in a band called Cool Dad, but I play guitar and sing for my own music.”

Growing up in a musical family, Robertson was exposed to a diverse range of musical styles, from Aretha to Zeppelin and everything in between.

“I listened to Ben Harper, Kings of Leon and Alabama Shakes, but one artist I discovered myself was Courtney Barnett, and I’m very inspired by her,” she said.

In 2019 Robertson decided to begin writing her own music, a base of punk rock spiced with pop vocal sensibilities and nods to the many stylistic influences she had listened to throughout her life, such as soul and latin music.

“I started doing my own stuff and then COVID happened,” she said.

“And then I decided to change to Carly Jorja – Jorja is my middle name – just because it has a nicer ring.”

After finishing high school last year, Robertson decided to take a gap year to focus on her music and complete the EP she had been intending to record and release for the past three years.

Flanked by boyfriend Will Anderson on bass, father David on drums and brother Heath on lead guitar, Robertson will launch her five-track debut You’re Not Welcome Here! at the Barwon Club on Sunday, January 7.

“All these songs I wrote were kind of like me journaling,” she said.

“Hey Man, I think I wrote it in about 10 minutes, it was just about my female rage. A Romance Comedy is about the sexist stereotypes of rom-coms.

“But then Second Chance, No Tears Left and Put On A Show are all love songs. So the EP’s two-fifths feminist rock and then the other three songs are love songs.”

Robertson will be supported by Geelong band Violet and Surf Coast newcomers Ciao Bella. Doors open at 4pm.