What inspired your new EP?
I wrote Midsummer Colour (single) in 2017, after spending the summer in the German countryside. I was there for work, and the job involved hiking through beech forests, singing around campfires, cooking huge vegetarian feasts, camping under the stars. Forests full of berries and fireflies. Long, languid days and very short, warm nights. Living away from society, it was idyllic.
The European summer is such an intense, magical, romantic time of year. The whole experience got me into the headspace for the song – fantasy, impermanence, being intoxicated by the heat, feeling like nature is controlling you.
I come from Australia, where summers are a marathon. Constant sunburn, bushfires, flies, 40-degree days. It’s more endurance than anything. I was struck by the mystery of the European summer. When I got back home to Berlin I wrote the song within a few days.
The other songs on the EP followed quickly after. In general, the EP is about imagination and your inner landscape shaping your life.
What inspires you to create?
I think inspiration and creative impulse can come from anywhere. You just have to remain vigilant and open to it. Inspiration for this album came from many different places – constructing my own femininity and my own empowerment. At some point in the creative process, the refinement stage, you have to hone in on a certain aesthetic, and study it. For this record, I was inspired by any medium that is unrestrained in its approach – 90s pop music, and 90s fashion too. Over-the-top, camp, sequins and colour and textures and hyper-saturation. There’s a glossy unapologetic, self-assured aesthetic going on in the 90s and that was definitely informing the creative direction behind the music.
The self-assuredness comes after a really painful time in my life. Something about loss and grief means there is a certain clarity, a fearlessness. You don’t play by the same rules anymore. So this album is a celebration of life, of freedom, of kindness and compassion.
How do you benefit from creating music?
Oof. It’s funny. It’s an escape from the outside world and a plunge into imagination and play. A world where you set the reality. And somehow, through making music, you legitimise everything you’re feeling. It’s all fodder for the process. So you can show up on any day, in any mental state, and you’ll create something unique. For me, music is always there in the background, waiting. Like a companion dog or something. It’s always there, whether or not I choose to engage with it.
A good friend of mine once told me she wasn’t sure if she should spend her money on singing lessons or therapy. Both things serve a purpose, and both can be really healing.
At the same time, you do have to keep balance. It can be tempting to give everything to music, but that’s also not helpful. Being responsible and structured in your creative process and projects is critical, like anything.
Who else was involved in the creation of the EP?
So many people were involved in direct and indirect ways. The main person is CROOK. We’ve been working together since the middle of 2017.
Once I invited him to collaborate for this second EP, we only really had a 3-month window to pull everything together. We’d worked enough together to really trust each other’s sensibilities.
In the end the record came together very quickly, in the final months of 2018. We had a really fun time creating this. We went with our gut and we worked very quickly. It did not feel like work at all. I hope you can hear that when you listen to it. I did a Kickstarter campaign for this release so there are about 120 individuals I have to thank for actually allowing this whole project to happen. Horst Koerner at Meingebeat engineered the whole thing. We also had guest musicians – a saxophonist and a trombone player and a girl chorus made up of some of my best friends. My friend Caitlin Hodder did the album artwork too. It’s absolutely stunning. There’s a whole other team involved in the music video/ promotion too.
What helps you get into the flow of creation?
If I’m working at home, I have a set routine. My room needs to be clean, my bed made. I need to be in the comfiest clothes I can find. Preferably explorer socks or ugg boots on! Usually I burn lavender essential oil, light some candles.
It’s critical that I section time off for making music, especially if my schedule is busy. If I don’t schedule it in, I won’t do it. I need to be quite disciplined with myself, but also disciplined in scheduling fun things.
What difficulties did you face creating the new EP?
The hardest part was losing a friend and collaborator in 2017. We had only just started working together and I had already begun to imagine all of these future contexts and expressions of our work together. It felt really great, very natural and comfortable and had a really nice energy. He was a dancer. He knew three of the songs from the EP, he had danced to them.
So the hardest thing was perhaps re-adjusting, resetting my expectations and hopes for this project. I had to wait for quite a long time to feel interested in writing or making music again. That took a year.
But once I was ready, and could turn that energy into something creative and fearless and honest and personal, the whole project cranked up again. I do think of him every day and this record is for him.
Could you give us a little breakdown of what this EP means to you?
Coming out of this grief period, life took on a new hue. This EP is a tribute to the unexpected beauty that can arise through pain. It’s what it feels like to have all your senses fire back up again, after lying dormant for a year.
It’s an ode to fearlessness, and it’s a sparkly, textured, urgent, driving celebration of life.
There is no fear, and there is no time to lose.
– Georgia Ginnivan