"The reason why I went for a more broad name like The Venus Project is because even though all these songs are really personal and close to my heart, I wanted to hone in on the fact that this is a very collaborative album. A lot of different creative people - creative women - have been involved and I wanted it to be this thing that was more than just me writing songs," Georgia Nott told us when she stopped by the Baeble Studio to play a few songs off of her new record The Venus Project: Vol. 1.
If you're familiar with Nott's work, then you know that seeing her performing this way - solo with nothing but an electric guitar - is rare. She can usually be seen with her brother Caleb Nott, who, combined with Georgia makes up the New Zealand duo BROODS. Together, the two make rambunctious electro-pop music fit for an epic scene in an action movie.
However, now, Georgia is on to something a bit more softer. Vol. 1 strips things back and sees her as not only a solo artist who's capable of writing good songs, but a curator who likes to collaborate with like-minded artists. Nott shared, "whenever I found somebody that I clicked with, that was such a victory for me." The album, which consists of female artists and femme anthems, was even released earlier this month on National Women's Day. "I want women to see themselves as geniuses because we have so much to offer."
During our session, Nott played two songs off of the album, its lead single "Won't Hurt" and the painstaking "Numb." Although it was just last year that I watched her run back and forth on a stage, backed by drum machines and synths, her unplugged set came across as so natural and effortless. "Then I must be the only thing holding me back, bringing myself down," she sings on "Numb" over a bed of dreamy, intimate guitar. Afterwards in the interview she said, "this whole project is just to be honest about my weaknesses and owning them." When the songs are beautiful, the rest comes easily - especially when Nott is singing about something so unshackling - something so necessary. You'll want to tune into this special session when it drops in full right here tomorrow.
It won't hurt it won't hurt It won't hurt broad name for the project, like The Venus Project is because even though all these songs are songs that are really personal and close to my heart, I wanted to hone in on the fact that this is a very collaborative album. And a lot of different creative people, creative women, have been involved, and I wanted it to kind of be this thing that was about more than just me writing songs. You know? And Vol. 1 in the hopes that maybe, one day, I can hand the baton on to somebody else, and somebody else can make a Vol. 2 with women that they want to work with. I could know where I am and I'd still be lost I could be lonely when the party is mine to host For all the places I've been I've only been skin and bone So I wrap myself in you and I pray that I'm not a ghost I'm not a ghost I could be screaming and you wouldn't hear a word For however heavy my heart is, my mind is worse But all that you hear is confidence clear as day So I wrap myself in you and pray that it won't hurt And it won't hurt I'm not hurt And it won't hurt I'm not hurt It won't hurt It won't hurt, hurt, no Won't hurt To be honest, it was hard to find people because women in this industry, especially behind the scenes, are few and far between. And so whenever I found somebody that I clicked with, that was such a victory for me. But whenever I did hit the roadblocks, it was kind of an incentive to keep going and motivation to make this album happen because I was like, "This is why we're doing it because it's so hard to find women in the industry. That's why we need to do this. " You look back on history, and it's almost like women didn't exist for a while because every man was a genius. And I want women to be able to be seen as geniuses, too, and I want women to see themselves as geniuses because we have so much to offer, and it needs to be something that... You know, these amazing women around the world get the opportunity to actually show who they are. One of the reasons that I wanted to do this project in the first place was because I was seeing all these amazing female musicians speaking up about their feminism and not feeling they have to apologize for it or ashamed of it. One of my really good friends, Tove Lo, has been a huge inspiration to me because she always speaks her mind about that kind of thing, and she's been a number one supporter from the very beginning. To be able to feel like, "If she can do it, I'm going to do it, too. " If she can speak her mind, if she can be super honest about how she sees the world and how she consumes the world, then I can bloody well do that, too. I don't wanna feel numb Don't wanna bite my tongue I don't wanna feel numb Don't wanna bite my tongue 'Cause if I'm the only one who can save my soul but I don't know how Then I must be the only thing holding me back, bringing myself down 'Cause if I'm the only one who can save my soul but I don't know how Then I must be the only thing holding me back, bringing myself down I don't wanna feel old I don't wanna grow cold I don't wanna feel old I don't wanna grow cold 'Cause if I'm the only one who can save my soul but I don't know how Then I must be the only thing holding me back, bringing myself down 'Cause if I'm the only one who can save my soul but I don't know how Then I must be the only thing holding me back, bringing myself down, no, down No, down No, down No, down When I've found what I'm missing I'll be whole Every time I go missing from my home When I've found what I'm missing When I've found what I'm missing I'll be whole Every time I go missing from my home When I find what I'm missing I went back and forth a little bit because I thought I'm saying something really, I guess, personal and preaching this empowerment, yet the songs are so vulnerable and sad, and they don't speak of confidence. They speak of being afraid. And I was like, "Is that the right thing that I should be doing? Am I supposed to be preaching that I'm never afraid and that I can hold my own?" And I started to think about it, and I was like, "That's not the point. " You know? This whole project is for me, I thought, to just be honest about my weaknesses and own them and not be sorry for them was my way of empowering myself and others. challenging or scary for you? - Yeah. Yeah. Every time I play a song I'm like, "Am I going to cry this time?" But I think that's also what I live for is to be that person that speaks about things that make people look at themselves a little bit differently or ask the question "Am I not the only person that feels like this after all?" You know, those are the kind of songs that have helped me through so much that I want to be the person that gives that back to the world.
As one half of New Zealands favourite brother-sister duo Broods, Georgia Nott has spent most of her time in recent years either in a studio or on the road touring a dream situation for many musicians.
But there was one slightly uncomfortable fact that continually cropped up for her: she was often the only woman in the room.
It really struck me at some point, that more often than not when I go into the studio, the producer is a guy, and the engineer is a guy, and I guess most of the time Im the only girl in the room. Often its the same on tour or when were playing live.
So when Georgia began contemplating a solo side project, she also found herself highly motivated to work with other women.
I had these songs that Id been writing that were a bit more personal than anything else Id written, and I was thinking about releasing them on the side. And I was also thinking, 'Im pretty capable, why dont I just start producing it myself, and see what happens.
But then I kept encountering all these ridiculously talented ladies who Id meet in LA and on my travels that I wanted to work with, and thats how it became this all-female collaboration.
That collaboration resulted in The Venus Project: Vol 1., brought to life entirely by a team of women. From the artwork to the mastering and management, its a celebration of many impressive creative female talents who often fly under the radar.
The women involved in this project might not be well known, but theyre all so passionate about what they do, 24/7, just constantly driven they dont turn it on and off when it suits, they are living and breathing their creativity and standing up for themselves, and those are the kind of people I wanted to shine a light on.
The group so far includes Camila Mora, who tours with Broods as their keyboard player, but is also a highly skilled producer; visual artist and illustrator Ashley Lukashevsky; project manager Sherry Elbe; mix engineer Adrianne 'AG Gonzalez; mastering engineer Emily Lazar, photographer Catie Laffoon; and producer Ceci Gomez, who worked with Georgia on the first single Wont Hurt. The list of collaborators continues to expand as they head towards the album release on the 8th of March which is also International Womens Day.
Its a raw, vulnerable collection of vocal-driven alt-pop which has Georgia laying her thoughts bare, and hoping to get people thinking about the lack of women in roles behind the scenes in the music industry, while also drawing their attention to some excellent new female talent.
Its a privilege to be able to act upon these ideas and do something constructive to encourage change. I dont really like dwelling on the negative parts too much, I think thats just my personality, so instead I wanted to celebrate the awesome talented women around me, and inspire other girls or women to see there are loads of possibilities for them in this industry.