... give personal impressions of different life stories sheÂ´s come across, together they define our daily city life.
Recorded live at Paul Lincke Studios in Kreuzberg, BIG CITY HOWL is GeorgieÂ´s second studio release following her 2013 EP, Playground. The album was released worldwide on the 26th of September 2015.
I visited Georgina at her place and she talked about BuskerÂ´s etiquette, about how random encounters can turn out meant to be, like when she met the passionate young girl who ended up sketching her the perfect wolf which became the cover for her album, and about the privileges to be a musician in Berlin.
AVIVA-Berlin: As I was passing the Turkish market on a Tuesday I arrived at the spot were people chill and where usually local artists are playing music. As I heard you singing there, I suddenly had goose bumps and couldnÂ´t leave until the end. What can you tell us about your experiences of busking? Did you ever just stand there by yourself?
Georgina: Ah okay, so busking is a fine art in itself and it takes a little while to understand the nuances of it. So yes, I have had times where I just stood there all alone and nobody listened. I also have had times where I played for a really big crowd. Part of the fun, of the buzz that you get from busking is the sort of insecurity of it. So you donÂ´t know what is gonna happen from one day to the next, youÂ´ve got like wildly different outcomes everytime you leave the house. For example the Turkish market is a place thatÂ´s known for musicians. ItÂ´s known for buskers, we know that there will be an interested crowd, where as if I go and play somewhere thatÂ´s not known for buskers then it might be more difficult.
AVIVA-Berlin: I was also wondering if there are different territories for the buskers, where just certain buskers are allowed to play?
Georgina: Not really, the busking-community in Berlin is pretty non competitive. There is no rule as to who can play but there are certainly rules about when you can play and in which order. Like at the Turkish market for example you have to get there early and put your name down on a list. At Warschauerstrasse, you play for an hour each and you get there whenever you get there. There is a system and everybody knows that system, itÂ´s a buskerÂ´s etiquette, itÂ´s not really strict rules. There are certain things that are acceptable on a general social level. Like for example if somebody is playing in a spot, you donÂ´t set up right next to them where your noise is gonna interfere with their noise. ThatÂ´s kinda just an unspoken rule, there some people who still do that though (both laughing).
AVIVA-Berlin: Before you came to Berlin you were doing music in London right? What can you tell us about the differences, difficulties or advantages of being a musician in either of these two cities?
Georgina: In general itÂ´s easier, more fun and exciting to do music in Berlin than it is in London. There are several reasons for that: First of all London is becoming so incredibly overpriced that only rich bankers can live there and all the artists are being pushed out. ThatÂ´s a pretty well known phenomenon that is happening to most people. I left because my visa expired, so I couldnÂ´t stay there any longer even if I wanted to. I definitely couldnÂ´t afford to be a fulltime musician in London, I had to work two jobs as a waitress for a while forty to fifty hours a week and then try to squeeze music in on top of that. So the key difference is simply the cost of living here, itÂ´s so much cheaper. ItÂ´s a famously creative city, there are creative people here in all different types of industries all over the place, so itÂ´s easier for everyone and there is really an energy of people helping eachother out here. I feel like itÂ´s not only easier to be an artist, but itÂ´s more inspiring. So I miss London, but I am sort of happy that my visa expired because I probably wouldnÂ´t have been here otherwise, I might still be there working in a restaurant.
AVIVA-Berlin: So now here in Berlin you managed to go a step further and are releasing your new album "Big City Howl." I was wondering in which ways it is different from the EP you did in London? Did you change your style with the city?
Georgina: Yes my sound has definitely changed. The thing is, when I did my EP in London I hadnÂ´t done any music for about two years before, so I almost felt like I was starting again. Before that hiatus I worked in different genres, I had done reggae, drumÂ´n bass, triphop, these kinds of things. Actually I never wanted to be an acoustic Singer-songwriter,..
AVIVA-Berlin: Why not?
Georgina: Cause I felt like it was just boring and I didnÂ´t want to do it.
AVIVA-Berlin: Do you feel like it is boring now?
Georgina: In a way yes and thatÂ´s why I love working with the band, because for me that is a lot more interesting. But when I came over and I realised that I wanted to do music, that was just the quickest and easiest way to start it, because I had no network here but I knew how to play guitar and sing and I started doing that. Even though I wasnÂ´t a baby when I recorded that EP, it still feels like itÂ´s a first step and this is the second. So itÂ´s come a long way, I have developed my sound a lot more in the last couple of years and I feel like that this new one is a lot more representative of the way that I sound when I am playing live, which for me was really important. IÂ´ve moved more towards soul I guess which I feel a lot more comfortable with at the moment, who knows what is gonna happen next time? For now I feel like this album is a really good representation of the last two years that I have spent here in Berlin.
AVIVA-Berlin: What inspired you for this album and the collection of lyrics?
Georgina: Some of the things happened as a matter of coincidence. I mean I have always lived in big cities, I get very bored very quickly when I go away from a big city thatÂ´s just how it is and for me cities are always really inspiring, there are so many stories, so many lives intertwining all the time every day. So all of these songs are the stories either about me or the people that IÂ´ve known basically.
AVIVA-Berlin: What about the title "Big City Howl"?
Georgina: So I sat down with my friend Laura whoÂ´s excellent at coming up with names for things, she can somehow just capture the spirit of what the thing is trying to say and then there is your name. This was before I even thought about naming the album, I was thinking about renaming this song called "After midnight", which is the song that was premiered this music video premiere the 26th of September. So we came up with various ideas. I still got the beercoaster and Laura is scribbling things on it and she says: What about this: "Big City Howl" and I was like great thatÂ´s the album name, thatÂ´s what it is! ItÂ´s a collection of songs that are written over a period of two years but when she said "Big city howl" I thought okay ya that is what all this songs are about this is basically me metaphorically howling at the moon you know and this is why the wolf and howl kind of goes really well together.
AVIVA-Berlin: What was very challenging in doing the album?
Georgina: Well I mean to be honest there were several sort of challenges. The one challenge that I found difficult to overcome recurringly through out the process was actually getting all the people that I waned to be involved to have free time at the same time, thatÂ´s the thing that stressed me out the most: organising rehearsals, trying to get the right days were we could record, figuring out the launch,â€¦ When it comes to the creative stuff, I felt like IÂ´ve written the songs, IÂ´ve played the songs many, many times at many, many shows. The guys that I asked to come in were very talented, we arranged things and kind of got the music sounding the way we want it to pretty quickly.
AVIVA-Berlin: At the concert you did recently at Klunkerkranich I saw you singing with your sister and I was wondering if you are from a very musical family?
Georgina: Yes, I am from a very musical family, IÂ´ve got musician on both sides of my family, my mother side and my fathers side. My sister is also a Singer-songwriter. My brother is not doing as much music now, he is studying animation, but he is a multi-instrumentalist. The guitar is his main instrument and he plays drums and bass and trumbone as well, he is a very talented guy. My mom taught us how to sing, she used to be a singer too. I remember when I was a kid she used to sing in restaurants and stuff but then she kind of gave up music because she had a family and went to university instead. She took the most sensible route (laughing), but I remember she taught me my first chords on the guitar.
AVIVA-Berlin: ItÂ´s maybe a bit early but do you already know what your plans are after the release? What is gonna be your third step?
Georgina: Short answer is no, I mean this wasnÂ´t even technically released until Saturday and I had nothing in my head except this launchâ€¦I just wanted to wait till that was over.
I am working on some other projects more like event-organisation stuff. I have got a livingroom-concert that I do with my sister. She runs it in Sydney I run it in Berlin. I am also doing another project with friends of mine, itÂ´s a showcase of purely female talents that we are doing at the Urban Spree in November, we are having live-bands, DjÂ´s, visual artists, vegan food, all presented totally by women. We are calling it "What the Frau", do you like it?
AVIVA-Berlin: Yeah! (both laughing)
Georgina: So I am working on that, then I also will be organising a tour in Australia and New Zealand for early next year, so I will be kind of busy with that stuff for a while and then I guess I havenÂ´t written anything for a for a while so I have to get out of these event organisation things and actually get back to making some art.
AVIVA-Berlin: Great, thanks for your time Georgie!
Big City Howl
Label: Crocodile Music
VĂ–. 26. September 2015
More info about Georgina Fisher at: www.georgiefisher.co.uk
Read more at AVIVA-Berlin:
Kavina â€“ U got sum nerve
Iyeoka - Say Yes Evolved
"Ich habe sehr viel Energie, die ich geben mĂ¶chte" - Interview mit Olga Kholodnaia, Geigerin und StraĂźenmusikerin
Quellen: Georgie Fisher â€“ The Curious Busker Tale, Georgie Fisher â€“ Little City