Petra Jarrar is an electropop musician blazing a totally new trail with her unique and powerful sound. We discovered her through Women That Rock (remember Andie?) and now you get to discover her, too– lucky you.
TomboyX: How did you get started making music?
Petra Jarrar: My journey in music began when I was 2 years old. My family often recounts the early days when my brother would prop me up on his lap and press my fingers on the piano to mimic the music he was learning in his lessons. This led to my mom enrolling me in piano lessons and learning classical music. I adored the piano and entered numerous competitions that got me to perform all over the USA. However, around the age of 6, I made a declaration that I wanted to find my own path in music and didn’t want to follow in my brother’s footsteps. So, my parents bought my first guitar and I became absolutely obsessed. I would spend hours playing to a metronome and learning the chords to my favorite songs by Fleetwood Mac. When I was 12, I wrote a poem about ending a relationship with my childhood best friend and ended up setting it to music. I produced the song on GarageBand in my bedroom closet. From that day on, I knew I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life.
TBX: How did you connect with Andie and Women That Rock?
PJ: On my way back from a national tour in 2017, I was scrolling on Instagram, and a colleague of mine shared this account called @WomenThatRock. I thought to myself, “I'm a woman who likes to rock, I need to find out who runs this page.” After DMing the account, I met Andie and we became fast friends. We decided to meet up in New York City when I returned from the tour. As soon as we hung out, it felt like I found my soulmate. We spend all of our time chatting about music, the industry, and our equal bonding love for animals. In early 2018, I was offered a headlining show at Knitting Factory, and they wanted me to come back with a strong bill. I immediately thought of Andie, since she had an incredible network of NYC DIY musicians. Our conversation led us to have Andie partner with me on the show and presenting Women That Rock's first-ever event. From locking in sponsorship from brands including Guitar Center, Chipotle, and BITE Beauty, we threw a festival-style event featuring an all-female and LGBTQ+ friendly lineup.
Watching Andie achieve her dreams through her incredible organization makes me so endlessly proud to call her my friend. She's a total badass, and has taught me so much about life and the music industry. I feel so lucky to have her in my life.
TBX: Who are your biggest inspirations?
PJ: I always say that my friends are my biggest inspiration. I'm surrounded by some incredibly talented artists and creative minds who are brimming with amazing ideas. All of my friends continue to open my mind to new things. Before releasing music, I have a very tight close group of friends who I share my music with. They always give me honest feedback and thoughts to help me push my artistry to the next level. Without them, I wouldn't be the musician I am today.
However, I would be lying if I didn't mention that I am the biggest Little Monster alive. Lady Gaga was one of the reasons I decided to run away to New York City to become a musician. She inspires me so much as both an artist and a person.
TBX: How does social media help you reach your ambitions?
PJ: Social media is such a valuable tool for musicians. For me, my biggest dream as an artist is to play shows around the world. Without a doubt, social media helps share your art around the world. When the pandemic started, it was hard for me to imagine how I could ever bring my music to other cities and countries. As I began posting on Tiktok and posting content featuring my music, I got to build a robust international community. After posting for several months, I did a poll where I asked people where they were listening from- the number of different countries I had to respond to my post was astounding. During a time when no musicians could travel the world and play shows, social media did that for me by having my content shared all over the world.
TBX: Who do you think is your biggest audience with your music and content?
PJ: The LGBTQ+ community has been my largest demographic since I began playing live shows. Growing up, I had a hard time fitting in and never was never one of the "cool kids." I hung out with the "outcasts" (AKA the actual cool kids), and they introduced me to an amazing, loving, and kind community. I spent so much time in college going out to gay clubs and parties to support my friends at events and drag nights they were hosting. I owe so much of my career to the LGBTQ+ community, and would not have anything without their support.
TBX: What's coming up next for you?
PJ: I've been working on my next project for the past year. It's been so nice getting to step away from constantly releasing new music for a bit, and focus on working on new songs. The whole project is still a secret, and there are lots of exciting things in the works for this release that I cannot wait to talk about when I'm ready. In my most recent acoustic shows this year, I've started teasing out some of the new songs. I got to debut two of the tracks at my most recent show in LA, and was so excited by the response. I'll be sharing more about what I'm working on soon, so make sure you're following me on social media.
TBX:If you were in charge of the whole world, what would you change or demand?
PJ: There’s so much I want to change in this world. Out of anything, I would like to provide equity to underserved minority groups, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and women so that they can thrive with room for failure, without becoming invisible throughout the world.
Follow Petra on Instagram and TikTok @SoundsLikePetra, and vibe out to her music on Spotify and Apple Music.