George Maple by The Hunger on Mixcloud
Every burgeoning artist worth their harmonies has to put up with being called the new someone, or the ‘next big thing’ and George Maple is no exception – she’s been labelled as the ‘next Jessie Ware’. Could be worse eh? The Australian singer songwriter with a penchant for electro-soul that has now settled in London is set to shake the music industry up this year and give the aforementioned Jessie a run for her money. We catch up with George to find out how she’s coping with the comparisons, and ask her for a cheeky mixtape in the process.
EXPLAIN THE SONGS ON THE MIX TO US, WHY ARE THEY SIGNIFICANT?
I feel like every song I have become addicted to, has in some way, been tied to a person, a conversation or an event I have shared with someone, so I’m hoping this mixtape is the next best thing to sitting around in the early hours, drinking red wine and playing records. Or these days, trawling through YouTube. It was really tough to condense my list down to 10 tracks, these songs are basically a collection of tunes I’ve been listening too lately. Each one was first shown to me by someone who had made an impact on my life, both personally and musically, some of them are current, some are from decades ago, there is very little rhyme or reason to the mix of songs, but I hope people enjoy them and maybe they will discover something new.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE THAT YOU COULD SING?
I can’t quite remember but I think I was about nine years old my family and I used to take a skiing holiday in Australia each year (it does snow in Australia). One year, the lodge we were staying at hosted a talent show. I sang that song ‘Colours of the Wind’ from the film Pocahontas; I wore a feather headpiece and brown fringing and I never looked back.
WHAT DID YOU LISTEN TO THE MOST GROWING UP AND WHO HAD THE MOST LASTING INFLUENCE?
When I was young spent a lot of time listening to Tracy Chapman, K.D Lang, Jeff Buckley, Renee Geyer, Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, Ella Fitzgerald, Chris Izaack, Donny Hathaway and Eva Cassidy. Their albums were on high rotation in my parents lounge room. As I began to dedicate more time to music and started earning pocket money, I started buying my own music and listening to Lauryn Hill, Eryka Badu, Damien Rice and Massive Attack. I used to sing cover songs at local restaurants and bars in Sydney, to earn money during high school, so I sang a lot of Marvin Gaye, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, India Arie, Stevie Wonder, the list goes on! When I was old enough to go out to clubs and started hanging out with producers and other musicians I discovered house music and more production based electronic music. I am constantly finding new and old music that inspires me. I think I am influenced by specific sounds, tones, moods, instrumentation and emotions within individual songs rather than one specific artist, but I think the classic voices like K.D Lang and Renee Geyer will always resonate for me.
YOU’VE BEEN COMPARED TO JESSIE WARE – WAS THAT INEVITABLE AND DO YOU SEE THE COMPARISON?
Haha, I think perhaps we may have grown up listening to a lot of the same artists. A few people have mentioned that to me. She’s doing so well and she seems like such a lovely person, I’d love to do work with her at some stage if she’d be up for it! I have always wanted to collaborate with another girl.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS GENRE OF MUSIC?
There seem to be new sub-genres born every day, the internet is mental! I suppose the music I am creating at the moment is a patchwork of my influences. I’ve been writing since I was quite young, and I always used to write songs at the piano. When I was 17 I started working with dance producers. I would write and sing songs for my friends over the top of electro house musi and as I began learning more about production, I found it a really enjoyable and exciting way to write music myself – using drums and loops and creating strange sounds with my computer. I find the dynamic between vocals and instrumentals really conversational. I still sit down at the piano to write songs every now and then but I like to be creative and a little bit reckless when I’m composing, I think it’s exciting!
HOW DOES TEH MUSIC SCENE IN AUSTRALIA DIFFER TO LONDON?
There are definitely differences, but I think as online communities grow the divides between the music scenes shrink. People can access music as they want it, as opposed to someone dictating the ‘sound’ of a market. I think there are definitely a lot of parallels developing between the two music scenes and as flights become less expensive, it seems more and more London acts are travelling to Australia to tour which is really exciting. I think Australian music has always been quite rock and folk focused but that is definitely changing as artists like Flume, Chet Faker, Jaguar Ma and Flight Facilities continue to make waves internationally.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU THIS YEAR?
I’m finishing off my current material, going through the motions of being totally inspired and going slightly stir crazy from being alone for too long in my apartment. I’m just in the final stages of refining the production at the moment. I feel very ready to start sharing the music with people. The next track is coming very soon. I think the live shows will start in April which is something I’m really looking forward to. I can’t wait to perform again. I’ve been working on a few collaborations with Bondax, Snakehips, Juk Juk and Catching Flies that are each quite different and really fun, so they should be released this year too. Lots of magic and fun times I hope.
YOU’VE BEEN IN LONDON FOR A WHILE NOW – WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE HANGOUT?
I probably need to leave the East more often! I spend so much time there. A few of my friends work in hospitality and take me out to these amazing cocktail bars, but I never can remember the name or where I am because there always seem to just be a door. I am really enjoying the warehouse party culture here – it’s something we don’t have in Sydney. Any excuse to dance until the early hours of the morning is fine by me. I also spend a lot of my time here writing instrumentals and demos in coffee shops around Shoreditch and I love Broadway Market on a Saturday and Columbia Road on a Sunday.
WHAT WAS THE LAST ALBUM YOU BOUGHT?
Nicolas Jaar, Space Is Only Noise
WHAT ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR?
This year is looking pretty tasty.