Now and then, a song comes along and rattles your heart, finds itself a space, and lives there. Lone Wolf, the new release from LA-based artist Georgi Kay, is both a lullaby and battle cry. The song is the first single off her upcoming debut album, ‘Where I Go To Disappear,’ written entirely by Kay and released under her own label on November 2nd, a glorious step forward in the career of this talented Australian-British musician. She reminds us that music has a way of saying what we don’t always have words for. Sounds ring like secret feelings we don’t know how to speak about.
Our advice: go sit somewhere alone, in your room, your car, a wide open field, a dark, dank basement. Listen, really truly listen with ears and heart wide open, and let Lone Wolf do for you what it was created to do. Below, we chat with Kay about the creation of Lone Wolf, reliving your childhood, and why mint tea makes everything better.
Live FAST: First off, thank you. I’ve been listening to Lone Wolf like a siren song. It speaks to some very real spaces I think we keep within ourselves and you’ve rendered those spaces both effectively and beautifully.
Georgi Kay: Thank you for having me and for listening. This song holds a very special place in my heart. It’s a war cry and a therapy session all in one. It’s a lovely feeling to hear that others feel that too, in their own way.
LF: When you set out to create a new song, what comes first? Does it start with the message, a feeling, a sound? Where is your seed?
GK: It depends. Sometimes it’s a lyric, a melody or an emotion. Other times it’s a visual landscape, color, or specific sound. I have zero control of when something inspires me. All I know is that I can’t go to sleep or think about anything else until I’ve gotten it out – and that usually involves late nights and a lot of mint tea, ha!
LF: If you could imagine someone hearing Lone Wolf for the first time, what might you hope would be their reaction – physically or emotionally?
GK: I’d like to think they’d find a quiet place to sit and hide from the rest of the world. It’s a song about loneliness and self-reflection, so I think physically being alone whilst listening to it would have a stronger impact. I always wonder how fans have reacted to it when hearing it for the first time. I wonder what they’re going through in their lives at that moment, and what they’re feeling. And I like to think that when they first hear Lone Wolf, that it feels like a big wave slowly and smoothly rolling over them – like that big weight they were carrying within themselves has been lifted – and what’s left is that feeling of serenity and melancholic joy.
LF: I love that, and certainly had a similar experience. Is there a song or an artist that has done that for you/to you before?
GK: Yes. Last year I stumbled upon this producer named Kamandi. He creates his music mostly with dark and ethereal synths, and barely adds any vocals to his songs. I hadn’t really listened to music with minimal vocals or no vocals before, because I’d never been interested in instrumentals until I started teaching myself how to produce my own music. The first song of his I listened to was “What About You.” There are no organic sounds in it other than a vocal that says the name of the song a couple times, and some vocal chops embedded in the music throughout. The rest is all synths, machine drum percussive elements, and random sounds doused in heavy reverb. Yet there is something special in his composition and placement of these elements. There’s something more raw and real in his soundscape than in any song I’ve heard from another artist with vocals included. He doesn’t need to add organic elements to his music, like vocals or strings, because he has mastered the way machines and synthetic sounds speak to us in the same emotive way. I think that is the most beautiful thing in the world.
LF: I hear you like to work alone. But you have some really amazing collaborations on your resume as well. What does one bring you that the other doesn’t?
GK: I do. I love working alone, but only for my own solo project. I’ve always worked alone when it comes to bringing the worlds within my imagination to life. Ever since I was a kid I would prefer to play by myself up in my room, making entire towns out of my mum’s empty shoeboxes and making my action figures drive my dad’s vintage car models. I’d be lost in my imagination for hours and hours. I didn’t know it then, but that was like my escapism into alternate realities I could never make my own.
When it comes to collaborating on something that is outside of my own realm, like an EDM/dance feature, that’s when I love working with other like-minded people. EDM/dance music is not about individuals, it’s about bringing people together and uniting everyone through love – it’s always felt like a euphoric and selfless genre to me – and that’s an aspect that I like to separate from my own solo work. I’ve also had great success in writing and singing on EDM anthems, and it’s like a mini holiday away from my own world. It’s nice to get out of my own head once in a while and write something that’s purely for the people and not for myself.
LF: Tell us about your workflow.
GK: I’ve tried forcing myself to write, but I’ve always ended up being unhappy with what I’ve created. You can’t bring logic and analytical thinking into art – at least I can’t. For me, art is its own beast. It’s a living and breathing entity and you have to feed it with emotion and inspiration. When it comes to creating, I’m very visually stimulated. I’ll go on walks around my neighborhood, watch sci-fi horror films, play video games, go on hikes…anything to completely zone out and disconnect from the distractions of everyday life. That’s when my mind is at its most open, like a sponge, just soaking up soundscapes, landscapes, and the beauty of all things otherworldly.
LF: What about your workspace? What can you not create without? Special beverages, mantras, a lucky rabbit foot?
GK: Mint tea is extremely important. Can’t create without it. Lone Wolf was created in my makeshift bedroom studio in my apartment, along with the rest of the songs that I plan to release November 2nd on my debut album, “Where I Go To Disappear.”
LF: We are often our own greatest cheerleader and critic depending on the day. Where do you find your greatest strength and weakness?
GK: Someone once told me that when we perceive ourselves to be at our most vulnerable, that is when others perceive us to be at our strongest. So I guess my strengths are my weaknesses, and vice versa. I’m a perfectionist, I prefer to work alone, I’m sensitive and sometimes I can be blunt in my delivery to others.
Those are some of my weaknesses, and ironically they are also my strengths. It means I get things done to the best of my ability until they are perfect, I am rarely distracted from others when it comes time to focus on my work, I can empathize and relate with others’ emotions, and I’m honest with my thoughts and feelings.
LF: What are you most looking forward to with the release of your debut album?
GK: This will be the first album I’ve released in my career. It will also be the first body of work that I have written 100% by myself and released under my own label. Each song is a story about a past experience I have had and I couldn’t be more excited to lift that weight off my shoulders. I’m excited to share who I am and what I have become with others.
LF: Three greatest inspirations?
GK: Bjork – because I respect her.
Oscar Wilde – because I understand his perspective.
And my parents – because they taught me how to be.
LF: If you could relive one moment in your life when would it be?
GK: Before we moved over to Perth my family and I used to live in Melbourne. We had family friends who had two sons – one was a few months older than me and the other was a couple years younger. Our families were so close that those boys were like brothers to me. Their grandparents lived in a small beach town called Lorne, a couple hours outside of the city.
I remember both our families would go and stay up there over long weekends and during school holidays. The boys and I would go surf, skate, game, and play together for years and years. It kind of turned into this unspoken ritual of ours. There were no bills or taxes or heartbreaks or deaths in the family or arguments with loved ones…we were so young and stuck in our own youthful naiveté and ignorant bliss. All we ever thought of was the next game or the next creative adventure.
Those were the days I was lucky enough to feel nothing but pure love and happiness. And although the real world isn’t as simple as it was for me back then, I still find myself daydreaming about and reliving those moments we shared together.
LF: How fast do you live?
GK: Too fast. I have always lived in the present moment, but as soon as that moment has passed I have moved onto the next, perhaps too quickly. The way society and the Western world expects us to rush through our lives and lock onto every screen imaginable is a very sad and demanding way to live. I started to go on walks around my neighborhood to slow down my pace and really appreciate and savor the things I saw and how they made me feel.
I started taking photos of nature, sometimes animals but mostly flowers. I think they are so beautiful and fascinating. I can feel my perspective shift from tunnel vision to the peripheral view and it is such a wonderful and freeing feeling.
I aim to live a slow and thoughtful life. Life’s fast enough as it is, and I want to learn from and appreciate every single ounce of knowledge, beauty, and wonder that the world and its inhabitants have to offer before I say my permanent goodbyes.