Taking inspiration from nature and heavily contrasting relationships, Georgia Mae’s debut EP is a blissful masterpiece.
Growing up in the “purple house,” a colourful, eccentric house recognised by everyone in the country town of Lismore, NSW, Georgia Mae knows what it’s like to be different. But it was that upbringing that shaped her outlook for life and helped her to embrace individualism.
The Brisbane-based songwriter has done a bit of everything since then, working on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and moving between Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Arizona desert.
Georgia Mae has just released her debut EP Gigi and the Dragonfly, so we took the opportunity to catch up with her, but unfortunately she couldn’t give us any juicy goss from her time working with the Kardashians.
HAPPY: I feel like every town or suburb has that one eccentric or prominent house that everyone knows, and you actually lived in that house when you were growing up in Lismore. What was it like growing up in the “purple house”?
GEORGIA: It was a dream! My parents really tried to cultivate fun and adventure in the home – always very grateful for that. My mum painted each room a different colour. ‘Twas a vibe. Looking back, having a purple house that kinda stood out like a sore thumb was also a cool way to learn that it’s ok to be different.
HAPPY: Your new EP, Gigi and the Dragonfly is named after your nickname and your favourite animal, what is it about dragonflies that you love so much?
GEORGIA: Yeah ‘Gigi’ isn’t just a nickname but my way of introducing a hyper-real version of myself into the worlds I’m creating with my music…she helps me step a little further into these alternate realities I’m conjuring up which is fun. And the symbolism around dragonflies pretty much directly aligns with this chapter of my life; legend has it that a dragonfly is a symbol of change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realisation.
A dragonfly teaches us how to love life, and to have faith even amidst difficulties. For many moons it’s been a totem of wisdom, as it’s such an ancient creature, and enforces connection with nature’s spirit and faerie realms (something I’ve been exploring through my family lore of Druid ancestry). Above all, a dragonfly promotes diving deeper into our truest self, which is the core pillar of this EP.
HAPPY: There’s a lot of metaphors using nature in the lyrics of the EP, especially on the track Blue Flowers, do you kind of look to nature to find understanding in the world?
GEORGIA: For sure. Credit where credit’s due! I feel our ’natural world’ can sometimes lose its validity in this ‘online world’ we’re living in, but I like to remind myself as often as possible that mother earth is a lot older than us humans and will be here for quite some time once we’re gone…nature is grounding and I believe she has a lot to teach us, not just about the world, but ourselves.
HAPPY: Another track on the EP, Gentle, is dedicated to taking care of the environment, can you tell us a bit about the writing process for that song?
GEORGIA: I’d been wanting to write a song about my love of the land and my accompanying anxiety around climate change for a long time, but was hyper-aware of sounding too protest-y/preachy…so I sort of kept putting it off. But I finally reached a point where I felt NOT writing about literally the most important thing to me (and I would argue, to all of us) was inauthentic. So boom, finally sat down at the piano and smashed it out.
HAPPY: Was it difficult to write about something you feel so strongly about in such a light-hearted way?
GEORGIA: Yeah! I had to measure my emotion because, to be honest, I thought too much emotion just made the song sound lame. So I kept having to dial it back until I landed on the word ‘gentle’ which felt right.
HAPPY: There’s a bit of a contrast between High, and Bad People which outlines different relationship experiences quite well, are you able to talk us through that?
GEORGIA: I’ve got quite a juicy relationship history. A bit too juicy, if you know what I mean. High highs, low lows…this EP is a way for me to make sense of the mess my relationships have made in my life, and what I’ve learnt about myself along the way.
HAPPY: You’ve previously spent time working as a writer on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, are you able to give us the scoop on what that job was like?
GEORGIA: I got the job while I was swanning around in LA, as you do, and ended up taking it back to Aus with me because I couldn’t afford LA life at the time. So I’d mostly just get sent tracks at weird hours that needed toplines (I worked on heaps of other reality shows like KUWTK – Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, Ladies of London, Skin Wars, all sorts). Sometimes I’d do like 20 songs a day. It was a cool way to learn how to write quickly, how to be efficient with my creativity, and to just suss out how the industry works. I was very much only working in the post-production realm, however. Sorry to disappoint, I am not the keeper of any Kardashian secrets.
HAPPY: What drew you back to making music in Brisbane after spending time in LA and San Francisco?
GEORGIA: The delightful covid! I was working at my dream workplace, Warner Brothers, in post and making music in my little Van Nuys apartment when the rona let loose. I came back to Brisbane for a quick trip in March 2020, for my sister’s wedding, then the world exploded. So that quick trip turned into a 2 year stint. But I couldn’t be happier about it now – it forced me to focus on my music which I’m so thankful for. Gigi and the Dragonfly owes it to covid, really.
Gigi and the Dragonfly is out now on all major streaming platforms. Listen to the EP below.
Interview by Lochie Schuster.