Eternal optimist and creative explorer Genevieve Sovereign on the continuous process of creativity

Dive into Genevieve Sovereign’s musical universe and uncover the magic behind her latest creation.

In her latest release, “Midday Blue,” Genevieve Sovereign offers listeners an immersive musical journey. In this interview, we have the pleasure of uncovering the roots of Genevieve’s musical adventure, starting from the serene landscapes of northwestern Ontario, Canada. From cherishing tranquil mornings to adopting an organic approach to music, Genevieve keeps things down-to-earth.

With influences like Enya, Björk, and a deep connection to nature, her latest composition, “Midday Blue,” tells a story of introspection and wonder. Collaborating with musicians Emily Saaen and Paul Wyer, Genevieve layers her composition with depth, creating a harmonious ensemble of talents.

Genevieve Sovereign single 'Midday Blue'

Outside of music, Genevieve draws inspiration from movement and visual arts. Her journey as a musician is driven by growth, connection, and a relentless curiosity.

This conversation with Genevieve Sovereign is an insight into an artist whose work is a testament to the enduring appeal of creative exploration.

Happy: Tell us about where you are from. What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?

Genevieve: Haha, where to start! Well, I was born and raised in northwestern Ontario (Canada) which is a region renowned for its natural beauty. 

Think majestic pine forests sprawling across rocky rolling hills and mountains that are crisscrossed by an intricate network of rivers, creeks and lakes. 

I’m incredibly lucky to have grown up in such a wild and untouched landscape. 

It enabled me to build a strong centre within myself, I think, as well as develop connections within this world that have formed the bedrock for my approach to living and experiencing life ever since. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly though, it hasn’t always been easy. Moving off to the big city (Toronto at first) for university in my late teens was a massively unsettling adjustment. 

It took me a long time to feel comfortable in cityscapes, but of course I eventually found the flow within that kind of “urban reality” too.

Probably because of that subsequently being a somewhat familiar process, my later move from Canada to Australia felt surprisingly smooth. 

The way I used to describe it to people back home was, “Really Melbourne is just Toronto with funny accents and weird-shaped trees!” 

And here I am today, happily settled in Melbourne with my darling Aussie husband Matt and exploring music creation. 

Happy: Describe an average day? 

Genevieve: An average day, huh? Hmm. Do you mean Aussie “average” (which translates to mildly disappointing, from what I understand!) or do you mean statistically representative “average” – my answer would change considerably, depending! Ever an optimist, I’ll assume the statistically representative option. ;) 

I’m an early bird, increasingly more so as I get older. My eyes usually crack open around 5am and I bask in the quiet dimness for awhile (early morning before first light is one of my favourite times of day!). 

Then it’s up and about… I try to get as much of my thinking-intensive activity done in the early mornings as possible, because that seems to be when my brain is firing most efficiently – before I get distracted by increasing numbers of shiny things throughout the day, LOL. 

From there, the contents of a typical day can vary hugely depending on day of the week, what projects I’m working on, any engagements I’m heading to, etc. I love variety! 

Happy: Can you tell us about your musical background and how you first got started in the world of music?

Genevieve: For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved music of all kinds. Learning basic music theory in school subsequently added more layers of intrigue, and ways for me to explore. 

It’s all grown quite organically from that space of initial love and enquiry, I think. I learned to play flute and piccolo in highschool, and became an avid participant in both my school’s concert band and also the nearest city’s youth orchestra. 

When I moved away to university, my flute and interest in music went with me. I performed in the pit orchestra for a musical comedy production on campus, while simultaneously studying engineering full-time and working a part-time admin job to support myself.

 It all started getting a bit much to handle though, and I actually dropped music out of my life for a number of years – until Melbourne’s rolling pandemic lockdowns of 2020. 

That’s when my passion for music reignited and I decided to explore composition and songwriting – as well as start learning guitar, piano and singing. 

I’m still very much a learner in all of the above, of course! 

After launching my debut EP “It’s yours.” which was an experimental fusion of various styles, I then explored the electronic pop space specifically – releasing a few singles in collaboration with composer-producer Ben Tenison (“Vibration Angle” | “Life Soaked Reveal” | “Present Dreams” as per here

I’ve also been deepening my network and other collab opportunities – for example serving as Melbourne Coordinator for the Australian Songwriters Conference group in 2022, and exploring cross-genre contributor prospects as a flutist.

My newest single “Midday Blue is an expansion and exploration into electronic-acoustic soundscapes that digs deep into my childhood years spent listening to the sounds and rhythms of nature. 

Happy: Are there any artists or musical influences that have played a significant role in shaping your sound and style?

Genevieve: Countless, yes! I think the most formative influences on my sound might have been Enya and Enigma, which were personal listening staples throughout my early teenage years.

 Björk as well, though probably a bit later on… I certainly feel flattered whenever someone indicates my stuff reminds them a bit of Enya and/or Björk (and/or Jonna Lee’s iamamiwhoami project, though that’s considerably more recent!)… Although that said, I’m usually immensely flattered whenever someone indicates my stuff reminds them of pretty much any artist’s work! 

I take it as a sign that I’m continually developing and evolving, while I explore new ways and approaches for conveying ideas. 

Happy: How would you describe your overall creative process when it comes to writing and composing music?

Genevieve: I don’t really have a “process” per se… Part of creation’s joy for me is letting an idea show me the path it wants to lead me down, if that makes sense.

 I think I described it best in my recent podcast interview with Alessandro Cicioni of European Indie Music Network’s Formula Indie podcast, linked here.

In it, I try to explain that what I really love is creating from inspiration – howsoever it presents itself to me – and that includes exploring a concept’s possibilities, trying to create a synergy of different ideas, and then really filling out the details progressively as more of the inspiration manifests.

Not sure if that made any sense, but it’s basically how I tend to see and approach things! 

Happy: You mentioned in an interview that creating is a continuous process. Could you elaborate on how this philosophy shapes your artistic journey and approach to music-making?

Genevieve: Yeah, for sure! I think the best explanation I’ve been able to offer is per the above-linked podcast interview, or perhaps in this article segment I previously wrote for Happy Mag (kindly introed by Ella Sterland) a few months ago.

Essentially, I don’t think any of us stop creating – ever, throughout our entire lives. We are all creating, all the time. 

Even asleep, we create our dreams. Even when meditating, emptying our minds – we’re creating space and openness.

Simply by being, we are constantly creating ourselves. Thus, my job as an artist is to identify and deliver the most impactful manifestation of my chosen goals – whatever those happen to be, for the particular context and medium I’m operating in. 

Perhaps it’s music or other artforms, or it might be a daily activity or conversation. In my opinion, everything we do involves creation in some way. 

Underpinning all that, clarity within a creative outlook benefits hugely from curiosity, observation, conceptualisation, practice and learning (not necessarily in that order!). 

Across my career, my studies and my art – it all unfolds as a perpetual cycle of questioning, synthesising, testing, analysing, questioning some more, synthesising some more and so on… Treating life as a work in progress at every possible level helps me get stuff accomplished anyway, haha. 

Happy: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest single, “Midday Blue”? What motivated you to create this particular piece of music?

Genevieve: A lot of things actually! “Midday Blue” is an amalgamation of so many ideas, experiences and technical developments it’s hard to keep track of them all. 

Here’s a slice though: I started writing “Midday Blue” after learning about suspended chords in a guitar lesson from Nicholas Albanis of Melbourne’s legendary / OG electro-medieval band Dandelion Wine, from whom it’s been an honour to learn BTW.

Not only is Nicholas a master of electronic / acoustic / 12-string guitar flavours but he also plays lute, bell cittern, dulcimers (hammered and Appalachian) and probably heaps of other stringed wonders I can’t even name! But I digress… 

Playing around with suspended D chords after that lesson, I really loved the kind of shimmery ethereal vibe they offered. 

Strumming through them meditatively reminded me of those hot, dry summer afternoons where rising heat seems to make the air sheet upward in delicate waves, across vast cloudless blue skies… Regardless of where we are in the world. 

And that was the first inspiration for “Midday Blue” as a concept! Its verses are comprised of suspended and major-seventh D chords. :) 

Happy: The lyrics of “Midday Blue” evoke a strong connection to nature, especially the skies. What draws you to these themes, and how do they influence your songwriting process?

Genevieve: Gee, that’s an interesting question! “Midday Blue” is actually the first song I’ve released which is so lyrically enmeshed with nature themes.

Most of my other releases thus far have featured highly philosophical or abstract lyrics, which people have found to be a refreshing point-of-difference feature of my work. 

With “Midday Blue” though I especially wanted to craft lyrics that could be universal, perhaps even visceral – lyrics anyone would be able to relate to. My logic there was that by offering a lyrical reference frame which is widely accessible and readily digestible, it provides more intuitive scaffolding for the philosophical message underlying the overall piece: Seeking and finding peace within oneself, through reconnecting with nature. 

If I were to describe a uniting lyrical theme across all my work, it would be one of seeking – of questioning, exploration and questing for connection with bigger truths. Those are the areas I’m continually drawn to (even driven by?) across my own life journey, so I guess it makes sense that they form the main pillars of my artistic work also.

Happy: Can you share your experience of working with guest musicians Emily Saaen and Paul Wyer on “Midday Blue”? How did their contributions enhance the overall musical experience?

Genevieve: It was a delight getting to work on “Midday Blue” with Paul and Em. Funnily enough, I still haven’t met Paul (AKA Ventry) in-person yet, even though we’re both based in Melbourne! We actually met and struck up a friendship online whilst volunteering with the Australian Songwriters Conference group last year. 

And when it came time to find someone more competent than myself to perform “Midday Blue” guitar, Paul came to mind straightaway! He’s so chill, a real pleasure to work with. 

As for Emily, this is the second release of mine she’s kindly performed piano for – the first being “We’ll Know Nothing Together” from my EP “It’s yours.” She’s an absolutely brilliant pianist, in addition to having been my vocal coach for nearly three years now! 

Em’s “Midday Blue” piano portion didn’t come into being until quite late in the creation process. We were at Black Lodge Studios together, where she was coaching me through vocal recording for “Present Dreams” with audio engineers Deece and Joel Taylor – and we all got chatting about “Midday Blue” being next on my list of releases to record. 

Almost timidly(!), Em asked if she could send me some piano ideas she had for it – and of course they were fantastic. I don’t think she was expecting me to keep all her chorus ideas, using a different one for each chorus, haha.

 But to me it made perfect sense as a progression: With the first chorus being quite tentative and disordered, then things consolidating a little in the second chorus, before finally concluding with full structure and cohesiveness in the final chorus.

 To me, it encapsulated logical progression for a song about rediscovering one’s centre in nature! 

Happy: Outside of music, are there any other forms of art or creative outlets that you find particularly inspiring or enjoyable?

Genevieve: All of them really! Every aspect of life is art to me, in one way or another. But if we want to talk specifically about activities and pursuits typically labelled as “artistic” then… Also yes, definitely, LOL. 

For starters, all my music release artwork has been my own, generally based on old pencil / colour sketches I’ve doodled-up over the years. 

I have very few of the physical originals anymore because I tend to give them away as little gifts to people. So it’s pretty handy I’m in the habit of scanning digital copies into storage, of the things I draw! 

I’ve also always been an avid movement-arts enthusiast. I used to be a competitive gymnast in my youth, and have additionally explored various forms of dance, martial arts, etc over the years. 

Certainly keen to continue developing and exploring in all respects, perhaps especially that fascinating area of mind-body connection. So much unique, untapped potential we have there as humans… <3 

Happy: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a musician for you personally?

Genevieve: I think my favourite elements of this whole adventure relate to learning and growing through it all – and also building deeper connections with people, as well as gaining insights into how we perceive and interpret the world around us.

It’s all so fascinating to me! I especially love learning what people take from the artworks I put forward, not just with music but everything I offer up in life – how it’s perceived, the meanings people take from it, and the value they find within it and carry forward for themselves.

Getting to continually explore that synergy and symbiosis between creator, artwork and observer is one of the most beautiful gifts and mysteries of this lifetime to me.

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Genevieve: Growth and connection. At the end of the day, I feel like those are among the things I treasure most in this adventure: Continuous questioning, exploration and experimentation brings with it the delight of understanding (as well as more questions!)… Which in turn develops my own ability to interact gracefully with the world and other people.

Getting to experience more elements of life with that joy and inquisitiveness, as well as sharing where it leads me with others, is one of this world’s greatest gifts in my books. 

Happy: Thank you for your time today :)

Genevieve: Thank YOU! It’s been a pleasure and honour sharing here. I hope Happy Mag’s readers have enjoyed this ramble… And if anyone’s interested in keeping track of the journey, I warmly invite folks to check out my site and/or socials:


Love always, 

Gen xoxo