Prussia Snailham “I’m reading my diary out loud. I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious.”

[UPDATED 12 July 2023] Prussia Snailham is fucking wonderful, in case you wondered. And I feel totally privileged, maybe one day verified, at having the chance to talk to such a tremendous and talented ‘new’ musical and visual artist. I say that because she is not currently signed with a record deal, which is a catastrophe, and does not have any music on the usual mainstream outlets like Spotify or iTunes. Instead, you can sample her work on Bandcamp, YouTube or catch her sounds in a live setting – which I would urge you to do so. So please do it at the next given chance. The following interview took place over a few weeks via email which I believe will give you, dear readers, a great insight into the mind, workings and talent of an artist I know will go very far. Think Lady Gaga, Perfume Genius or Broadcast being covered by Radiohead with a slight taste of Buckfast tonic wine. What’s not to love? 

On her Bandcamp page, she describes herself or is described as creating ‘karaoke sermons’, with an output that is ‘non-defined, for it’s constantly evolving’.

“Based in GLA, Prussia has spent the last 3 years quietly cultivating a dedicated fanbase & self-released an impressive catalogue of DIY videos on YT. A POP SENSATION with an edge. Her music soundtracks all feelings & there’s constant apprehension that it all may be capable of falling in on itself!” 

Upon listening I think that sums her up better than I ever could, for I am truly still overcome having recently witnessed her live deliverance which is absolutely magical. I shit you not.

Enjoy the following.


Prussia, first of all – Prussia Snailham – I would love it if that was your real name, is it? Side note: I read Karl Marx was born in Prussia. Boring fact for you. 


I’m very happy to tell you that Prussia Snailham is my real, birth name. ‘Prussia’ after the failed German state (my dad’s idea) and ‘Snailham’ is an old English name.


I understand you used to play football. What was your position and were you any good? The wonderful writer Albert Camus was a great goalkeeper, apparently.


Goodness, that’s a blast from the past… I don’t play football anymore but I think about it often and still love it – love to play it, not watch it as they’re all just a bunch of posers now in my opinion… I was left defence or left mid/wing… I really enjoyed tackling people!! I think I was alright, I was bloody relentless and so strong back then!


Do you have plans to make your music more widely available, online I mean – I’m a Spotify man, but I can’t really find your tunes aside from on your YouTube. My cousin is in a band and tells me that putting music on a platform like Spotify is expensive.


Hmm, I haven’t heard that putting tunes on Spotify is expensive but it is a bit technical and definitely stressful… or that side of music stresses me the fuck out! I’m just trying to find the best way to do it that makes ME happy, and the least anxious, because MAKING the music is the only thing I truly care about! And with that, I am actually planning another video series, which will be out on YouTube! YouTube is my absolute favourite way of sharing my work nowadays – I made a video series during covid and loved it. I definitely think music with a visual is best! So yes, lots planned and lots a-coming! The first video in my new series will be released June 18th. I am making a video series to songs I have written. I want to do one a month for the rest of the year. ‘Mess at Best’ is the first one and the imagery is from/based on Snow White – the other videos include crab meat, orcas, Pocahontas, and birds… all made by me using Final Cut Pro.



Are you signed currently to a label to put out any official music and if so/ or not, what does the future hold for that?


I am currently not signed to a label but if you know anyone? I would NEVER say no to that type of opportunity! But I’ll still write and sing and play and share my music forever regardless of that kinda thing.


Who’s your most valued or important collaboration? is it your intention to be more of a solo artist?


I am a solo artist through and through! I have worked with a couple of people over the years, and definitely enjoyed it and learnt from it, but the most important thing it taught me, is that I like my solitude and I truly work best completely on my own. Like, no-one-else-can-even-be-in-the-house alone! Just so I can be totally honest and ruthless with myself lyrically… I would never say never but my work is so personal… And I think that’s what makes it decent and relatable… I’m reading my diary out loud, ya know? I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious.


Do you work with anyone to help on the production side of your work at the moment? Green Door Studios in Finnieston is a place where tons of great Glasgow-based bands tend to end up (Thinking mainly about Jacob Yates/ Rosy Crucifixion / Amazing Snakeheads etc.)


I’ve been over to Green Door a good few times and it’s a great wee place! Ronan and Sam have the patience of saints because I know I am annoying… haha. All my production is me though. I have no help and don’t really want it… I know what I like and I know what I want! I’m shit at engineering though! I’ll hold my hands up and say I desperately need help in that department! But it’s just me, my laptop, my nord, my Rode mic and my vocal pedal–less is ALWAYS AND FOREVER will be more – Orson Welles: “The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.”


Can you tell me about your relationship with the wonderful band PreGoblin? ( Have you seen their remake of the Shawshank Redemption with Lias Saoudi from Fat White Family? It’s bloody hilarious.)


I met Alex Sebley and Jessica Winter in 2019 when they played in Glasgow during a wee UK tour and I’ve stayed in touch with Alex since – he’s a genuine great soul, who just wants everyone to succeed, which is hard to find! He’s been tremendously encouraging of me and my music. Shall I just be painfully honest and say I haven’t…? I’ve seen the odd clip! Shall I just be painfully honest and say I haven’t…?


And of course, you also recently opened for them and Peter Doherty – How did that all come about?


I literally got a phone call from Alex the day before the gig to tell me I had got the support slot – it was fucking nuts and probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! Pete was just chill and lovely – we spoke briefly about flat Earth and had a fish curry. He spoke to me about my music, my songwriting, my voice and I appreciate him greatly for bothering/wanting to do that because he didn’t have to, ya know? He’s a busy guy and everyone was wanting his attention, as you can imagine. Truthfully, I spent more time with his dogs than him though, but that was equally as amazing.



Are you still doing open mics and where can someone expect to find you?


I am determined to get back into the open mic scene! Old Bohemia (Marc and his girlfriend, who are just the sweetest people) put on open mics in the west-end Thursdays and Sundays! And Broadcast open mics are crazy friendly and encouraging – I would recommend them for any newbies!


What’s the best way you find on getting your music ‘out there’ and especially when it comes to a live setting, how do you go about booking gigs etc? Is it just down to the old thing of ‘who you know’/ ‘quality of work’?

It is 1000% who you know! And it is hard, I won’t lie. I do not know what I’m doing and to be candid, the more business side of music doesn’t interest me… I want to write and produce and make videos!!! Gigging is of course thrilling and fun and great exposure, but I don’t have that same itch to gig that I see in other people… I think everyone should just do what makes them tick, and as long as you are being unapologetically authentic, life will find a way to fall into place. We have to believe true art will always wiggle its way through and prevail!


Are you self-taught on musical instruments – how did you start?


Self-taught! When I was around 15 my dad showed me Ludovico Einaudi and gave me his old keyboard and from there I started learning and writing compositions – I tried to write lyrics but I was absolutely rotten at it… but I never stopped trying and it wasn’t until I was around 21 that I finally wrote my song called ‘Take it Easy’ and something just clicked and I was like, ‘wait… I think this is MY thing. ‘Take it Easy’ does still exist – don’t all songs always exist? haha, it may or may not be part of the video series… I wrote it about a boy that had undeserving power over me a very long time ago.


Do you drink or use drugs to assist creativity? Do you really enjoy Buckfast (Bucky as we call it in Glasgow) OH YUCH (my opinion!)


I may have a blunt while editing/producing a tune but it goes no further than that, and I would never write or perform while drunk or on anything, because I genuinely struggle to sing in tune once I’ve got a drink in me – my relationship with drink and drugs worries me sometimes and I write about it a lot… The only way it “assists” me, is it gives me situations I’ve found myself in to write about! (and yeah, who doesn’t LOVE Bucky!?)



What path are you on? Sorry, that’s a bit of a philosophical question but I have a habit of these!


Cliché, but I just want to be happy. I want to make the younger me so proud of the person I’ve become, ya know?! I also want to get really fit and strong and flexible. The older I get the more important my physical health becomes to me. I think I ultimately just want to finally know how to look after myself and genuinely fall in love with looking after myself.


What made you turn to music? Who were the artists you found early in your life to maybe make you decide ‘ok I want to do that, and I can’?


Kate Bush, Massive Attack, Ludovico Einaudi, Regina Spektor, and Bon Iver are my top 5 (don’t hold me to that!) but they didn’t make me decide to make music. I honestly don’t know what did… I just kinda stumbled into it because it was so therapeutic, and to be cliché, I found writing the best way, and sometimes the only way, to express myself. A lot of the time I found I was sitting down to write a song about something really specific, and then when I’d be finished, I’d realise that I’d written about something completely different… So, I actively started to write in order to figure out how I was feeling. I kept this all very private for a long time too, before I eventually showed it to someone close to me and they told me, ‘to not share art is selfish’ and I thought about that for a while and ultimately agreed!


I think you have an amazing natural voice if you don’t mind me saying. Your cover of ‘Cry Me A River’ is tremendous. Maybe related to another question here, when did you find that voice?


Woah, how did you find that…? I must be 20/21 in that video. And thank you! To be honest, I always knew I could sing from a young age but being able to sing isn’t hard because you are either born able to sing or you aren’t, in my opinion! I know I’ve definitely found my own sound and style though. I acknowledge, understand and really emphasise the distinctiveness, the accents and the cadences in my voice. And you mustn’t be afraid to be “weird” and do things “wrong”. I love a good grunt, gasp or clack of the tongue while singing, You know!?


Where does your own (well-substantiated) confidence stem from? 

Can you recall the time when you first started playing in front of people – or maybe the first gig which helped you grow?


My mum always told me to channel my nervous energy into my performance and use it as motivation because, if you aren’t nervous, it means you don’t care! And I always remind myself before I play, in front of anyone, that I would rather try and fail than not try at all, and I am not doing this for anyone else other than myself.


Aside from animals and life, are there any other main themes you’re writing about in your work?


There definitely seems to be a theme of water and the colour green in my writing… I love writing about the mundanity of life – the simplest of things that mean so much at the end of the day… food and eating, communication, honesty, death… I write a lot about relationships and love – be that romantic, sexual or mother-daughter love; also fearing love, etc… It’s very hard not to write about love and pain!


What’s the biggest blocker or hurdle you have to overcome as an artist?


Don’t mix business with pleasure, and that’s all I want to say about that…


Right. The boring and standard question now which I always ask artists, but the response is always interesting. Give me your main influences – this can be artistic or even just from life.


I get most of my influence and inspiration from films and TV – I watch films and TV way more than I listen to music… I religiously re-watch The Fifth Element, Big Fish, The Lady in the Water, Legend, Ever After, Unbreakable… I could keep going…! I also like to travel with my headphones on but with no music and listen to strangers talk because people say such poetry without realising it. My mum and dad inspire me a lot too.


What are you most curious about or interested in?


Curious is an interesting word… True crime, competitive weight lifting (watching not doing), conspiracy theories like the ‘Mandala Effect’ – I am also a hat and jacket collector! I cannot step foot in a charity shop without buying a hat and/or jacket.


What is it you find so interesting about weightlifting?!? 


Weightlifting is just amazing – it’s so impressive and crazy inspiring! People and our bodies are capable of so much – you should watch this.


I’m not in your world as I’m not a musician – what’s the toughest part of it all?


Social media 100% (and I hate it) I’ve always been such a believer in ‘the music will do the talking’ but with social media, you have to be a personality, constantly pushes out “content” and appearing so cool and unbothered! Even just captioning Instagram posts, I used to get so stressed out that I wasn’t saying the ‘right’ thing… Bloody stupid and sad how important all that stuff is.


Its been years since I was always in Glasgow city centre constantly going to gigs. Because I’m ancient, I view that time as one of the best of live music – I was at every Amazing Snakeheads, Fat White Family, gig etc – who are the bands these days I need to get my arse up and go check out, apart from yourself obviously?


Now, see, I suck because I don’t know… I don’t really go out much but if I do, I usually hit up Audio, Flying Duck or Broadcast and try and catch a Cenote, Jungle Testaments, Bass Injection or Midnight Bass night! I looooooooove a good skank!


What do you do with yourself when you’re not making music?


I work front of house at a tattoo parlour, so I do all the bookings, admin, customer service, etc. and I honestly love it! I’m pretty anal, so I LOVE organisation, planning, spreadsheets, to-do lists! There’s nothing more satisfying than writing a list and ticking it off! But I’ve also been getting back to the gym lately and I love a good circuit class, cross-fit style!


What’s next for you – please self-promote as you see fit!


Gigs!! I’m playing in London for the first time at the end of June and then I’ll be at Endless Summer in Glasgow at the start of July and also playing at Youth Beatz this year too! I’m playing in London on June 29th at Jaguar Shoes, supporting Speedial. I got asked to after the Pete Docherty  And hopefully, the gigs will just keep snowballing from there! And of course, my video series is a-coming (June 18th!) which I’m so fucking pumped for!


Prussia, thank you!


Keep up to date with all things Prussia Snailham on her instagram 

And you can listen to her visual and musical output on her YouTube channel

And check out/ buy her music on Bandcamp.

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