G Flip On Her Debut Album ‘About Us’, Songwriting & What It’s Like When Your World Changes OvernightWritten by Sarah Bellamy on September 2, 2019
Melbourne artist G Flip has come a long way since uploading her debut single ‘About You’ to triple j Unearthed last year. The popularity of the single launched the bedroom producer into the mainstream and saw her selling out headline shows both locally and across the globe.
A prolific writer, G Flip (aka Georgie Flipo) has since released multiple singles, including ‘Killing My Time’ and ‘Drink Too Much’, which are currently sitting on 15.4 and 8.8 million Spotify streams, respectively. Her debut album About Us is out now and features her well-known singles, plus a heap of new songs.
This month, G Flip played Lollapalooza in Chicago but will be back on our shores for triple j’s One Night Stand on September 14, and her headlining Aussie tour in November. The multi-instrumentalist will also be playing Spilt Milk, before ending the year at Falls Festival.
We caught up with G Flip while she was in LA, to chat about the tracks on About Us, her favourite records of all time, and her lava lamp collection.
Music Feeds: So, you’re over in LA at the moment, because you just played Lollapalooza, right?
G Flip: Yeah, played Lollapalooza, then did some press in New York and some press here and now I’ve just been doing some sessions, working with different producers, writing songs.
MF: Who have you been working with so far?
G: Ooh, some of the names I can’t say, it’s like, secret! They’re super cool people though!
MF: Has it been productive so far, the writing sessions?
G: Yeah, super productive! I guess beforehand, I’d always just write songs and produce songs in my bedroom. Then I only did my first ever session, where you just meet a random producer and write a song with them like… last year or the year before was the first time I’d done that. And now I love doing it because when I write songs I’ll always be like ‘aw, I don’t know about that melody or that lyric line for that chorus’, but if I work with someone else they’ll just be like ‘nah, that works’, and then I’ll be like ‘oh, okay’, I won’t have to think about it. So, I find I write and finish songs really quickly, and can even do a whole song in a day, which is great.
MF: Your new album About Us comes out later this month, so is this writing songs for future projects?
G: Yeah, I guess… majority of the songs on About Us I wrote in like, 2017, and even like, there’s one song where I wrote all the piano parts to it in like 2013 or something. So, these group of songs on the album, I’ve had these songs for a long time and I’ve been singing them by myself in my room for a long time. And then, I guess… what year is it? It’s 2019 now. Last year I started making a whole heap of new songs and I’m just getting like, a whole heap of songs under my belt and now I’ve got so many that I’m actually gonna not use some of them and let other people use them, which is pretty cool.
MF: That’s so prolific.
G: Yeah, I tend to write a lot, always.
MF: So, you’re not someone who gets writer’s block very often then?
G: No, not at all. I feel like I’m the opposite. And I’m even gonna start writing songs for other people now, which I’m super excited for ‘cause yeah, that’s fun.
MF: Do you think that will differ much from writing songs for yourself? Like, do you have to be in a different headspace to do that or is it all much the same?
G: Well, some songs are just songs I’ve written and produced myself, that I don’t really want for my projects, so then I’ll go pitch them to other artists and be like ‘do you wanna use this?’ Or, if you do a session when you’re in the room, I have to sit in a room with another artist and like, kind of get in their head and like, what they wanna write about. Maybe they’ll tell me about like, a relationship or something that they’re having trouble with and then I’ll think of lyrical ideas and melodies based off that. It’s interesting.
MF: And I read that last year you had a writing session with Scott Hoffman from Scissor Sisters?
MF: How did that go? Did any of the songs from About Us come from that session or was that a separate thing?
G: That was actually one of my very first sessions I’ve ever done, and we had one day together, and it was straight after I played my first shows ever at SXSW. So, ‘About You’ kind of blew up, three weeks later I was playing at SXSW, playing my first shows ever, and then a week after that I stayed in LA and I did writing sessions.
So, I had one with Scott and I remember getting the Uber up to his house, which is like, in a really nice spot – I think it’s The Hills, but I’m not too sure. It was like, up a mountain where you could see the view of the whole of LA, and it was so amazing and I remember in the car, thinking like, how crazy it is how my life has expanded so quickly, and my world used to be my bedroom and then kind of overnight, my world became the world. And I remember thinking of this concept of things just expanding and expanding and evolving, and then I wrote some lyrics in my phone – which I normally do before I go into a writing session, I want to be able to think of a few different things that I could write about that day.
And then, yeah, we kind of sat near a piano and then Scott played some chords on the piano, I was tapping my foot and clicking, and then, kind of, the song ‘Two Million’ fell out of my mouth, and that is the closing track, and my favourite track on About Us. And yeah, it came together within like, hours. It was just done. And the whole idea, if you listen to the lyrical content, is the scene keeps expanding, so like, the first line is ‘maybe one day I’ll have my own guitar/maybe one day I’ll put it on my wall’, zooms out, ‘maybe one day I’ll have my own home’, zooms out, like, it just keeps zooming the frame. The picture in your mind keeps zooming out until all that’s left is just my story in the world.
‘Cause that’s the thing with musicians, we die, but then our voices and stories we’ve told like, linger around in the world, that people listen to. Which is like, creepy.
MF: That’s crazy to think about, huh? ‘Cause there are so many artists I’ll listen to from years ago who aren’t on the earth anymore.
G: Yeah! So, ‘Two Million’ is like, that concept of like, my life is just going to keep expanding and expanding until I get married and have kids and blah, blah, blah, and then I’ll die and all that’s left is this story that I’ve told to everyone through my music.
MF: So, do you have other favourite tracks from the upcoming album, as well?
G: ‘Two Million’’s definitely my favourite, I think. Then my next few favourites would probably be ‘About You’ – I feel like that song’s just like, my heart and soul in one track, like that’s me just tearing it up in my bedroom, and I feel that’s like 100 percent my DNA is in that tune, and it also like, started my career, which is awesome.
And then the song ‘Morning’, which I actually wrote and produced… I think it was like a week or two weeks after I finished and completed ‘About You’, so I was kinda in the same headspace, in the same world. I remember I would just sit in my room all day, playing with different synth sounds and writing and recording the vocals with… I have like eight lava lamps, and I’d just sit in my room and be up all night, making those two tracks.
So, like, when I think about ‘Morning’ and ‘About You’, the aesthetic in my brain is like this glow of lava lamps.
MF: You have eight?
G: I have eight… I think I actually have twelve, but I have eight in my studio.
MF: What are some of your favourite records of all time?
G: Ooh, of all time?! For some reason there’s a lot of records in 2016 that I loved. I loved Rihanna’s Anti album, I loved Miguel’s Wildheart, I loved The Internet’s Ego Death, I loved D’Angelo’s album… I think it’s called Black Messiah. Who else do I love? The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls album. Oh, there’s so much music! Oh, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. I love The Weeknd, like his records that came out I always loved. I went through a Paramore stage when I was like, in high school where I was obsessed with Paramore. I love Florence [and the Machine], I love Elliphant, if you know her? She’s cool.
I don’t know, there’s so many! But then I also listen to like, some jazz stuff. I love David Brubeck. Yeah, I kind of cross genres a little bit sometimes. Some of that Daft Punk stuff was super cool. Yeah, there’s heaps. I could go on forever!
MF: That’s quite a diverse list of artists, do you take different elements of each of them and incorporate it into the inspiration for your own work?
G: Um, it’s interesting because a lot of people have asked me like, ‘Oh, what were you listening to when you made all these songs?’ And I was like ‘I was listening to nothing at all’. I would just make songs on what my ears liked. But I think, definitely the music that I’ve listened to throughout my life would have some influence. Like, my dad would always listen to like, punk music, and my mum listened to like, early-2000s r’n’b kind of tunes, and then I liked a mixture of stuff growing up, so I think it all ends up influencing. But, when I was making my own music I was never trying to make it sound like anything else.
MF: So, you just sort of completely isolated and didn’t listen to any other music during those times?
G: Yeah, and ‘cause I’d spend so much time working on my own tunes, like, if I had an hour to spare or relax, I wasn’t gonna put headphones on, ‘cause I’d just blasted my ears all day, making songs. So, I didn’t really find time to listen to other stuff when I was making my songs. And when I just made stuff it would be like, I’d just fiddle with synth sounds ‘til I found something that I liked, and then I like putting drums on stuff ‘cause I’m a drummer at heart, so then I’d do that. And then, I like the sound of layered vocals… like, it was kind of just whatever my ears liked.
MF: What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming headlining Australian tour?
G: Oh my god, I’m so excited for it! I’m excited ‘cause I’m revamping the whole show. So, I feel like… I got kinda thrown in the deep end when the song blew up so quickly, I had a very limited amount of time to put a show together for my first show, ‘cause it was like three weeks’ notice, almost. I always planned what I’d do with the show, in my head, but having that time limit on it was hard. So, then, yeah, now I’ve got like, a whole month during October to put a new show together with new arrangements, and I’ve had these arrangements in my head for so long, so I’m pretty excited to do that!
MF: That’s cool. And final question, what do you have planned for the rest of 2019?
G: I guess the rest of 2019 is the album’s coming out, I’m playing a heap of shows, I’m playing Spilt Milk, I’m playing Falls Festival. There’ll definitely be some more writing times for me. I’m hoping I can take my two best friends who play in my band to like, Bali or something for a little party to celebrate everything we’ve achieved, and all the shows that we’ve been playing. And yeah, I think that’s about all. And then the year will end and then I’ll be at Falls Festival, having the best time ‘cause I’ve always wanted to play Falls, so I can’t wait!