Q ’n’ A: Georgi Kay
Congratulations on your recent APRA award. Is it odd to win based on a recording [In My Mind] that was released over 18 months ago?
Yeah, it is very much in my past now, but it keeps popping up every now and then to say hello, which is quite cool. It’s got a pretty big longevity that track, which is more than I had hoped for, for any track really: to just keep snowballing. The best thing is that I don’t think any of us expected that to happen. It’s a nice little confidence boost, and it’s cool to see that happening while I’m focusing on my main stuff. It’s quite nice.
And aside from In My Mind, another weird sideline, if you will, was your performance in Top Of The Lake. How did that come about? Is acting something you’ve done all your life?
No, I’ve never acted before in my life, so it was weird, but it was during my ’year of yes’, where I said ’yes’ to everything. I’m very glad I did that, I wouldn’t normally say ’yes’ to a lot of these things, but this was the year where I thought I’d put myself out in the deep end, and see if I can swim, or stay afloat.
So what happened was a music-related friend of mine suggested I go to this audition. I had no idea what it was for, I was told it had some Australian actors in it, so I thought, “Oh okay. Is it likeNeighbours or something?” Which I’m not a huge fan of, but I thought, “You know, I’ll stay optimistic, I may learn something from it, you never know until you try”, and I got there – they told me to take my guitar, and I thought it was just performing in the background of a scene – and I didn’t know it would be as big as it was. As soon as I got there, they handed me a script and said, “Are you ready to go?” There was a camera, and I had to stand in front of the camera and say these lines, as if I’d… rehearsed them. I was freaking out, and I went “whoah whoah whoah, I’m not an actor, I’ve never done this before.” They went, “That’s okay, Jane [Campion] doesn’t want an actor, she wants it to be natural, and I was, “Who the hell is Jane?” Absolutely freaking out. I did the audition and went home and thought, “Well, I did my best under the circumstances” and about a week later I got the call from Jane herself. I was on the toilet at the time, which is awkward. And she says “Georgi, it’s Jane, I wanted to call and tell you that you’ve got the role” and from then on, it was one of the best experiences of my life. It opened my mind to the idea of some further acting. At the moment, I’m focusing on the music.
And speaking of the music, you’ve just signed an overseas deal. Will this change the trajectory of your Australian plans, or cause any delays?
No delays at all. I have Ivy League here, which is perfect, and for the rest of the world I have Parlophone, which is great. They are both their own entities, they are both like big families and I feel very much at home with them. I feel like I picked the best two labels in the respective regions. It’s definitely been snowballing since I signed to both. I’m slowly but surely getting into the pipeline, and I’m looking forward to when it explodes, if it does. Fingers crossed.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
At the moment, the reason for me being in London, indefinitely, is a bunch of co-writes for a new album, which I’m hoping to have out early next year. It’s the style of music I have been working on for the last year, which is Depeche Mode and Florence and the Machine all rolled into one, which is exciting. So the plan is to get as much material as possible, and choose ten-to-twelve songs from that, and then go into the studio for six months or so.
Who have you co-written with?
I’ve co-written the majority of my songs with Rob Connelly. He is a great guy and we just clicked and were able to write almost seamlessly. Justin Parker is the next co-write coming up, so I’m interested to see how that goes.
Are you worried In My Mind being so big in America may cause some misconceptions as to your style.
Not at all. I like doing the dance stuff on the side. Sia does it as well. It’s great seeing someone doing what I would like to do, further down the line, and being successful with it. And why not? Why just stick to your own stuff, when you can do co-writes and write for other people? It’s more about the world of Georgi Kay, then just one thing. That’s how I see it all.