george maple will fill your head with soulful sounds
As the i-D Class of 2015 member wraps up at SXSW and prepares to play a sold out Australian tour, we catch up with her in LA putting the final touches on her stage outfits.
Photography Tom Burton. George wears Faddoul dress, ae'lkemi jacket and Soot drop earring.
George Maple is an Australian musician making modern soulful dance music that might break your heart. 2014 saw the release of three incredible tracks: 'Fixed', 'Talk Talk' and 'Vacant Space', each of which showed off her capacity as a vocalist and became instant hits that were subsequently remixed by many a respected band and producer. Signed to Future Classic, George has collaborated with a number of the other acts signed to the label including Flume, Flight Facilities and Touch Sensitive and in each case her voice lends a distinctive quality to the track - it does that thing where it completely fills the space and leaves you wanting more.
Spending much of the last few years living in London and performing in Europe and the US, we're preparing for a rare glimpse of her show back on home turf as she returns fresh from an epic seven show run at SXSW. As one of i-D's Class of 2015, we anticipate big things for this lady.
Can you tell us how you came to music?
I started writing songs when I was about eleven years old and entering song contests when I was twelve. I performed a lot as a kid - when I was a teenager I looked much older so I got away with performing at bars. My first gig was at a pub when I was thirteen and everyone thought I was twenty. This was useful in terms of songwriting, performing and developing what I wanted to do. Also for getting past the fear of putting myself on show. I took a little break when I was eighteen and then met Flight Facilities and we wrote 'Foreign Language' together and became friends.
That's a great song and the video is awesome. You've collaborated with lots of great people, is that one of the benefits of being a solo performer?
A lot of my musical development has been based on relationships and where that leads. I ended up touring with them and that led to me meeting other people and I started writing for other artists and became involved in other projects. That's when I realised I was ready to be a solo artist for a little bit. So it's been this really crazy, weird, inconsistent journey over the past ten years.
You mentioned song contests earlier and it occurred to me that Triple J tends to be a launch pad for lots of Australian bands and artists - it seems as though Unearthed is something of a right of passage for musicians here.
It is such an incredible, demographic platform. There's real opportunity because it's a nationally broadcast, independent station. I know artists who were never played on Triple J and who have incredible careers and still sell out big venues so the Internet is vital too but we're so lucky to have it in Australia.
What are you wearing at your performances? You have some great outfits. Do you tend to work with a stylist?
I have a stylist based in Australia, Letitia Dare. I've always just dressed myself, but it's nice working with someone else and together developing a whole look and environment to present the music. She's amazing and is so on my wavelength - she understands the full spectrum and pushes me to wear things that I wouldn't normally.
What's your vibe for the American shows?
I've got a big 70s influence going on at the moment - big flared pants for example. I'm wearing a lot of Dion Lee too, lots of suits and body suits and gold cuffs, things that work for the stage.
And what can we expect from your Australian shows?
There's a bunch of new material in there. I really try and place it into a live context so it's a very different experience to listening through your headphones. I alter the sounds and change it up so it's always interesting. I love playing live so I'm really excited.
What was the last thing you posted on Instagram?
I put a picture of a koala up the other day which I'm pretty proud of!
George Maple plays a number of headline shows in Melbourne and Sydney and as part of the 10 years of Future Classic party at Vivid Festival in May.