Mansfield-born singer-songwriter Georgie played a triumphant show at Rock City last Friday, supporting Jake Bugg on a night when fans celebrated two of the brightest talents to have emerged from Nottingham’s music industry in recent years. Alex Thorp spoke with her before the Leeds leg of the tour to talk about signing with Columbia Records, inspiring the next generation of musicians, and being able to give up her job at a Chinese takeaway…
It’s 5pm and Georgie’s not picking up the phone.
Five minutes pass before her apologetic publicist answers, explaining that the 21-year-old singer-songwriter is currently deep into a soundcheck. He runs off and finds her. There’s just over two hours until Georgie heads out on stage at Leeds O2 Academy - the seventh night of a huge UK tour supporting Jake Bugg. It will be one of her biggest crowds to date, so one could expect she’s a little preoccupied so close to show time.
“It’s been great. To support someone like Jake has been really exciting and obviously I’ve never played some of these venues before. It’s been a lot of fun,” Georgie says, after finding somewhere quiet away from the activity on stage.
“[Performing on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury] was one of the biggest things I had done really but, because this is a tour, it feels like it has stepped up a level. They’re definitely the biggest crowds I have played in front of.”
In just over a year, Georgie’s life has changed drastically. Back in August 2015, the young Mansfield musician signed with the iconic Columbia Records - a behemoth of a label which has made some of the very records her mum would play at home while Georgie was growing up.
She has also pricked the ears of “studio wizard” Matthew E White who invited Georgie to his Spicebomb studio in Virginia where they created her debut single Company of Thieves (released November 7.) And with an album expected to be wrapped up by the end of January, some are predicting 2017 to be her year.
But much like Bugg’s reaction to the initial hype which surrounded him in 2012, Georgie sounds nonplussed about such talk and insists her sole focus is on creating a great record.
“If people are saying that, I’m not doing anything different,” she says.
“I just want to put a good record out and hopefully people will dig it for just being a real album. I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. We’ll see. It is exciting.
“It definitely feels like I am doing something right and hopefully I can carry it on.”
Despite an increasingly hectic touring calendar, which includes a number of support slots with indie band Blossoms in December, Georgie still resides in Mansfield and makes an effort to catch up with friends back home whenever she can. But while her success has made returning more problematic, it has meant she could give up her role at her local takeaway.
“I used to work at a Chinese takeaway so I was able to give that job up. It’s quite a contrast to what I’m doing now,” she laughs.
“It’s incredible just to step back and think that I’m on Columbia. There are so many records at home that have got that label on, like Janis Joplin and Simon and Garfunkel. It’s meant I’ve been able to live and breathe what I love doing most. That’s the greatest thing about it.”
She adds: “I wanted to make a record that resonated with me and with other people. Everyone’s been through heartbreak and everyone has been through good times and bad times. I just want it to be real and speak to people and it just be about the music. Hopefully it will have that authentic, warm sound but also be up to date and modern.”
So, what does success look like for her?
“Having an album chart would be amazing but that’s not my idea of success.
“My idea of success would definitely to be inspiring that younger generation, especially because there’s so much music out there at the minute that just doesn’t speak for them.
“I still don’t have a plan if things go wrong - I just hope it works out!”
Georgie’s debut single Company of Thieves is out on Monday 7 November