Interview: Campbell on her upcoming debut EP.
Campbell’s new single ‘Don’t Move’ - her second official single, FYI - instantly captures your attention, with its instant, pulsating bass. Then her vocals begin - layered harmonies in the chorus, commanding you to, “Stop, stand still.”
About the new single, she told us: “I found it was a situation where you can’t control anyone’s honesty, you don’t really know when people are lying to you all the time, and it was just sort of a message of, it doesn’t work that way, and it’s not going to end well if you continue to go down that path.”
The New Zealand artist is also in charge of all her art-direction, and even painted the single cover for ‘Rough Baby’ - and Coup De Main spoke to her about her upcoming EP, songwriting, and more…
"...when people connect to a song it’s more memorable..."
[Photographed by Garth Badger]
[Leather Jacket by Witchery. Top and skirt, stylist’s own.]
COUP DE MAIN: How does your songwriting process work?
GEORGIA CAMPBELL: I think I only recently discovered how I like to write music, and more than often it’s with a producer in the room. When I write at home I don’t tend to write full songs, I tend to write pages of scattered up ideas, and lyric ideas, and random sentences, and then when I’m in with the producer, we’ll pick a mood and start on the track, then build the melody and the lyrics as the track is being built.
[Eyelet Wrap Skirt and Cross Front Knit by Witchery. Ankle Zip Boots by Dr. Martens.]
CDM: Do you just kind of jot random ideas down when you have them?
CAMPBELL: Yeah, all of the time!
CDM: What are your main songwriting influences and inspirations?
CAMPBELL: Probably my own sense of boredom. I tend to write songs about really mundane emotions and write them in an interesting way. Most of my songs are about really borings things. <laughs>
ONE THING I HAVE TO ACHIEVE ON MY BUCKET LIST IS…
CDM: As well as a musician, you’re an artist - how do you find the two creative fields working together?
CAMPBELL: Quite easily, I think that everything in a creative industry is interchanged, just like right now doing a photoshoot - there’s always a need for visuals and there’s always a need for a soundtrack. I think that they play into each other’s hands really well, so yeah, I love that aspect of it.
CDM: What do you think it is about music that makes it have that differentiation in comparison to other creative formats?
CAMPBELL: Probably the ability to directly speak to an audience. With words, the track itself can add so much emotion, but to be able to directly deliver a message is quite unique.
[Firebird Crop Top & Pants by Ruby.]
CDM: What made you decide to release ‘Rough Baby’ as the first song from your EP?
CAMPBELL: Well it’s not a radio track, and basically we felt like it was a song that captured a lot of who I feel like I am as a writer, like lyrically and in terms of the mood, and we found that it was a good track to build on coming up to releasing the radio hit.
CDM: What’s the significance of ‘Hostile Minds’ as the name of your EP?
CAMPBELL: It’s something that I decided on quite early into writing the tracks. Most of them are about people and the relationships I have with various people and various relationships, and I sort of felt like the EP was a bit of a message to people dealing with hostile minds - it’s just the way I like to describe it, it felt like it fit!
[Cord A-Line Skirt and Off-Shoulder Rib Knit by Witchery. Socks, stylist’s own.]
CDM: Did you create all the artwork for each of the EP songs? How did the creation for those happen?
CAMPBELL: Yes I did, I actually created the blue piece of art a little over a year ago and I attempted to make something specific for the EP but I just felt like everything I tried, I kept coming back to this one piece and it just fit too well, so I couldn’t ignore it, I just had to use it.
CDM: I love the use of your vocal parts in ‘Lightning’, it’s really used like an instrument. How does the experimentation with your music and production tend to happen?
CAMPBELL: I think I was so lucky to work with a producer like Simon Ratcliffe. He’s so creative and his music naturally is very layered and very sporadic, and so it’s great to be in the studio with someone like that where you feel like there’s no restrictions on what you can do and any idea... because you work so quickly, you get things done so fast, and you can try so many different things. So he was fantastic, and his creativity, and I think just combined - we were able to explore so many interesting sounds.
[Tory Knit Dress by Witchery. Starburst Sunglasses by Karen Walker Eyewear.]
CDM: ‘Don’t Move’ is my favourite from the EP, and you mention "tricks" and "lies". Do you think honesty is the most important part of any relationship?
CAMPBELL: Yeah, that song was not actually written about a romantic relationship. I guess it was-- the honesty is the key point in that song. I found it was a situation where you can’t control anyone’s honesty, you don’t really know when people are lying to you all the time, and it was just sort of a message of, it doesn’t work that way, and it’s not going to end well if you continue to go down that path.
CDM: If you were to curate your own music festival, who would you want to play and what would the festival be called?
CAMPBELL: I don’t know what it would be called, but my line-up would be all over the place. I would have James Blake, Arctic Monkeys, The Internet, Fat Freddy’s Drop.
CDM: What do you think is the difference between a good song and a great song?
CAMPBELL: Probably, evoking emotion, I think that when people connect to a song it’s more memorable.
MY FAVOURITE SONG AT THE MOMENT IS…
CDM: At what age did you write your very first song, and what was it about?
CAMPBELL: I was 14, and I didn’t even know I could write songs. We had to do it as part of school curriculum, and it was called ‘Dirty Water’. It was about god knows what, it was about a relationship, and I hadn’t even had one at that point. I was just imagining what it would be like to be in this big dramatic relationship <laughs> - it came out of nowhere!
CDM: If C.A.M.P.B.E.L.L. was an acronym, what would each letter stand for?
CAMPBELL: Creative, Artistic, Manic, Possessive, Believable, Excitable, and the 2 L’s... I’m not sure about the L’s, I can’t think of anything.
CDM: When is your EP going to be released? Is there an official date yet?
CAMPBELL: There is not an official date yet, but I’m hoping it’s coming very soon.
HOW I FEEL ABOUT MY DEBUT EP…
Campbell’s single ‘Don’t Move’ is out now - click here to purchase.
Watch the ‘Rough Baby’ music video below…