Previous Professional Development Award Winner - Georgi Kay

Thursday, 16 Jul 2015

At 18, after a surprise nomination, Georgi Kay’s father made a deal with her that if she won one WA Music Industry Association Award, he’d let her have a cat. Cats Harley and China are a feline testament to the talent of this songwriter who responded to the challenge with a two-Award win.

Two years later, at the time she took home the APRA AMCOS Professional Development Award (PDA) in the Popular Contemporary category in 2013, the Perth-resident had already been performing for three years, had toured the country, had acted in a Jane Campion-directed tele-movie and had even recorded an album Backwardsforwards.

This early success might breed ambivalence in some, but not for this grounded singer/songwriter.

Georgi Kay said, “To be nominated was a thrill in itself. To win was phenomenal. With such respected judges and respected songwriters in the Awards, winning was a big thumbs up, it made me feel like I was on the right track. 

“Apart from giving me the motivation to keep following my passion, the practical side of the Award - the prize - really helped. A better quality studio, great sound equipment, even the cash component, helped me to go to the next stage,” she said.

Georgi Kay moved to the UK shortly after the PDA win, where she signed with Parlophone and had no trouble settling back into London, where she was born.

“Since then, I feel like I am powered by my own steam. I do a lot of stuff with the support of others and a lot of stuff myself. One can’t exist without the other, like a marriage. I am driving things myself, it’s important to me to be independent and purposeful. 

“Because I was, and still am, relatively young, the business side of music making was a learning curve. I set out to make the most of the opportunities. 2013, the year I won the PDA, was my ‘Year of Yes.’ I just took on everything that came my way, good and bad. I learnt bluntly how challenges actually feel, how to act on good advice and how to be empowered to make your own decisions.

“Through the PDA win I met some great people and was invited to be part of SongHubs Bali this year to give back support.

“The advice I would give to those considering entering the Professional Development Awards is that this will mark the point separating your passion from just a hobby. You have to remember to have fun too, stay strong, be humble and focus.

“APRA AMCOS has been 100 per cent supportive of me since day one. They have been in the sidelines supporting my passion and at the same time encouraging me to expose my kick-ass side,” she said.

Georgi’s music is informed as much by her father’s eclectic musical taste exposed in weekend family jam sessions (Springsteen to Aretha Franklin and The Doors) as it is by film, imagery, sci-fi and horror.

Georgi’s songs feature a strong female protagonist setting up an emotive scene, but are crafted with a male-oriented brevity and simplicity. 

While Georgi has been busy in 2015 with no less than two single releases (‘Follow Me Part 1’ with Brodinski and ‘Head Full of Lies’ featured on the UK Netflix mini-series ‘Residue’) and is about to set off to LA SongHubs, she continues to experiment with her evolving style. 

“I have a whole heap of material which I’ve written, so now it’s just about finessing them. I plan on giving these tracks back to my fans to share the love. The voice is organic, the sound more synthetic, more euphoric. I’m bursting to get on stage with this new sound.

While in LA, Georgi will attend sync showcases, drawn to the big and small screens which inform her music “Australian songwriters are very much out their to make their mark,” Georgi said, “It’s in the water.”

Find out more about Georgi Kay


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