Union Station Summer Concerts Spotlight: Pretty Sister

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Only three more days until we come together for another marvelous night of prime live music, drinks, and munchies at the iconic Union Station in Los Angeles. As we prepare for the big night, we had to get the inside scoop from one of the standout featured artists, L.A.’s very own Pretty Sister. Pretty Sister’s upcoming performance is particularly special because the funky R&B singer hasn’t hit the stage in over a year, purely in anticipation for the perfect setting to debut his new tunes. 

Read more about the talented Pretty Sister (formerly known by his real name Zak Waters) below. Then, come out to Union Station on Saturday, August 20, as he is joined by fellow soul-soothers Cobi, Lauv, and Josh Jacobson for what’s set to be one of the best nights of our concerts series yet.

OTW: We heard you haven’t performed in over a year & are so honored that Union Station will mark your return! What have you been brewing up for us?

PS: Well I’ve been working on lots of new music for both myself and other artists. But a bigger part of the reason i haven’t played in so long is because I’m being very particular about the shows I play. I only want to do shows that make sense for me as an artist. When this one came up it really excited me. The venue alone is reason enough.   

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OTW: You were born & bred in LA—how did that determine your musical direction?

PS: Growing up, radio in LA seemed to lean towards anything G-Funk or p-funk inspired. I grew up listening to radio stations like Hot 92.3 that predominantly played Zapp and Roger, Earth Wind and Fire, Gap Band, as well as Tupac and Snoop Dogg and Warren G. Hearing it all the time laid the foundation for me as an artist. Whenever I hear that music, it still brings about a sort of nostalgia.  

OTW: In your own words, how would you describe your sound style?

PS: Z-Funk Era.

OTW: What initiated the transition from Zak Waters to Pretty Sister? Does Pretty Sister feel more right for you?

PS: As Zak Waters, I felt I was collaborating a lot more and not being as true to myself as I would have liked to be. I’ve been a lot more involved and spent a lot of time crafting a sound completely independently of anybody else. In turn, Pretty Sister is the most authentic version of an artist that I can be. Im purely making things that I would want to hear on the radio as a kid, sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car. Like I’m making music that 12-year old me would freak out for.

OTW: What are your top L.A. spots?

PS: I love the Griffith Observatory–the view at night is like nothing else in the city. I hate to be a cliche but I love Sugar Fish…THAT TUNA SASHIMI THOUGH. I should probably give you some cool taco spot or something, but I’m not that cool.

OTW: Who are 3 artists on your Ones To Watch list & why?

PS: Betty Who; I’ve been working with her a lot (we’re roommates actually) on her record, and I can’t wait for the world to hear it. ELOHIM is another artist who I love. Goldlink is my favorite up and coming rapper right now; I love his new record–the production is incredible. Shout out to Masego! Also Brasstracks are insane.

OTW: What’s up next for you?

PS: Well, I’ve been working with a bunch of artists, so I’ll definitely be finishing those up in the next few months. Then I have about twenty of my own unreleased songs that I will be relentlessly releasing over the next year. Really excited to see which ones people respond to most. I can’t wait to play more shows as well. The Union Station show is just the start!

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