NewTracks New Artist: George

NewTracks New Artist: George

In her last year of high school Georgia Lines won Smokefree Rockquest with her song WannabeThat was 2014 and not long after she headed overseas, travelling and writing music along the way. Now back in Mt Maunganui, Georgia has released her catchy debut single Vacant Cities under the short-but-sweet name George. The song also made it onto NZ On Air Musics NewTracks compilation this February.

What other projects might we know you from?

Back in 2014 I won SFRQ while in my last year of high school and released a track called Wannabe … which is now four years ago!  Eeeeek… Definitely time for me to release something new!

What’s the background of how George came to be?

Well… it’s a bit of a funny story. Since the band Florida Georgia Line have been super successful so many people have thought I’ve been a part of their band – singing on their tracks because of the similarity with my name. So…  I’ve been trying to find a name to call myself, something that felt like me, something that captured my personality and the direction I felt like I was heading musically.
I looked at a few other options and struggled to find something that hadn’t been used before. However, I ended up landing on George – something that friends and family have called me since I was a kid.

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to right now?

I’ve always been one to create things and I have been pretty lucky growing up with people around me who have loved creating, playing music and writing. I started writing music when I was in high school and it has evolved and morphed over time from there. I’ve spent the last few years doing a bit of travelling around the States and have been working with different people over there.

It has been a cool process learning about myself, growing up, experiencing more of life and learning to find my sound within what I love (musically) and to develop my style as I have grown older. 

Even though it has been four years since I have last released something, it feels like the right time to do it now. I’m learning that what I create I need to be proud of, and ultimately I need to love what I do. 
I don’t want to create empty art with little meaning. 

What made Vacant Cities stand out for you as a single?

The song has depth and meaning behind it that transcends age, stage and culture. It’s catchy, you can bob your head to it.

What is the story behind Vacant Cities?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the way we are all building our lives, trying to make something of ourselves. It’s what we do. I think sometimes we almost lose ourselves in the process of building our lives. We build and we create things for ourselves that sometimes don’t always accurately represent us, and sometimes we build these cities that no-one lives in, that are almost void of human emotion – and I guess our humanness. Vacant Cities is about that… about this idea of searching for something that’s real. 

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

The soundtrack from Stranger Things was one of my highlights of 2017… so I felt excited by what Abel Orta (producer) had pieced together with the intro of Vacant Cities. It reminded me of the TV series and made me feel like I was in the ‘upside-down’.

Who did you work on the single with? 

Vacant Cities was written about a year ago now with a friend of mine here in the Mount. We had the lyrics and melody and basic bones of the song… but it needed a lot of work musically. 

When I was living in Houston a few years ago I met Abel Orta through a friend of mine. However, it wasn’t until a few years later (2018) that I went back to Houston to finish working on a completely different track with Abel and we ended up playing around with Vacant Cities with the spare day we had in the studio. Both of us were so excited about what we managed to do within a day that we continued working together on the track. 

Describe in one sentence what you want listeners to take away from this song.

For people to take a step back from their own lives and ask the question of themselves… ‘Why do I do what I do?’ 

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

In the words of Kylie Minogue “can’t get you out of my head.” Who knew that 2001 would hold so much wisdom for songwriters in 2019! Haha. 

In all seriousness… I look at it objectively as if it isn’t my own song and critique it. What will my listener / audience hear?  Does it appeal to a wide audience? Does it represent me well? Would it work well live? 

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for, with this act or others?

Yes, for sure! I’m working on an EP, and I’m aiming to head back into the studio to complete it soon. 

Can you tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

At the moment.. there are some local tunes which are such bangers! I’m really loving Bene’s new single Soaked… and Lightyears by Kimbra

Have any of your previous song applications not been included on NewTracks or gained NZ On Air funding? Got any advice for others?

This is my first single that has actually received funding outside of winning SFRQ. I applied with a few other songs… and actually reached the limit for the number of applications you could do for one of my songs. So I would say KEEP GOING! Keep applying, keep writing! If you have the patience, determination and resilience to keep going regardless of the success or failure… you will be just fine. 

Was there any NZOA criteria you struggled with in the application? 

The hardest thing that I found was actually finishing it. I would go over it and over it, trying to figure out what was the best way of doing it, what was going to work etc…  It meant I would procrastinate finishing the application. In the end, I had a deadline on my calendar that would send me reminders telling me to sit down and actually complete the application.

How can we find you on social media?

I’m on Instagram & Facebook
Come find me & say hello…

Who did you make the video for Vacant Cities with?

You know when you find people that you think are creative geniuses and super fun to work with? That was Cam Neate who directed and produced my video! Such a fun project to create with him on. 

Any last words?

Stale crackers are the worst! Don’t leave a song sitting around for too long because you’re scared of what the world will say or because you think it’s not perfect. It will become stale if you leave it on the shelf for too long. Release it and create something new.  x