Georgia a British national, driven by the prospect of discovering new beats, playing with sounds and of course, playing live behind the drumkit. Today (7th of August 2015) she’s dropping her debut album “Georgia”. A retrospective if you will of what the young girl dug over the past two years. Obsessively collecting hours upon hours of music. This album is the culmination of that behavior.
Georgia’s eponymous debut album, out this Friday 7th of August 2015, is now available to stream HERE.
Georgia Barnes her civil name had written, performed and produced the album in its entirety and recorded in her own home-studio. From dub and ragga, to sophisticated pop via post-punk to the influence of artists such as Missy Elliott, The Knife or Hudson Mohawke. Georgia reveals a new side we didnt’t expect on every single listen…
You can watch clips of Georgia in her studio talking through each track on her album, HERE.[infobox maintitle=”Georgia” subtitle=”Buy the debut album today…” bg=”black” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”50″ link=”http://www.roughtrade.com/albums/94721″]
Interview by Sophie. Photographs by Michela Cuccagna.[separator type=”thick”]
When I listened to your first album I thought that you seemed to be at ease in every style. You’re not repeating the same formula on each song. How do you do it ?
I guess with this album I just represent the time when I was in the studio, listening to a lot of different music, playing with a lot of different bands. I was very inspired by lots of sounds and these songs kind of represent this building-up and all the sort of years previous. All the songs are true to the styles I like.
The leading track, Move Systems, is quite representative because it is made of different layers. How did you build it ?
I was really interested at that time in Baile Funk, which is a Brazilian style of hip hop that comes out in Rio, in the favelas. Pounding beats and female rappers over the top, I found that so exciting to hear and watch. So I started with the beat ! I was also listening to a lot of horn records and I really wanted a deep horn so I added the horn and then then bass, vocal lines… It sort of layered up but I didn’t want it to be too many layers. I wanted the main thing to be this drum beat with these horns and vocals. I got my vocal inspiration from the guy in Death Grips. It happened in a night ! Sometimes it happens like that in a studio, sometimes it’s a slog (laughing). “Move Systems” happened really instantaneously, it was like BOUM ! A punch in the face !
It is ! In French we say « se prendre une claque », which means being slapped in the face.
Wicked ! I love it ! That’s what the song is !
There are also soft tracks like “You” and “Heart Wrecking Animals”, which is the nearest we could get to a ballad.
“Heart Wrecking Animals” is my favorite song. It’s probably the most important song to me on the album because it’s about feelings and emotions and it means a lot to me. It was quite hard to play that to people because I was quite self-conscious of how people would take it because it’s an emotive song. I was a bit unsure but so far people who heard it told me it has touched them.
Do you feel more at ease when you play the punchy songs or the soft ones ?
“Going on stage with him as a young kid in front of 80,000 people, it’s kinda cool !” – Georgia
I would say both in different ways. You know I feel like it would have been wrong for me to stop at that one style of punchiness because that doesn’t represent me actually. I love slow songs, I love ballads, songs that are a bit more subtle with melodies and vocals. The punchy side of me is represented and also the kind of more serious, emotive side is also enjoyable.
You wrote and produced this album a lot, playing all the instruments but I know that the drums are your favorite instrument. How do you feel when you play it ?
It’s the best feeling ever ! I guess I was quite a naughty kid, hard to deal with and always tapping on tables so when I got behind the kit I felt it was something I could naturally do and it felt really great, an expression, a way of venting a lot of the energy I had at first. Then I started to get a bit more serious with it and cultivate it as an instrument of mine. I listened to other drummers, knew more about the history of the instrument. I really love it. I mean I also enjoy the other instruments I play but I haven’t played them as much as the drums. The drums have taken me all around the world, they kinda got me where I am now.
You played live shows for Kwes or Kate Tempest. When you were playing with them you shared a stage so do you dread being alone on stage now ?
Oh no, cause I’ve got my own band ! That’s not to say it’s not totally nerve-racking on stage performing by yourself, it’s different obvisouly being behind the scene of something. I was kinda part of a band and it’s a big responsability to sit behind a drum kit for another artist because the drummer is always the one people look at. I had to step on my game. I have a band now but I also play drums and I sing. There are two drum kits in the band !
You actually come from a musical background. Your father, Neil Barnes, is part of the duo Leftfield. Were you influenced by his music ?
Yeah, definitely ! I mean it was part of my life, part of the family, part of my childhood. Leftfield were very pioneering. The first album, Leftism , is a dance classic. It was incredibly inspiring and my dad was very supportive and always encouraging. You know, going on stage with him as a young kid in front of 80,000 people, it’s kinda cool ! (laughing) It was also hard, I never saw my dad really.
What can we find on your playlist right now ?
I’m actually listening to a lot of punk records and post-punk. At the moment I’ve been listening to Gang Of Four, who were a British post-punk band, a band called Japan who were also thriving in the 80s. They were a post-punk band but added r’n’b. They were really cool, quite « Princey » in a way. I’ve been listening a lot to the latest Jamie XX album, “In Colours”, the new Hudson Mohawke album and Hot Chip.
My last question is not about music ! To promote your album you’re juggling on a video. I’ve read somewhere that you were actually pretty good at football !
I wasn’t too bad, football was a big part of my life as a kid. Sadly I don’t really play anymore but I can still play. It was either music or football !