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Metronome Sessions

Interview: Georgie on Her Inspirations and Imminent Hometown Show

20 January 20 interview: Rachael Halaburda

Outrageously talented singer-songwriter Georgie needs no introduction round these parts, or far and wide for that matter. With her rich Americana sound, she's been capturing the hearts of audiences and collaborators (including Adele's Chasing Pavements co-writer) since the very beginning. We sat down with our favourite Mansfield lass ahead of her hometown gig next month...

Where did your journey with music first start?
I was probably about fourteen. I’m from Mansfield so I got into doing open mics there. Before that I wasn't really interested in music, but my mum introduced me to a lot of it: Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin and Motown. Elvis was also a big influence. Fourteen was also the age I won a competition to support Tinchy Stryder at the Camden Roundhouse and that really was a bit of a starting point for me.

How did you go from no major interest in music, to performing open mic nights in a very short space of time?
My uncle had this toy dog and it sang Elvis songs. I didn't realise who it was at that point, and I asked “oh what's this song it's playing?” My uncle told me it was Elvis and then showed me a bit more of his music, and I thought “wow, what I have been missing?” Then I started singing in the back of the car to Elvis, and got my guitar involved and it just really went from there.

You’re originally from Mansfield. Do you think it’s had much influence on the way you’ve shaped your music?
I think a lot of my songs have come from very personal places - friends and family that I've grown up with in Mansfield and Nottingham. Who you’re around is going to shape you as a person, and that's always going to leak into your creative world as well. I like writing about things that people can relate to.

Which people have developed you as a musician along the way?
My mum is a legend and she took me to all my early gigs, and we’d get home at about one o'clock in the morning and she’d make me tea and toast. As a woman she is very inspiring. I’ve had very good career conversations. One is with a guy I know called Eg White, I admire him as a songwriter and we worked together on Chasing Kites. He's great, he's taught me a lot about songwriting. He wrote Chasing Pavements with Adele and he’s worked with so many great names.

If you could go back and talk to yourself before you knew where your career was going to take you, what would you say?
Drink less whiskey probably! I'm very driven, focused and hungry, if something good happens I'll already be thinking about the next thing that I want to happen, rather than just sitting back and enjoying the moment.

Last year, you released Georgie Live, an album with real character which is a great display of your journey so far. What kind of reception did the album receive?
It's been great actually, a lot of really genuine people saying it's an album that reminds them of when they first saw me when I was sixteen. It's kind of the roots of what they know me as, which is nice. They can also see the progression, too. I like the fact that it's live, so what's on the album is exactly what happened that night. There was no chance of getting away with anything, and that kept me on my toes. I think the chat is quite nice - we kept it because it kind of makes the album and I wanted the album to be charming and a testament to my character, and hopefully I've managed to capture that.

When writing a song, what process do you go through?
It varies from song to song to be honest, like sometimes I'll have the lyrics already written on the back of a beer mat and then sometimes I'll come up with the music and the lyrics will just come after. I know what I want to say - it’s just getting it out. Sometimes you have to be in the mood to write and it comes out so easily, but others you have to sit down and focus to do it. People talk about how writer’s block makes you worse but some of the best songs I've written have been during periods of writer’s block, and I've just been like “no, I'm still going to do that song today.” I'll sit down, even if it takes me four hours, to just come up with the first bit - I'm going to get it. Where as other times I've just been on my guitar for ten minutes and it’s done.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to get into performing?
I’ve always thought I want to come and play anyway, even if others don't like it, so just believe in yourself. Everyone has doubts, but that's just a voice in your head. If you've picked up a guitar and sang, you know you're good, so don't waste it.

Georgie plays Metronome on Thursday 6 February 2020.

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