A former model for Quicksilver's Roxy label, singer/songwriter Tristan Prettyman grew up in the San Diego area. Her beachside town allowed for many surfing excursions, and Prettyman practiced the sport often as a teenager. She also took a liking to the music of Ani DiFranco, Joni Mitchell, and Jack Johnson, and her father's old acoustic guitar gave her the chance to learn an instrument and hone her songwriting skills. In between modeling gigs and surfing trips, she began showcasing her acoustic songs at local parties and small-sized venues. She also landed a song on the soundtrack to Chris Malloy's 2001 surf film, Shelter, which helped cement her status as a budding musician.