V spoke with Australian singer Georgia Flipo to discuss music, her rise to fame, the strong bond she shares with her fans, and her upcoming U.S. tour.
V spoke with Australian singer Georgia Flipo to discuss music, her rise to fame, the strong bond she shares with her fans, and her upcoming U.S. tour.
Text: Lilly Pace
Few artists accomplish as much as Georgia Flipo has throughout their entire lives, let alone within the first few months of their career. Yet the Australian singer, songwriter, and drummer, who goes by G Flip, has won the musical lottery, launching herself to stardom with only two officially released singles.
Originally a drummer, G Flip dealt with the end of a band she was touring with by spending the entirety of 2017 writing alone in her bedroom, developing her own debut project. This past February, G Flip released her first single "About You" through the Australian triple j Unearthed music platform, and her solo career was launched. The ridiculously catchy pop gem was an instant, viral hit, garnering the Australian artist fans and gigs across the globe. 26 shows, 30k Instagram followers, and a second single later, G Flip is officially an artist to watch.
The young, down-to-earth artist is getting ready to go on tour, so V we caught up with G Flip for a chat about her first two singles, her favorite performances, and where she sees herself in five years.
Hi Georgia, how are you doing?
I’m doing great. I’m just enjoying this weather in LA.
That's awesome. How’s it been working away from home because you’re so far right now?
I personally really enjoy it. I feel like whenever I have time off I just ask to come to LA because it’s just so cool and the weather’s awesome. And it’s like my little dream land, I feel. I really dig it. So I’m stoked to be here and stoked to be working on songs.
Do you think you’d ever officially move to the US for your music or do you think you’d stay in Australia?
I think I’ll have to. I spend too much time here. It’s adding up that I’ve spent more time here than back in Melbourne between tours. So I definitely would love to live here one day. That would be awesome. That’s a dream. Hopefully one day.
Yeah, that’s so great. So jumping into your music, I wanted to talk about your single “Killing My Time”. It’s so great. Can you tell me a little bit about how it came together, the production of that song, stuff like that?
Yeah, so “Killing My Time”, I guess the songwriting of it, I was in an on-and-off relationship. And it was around the time that I released my first single, “About You”, and everything was getting quite busy and crazy. And I just felt like this on-and-off relationship was, I guess, essentially killing my time. And I felt like this person was distracting me from getting stuff done and me trying to pursue my dreams. So that’s kind of the lyrical context of where that comes from. In terms of production, laying down some synths first and then, I’m a drummer, so I normally write from chords. So like playing the piano, playing synths, getting inspired by synth sounds, and singing melodies over the top. And then always that point where I add drum kits in, and tambourines, and production. And that song definitely revolves around percussion more than a live drum kit. I tried to put drum kit on it. I sat with it in my bedroom, and I played drums on it and I was like, "Well, it just doesn’t work well". So then I just separated all different parts of percussion. There’s tambourines, shakers, there’s clave hits. Different percussion that very much revolves around songs. So it’s quite rhythmic in terms of the drum element in it and the percussion element.
Yeah, that’s cool. It sounds really cool. How long did it take? Like the whole process of it?
It was done in like four hours.
Wow. That’s awesome.
Some of the songs that I feel personally the strongest that I have written or produced, or written with someone else or produced with someone else, the songs that come together quickest seem to be the best songs or the strongest songs in my mind. So yeah, that song was pretty much done in four hours. And then I just redid some vocals because the demo vocals I put down were just on a mic sitting on a couch. I wanted to redo it with a bit of microphones. And then yeah, it was pretty much done.
That’s amazing. So, I also saw the music video for that song. I thought it was really cool. I liked the concept of it being filmed on your phone and in airports. Can you tell me a little bit about that? The idea and how you came up with it?
Yeah, I come up with all the ideas for my film clips. And I did my first sound clip all on my iPhone, as well. So then I wanted to do my second one all on my iPhone too. And then it was in a period of time where if I made a film or film clip, I wasn’t actually in one place for a long enough period of time because I was flying everywhere. And then obviously the song is called “Killing My Time”, but it’s not about killing your time. But that’s kind of a little cool thing about it. I just decided "Why don’t I make it in airports while I’m flying?" And I was flying every day for about a month.
Yeah, I was like, “I may as well film it in the airport, killing my time”. I bought one of the handheld things that hold your iPhone and then I would just hold that and walk around in the airport singing my songs. And people would just stare at me and think I’m really strange. I just did so many takes. Every airport I’d go to, I’d try to do at least eight takes. And then I got some of my band members to hold the camera, as well, and film. So that was funny trying to get them to follow me around. And that’s how we put the film clip together.
That’s awesome, yeah. I thought it was really cool. I liked the idea of it. Your other single, your first single “About You”, so that song blew up really quickly. That was really amazing. How was that for you?
It was totally insane. I never expected what happened to happen. I didn’t expect it to blow up so quickly at all. That first day when I released it and put it on this platform in Australia called triple j Unearthed, as soon as I put it up there, and I actually filmed my whole day of this all happening, me just sitting in my room, and then some articles started popping up about this song that was uploaded to this radio station back in Australia. And it just kept escalating from there. And a couple days later, Pitchfork made my song their best song of the week. And then I started getting these offers of different shows to play at South by Southwest. It was just unreal and crazy, but I’ve worked really hard to get that song perfect. I spent like a whole year with that song in my room just going through every little detail on it, trying to work out if I should change anything. And it ended up being the exact demo that I made in two hours back in 2017.
Ended up, that was the final edit of it. But yeah, so since releasing that I think my life has basically changed. So it’s been absolutely amazing.
Yeah. And I know you mentioned South by Southwest. I’m actually from Austin. I grew up in Austin, Texas.
Oh, really? Cool.
Yeah. So I know a lot about South by Southwest. It’s really cool you played there. Can you tell me a little bit about the shows you’ve been playing? I know besides playing there you’ve been a supporting act, but you also have your own tour coming up too.
So, my very first show was at South by Southwest. I think I now have 26 shows under my belt.
So after I did eight shows at South by, which was never the plan, but since “About You” came out then more offers were coming up. And I was just saying yes to everything because I’m very much a "yes person" in life. And then I went back home and did a bunch of shows in my hometown and in Sydney. Then I went to the UK and played some shows over there. And supported a really cool band called Pale Waves, and that was amazing. Then I played some more shows in Australia. And played one of the biggest festivals in Australia called Splendor in the Grass, which was, my mind got absolutely blown. Because that was by far the biggest show I’ve ever played. It was probably in front of about 4000 people. I was only used to playing in front of maximum 300 people. And then going to a show where I’m in front of 4000 people and like having the whole crowd sing the words to these two songs I had released was so overwhelming for me. I cried on stage.
I got a lot of messages from people that they were crying with me, because you know, I’m on my 25th show. And it being that big of a capacity was very overwhelming to me. It was like such a big dream come true. And now off the back of that, I’ve announced an Australian tour, which is great because I get to go to some parts of Australia that I’ve personally never been to before. I haven’t played in these areas before, so that’s really cool. And also a UK and Europe tour throughout October, which is awesome. So basically I go back home and then I’m on the road for a while.
Do you like playing festivals more than you like playing smaller shows or are they just different to you?
Well, I haven’t actually had that much experience, to be honest, because I’ve only played a little amount of shows. But I definitely like playing festivals because you get to meet so many people. Like people were probably annoyed by me, but I was backstage running around introducing myself to every person I could see. And there were mega-famous people backstage and I’m running up to them like, "Hey I’m G Flip!" Like running around. So, I really enjoy playing festivals, but also playing your own smaller shows. I’m always going to have a thing for playing smaller shows. I spent my whole life before I started G Flip just being a drummer in bands. And since I was like 16, I’ve always played smaller venue shows and I kind of love the sweatiness and grossness of it. Those little aspects of how close you are to everyone. So I’ll always love those little shows.
Do you think you’re going to tour in the US any time soon?
Yeah. I plan to get a tour together for the US before the end of the year, so hopefully after around October in the UK and Europe I can get my little Aussie ass over here and play some shows.
Is there any place in particular that you want to go to?
I definitely want to play a show in LA, of course, because I love it here. And then I’d like to play a show in Chicago because I have some family over there.
Yeah, I live in Chicago too. It’s great.
Yeah, it’s cool. I really just want to go everywhere. I’m a big fan of touring, and traveling, and seeing new places. I’ve lived on a tour bus before when I played in another band just as a drummer, and waking up in a new city every day, that’s the coolest idea ever and the coolest thing ever to experience. So I’m just going to try and play as many shows as I can.
So, you were a drummer in another band. Can you tell me a little more about your start and how you began working on your music? And how you got to where you are now?
Yeah, for sure. Drums have always been my first instrument. As soon as I started playing drums, I fell in love. It was like my first love. And I’ve always, I guess throughout high school, I was always known as that drummer girl. I would always be drumming. I played band outside of high school. Just always drumming in band. And then I went and studied music at university and did a Bachelor in music. I majored in drums. So then I spent three years just playing drums over and over and over. And I was just filling in for heaps of bands in Australia. And playing classic wedding gigs and doing some sessions for people who wanted drums on their record. I remember I did some drumming for a ballet academy so they could dance to some tom drums and stuff. So I did lots of drumming jobs. I think I’ve always written songs and I’ve always sang secretly since the age of 14, but I was always too nervous to show anyone. But then over the course of me playing in different bands, I started doing backing vocals. And when I was at uni, I started trying to jump over the deep end and trying to lead sing some songs here and there. I think I was slowly just building up my confidence. And then once this band I was playing for ended, I was kind of lost on what I should do next. Like, "What am I going to do with my life now?" I’ve always collected voice memos and written all these songs, and it’s like, "Why am I doing this? Why am I collecting all these little voice and song ideas when I’m in the car or in the shower? Why am I teaching myself how to produce this stuff if I’m never going to do anything with it?" So then I made the decision that "You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to do this myself and that way I’m secure in a job". When I’m drumming for other people, you know, it’s never a secure job. If they want to kill the band off, then I don’t have a job anymore. So it was also that little aspect about it. Then I stuck it out, stayed in my bedroom for a year, and worked my ass off. Just wrote as many songs as I could. And I’m really picky on myself, so I would’ve written over 100 or more songs, but it was only like 5-10 that I would let other people hear. And then I just kept practicing and learning about production and writing. And watching so many YouTube videos on how to produce and stuff. Just teaching myself. Then I finally got to a stage where I was like, "Alright, maybe I can let people outside my circle hear this". And people seemed to like it, which surprised me. I was never sure if anyone was going to like my music. I knew like my mom, and dad, and brothers and sisters, and friends were like, "It’s so good", but they were always going to say that. Like I didn’t have anyone else’s opinion, so it was great to finally get others’ opinions. And it was like, "Yeah, this is awesome".
That’s awesome. And I think it’s so cool that you had your start as a drummer because then you can incorporate that into your music.
Yeah, I feel like being a drummer has helped me in my songwriting because I think of rhythm sometimes when I sing out melodies. I feel like a lot of things in my music, writing, and production are all around rhythmic ideas, and rhythms, and shit. So yeah, it’s cool.
Do you try to drum in all of your live performances as much as you can?
Yeah. It’s kind of funny, when I play live I play with two other dudes who are like my absolute best mates. And we kind of swap and change instruments each song, so there will be some songs that I play on kit and sing while I’m playing drums. And there will be songs where I play guitar and sing. And there will be songs where I straight up stuntwoman and dance around and jump around. And there will be songs where I have some drums at the front of the stage, so then some songs I’ll do a little drum solo on those at the front. It’s kind of like a mixed bag. Each song is a very different arrangement. I move around the stage a lot.
And can you tell us anything about any new music or what you’re working on?
Yeah. I’ve got a lot of new music. And I’ve been playing so many shows that like, I guess my shows that I’ve played have up to eight songs in them. So, I’ve got a lot of music. And for the people that have come to my shows, they’re always hassling me like, “Ahh, you need to release that track that you played” and “What about that song you’ve played?” I’ve got a lot of music. I’m just such a perfectionist, to be honest. And it’s just always like, I’ll listen to it another 100 times and try this and add this. I feel like I probably give everyone a headache in my team because it’s always like, everything could be a little bit better.
I get that.
I’ve got a lot of songs. It’s just getting them perfected in my mind and making them okay and all clear about it. But, I’ve got heaps of songs. And right now, I’m trying to write songs everyday while I’m here in LA. And any time I have off, I’m going through all my voice memos, and notes, and song ideas in my head and trying to finish them off. I basically want to get a lot of songs finished, so that when I play shows I can swap and change different songs and see the crowd’s reaction. Hopefully in the next month I will release a new tune. That’s my plan.
Who are your biggest influences when it comes to your music?
To be honest, when I write my music I’m never listening to someone or like just having different artists on repeat to get inspiration, which I feel like is weird. A lot of my friends who are artists are always listening to so much stuff to get influenced by it. I feel like if I listen to an artist too much, then I’ll write songs that are exactly like that person. And I never want to fall down that hole. I do want to stay true to myself. I think some of my music, what inspires me, is my relationship and love. I’m in a long distance relationship and it really hurts my heart so much. I’m always writing poetry. And if I go to the piano, and play sad chords, and sing out something, I’ll be like, “Oh, wow. I’m feeling pretty crappy”. Like my whole life and my love situation. So that always inspires me. Other than that, I think what’s inspired me is the music that I grew up on. I always listened to Michael Jackson. That was my first musical love from the ages of four and five. And then my dad was always listening to music in the house. He loved The Rolling Stones, and Rancid, and some old punk stuff, and Pink Floyd. And then once I started getting older to the age of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, the stuff I was playing on the radio was more R&B tracks. I just remember pumping Usher’s Confessions album over and over. But my whole life, I’ve always been listening to a lot of different music. I never listened to stuff that directly influenced my music. I think it was just my whole growing up and you know, those things that are going on around in my life. Like my relationships and my world inspire the lyrics.
Yeah, I love that. And speaking of other artists too, do you have any dream collaborators or people you’d love to work with on your upcoming songs?
My dream collaborations really change. I would love to work with Pharrell. I’m a big fan. I just really respect him because he’s a big producer, songwriter. And he also plays drums. So, that’s in the long term, I guess. Others would be, I would just like to jump on drums actually, for other people on stage. I think that definitely is a different way to collaborate. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a track that I release. I would just like to add a festival jump on stage and drum. My dream is to get on stage with Foo Fighters and just drum a song with Dave Grohl.
Yeah, that’s awesome.
That would be fucking mental. Or just like drumming on other people’s tracks because beforehand, that’s what I was doing. I was in the studios and in sessions. So just jumping on drums. Or I really want to get into songwriting for other people, as well. Like I love songwriting so much and writing songs. It brings me so much joy and happiness, so I’d like to collaborate and write for other people. But, I guess my main one is Pharrell. That’d be really cool.
Yeah, that would be amazing. He’s really cool. So, I’m just personally interested, what role do you think social media plays in your life in terms of connecting with your fans and the music?
Yeah, for sure. Now social media is a massive key factor in the music business. And the world is now your stage because we’re so connected now with streaming and everything. So social media is a huge factor. Also, just letting everyone know when a tour or EP’s coming up, and if you’ve got any merch on sale, etc. So for any musician, it’s really important. And it’s important to reach out to your fans and stuff. I’m very active on social media. I try to reply to everyone if they send me a DM. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep up with that, but I think social media has helped me. I remember when I had to say goodbye to my girlfriend a couple weeks ago, and I was like devastated at the airport, I literally made a post of me crying. And then I started asking, you know how you can do that thing where you can ask a question? I did that. I was like, “People please ask me questions to keep my mind off saying goodbye to my loved one”. So then I did the Q&A and I stopped hysterically crying. I was just talking to people sending me messages and I was very happy. By the end of it, I was like, “I’m okay”. It was pretty cute. So, social media had my back. It’s not always about me getting out to the fans and being entertainment to the fans. And that aspect was my little bit of therapy. That was pretty cute.
Aww, I really love that. That’s so cute. On your Twitter and Instagram too, do you find yourself recognizing fans and connecting personally with them if they’ve reached out to you a lot?
Yeah, totally. I start remembering their Instagram and Twitter names because they contact me so much. There’s this one fan in the UK, and he came up to me and he’s like, “Hi, my name’s this, but my Instagram name is this”. And I was like, “Oh dude, I know you! You message me all the time”.
Oh my gosh, I love that.
So yeah, I start getting familiar with the people that message me. And I’m pretty talkative on social media. Again, I don’t know how long that’s going to last, but I’m always talking and replying to everyone.
That’s so awesome. Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years music-wise or in your life in general?
Next five years, I definitely want to expand and be releasing songs that I’ve collaborated with some cool people. I definitely want to be writing for more people. I want to do what I told you, like drum for people at festivals. I want to produce for other artists. So, I really want to, I guess, grow as a musician, and a songwriter, and a producer. It’s not all about my project, G Flip. I want to, in the music industry, spread my wings and really get around there. And get involved with other people’s projects and the processes because like I said before, my happiness and joy has come from creating, and songwriting, and producing. And those few moments when a song’s coming together and you just know it’s good is something valuable and just brings me the most joy. So the more I can do that, the happier I’ll be as a person. And obviously, I want to see some countries I’ve never been to before. It’s so great this job that I have because I’m getting to travel and see the world, which is absolutely amazing. I’m the luckiest person on Earth. I’m getting to see places that I never thought I’d be able to see. So basically, I just want to spread my wings.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Monday, November 12th | Brooklyn, NY | Baby's All Right
Tuesday, November 13th | Los Angeles, CA | The Echo
Thursday, November 15th | San Francisco, CA | Rickshaw Stop