The TH Interview: Tristan Prettyman, Singer/Songwriter

Tristan Prettyman photo
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Images courtesy of Capitol Music Group.

With the advent of her sophomore album, Hello....x, singer/songwriter Tristan Prettyman is showing she is more than just a pretty face. Listening to Prettyman, its easy to kick back and feel more at peace with the world, but this low-key style is also exactly how Prettyman approaches saving the planet - quietly moving forward and doing the right thing. This year she is encouraging others to get in on the act by partnering with Surfrider Foundation and Barefoot Wine to host several beach cleanups across the US, as well as offset the carbon emissions from her album production.

Prettyman took a few minutes to chat up the latest on her latest album, why she 'goes green' and what her toughest eco-act is. How is this album different from Twenty-three, your first album?

This album is much for defined than the first record. I feel like I had the first 20 years of my life to write the first record. Hello was written from when twenty three came out, till the present. a confined, concise 3 years. I never really any pressure, but it certainly feels more to the point, than the first record.

It’s much bluesier and I feel like I have progressed as a songwriter, singer, and musician since the first record. All around, it’s a good step forward.

What is your favorite song on this album?

Oh it changes all the time, Hello - the opening track, still gets me every time, I just relate to it so much, and it hold such a sassy attitude that is within me, and bring me to a happy girls place, that I just love it. A lot of the songs hold special places and times for me. I love the album as a whole. If it was my last, I would be completely content.

How is your environmental conscience reflected in Hello.....x - or is it?

The most enviromental friendly thing on the album is most likely the carbon offset. Everything else on the album, songs, music, song writing comes from such a sacred place that is within me. Most of the time I don’t even understand it. It’s a weird thing, I feel like I live a double life.

What is your hardest eco-thing to do? What is the easiest eco-thing to do?

It’s hardest to be eco while the airport, everything from food take out, to magazines, to recycling in some cities, is very difficult. The easiest is at home. I can bring my own bags, make food at my house, go to the farmers market, recycle, compost pile, etc.

How did you get involved with the beach cleanups and with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation?

Both organizations approached us, and it just seemed like a no brainer. I’ve been cleaning up beaches since I was a kid. And with Bonneville, that was also perfect timing. I was looking for a way to make my record more eco friendly. My record label kept saying to do no plastic casing, and holders would be more expensive...but when Bonneville reached out to us, it was awesome; it was an unconventional way to do something that makes a difference, even though it’s just me and my record, its still giving back and still making an impact.

Anything else about the Barefoot Beach Cleanup Events we should know about?

I have so much fun doing these cleanups. Everyone involved just wants to make a positive effort and have fun. At the end of the day, its really it’s about celebrating the environment, our oceans, giving back. A little goes a long way and the whole thing is so rewarding.

Tristan Prettyman photo

What eco-tip would you recommend that everyone do?

Carry your own water bottle. I used to be obsessed with Fiji water until I learned that the distance it takes to travel here, times the amount of pollution one of those planes puts into the environment, plus the shipping and packaging, the plastic bottles, etc...It just disgusted me. I bought a Sigg bottle when I was in Japan and I made a conscious change to drink tap water. To be honest, I can’t even tell the difference.

I bought a Brita pitcher for my home, and it’s great. I was most worried about traveling and how I would find clean water, but most airports have a soda machine with a water spout or there is usually a water fountain nearby. Its not fancy bottled water, but honestly, I can’t tell the difference.

I drink more water now than I did when I was picky about my bottled water. Plus, most tap water is more regulated than bottled water, and all those minerals, for the most part are really great for you immune system. I never knew how much money I spent on bottled water, but I look at it like smoking. 4 bucks a pack, 4 bucks a bottle, think of all that money you save by drinking tap water, and how much waste you save as well. In our tour bus we also have a 5 gallon water jug with a pump, and everyone has Sigg water bottles. It’s great. We save so much waste; it just makes so much more sense.

You've been surfing basically since you were little, have you noticed a change in the ocean conditions or any changes in nature since you're outdoors all the time?

Oh I think when you are a kid you are immune and oblivious to everything. And as you grow older you become more observant. When I surf now, I will definitely notice if the water is funky or if there is a weird pollution and later in the day will notice if I am sneezing or feeling funny. For the most part, San Diego keeps its waters pretty clean. I am real fortunate to live in such a clean, environmentally conscious community.

Do you have plans for any more eco-projects in the future?

I hope so, for the most part, I just want to surf, and be happy. But I also want to do my part, but I don’t want to get overwhelmed or obsessed with saving the world. Everything in moderation. I do what I can and take on what I am comfortable with. I think its one of those things, you have to just do for yourself. Be a good example to other and they will follow.