We were lucky enough to catch up with musician GEORGIE FISHER following the superb release of ‘The Queen’. Read now!
Hi Georgie, tell us about yourself?
I’m a singer-songwriter from Australia; I’ve been living and working in Berlin for seven years.
What is your songwriting process?
Usually, it starts with a riff – a few chords on the guitar, followed by a vocal melody. These tend to write themselves when I’m just messing around; I find lyrics the hardest. When I listen to music, I love to hear a well-crafted story, and I aim to achieve that in my own songs too. It’s important to me that the art I’m creating has meaning, that it’s personal whilst relatable, and that it isn’t just full of cliches.
Tell us about your latest release, ‘The Queen’?
‘The Queen’ is the last of four singles that I’ve released over the last 18 months. At the time when I wrote the song, I was travelling a lot. The riff came about on a sofa in Hamburg. Most of the lyrics poured out early one morning in a half-dream state in Sicily. The song centres around an invented character. She’s a woman who looks back on her life with regret and dreams of an imagined afterlife where she’ll be the queen.
Back in Berlin, I showed the song to my keyboard player, Armin Hempel. I didn’t yet have a chorus. What I had was a verse in Dm I wasn’t sure where to take it from there. Armin played a Bbmaj7 and an F, and I felt uplifted, just what the song needed. That’s it, I said.
We took it to the band to arrange, spent several months perfecting it along with the other three songs and then went into the Low Swing Studios in Berlin to record it all live.
You are a Sydney born songstress based in Berlin; how did you find yourself based in Germany?
I found myself here entirely by accident. I lived in London for a while, and I’d visited Berlin a couple of times. I always thought it was a cool city, and I knew I could get a working visa there, so I thought I’d go for a year just for the experience. I was not expecting to fall in love with the city so completely. Berlin was fascinating to me. I had never felt so creative or free with my time. I’d always lived in big bustling cities where you really have to hustle just to make rent, and Berlin felt different. A year went by in a flash, and I decided to stay a bit longer. Seven years later, I find it hard to imagine living anywhere else.
What draws you to the indie-rock genre?
Perhaps the simplest way to explain it is, you can take the girl out of the 90s, but you can’t take the 90s out of the girl. My formative years were spent listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, you get the picture.
I’ve explored many genres and collaborated with many artists over the years; however, when I sit down to write on my own, this is often just what comes out.
Who are your musical influences?
As listed above, the grunge bands were a huge influence on me when I was younger. At around 18, I started getting into hip hop. A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang, Tupac. Like many others, I discovered soul off the back of hip-hop through sampling. Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Sam and Dave.
Who are your non-musical influences?
I particularly admire women who’ve been successful in their fields, particularly those who did so during the 20th century or earlier with all odds stacked against them. Women like Marie Curie, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Margaret Hamilton, Angela Davis, Mary Shelley.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
It’s super hard to choose, but I’d say one of the best was definitely my debut album launch in Berlin in 2015. That was a super proud moment for me because it was my first album. It was also the culmination of two years of hitting the streets and clubs every day to build a following in a city where I was completely unknown. The feeling of packing that venue full of people was pretty awesome.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
I think the biggest obstacles are simultaneously the best opportunities for artists today. The barrier between musicians and their audiences is ever diminishing, but at the same time, competition is growing, and listeners have become saturated with endless choice. Music on tap and almost without payment. The biggest challenges, in my opinion, especially for independent artists without a big budget, are the fast-changing landscape we have to navigate and how to stand out amongst the crowd, to carve out your piece of the cloth.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Keep learning; keep growing. Always push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Learn to take rejection in your stride. Understand it’s not easy, but it is rewarding if you put in the work. Build a team and a strong network; you can’t do everything yourself. Learn about the business side; otherwise, you’ll never make money. But – and this is a big but – don’t let it take over or dictate the creation of your art.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
Well, my hopes are quite humble at this point. If I’m able to stand on stages again and perform to crowds, I’ll be very happy.
FV Music Blog March 2021
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