Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

George Maple

13 March 2013, 13:15 | Written by Andriana Albert

Wasting no time collaborating with the hottest names in music, rising songstress, George Maple draws you into her hypercolour world where the mood can change with the blink of an eye. George Maple’s bubbly charm oozes through her words with this kind of restrained excitement. Her sultry emotion cannot be contained, spilling onto the floor of your bedroom before her only single, ‘Uphill’ has a chance to hit the minute mark.

Best Fit chats with the lovely George Maple about her beginnings in her native Australia, and how one magical night in a bar turned into a hit single and tour with Flight Facilities, to being compared to Jessie Ware, making the move from Sydney to London, her love of Imogen Heap, how she translates experiences into songs, plans for future releases, and of course her collaboration with Flume. What’s more, check out the brand new video for new single ‘Fixed’ directly below.

So many people were introduced to your lovely voice through your collaboration with Flume on the track ‘Bring You Down’, which appeared on his debut album. How did that collaboration come about?

About a year and a half ago, I was driving home from a session in Sydney. Triple J (Which is like the Aussie version of BBC 1) played the track ‘Sleepless’ (which was Flume’s first radio release) and I was blown away, I almost had a collision trying to Shazam the tune. It turned out I knew his manager, so I emailed him and he introduced us and it kind of evolved from there. ‘Bring You Down’ was written over a few months, some bits in San Francisco, some in Bali, some in Melbourne. We wen’t back and forth over email and only met when we recorded the track in a friend’s basement in Newport, Sydney. It was quite an international process.

You’ve also toured with Flight Facilities. How did that come about, and what was that experience like?

Ha ha yes. I met Hugo (one half of Flight Facilities) in a bar in Sydney. That sounds so sleazy ha, but it’s completely innocent. I think it was around Feb 2010, so three years ago now, a friend of mine had sent me ‘Crave You’ the week before. I was quite shy about my singing at the time but I had just finished performing at a piano bar around the corner. Must have been buzzing from the adrenaline for some reason because I blurted out that I was a singer, he asked to hear some music, a few champagnes gave me the courage to email him a demo later that evening. I was so nervous, but he seemed to like it, and the three of us ended up writing a song called ‘Foreign Language’. The track was released the following year and I was lucky enough (and still lucky enough) to go perform the live show.

It’s been such an incredible ride, the first gig we ever did was in a mining town called Mackay in Queensland. It has definitely come a long way from there, we are like a family now. I’ve learned so much, met so many people along the way. I’m so glad I was tipsy enough to send that demo.

How long have you been singing and writing music?

I was always caught up in my own imagination when I was young (I still am really). I was always drawing, writing or playing dress up. I was probably about nine when I discovered singing and I wrote my first song at age eleven, (I think I ripped off an Alicia Keys song) but I kept writing because I really enjoyed it. I think it was a bit of a natural progression from my childhood fantasy world. Creativity is kind of like a form of therapy or exercise for me, I write and sing, (dance in my living room) and create things every day, just because I enjoy it. I think it’s the excitement of the spontaneous, it’s like my adrenaline rush.

To me, your sound is the most soulful of pop songs meets Imogen Heap. Maybe I’m way off having only heard two songs. Haha.

Wow…that’s so lovely. I love Imogen Heap. This video is such a wicked performance of the track ‘Hide and Seek’. It’s quite funny you mention that, it’s a little random, but when I was at school I had to choose a song and turn it into a 200 girl choir piece, and I chose her track ‘Hide and Seek’. She’s definitely had an impact on my writing, I think using that vocoder was so ahead of it’s time. I seem to find it really tricky to classify my sound, I’m never quite sure what to say. I feel like it will keep changing each day in some small way, so I suppose we’ll see in the next few months :)

If you could pick a food or dish to describe your sound, what would you pick and why?

hmmm…I’d have to say some form of butterscotch ice cream…I think…creamy…but kind all the pieces of butterscotch are slightly uneven and dishevelled.

What are your songs about?

Thoughts, places, people, ideas, obscurity, making sense of the world. Last year I spent a lot of time travelling around. I think I was at home for a total of 3 or 4 months of the year. I wrote most of the George Maple tracks during this time. It was eye-opening to notice how different environments influenced the tone and mood of the songs.

At the beginning of the year I spent quite a lot of time hidden away in my bedroom writing and developing and learning how to produce. It was quite lonely and frustrating at times and you can hear that in the tone of the tracks. Whereas when I moved to London I was meeting so many new people and discovering what it’s like to live in a big city for the first time, I found myself writing more beat driven songs. When I was in Australia touring over Christmas I had a real summer, I met a whole group of new people, listened to a lot of Onra and Rhye, partied, danced and romanced, so the songs were far more uplifting and fun.

Where does the name George Maple come from?

Originally I developed George Maple as a kind of fictional character. I began developing narratives and stories about who she was where she came from, who broke her heart; I was interested in surrealism, the sublime, gothic literature and the power of basic human instinct at the time, so everything was quite dark and villainous. The more I wrote however, the more I realised it’s not in my nature to contrive a persona for myself, it just wouldn’t work for me. I also began to come to terms with being vulnerable and began to enjoy the freedom of being honest with my songs so I decided to make it more of a creative canvas where I could be a little more eccentric and explore ideas that were perhaps a little outside of myself.


Can you talk about your music as a whole, on a more conceptual level.

Each time I write, the experience and motivation is quite different for me. I spend a lot of downtime in transit; airport/planes/trains. I think that’s where I collect my thoughts and reflect on a conscious level. Sometimes I’m quite introspective and think about my own experiences, other times it might be a friends experience or even some kind of fictional world I’ve been intrigued by in a film or a piece of art, sometimes a single word in a sentence will spark a whole song. I think these thoughts and observations kind of tumble inside my head until I sit down to write, when I get there, I leave the work up to my subconscious mind.

I usually create an instrumental first or a few chords, then sing and sketch a lot of ideas, melodies until the vibe feels right and then develop the song from there. I like to be spontaneous and a little bit reckless, in that way, the concepts which inspire me are constantly changing. At the moment I am fascinated by people, the way we interact and react.

What does it feel like to be compared to Jessie Ware?

She’s such a strong, incredible artist, it’s a bit scary to be put in the same basket. It’s so good to see people like her, Lianne La Havas, Kimbra and Feist doing so well, and crossing over into the bigger markets without selling their authenticity and sound. It gives hope for the future of music! I’d totally love to work with her, (I’m going to put this in every interview in the hope she see’s it one day). :)

If you could collaborate with any artist making music today, who would you pick and why?

There are so many. Am I allowed to cheat and throw three in there? James Blake, Jai Paul or Nicolas Jaar (or all three together) Can you imagine! I find all mysterious, creative and genius. Their sounds are each unique, distinguished and they work from their own space, not trying to conform to anything in particular. I really love that.

I have a lot of friends making music in Sydney and Melbourne and it’s such a different scene in Australia, but not at all in a bad way, just a totally different vibe. I’m curious why the move from Australia to the UK?

Oh really!? Yeah there are definitely differences between the two, both are quite magical. I’ve travelled since I was really young, I can’t sit still for too long, so the move wasn’t that scary for me. I’ve always just packed my bags and left when I had enough money and felt the time was right. I have always loved the vibe in the UK music scene. I used to listen to a lot of UK music when I was young, I loved Moloko/ Rosin Murphy, The Kooks, Paolo Nutini. I’ve always liked the way your artists seem to convey this raw emotion with such grace and swagger.

I didn’t actually intend on living here initially, London freaked me out a little bit because I am from a beach town outside of Sydney, right next to the diner from the show, Home and Away. :) I travelled over to meet my manager who is based here and within a matter of days I had made the decision that I should stay. I fell in love with the music, the people, the city, the grey sky, the rough edges, I know that might sound strange, but for me, it’s just a different world and that’s what I get a thrill out of.

Has living in London changed your perspective on music at all?

I think I feel like I finally have found a really good place to base myself from for now, a place where people seem to understand and are open to the kind of music I’m making at the moment. I’ve never been so inspired. I’ve been working with and meeting so many talented people and for me, at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. I think being here has given me a lot more confidence with what I want to do because I feel I am amongst people who share love for the same kind of music and live for the same kind of rush.

Do you have a favourite venue to catch live music in London?

I’m really enjoying the warehouse party thing at the moment…dancing and letting lose with some loud music is such a release when I have a spare night off, which is pretty rare at the moment. On weeknights, my best mate and I often accidentally stumble into jazz and blues bars in obscure places around london, but to be honest I’m not great with names. I presume they are usually in the East where I’m living.

What do you hope listeners will get out of your music, if anything?

haha I hope they will feel something….laugh, shout, cry, sing? As long as it triggers something, I’m over the moon.

What can we expect from George Maple in 2013?

Well the next single is almost ready to go! So that’s really exciting. I can’t wait to share it. I’m putting together the live show at the moment which should be ready for April, and I have been finishing off the final production tweaks for a whole collection of other tracks I’ve been working on, which I will release one by one throughout the year. There are a few collaborations with some talented gentlemen too; Bondax, Snakehips, Juk Juk and Catching Flies to name a few, so those tracks will be released throughout the year.

Closing words/shout outs?

Hi Mum ;)

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