THEAUSSIEWORD.COM catches up with Melbourne indie pop artist Georgia Fields.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I grew up in a musical family; my parents met playing in a band together. That band was no longer gigging when I was little – but I *did* experience music as being a natural, everyday part of life. Music began with my family life. I still have my mum’s gold record somewhere.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Two things – wanting to make strange and beautiful sounds… and wanting to tell a story. I’m equally interested in production and creating sound worlds, as well as pop songcraft. I’m a lyrics-driven lover of melody, with an appreciation for kooky sounds and interesting production.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
I’d love to engage in more collaborations, particularly cross-disciplinary. I’d love to perform with dancers, and projectionists / light artists!
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I’m touring my new album Hiraeth nationally – kicking off with a special hometown matinee at Brunswick Ballroom with my full band on Saturday 19 November. Then I’m heading around the country in solo-mode, playing Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide as well as a number of shows in the Victorian goldfields. Full tour dates are on my website – georgiafields.com/shows.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
My new album Hiraeth is inspired by a Welsh word with no direct translation, referring to a profound longing for a home you can’t return to as it no longer exists; a sense of nostalgia or grief for the lost places of your past. From songs about motherhood, infidelity and loss, to rapturous anthems of healing and home – at its core, Hiraeth is an ode to the many languages of longing. Genre-wise, I’d say my music sits somewhere between art-pop and indie-folk.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
I always start with the concept and at least some lyrics. But not all of the lyrics! I like the melody that I conjure to inform how the lyrics take shape. When my kids were younger I did more writing on the go: pushing the pram; driving in the car. Now I’m able to sit down with an instrument, either guitar or piano. But I always start with a story or emotion.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Success, what is the secret to it?
Not caring. Or at least, not being too concerned with other people’s opinions. With the album I’m just about to release, I’m so proud of the work I’ve created, that it’s already a success.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
As well as being a singer-songwriter and vocalist, I moonlight as a string arranger… In 2015, I was invited to re-orchestrate the entire Ziggy Stardust album for string quartet and voice, and perform it live at the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI), for the David Bowie exhibition which was on tour from London. That was cool!
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I am inspired by artists who create whole “worlds” with their projects. Sarah Blasko is one of these. She has such a crystalline vision.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?
I hope I’m making my fourth album, pushing myself to explore new creative territories!
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
Favourite: performing, connecting with audiences
Least favourite: being self-employed, having an irregular income / work schedule
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Anna Cordell, Phia, Hello Satellites, Clare Bowditch, Liz Stringer, Katie Noonan, Katy Steele, Ella Hooper, Husky.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media. How do you feel about the industry as a whole, and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
It’s tempting to think that the music industry has become all about hustle and self-promotion since the advent of social media. It’s ALWAYS been about hustle and self-promotion (and I’m not saying that’s a good thing)! Personally I think it’s pretty amazing to have access to a whole community of music-lovers via social media. I’ve loved sharing the journey of my album release with my audience this year, and being able to have conversations around the song themes and creative process… It’s made the album release feel so much more personal and special.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I love collaborating with other artists. I love being surprised and challenged and pushed in new directions! I’d love to sing with Methyl Ethyl. Tame Impala. Weyes Blood. Father John Misty. Jen Cloher.
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Get started! Make something today. Even if you’re not sure what the hell you’re doing. (Spoiler: nobody does). Just get started and figure it out as you go!
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
It’s always nice to meet people at shows and have a chat in person! I’d love to see you on the album tour, come say hi. I’m also on Instagram and Facebook with the handle @georgiafieldsmusic.
Any last words?
Never underestimate the power of a passing diminished chord.