Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CMW 2013 | Interview with Georgia Murray

I know, my Canadian Music Week coverage has been taking a while to get all up and posted, but here's the last one! I had the pleasure of sitting down with Victoria-based musician Georgia Murray at The Marriott Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Georgia's story is a little different from any of the others I came across during CMW. She actually got in touch with me a couple months ago, telling me about a unique situation she was involved in.

Back in 2010, one of her songs was plagiarized by one of Korea's biggest pop stars, Lee Hyori (actually, it was the producer/composer who passed it off as his own) and hit number one over in Asia. She received an email one day from a Korean law firm telling her that her song "We'll Never Know" was released as the leading single off Lee Hyori's fourth album.

Long story short, she ended up settling out of court and was able to fund her debut EP Just a Dream with the money she was compensated with. For a weird situation to be in, it turned out to be really positive for her career. She gained a lot of media coverage, from a feature in the Korean Elle magazine to an Indie To Go documentary.

A couple other career highlights include taking part in 102.7 The PEAK Performance Project, being a contestant on CBC's Cover Me Canada, and appearing in an episode of Boston Legal.

She was in town for CMW for the first time - check out some bits from our interview:

For someone who hasn’t heard your music yet, how would you describe it to them?

That’s always such a challenging question because you don’t want to pinpoint yourself into a box and we all think we’re a bit of this and a bit of that. I try to describe it as alternative dark soul with a bit of an urban influence. I grew up singing a lot of classics like Johnny Cash and Simon and Garfunkel and like Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers, Canadian folk singers. And then really got into a lot of Motown when I was younger through my parents’ influence. Then I was influenced by underground hip-hop when I was 12-13 and all through my teens. I was super into a Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, and Jurassic 5, so that really influenced me as well. So it’s kind of the combination of the two influences that creates my alternative soul, urban-influenced sound.  A hybrid of my more organic side from my younger influences with the more gritty beats side of my hip-hop passion.

You’re in town for CMW, what were you most excited for leading up to it?

Thinking that I wouldn’t have any turn out or nobody would show up, last night we had an amazing turn out. A lot of industry people came out to support and a lot of apparent fans I have in Toronto, which just warms my whole soul. It was the most magical thing. And yesterday alone was the most stressful day. I woke up at 4:30 and our flights were delayed and we got here late, our turntable broke, half our system broke on the plane, so we had to find another turntable, it was a whole mess. But it all came together and we played an awesome show. I felt super great about it. I was like wow, this really worked out. Leading up to it, I felt I wanted to be more on my Canadian Music Week game but it was just so busy. I’m self-managed, so I don’t have other people doing things for me, I’m really doing it all myself. It’s just me and my partner D Whiz.

What’s your live performance like?

We really are a textural mixture of a few things. I really have a passion for hip hop so I love playing with a DJ and having that performance element to the show. We play with real technique 1200 turntables, my DJ is an old school, legendary hip hop main stay from victoria, from way back. He had one of the first radio shows in western Canada. I also play with live drums. And also electric guitar and I use my live looping voice effect box. I combine organic moments with gritty beats and soaring glistening synths. It’s a mixture of organic and electronic, definitely with the heavy hip hop influence with the beats and the DJ. I love ballads and acoustic performances too, but you can’t do a 45-minute set of acoustic songs in a club, no matter how good your voice is.

What’s your favourite part of being a musician?

I think it’s just the human connection. I find with music, a voice or instrument, it sort of opens up a path from your soul to my soul. It’s a way to connect with somebody without your own beliefs or your own insecurities or your own idea of how something should be. It’s a pure form of connection. The way a musical instrument or a voice can resonate internally in your body allows people to connect on an emotional level and just open themselves up. In a way that you can’t really do by meeting people and talking, people are shy or awkward, but with music, you can just really connect with people.
Being able to express my emotions and having people connect to it, for me, is an incredible feeling. 

And the hardest part?

It’s a grind. Nobody does anything for you, it’s all about making it happen for yourself. You just have to believe in yourself and stick to your guns and continue on to pursue your dreams. The music industry is a really tough industry on so many levels. A lot of it is luck and super-stance and networking and who you know, but all these things can align and things can really happen for you – but when you’re an independent artists, it’s hardcore. The challenge is so essential in life. It’s what makes you get up in the morning. I think it’s the element of challenge is what keeps me going. When you actually do a good show after the worst day of your life and get great feedback, it’s what I live for and it makes it all worth it.

What are your thoughts on the Canadian music industry?

I think it’s incredible. I’m so proud to be from Canada. Being a Canadian artist, it’s awesome and I wouldn’t change it. It feels so special and I just cherish that so much and being a part of a music community in Canada. I think it’s an amazingly strong scene. Look at who we have, two of the biggest pop stars, Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen, who I’m friends with and went to school with. I actually went to school with Carly Rae Jepsen. We both went to the Canadian College of Performing Arts together. There’s so many amazing artists from Canada that are dominating internationally. I’m so proud to be part of it.

What is the one factor that pushes you to continue making music?

I love performing. I crave that attention. I want people to like me and want people to think I’m cool and good at something. It’s so lame to admit, but that validation from other people, as humans, we all kind of look for that. For me, performance does feed my own ego. It’s bad, but I can’t deny it. I crave that spotlight moment and that connection with an audience and that feeling on stage, the adrenaline rush. Being able to express myself through songwriting too. It’s something I’m addicted to and it’s a huge part of why I do what I do. It’s just what I’ve always wanted.

Keep an eye out for the full article on! Be sure to check out and find her on Facebook & Twitter.

- Christina
follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

No comments:

Post a Comment