Debra Manskey is a full-time writer, multi-instrumentalist, music educator, blogger and part-time gardener, uni student and urban farmer.
Born into a musical family in rural South Australia, for the first ten or twelve years of her life, Debra thought everyone lived in a home where music was on the menu most nights of the week.
“Growing up, it was a revelation for me to discover that some families didn’t play music together or even own a musical instrument. We used to sit around the kitchen table and just do it! Looking back, it’s a gift I can’t thank my parents enough for.”
One of the founding members of Australian 80′s indie icons “Wild Pumpkins at Midnight”, Debra’s trademark soaring vocals contributed to the Pumpkins’ 1990 ARIA award for “This Machine is Made of People”
Throughout her long career, Debra has graced many concert stages and festivals, including Pt Fairy, Moomba, Cygnet Folk Festival and Tasmania’s jewel, 10 Days on the Island. In recent years as a solo performer she has also supported other outstanding artists such as The Stiff Gins, Neil Murray, Stefan Grossman, Sophie B Hawkins, Mick Thomas, Dave Steel and the inimitable Dave Graney.
Debra is also highly regarded as an arts administrator and educator, regularly conducting specialist workshops for adults and children in voice, songwriting and performance skills. She has worked as a Writer-In-Residence, been celebrated as Tasmanian Living Writer and released a live CD in 2006 which received excellent reviews and has now sold out.
Her first full-length studio album “The Woman on the Edge of the World” was released in January 2012 and is available as a digital download through SoundCloud. This proved so successful, she is planning a limited, numbered and signed CD release in 2015.
Besides her solo work, Debra has played played bass with punk/pop trio “Straddlepuss” and played rhythm guitar and sung with roots/blues/rock outfit “The Fringe Dwellers”. This featured guitarist/songwriter and recording whizz, Malcolm Battersby from Belfry Studios. Their album “After Time” was released in 2012.
Currently, Debra is working on a new recording project, “The Lucky Six” covering six songs that have influenced her, as well as writing new work for another solo release. There is also a book on singing technique and interpretation on the drawing board, narrative/dialogue for an independent game and, as always, more blogging!