Interview: Georgi Kay Stays Optimistic in a Time of “Scary People” with New EP ‘Reimagined’

Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter
Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter
Get lost in the innovative moody electro atmospheres of Georgi Kay’s Reimagined. With stunningly haunting songs like “Scary People”, it’s an authentic and exhilarating EP that will cut you to the core.
Georgi Kay’s Reimagined EP is out February 28, 2020
“Scary People” (Reimagined) – Georgi Kay

I’ve sat at both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, including several moments in time where I came very close to quitting my music career for good – but I was always drawn back into it because it is such a big and essential part of me.

Los Angeles by-way-of Australia indie pop artist Georgi Kay emanates courage with her bold statements and intense electro sound. Originally taken off her 2018 debut album Where I Go to Disappear, her song “Scary People” takes a chilling look at these somewhat dark times the world faces, yet also reminds us to stay positive. Though we are in a state of worldwide fear, Georgi Kay’s single shows us that all we need is a little hope. Her new EP Reimagined (out February 28, 2020 via MONOKI Records) takes that song along with three other fan favorites and recreates them in this one-of-a-kind release.

Reimagined EP - Georgi Kay
Reimagined EP – Georgi Kay, CD Player
Put your flowers on the table
Hear the wolves at the door
Grab a piece if you’re able
Silver bullets on the floor
We fight that fire with fire,
because it’s all that we got

Our love is burning so bright
it can light ’em up

We stick together, we do this forever
Nothing can stop us now, now, now
We live in a scary time,
scary place, scary people

Once you cross that line, no going back

Since she first debuted nearly a decade ago, Georgi Kay has carved her own special space in the music world. She describes her “dark, ethereal and cinematically pop sound” like “the perfect bespoke suit, made for myself and myself alone – a one-of-a-kind amalgamation of my favorite inspirations and influences that lays a trademark to who I am at my core.” The British-Australian artist has gained a loyal fan base through her unique signature style. Her rich husky tone and reflective songwriting have earned her tours with renowned names such as Ed Sheeran and LP and a myriad of awards for her exceptional work.

When she met CD Player in late 2019, Kay knew right away he was the perfect counterpart with which to collaborate.

His novel approach to music, utilizes musique concrete, a genre that uses audio effects and tape manipulation techniques. This rare element can be heard in Reimagined‘s alternative “Scary People,” providing the track with new depth and meaning.

Georgi Kay explains, “If anything, CD Player further enhanced its message of seeking light and hope within the darkest of places – a message which as poignant as it was when it was first released in its original form, couldn’t be more relevant and impactful in its reimagined state today.”

Atwood Magazine spoke with Georgi Kay about everything from her partnership with CD Player and their upcoming EP Reimagined to climate change and more!

Georgi Kay’s Reimagined EP is out Friday, February 28, 2020 via MONOKI.

Every experience is of value, and the key is to remain an open and raw nerve to all experiences that come our way, no matter how painful or chaotic they may be.

Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter
Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter


Atwood Magazine: So you’ve crafted this fresh and innovate EP Reimagined, taking fan favorites from your recent album and reinventing them, what was it like working with NYC experimental composer, CD Player, on this project?

Georgi Kay: Working with CD PLAYER was amazing. Being a big fan of his sometimes dark-often ethereal experimental and ambient creations, it wasn’t too difficult for us to meet each other in the same room but through different doors, so to speak. We mostly collaborated over email, phone calls and the occasional FaceTime, which is a common aspect of the creative process in today’s world of modern music – especially the EDM realm of which I am most familiar with.

After working with a plethora of songwriters, producers and DJs over the past decade, it’s safe to say that it never ceases to excite me when I get to work intimately with those who perceive music in a similar fashion as I do. Communication is of the utmost importance in any relationship, no matter what shape or form it may present itself in – so being able to understand each other and speak a similar creative and imaginative language together is nothing short of exciting and inspiring.

CD PLAYER and I happen to have this exact type of collaborative synergy where I could send him the stems of each song (one at a time) and express my loose concepts and ideas of the trajectory or general realm I’d feel the songs would best sit in, but also encouraged him to take each song in any direction that he felt magnetized to and to run with it. That’s what I love so much about his means and methods of tackling his creative process and weaving his works together, for they are created within a moment of time where fluidity of thought and emotion are intertwined – that’s why his works are pure magic, and that’s why I knew what he would create out of our collaboration would be equally as magical, inspiring and evocative.

As an artist, what about your own music do you find compelling, and what about your newest content excites you?

Georgi Kay: You know what, I actually really enjoy reminiscing on the path I’ve taken throughout my career thus far. I’ve dabbled and experimented with so many different genres and sub-genres of music over the years, learnt how to craft and harness my songwriting capabilities and create works that I enjoyed crafting and am proud of while also having learned how to tackle my music from a business angle and with a logical and analytical mentality.

I’ve sat at both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, including several moments in time where I came very close to quitting my music career for good – but I was always drawn back into it because it is such a big and essential part of me.

Every experience is of value, and the key is to remain an open and raw nerve to all experiences that come our way, no matter how painful or chaotic they may be. Because with all chaos there comes order, and with all pain there comes relief and joy to follow. What my music career and creative path has taught me most and what I have found to be perhaps the most compelling aspect of it thus far is that by applying and practicing this method of life and mentality I have enabled myself to learn and grow at an exponential rate. And all that I have learned thus far has impacted the way I perceive and live my life, all thanks to the many experiences and opportunities my music and music career has brought my way.

So, for future releases and new works, I’m excited to see where and how my creative process grows and flourishes. If anything, I feel it will remain similar to what it is now but gain further depth, confidence and bravery than it currently has.

Stream: “Scary People” (original) – Georgi Kay

What would you say was your favorite song off the EP to recreate and why?

Georgi Kay: As they are all my “children,” I find it difficult to favor just one song.

However, ‘Lone Wolf’ is especially dear to my heart and was the first song we ran a collaborative “trial” on. It was the first reimagined track out of this collaborative process, so when I first received it from CD PLAYER it hit me the hardest. I cried the first few listens because I think it is one of the most beautiful and emotionally profound recreations of both my work and the emotions evoked within my work that I’ve ever heard.

He made magic that day and I certainly won’t forget that moment I heard it for the first time. It was very special and cathartic, and I don’t think I’ve wept with joy in that manner for a very, very long time.

Your second release of the series, “Scary People,” is a politically charged anti-hate anthem. From climate change to racism and sexism, this track illustrates that no matter what state this current era is in, there’s always hope. What do you believe others can do to stay hopeful and work towards making a change?

Georgi Kay: Stay informed. Stay strong. Seek love, respect, acceptance, understanding, and forgiveness for yourself so that you can better love, respect, accept, understand and forgive others. Raise your awareness, raise your empathy. Help, contribute and support every day in small portions. Change takes time and time takes time. All big things have small beginnings, so small yet consistent increments of practicing the above is not only doable by all of us but will also make a big difference in the long run – for ourselves, our planet and all the living creatures that dwell within.

Don’t be afraid of the monsters
Or the vultures in the sky
See the static on the TV
Feel the violence of the night
We fight that fire with fire,
because it’s all that we got

Our love is burning so bright
it can light ’em up

We stick together, we do this forever
Nothing can stop us now, now, now

Stay informed. Stay strong. Seek love, respect, acceptance, understanding, and forgiveness for yourself so that you can better love, respect, accept, understand and forgive others.

Speaking of climate change, there have been devastating fires in your home country Australia, killing millions of animals and destroying wildlife, what is your reaction to this awful tragedy?

Georgi Kay: Yes. It is an absolute tragedy and a great concern that massively threatens the preservation of our natural wildlife, climate, resources, livestock, land and people.

It was quite surreal to see such a huge and destructive force lay waste to so much life and growth within our country. There were times where the fires began creating their own weather patterns, making amalgamations of twisters and wildfire, which our firefighters really struggled to navigate and contain because they’d never had to face such otherworldly elemental forces before. Yet after months of the fires burning all in their wake, Sydney’s heaviest rainfall in over 30 years came to aid our firefighters and thankfully helped extinguish the blaze. From one extreme to another, it all just seems so unbelievable and surreal.

I think the most amazing and powerful thing to take from these devastating events is that so many people (both nationally and internationally) all came together to help, support, donate and actively raise awareness of the bushfires and their impact on our country and our native flora & fauna. That was pretty amazing to see.

Now we have to deal with the next step: helping our land and its surviving inhabitants to heal and recuperate, and to set our sights to what we can do to help better manage and prevent such natural disasters from occurring again, with a heavy emphasis and focus on adjusting our navigation of our climate and the way we treat it.

Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter
Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter

On a lighter note, you’ve toured with Ed Sheeran, Tash Sultana, and LP, any funny tour stories you can share with us?

Georgi Kay: Many! But I like to keep those fond memories to myself. They are more special and hold a dearer sentiment that way.

All I will say is that all three individuals are incredible artists, kind and beautiful souls and I loved performing with each of them for different reasons.

In addition to performing with those prominent artists, you wrote and were featured on one of the biggest dance songs in the world, “In My Mind,” a collaboration with Axwell from Swedish House Mafia. What would you attribute most to your success and what advice would you give others trying to make a name for themselves?

Georgi Kay: There is so much I could say and share about this song. It has over 8 years of life, history and profound prominence as a staple anthem and heavy hitter within the EDM world. The success and trajectory this song has undergone and is still undergoing just keeps blowing my mind over and over again. I will forever be grateful, appreciative and thankful for all this song and its creative process has given me – for opening so many doors, bringing so many wonderful and poignant experiences and opportunities my way, funding my own solo projects and overall music career, along with bringing so many beautiful people together, smiling and singing together in unison – helping raise that vibrational bar of joy, happiness and togetherness just that little bit each and every time.

I owe my life to this song – and am proud of all its remixes, recreations, reimaginations, forms and lives it has presented itself in and continues to thrive in.

My only advice to other creatives out there is to forever seek the unknown, learn as much as you can, stay focused, remain humble and most of all – enjoy each and every moment of it, even the seemingly difficult and trying times, for they will teach you the most about yourself and both you and your work will grow exponentially from these.

Listeners are drawn to your deep songwriting and dark electro sound, was that a style that’s always enticed you or have you ever experimented with other genres?

Georgi Kay: Not at all! Both myself and my music have gone through many evolutionary cycles together. From starting out as an acoustic folk singer-songwriter to indie pop singer with a band, to moving overseas and signing with a major record label in London and playing acoustic pop to electronic pop with a band, to leaving that label years later and creating my own to sign myself to, then moving my life over to LA and producing, writing, releasing and playing all my music by myself from my bedroom.

Exposing myself to very structured and brilliantly written songs at a young age by bands and artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Royksopp, Robyn, Grace Jones, Yes, Aretha Franklin and Hall & Oates definitely helped solidify my love for traditional pop-structured songwriting and a knack for catchy melodies. While my later discovery and fascination for artists and producers such as Massive Attack, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Kamandi, NUAGES, AVEM, Two Fingers, Gesaffelstein and Julian Winding helped tailor and refine my eclectic taste for visually stimulating soundscapes and evocative sonic elements, textures and layers that I later combined to compliment my songwriting craft so that overall I was left with what was to become my signature dark, ethereal and cinematically pop sound.

Like the perfect bespoke suit, made for myself and myself alone. A one-of-a-kind amalgamation of my favorite inspirations and influences that lays a trademark to who I am at my core.

Experimenting, learning, growing and forever seeking to “Become” a greater version of oneself will remain my constant ethos until the very end.

Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter
Georgi Kay © Morgan Demeter

On the topic of songwriting, what’s your creative process when writing a track and how do you find your inspiration?

Georgi Kay: It depends. Sometimes I start with lyrics or a melody, other times I start with production and focus on finding the right sonic vibe and mood that best fits the moment (usually a synth bass or pad + a simplistic yet strong beat or percussive rhythm).

Although, lately I’ve started writing new songs on my acoustic. The majority of my new songs have all started or still remain as acoustic demos, which I’m really enjoying because all I have to focus on is writing a great fucking song.

I don’t have to worry or potentially waste my time sifting through synth sounds. Sometimes starting the songwriting process by producing the music prior to writing the actual song itself is what can end up proving to be a great hindrance and detriment to the creation of the lyrics and vocal melodies.

The song itself must be as strong and powerful as possible, and there have been many times where over-production of the soundscape has limited the many possibilities and routes a song can traverse down. Less is always more, so that is why I like to write on the acoustic guitar, with the occasional back and forth to producing on my laptop and keyboard but limiting the number of sonic elements I use so as not to waste my time and strip the song of its utmost and absolute potential.

Sci-fi and horror films, books and video games inspire and influence myself and my music the most. Vivid, descriptive, symbolic and at times ambiguous themes focusing heavily on visual world building with an overall theme of darkness or ethereal depth are what tend to catch my eye the most.

If we went through your current playlist, what are some artists we’d find and what attracts you to their music?

Georgi Kay: I actually created a post-apocalyptic sci-fi dark groove playlist (no surprises there) not too long ago for both my die-hard fans and I to follow and listen to. It’s aptly called ‘DYSTOPIA’ and features a number of artists and producers who dwell within the realms of tech house, deep house, experimental, cinematic and ambient grooves along with some psy trance bangers (currently listening to ‘Different Reality’ by Liquid Soul & Symbolic as I write this). Some of the artists include Kamandi, Gesaffelstein, Tears & Marble, CHVRN, Lorn and AVEM to name a few.

They remind me of some of my favorite sci-fi and horror films like The Fifth Element, the Alien saga, the Predator saga, Dune, Bladerunner + some of my most-loved video games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Dead Space, the Destiny series, The Witcher 3, The Last Of Us, the Bioshock saga, Dishonored, Outer Worlds and many more.

If you like my music and are interested in hearing who and what inspires and influences me most, this is a solid playlist to give a cheeky listen to.

Lastly, if you can leave our readers with one important message, what would that be?

Georgi Kay: Be kind, stay humble, love hard, open your mind, open your heart, seek truth, knowledge and new experiences, practice forgiveness, surrender to your emotions and perhaps most importantly – remember to enjoy the little things and do whatever it is that makes you happiest.

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:: stream/purchase Georgi Kay’s music here ::
Stream: ‘Reimagined’ – Georgi Kay
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Reimagined EP - Georgi Kay

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