In a time of light-hearted lyricism and surface-level exploration, it’s refreshing to hear someone singing with soul and depth about topics such as gender fluidity and domestic violence.
Yep, heavy stuff. But for 23-year-old singer-songwriter, Georgia Meek, it’s all in a day’s work – and there’s no such thing as shying away from painful topics and themes. If anything, it’s these experiences that beautifully enrich the North Londoner’s deeply powerful indie-pop ballads.
Meek’s piercing, hair-raising vocals (definite Ellie Goulding vibes here) fuel the pulsing tracks, with “Bare” remembering her time in a violent relationship, and “Swim”, exploring unbridled female desire. Her latest single “Right Kind of Wrong” – also taken off her forthcoming EP, “Womanhood” – covers self-worth in a haunting testimony to her vocal prowess.
We chat to the singer about influences, collaborations and getting personal…
How did you start out making music?
Music has always played a big part in my life. Believe it or not, the first song I ever wrote was called ‘Escargot’ (French for snail) on a trip to Paris with my Aunt when I was twelve. After that I just kept writing songs about things I saw around me. Eventually things around me became a little more depressing, as they do when your life hurtles you towards your twenties, and so writing music turned into a great way for me to not only put my own experiences on paper, but also connect with others who have been through similar stuff.
Who did you listen to growing up?
I was raised on a crazy mixed bag of records. My mum would still class herself as a Siouxsie and the Banshees ‘fan-girl’, but my dad drummed the lyrics to ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ by The Chemical Brothers into me from a super young age. Growing up I listened to a lot of bands like Cage The Elephant, Jamie T, The White Stripes – all brilliant storytellers. I, of course, also, had all of the classic ‘I’m a singer’ CDs to hand; Pink, Christina, Cher, Janet Jackson, Queen B.
You’re not afraid to talk about painful topics – do you think its important for artists to address personal issues?
Yes. We all live with this bullshit idea that people we idolise on instagram have these perfect lives. People feel like they’re aren’t happy enough because their house doesn’t look like a ‘Scandinavian Living’ Pinterest board, or their abs don’t resemble that of an auto-enhanced 2017 Love Island finalist. The truth is? Every single one of us has something going on that makes us feel sad or insecure or even depressed – it’s learning to cope with and manage these situations that directs us on the path to happiness, and the only way to start is by talking about it.
Were you ever nervous releasing music that was so personal?
I’ve never cried on stage, but I teared up in Soho a few months ago when I first introduced “Bare” to an audience, mostly because it had been a long time coming and the night was very emotional in general. I was more nervous when I first got a call from a magazine asking me to talk about the story behind the song – it’s a bit scarier without the pretty instrumentation.
How have the people around you received it?
My mum is now a self proclaimed ‘mum-ager’ and my friends are super supportive. My two housemates actually star in my music video for “Bare” – they’re a couple in real life. The response I’ve had further afield has been crazy. It’s super rewarding when I get a message from someone who’s listened to “Bare” and feels encouraged to speak out about domestic violence.
What is “Right Kind of Wrong” about?
It’s all about our inner battle of self-worth. Most of us at one time or another have fallen into the arms of someone we know is less than we deserve, but have carried on for the wrong reasons. Having said that, I wanted to leave this one fairly open to interpretation – everyone writes their own love story, so I felt like it was important not to be too specific.
Do you feel a lot older than your years – especially with the topics you sing about?
My friends will tell you that my life so far hasn’t exactly been a picnic. When you’ve been exposed to things like death and abuse from such a young age, it becomes nearly impossible to think trivially about things. It’s also no secret that I overthink and philosophise a lot, so I guess you could say that I’ve done 40 years worth of thinking – but most of the time I still feel like a very broke, very irresponsible twenty something.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I’m always shocked when I speak to someone who hasn’t heard of Seinabo Sey – I think she’s still massively under-appreciated in the UK music scene. It’d be a dream to write with her, I’ve been a massive fan girl since seeing her live at XOYO a while ago.
What’s next for you this year?
I’m supporting my buddy Dan Crossley on October 18th over at the Camden Assembly which I’m so excited about. I’ve also been chatting with FEMME about doing a show here in London, and have a few festival plans for next summer already. I’m also writing tonnes of new songs which I’m dying to share, so expect new music to keep coming.