To the joy of us all, live music is back in full swing, and it’s an exciting time for emerging artists to finally be able to play live shows. Last Thursday saw Brisbane pop artist Georgia Simone collaborate with fashion brand The Volt on an all-female lineup headline show at Blackbear Lodge, with support from ZADE, Monet’s Pond and BBTK. I would argue that pre-pandemic, it was hard not to notice the huge absence of women within the indie-pop scene in Brisbane, but with live music returning it has been exhilarating to focus our attention on some brilliantly talented female artists.
Georgia Simone creates perfectly crafted melodic pop music, releasing her first single at only 16 years old, which boasted 70, 000 streams on Spotify within 3 months. Her early releases were an accumulation of the experiences that shaped her teenage years, with lyrical storytelling that encompassed love, loss and heartbreak. Listening to Georgia’s early releases show a sincere depth of feeling, with honest and nuanced depictions of young love and understanding of how you fit in with the world as a teenager, with sentimental and sweet lyrics ranging from “with caffeine hearts and milked up minds, our hearts are racing but our heads seem fine” to the melancholic candidness of “...all I want is to be in that mountain, ‘only look, don’t touch’ mum would say.” Georgia has mastered the art of creating pop music that not only resonates with a coming of age listener, but melts right into you.
As for many artists around the world, the pandemic era saw the musician reflecting on not only how she produces music, but what her stage presence could look like. With years in between releases to evolve as an artist, it will be exciting to be able to witness Georgia’s transition to self-discovery and the imminent musical progression that comes with entering your twenties as a songwriter.
We caught up with Georgia before her gig to chat about her first headline gig show and what's to come next:
Q. This is your first headline gig… exciting stuff! What are you most excited to bring to the live space and what can people expect to see?
A: I’m excited to put my best foot forward in the Brisbane pop scene! I have spent the past few years really honing my craft so I’m keen to show Brissy who I am as an artist and as a performer. You can expect lots of dreamy harmonies, punchy bass lines and killer choreography.
Q. For this live show, you’ve worked closely with Australian fashion label The Volt on curating outfits for yourself and the rest of the show's artists. The relationship between music and fashion is intricately linked, closely relating to how someone expresses their individuality. What is the relationship between music and fashion for you like personally, and how does fashion allow you to express your own musical identity?
A: That’s a great question! I have always dreamt of having cool stage outfits but I’ve never had a push to actually do it. I’ve become really close with Sam Todd (Fashion Designer and owner of The Volt) this year so it just felt natural to collaborate on an event. Sam makes the most beautiful garments which I felt really encapsulated my newfound confidence both as an artist and in fashion. I have synesthesia so I wanted an outfit that really captured my music’s essence. We decided on an all-black pant/tank top combo, but when the fabric hits the lights it shines rainbow! I write really sad lyrics with upbeat instrumentation so I just thought that fabric was perfect.
Q. Stripping back to your previous releases, I absolutely adore the song far away and the line “All I want is to be in that mountain, ‘only look, don’t touch’ mum would say.” …Where did you personally draw from when writing that line?
A: Aw thank you! I love that song, it’s very near and dear to my heart. That line was actually inspired by a very niche Australian childhood situation. I took inspiration from when you’re in David Jones with your Mum and you’ve just come from school, so you have your backpack on. You are so cautious about knocking over some expensive perfume that you lose sight of everything else. I wrote that song with Asha Jefferies at a songwriting camp. We sat on the back steps of the house and looked out to the mountains, in that moment all I wanted to do was run away from my problems and be with the mountains, which is actually a metaphor for a person... Lots of metaphors in that song.
Q. Another single I’d love to touch base on is shut it down… You’ve said before that this track encompasses sexism and belittling in the music industry… What have been your personal experiences with this, and what encourages you to write about these issues?
A: Another one of my faves! That song was influenced by my experiences in the music industry as a teenage girl. I was just surrounded by the most pretentious boys you’d ever met, so it wasn’t hard to draw inspiration. All these tiny experiences just built up one day and exploded into song. It was very therapeutic for me. I think female rage is the most beautiful thing in songwriting. I was basically raised by Taylor Swift which I believe explains how I ended up.
Q. Your first song release came out when you were only 16 years old. Has music always been a big part of your life? Who have been your biggest inspirations both sonically and lyrically growing up?
A: Music, and especially songwriting, has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I would write silly little songs as a child and was a big theatre nerd. I always loved the musical "Annie" it was so emotive and melodically interesting. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big TS fan. Fearless was the first album I remember loving. I still can’t listen to "The Best Day'" without crying. “Hey Stephen” was a big standout for me, I used to sing the line “All those other girls, well, they’re beautiful, but would they write a song for you?” with my full chest because I was the only person I knew who was songwriting at that age. She is just so smart with her lyrics, she really taught me everything I know about songwriting to this day.
Q. It’s been about a year and a half since you released a single… Is there some new music in the works? Between then and now, have there been any parallels or growth in the way your songwriting process takes form?
A: Definitely! I took some time away from recording to really focus on writing and crafting a song I truly loved enough to release as a single. My songwriting process for this next track was actually inspired by a TV show. I usually write about my personal life, so it was nice to get out of the hot seat and write about someone else for a change. The structure of the song is quite different to my other songs; there is no chorus. I wanted it to feel as though it flowed from verse to verse, episode to episode.
Q. Lastly, on the topic of live shows - Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with or to join on a live show?
A: Thinking bigger picture, it’s obviously Taylor. She has clearly had such a huge impact on my life and my writing, that it would be rude not to mention her again. If we’re talking locally, I would love to do a gig with Stella Donnelly. Her energy on stage is so contagious and I adore her music.
Georgia Dutton pictured with Sam Todd, owner of The Volt fashion label.