GEORGI KAY ON WRITING AND PRODUCING HER DEBUT LP IN HER LA BEDROOM
photos / Monika Sedziute
story / Catherine Santino
Georgi Kay has quite the resume. She’s been performing and writing her own material since 2009, wrote and produced tracks for television and film, and won both an ARIA award, multiple APRA awards, and received a Grammy nomination for her song “In My Mind” with Swedish House Mafia’s Axwell.
But despite her many accolades, her debut indie-pop LP, Where I Go To Disappear, has just been released. The transcendent, sleekly-produced 11-track collection is an introspective peek into Georgi’s desires, hopes, and fears.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Georgi then moved to London, and now is based in Los Angeles. We got the chance to talk with her about her transition to LA, the brand-new album, and finally finding her voice as an artist.
How has your transition to LA been? Do you find the community there to be inspiring and motivating?
LA is an interesting place. If I’m being honest, I still don’t quite know how I feel about it.
But my debut album was born here, and that is something that is meant to happen in the right place and at the right time, and it just so happens that LA was that place.
I’ve also made some of my best friends here. And I’m really stoked about that.
Your album, Where I Go To Disappear, comes out today! Tell us about it, the process of creating it, and what you’re most excited about.
It’s been a journey, that’s for sure. Some of the songs off the album I wrote very early on (about 2 years ago), whilst others were written more recently – towards the end of the album process. All were written and produced by myself in my bedroom studio in LA.
As you can imagine, doing the majority of the work by yourself can be a very lonely and exhausting process – and I’m not going to lie, it has been exactly that. But this method is essential to me, it’s how I work and it’s how I’m calibrated to function at my best.
In order to create my best and strongest work (which I believe WIGTD is), I have to lock myself away from the outside world, from my friends and family, from everyone and everything I know – and lose myself in the world I’ve created in my head. I have to sink into the depths of my imagination, to really explore it and feel in the dark for the path I must take to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have to disappear. And that is how the title of the album came to be. Because I did, I disappeared.
And now that I’ve resurfaced, I get to share with the world where it is that I disappeared to.
You’ve been in the game for a while. Why is your debut album just coming now? How has your music, and you as an individual, changed and developed in that time?
It has taken me the better half of nine years to find myself as an artist. So far, my journey has only gotten better and better with time. And although I love every song or EDM/dance feature I have released, WIGTD holds a very special place in my heart. And it is a creation of mine that I am most proud of.
Tell us about your songwriting process. Do you tend to write alone, or is it more collaborative?
Alone. It is impossible for me to write a song for myself with another or others present, especially at the beginning of the songwriting process. I have tried many times in the past and the songs always ended up sounding too much like the other person or people in the room – and I became detached from the song itself. I prefer working alone because it means I am free from outside distractions.
You’ve done a lot of producing – did you produce songs on the new album?
Yes. Although my friend Steve Rusch, who did an incredible job at giving my songs that extra lift and fresh lick of paint, did additional co-production and mixing on the album. I love working with Steve because unlike any other producer I’ve worked with in the past. He understands what direction I’m driving my music and for those final touches, his additional work makes all the difference.
Your Nov 30 show at Rough Trade is sold out! Are you excited to perform to a New York audience?
Yeah, it’s crazy! I’m very excited. It will be my 2nd show in NYC ever, and I’m stoked to play the album live to everyone there.
What’s next? What are you looking forward to most about the future?
The last songs I wrote on the album were ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Valentine’. Out of all the songs off WIGTD, they stand out to me the most. Maybe it’s because I wrote them not too long ago, so they still sound so new and fresh to me – or maybe it’s because there’s something different about them that sets them aside from the others. Whatever it is, I like where I’m heading sonically with those songs.
And I’m excited to create and release new material and see where they take me.
Also excited to play at SXSW next March – along with more live shows and tours!
CONNECT WITH GEORGI KAY