An Interview with Georgia Black

Georgia Black
Georgia Black

Georgia Black is a contemporary Jazz and Blues singer from North London who is influenced by the female greats, such as Shirley Bassey, Etta James and Peggy Lee. Over the last few years, Georgia has been busy honing her craft, taking influence from the old jazz, blues and soul influences she grew up with.

Anara Publishing caught up with Georgia Black to ask her about her music making process, career to date, and the importance of publishing.

Tell us about how you started making music or what initially got you into music?
Around the age of 12, I started getting into Big Band music, which I first discovered through the musical ‘Chicago’ (funnily enough). This was where I believe I first developed my love for Jazz (then later Blues) music, and started delving into the genres, opening my ears to all the greats – Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald etc. I was also a huge fan of Shirley Bassey – I just loved the big orchestral compositions that her big voice glided over, and I just couldn’t take my eyes off her whenever I watched her performances. How could such a tiny little thing create that sound and command an audience like that? I was completely captivated by her.

What is your typical song writing process? Is it the same every time? Do you have any routines to get you in the creative frame of mind?
My typical songwriting process is singing absolute mumble juice over a track. Haha! I tend to pick out the melodies first, making sounds with random words, then piece the lyrics together after. It’s usually then that I’ll realise what the song is about and then tweak the lyrics. That’s my most common way of writing anyway, but it really depends on the song.

Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?
I think the pivotal moment in my career was immediately after I stepped out of college. I guess you could say I was in the right place at the right time, as I ended up in a band with Mick Jones from The Clash and got to perform at some amazing events. This was nothing to do with my songwriting, but having those performance experiences made it clear to me that music was the path I wanted to take.

How important do you think publishing representation is for artists and composers?
I think it’s quite important for an indie artist/songwriter to have a publisher in this day and age, as it’s so difficult to earn a living from music completely independently. With the help of a publisher, an artist/songwriter is a lot more likely to have their music heard through it getting synced.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence on your music?
My greatest influence? This is always such a difficult question to answer, as there’s been so many and for different reasons. As well as Jazz and Blues music, I grew up listening to Hip Hop. I loved the Fugees, Lauren Hill, Missy Elliot… The list goes on, but obviously, Shirley Bassey is one I hold close to my heart.

You’re from London, could you tell us what are the current musical trends in London and how do you think your music fits these trends?
There’s a lot of great RnB, Soul and Reggae artists with a bit more edge coming out of London at the minute – Artists such as Hollie Cook, Eva Lazarus and Green Tea Peng spring to mind. I mean, they’ve been around for a while, but their stuff is really popping at the minute 🙂 I guess my music fits in there, as it’s a different kind of Soul.

Do you have a favourite use of music in TV or Film?
My favourite use of music in TV and Film are in programmes such as Sons of Anarchy, Luther and Better Call Saul – I love the theme songs for these three shows! As for film, I’ve always been a huge fan of the Bond theme tunes!

Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters/composers?
My advice to aspiring songwriters would be to write in the way that is natural to them, and to not think about what other people want to hear. Unless you have to for brief purposes of course – Lol! But in terms of your own songwriting, be true to yourself and the song. When you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you excited about the track, that’s when you know it’s right!