Locals Only: How Kiwi singer-songwriter Georgia Lines overcame her self-doubt

Singer/songwriter Georgia Lines describes herself as determined - she had to be to release a debut EP during a pandemic.

Despite the self-titled release dropping during last year's march lockdown, it was streamed 1.5 million times on Spotify.

The 24-year-old Tauranga-based artist says she was committed to celebrating the launch, despite having to go it alone at home.

"We went into lockdown on the week of release, so there had to be a recalibration. It was like 'ok it's not going to look like that - it's at home, so we just have to adapt and roll with it'."

So she filmed a live performance of her songs on social media platform Instagram, and was joined virtually by her fans.

 

"I have always been scared of performing on Instagram live but I just did it! I called it 'My Better Late than Never' release party and I loved it."

2021 started off with Georgia Lines featuring on Pacific Heights track In Bloom which they wrote together during lockdown last year.

"We would meet every Friday for a couple of hours when his kids had gone to bed," says Georgia. "I felt nervous because I had never met this person and I was showing him all my ideas, but it worked really well. When the lockdown lifted we had mostly finished the song."

Georgia has now followed up the success of the EP release with a new single No One Knows. The song, which has been described as soulful, R&B-sprinkled pop, was written and produced with the award-winning Djeisan Suskov, who has also worked with the likes of Kiwi pop sensation Benee.

The single's lyrics are about growing up, and ditching the need to please. "It's about asking yourself 'what do people expect of me, what do I expect of myself?'

"Like, when the world is grabbing for your attention and everything becomes noisy - if I push that noise away, what's the internal conversation?"

Collaborating comes naturally to Georgia, who grew up busking in the seaside town of Mount Maunganui with her younger brother MacKenzie, now 21.

 

"We started busking, playing guitar when I was in year seven. He was little and definitely had the cute factor. We would walk down with our guitars to the main street of the Mount and busk outside the bank - that's a smart move for kids!"

She can't (or won't) remember the covers she played - but says Yellow by Coldplay was a go to for Mackenzie, who now plays drums in her band.

"He's crazy talented - he plays the drums, he plays guitar and he produces, so it's cool having him there and it's nice having family with you."

Asked how she is feeling about launching her career in an industry that's having a come-to-Jesus moment around its treatment of women - Georgia is pragmatic.

"I don't know what it's going to look like - but you hope that from all the conversations being had that people are being held accountable, systems are being put in place and changes are being made for the wellbeing of everyone in the industry."

She thrives in a live environment and can't wait to hit the stage in Wellington on April 29th for the first gig of her tour with pop duo Laiika.

"It's always such a privilege because you are creating something that people are connecting with and responding to - and in that moment you are getting to share that with them."

Georgia has been writing music since her teens and now that her work is out, she is determined to keep backing herself.

"I could have released music so much earlier, I just over-thought it for so long and had so much expectation on myself that I had to get it right.

"I've got songs on my laptop that I've never released that now feel old and stale. It's like crackers that you've opened and they're sitting on the shelf and you are like 'I should have done something with these'!"

Her advice to other young musicians is not to wait. "Don't worry about it being the best song you've ever written - If you love it and you are proud of it, just go for it!"

  • Listen to the Locals Only podcast below. Made with funding from NZ On Air.