Georgie Riot Talks ‘Dark Days’

With her release ‘Dark Days’ out August 4th. What better way to celebrate this new all-female-produced track than to debrief with one of the driving forces behind it? Georgie Riot has had a noteworthy rise within drum & bass since her last interview with UKF, over two years ago.  

Her hard-hitting production transitioning from dancefloor to jump-up, whilst also maintaining a melodic style throughout, has ensured her quick rise through the ranks. Her high-intensity sets have captivated a global audience. Since we got to know Georgie in her last interview, she has done wonders for the representation of female artists within the drum & bass spectrum. She has used her ever-growing platform to spread awareness for the lack of women’s opportunities within the dance music industry. 

‘Dark Days’ is a significant release as it was produced, written, & sung by an all-female team. The track has a clear message of unity amongst women. Representing an account of injustice within the scene. With Georgie Riot are DJ Something Something and Ruth Royall, who have all come together to create this moving dancefloor sensation. Ruth’s stunning vocals bring these lyrics to life and truly represent what Georgie and the rest of the team were striving towards – which is to make people listen. 

Riot Records has been a big part of Georgie’s journey over the last 12 months, and has undoubtedly given her even more perspective on the music industry she has now become completely immersed in. With the new single freshly released and Georgie’s bookings building up, let’s find out more about how the last two years have been panning out. 

Georgie. So the last time you interviewed with UKF you were just entering the scene as an artist. A few years have passed now, so how has life in drum & bass been treating you? 

Yes. Well, this definitely feels like my first full year playing loads of shows. Last year was also busy, but this definitely feels like a big year for me. I have some big festivals coming up. As well as having already done Rampage Open Air. I have Let It Roll upcoming on the UKF stage, so I’m very excited about that. And just a lot of big summer shows in general. I did a lot of festival stuff last year, but not big European ones like this summer. I’ve also got an exciting 360 event with Viper Recordings which I’m very much looking forward to. I’ve been watching some of the dnb allstars ones and they all look great. I don’t think any of my live sets have been recorded, so I’m nervous and excited about that. This year I’ve been trying to release one single a month, and so far I’ve kept that quite steady. I think it’s important to keep consistent. I’ve just been making loads of music and trying to find my sound. 

All things considered, you are still relatively new so finding out about your sound is only natural.

Yes, exactly. I’d say when I did my first interview with UKF I was definitely trying to find out what types of songs I wanted to make. Now, I think if you listened to one of my releases you could probably tell that it’s one of mine. 

So this year has gone better than you expected then?

Yes, it has. We’re still only halfway through. We’ve still got club season to come. The label I started last year is doing really well this year. I’m really enjoying running it. It’s giving me the freedom to release tracks whenever I want now as well. Going over to Australia and New Zealand to tour a couple of times has been really good too. 

Speaking of the label, how has that fit in with your career?

I’m naturally a really organised person, so I’ve been enjoying that side of things. It’s definitely keeping me busy. I have my agent who sort’s my bookings out, so it really does give me a bit more time to focus on the label side of things. 

You spoke about touring Australia and New Zealand earlier. What is your impression of the scene over there?

So the first tour I did over there was only a brief one in New Zealand. I didn’t really get to see too much of it. But the second time I went was in May of this year. It was an Australia tour, with a few New Zealand dates thrown in too. Perth was my favourite spot to play. I played the Hospitality event during the day and then played at an after-party in a grotty little dungeon-type club – which is my favourite type of venue to play. Having played both seasons over there you can tell they enjoy it in both Australia and New Zealand. I did prefer the winter shows I played out there. 

Having got through so much so early on in your career. I’m interested to know what your musical influences are.

If I had to pick some people, it would be Sub Focus, Dimension and Tsuki. Their levels of production are so high. I’d also throw Pendulum and Kanine in there too. I listen to a lot of current stuff, so I can see what’s out there at the moment. I want to be making jump-up and dancefloor d&b, so listening to stuff that’s out helps me gauge where I’m at. Figuring out what I want to make, especially jump-up-wise, is where I’m at at the minute. 

Let’s talk about the latest track ‘Dark Days’. An all-female team was behind this. Give us an insight into how it came about. 

It started about a year ago. I was trying to make a tune and I asked Ruth Royall if she wanted to sing on it. She wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals, she sent me the demo and it was great. She came up with the concept and fitted it to the track I’d already made. The song kind of progressed from there, I kept going back to it then leaving it for a bit. I was at the point where I’d made something but couldn’t fully vibe with the track because I felt something was missing. After a lot of uncertainty, I eventually spoke to Steffie (Something Something) who was going through a really hard time and she really liked the concept of the track so was immediately on board. When we were deciding where to release it label-wise we wanted to make sure it was the right one. We decided on my label because we thought it would be nice to release it all as women. 

It’s really great that we get projects like this that highlight the talent of women in the scene. Do you think drum & bass is making steps in the right direction for more inclusivity with women?

It’s definitely made steps in the right direction. I feel like there is still not enough yet. It’s such a difficult topic because there is always so much I want to say. I still think even when girls have been put on line-ups it still feels like they’re the token girl, rather than actually giving more girls who deserve it a chance. It shouldn’t be about ticking boxes, just because people are saying you’ve got to have women on line-ups. The perception around women DJing needs to change. Having said that, I still see line-ups with no women on them. I think with the right support and someone willing to take a chance makes all the difference, you can see loads of women are getting overlooked. I guess next is figuring out why there are fewer female producers. The social aspect of music production could be a factor. I was the only girl in my music production course. Why is that? Is it to do with how women are treated? There are so many questions. It’d be good for the scene to tackle these questions. Drum and bass is definitely ahead of a lot of other genres in terms of inclusivity. 

Just going back to yourself, how do you feel you’ve evolved in the scene?

I’ve definitely seen the growth in me as an artist. I would get nervous before big sets and I still do, but I’m able to deal with these nerves slightly better as I’ve performed more. It would be nice to deal with them even more as I progress in my career. Also through my production, I can see how I’ve got more confident in my tracks.  

With more performances under your belt and becoming more confident, there must be some events on the bucket list you hope to play at.

EDC and Tomorrowland are definitely the two main ones I’d love to play at. Boomtown as well. Glastonbury would obviously be another one too. 

And there must be some places you’ve played at already that were personal favourites.

Of Course Australia and New Zealand, especially Perth. I’ve also loved Germany, Belgium and Austria. To be fair, Europe in general has always given me wicked shows. The UKF stage at Sundown last year was also a really good show. The Rampage on the Road event in Heidelberg, Germany I did earlier in the year was another stand-out event for me. I’ve been lucky in the sense that I’ve been getting good shows from the get-go. The Outernet show in London for UKF was a real stand-out one, it was a great venue.

You must’ve worked with a few people now you’re well into the production game. Who’ve you enjoyed working with?

So far, I’ve enjoyed working with Active. Obviously with Ruth Royall and Something Something, who I’ve worked on the ‘Dark Days’ track with. Gouki is another guy I loved working with. I worked with a local MC called Toddlah which was pretty cool too. He’s always fun to work with. I’ve got a release coming up with Captain Bass this year, who I’d already released a track with last year.  

The Kool FM residency must be a cool thing to be involved in.

It’s been good. I’d misunderstood them and thought they were asking me for a mix. They told me that it would be a regular monthly show, and at first I wasn’t too keen. I asked them if it would involve talking because I don’t really like doing that kind of thing but they said I could just record it at home and not even have to talk if I didn’t want to. Now I’ve started getting into it more, I’m getting more confident with it. I had a similar thing when I was recording Charlie Tee’s Radio 1 show. As soon as they pressed record, my hands would start sweating. Again, it was a great experience though. It sounded great when it was finished and edited. Charlie Tee, by the way, is someone who is using the BBC Radio 1 platform to actively try and include more women into the scene and she actually gives so many women a chance on such a big platform. Kool FM has been a great thing to be a part of, they’re actually having an event at Fabric on August 27th to celebrate the bank holiday carnival which I’ve been invited to play. 

Wrapping things up, where can we catch you for the rest of the year and what have you got planned?

I’ve just been back in Belgium for Inceptionz which was great. Coming up festival-wise, I’ve got Frequency Festival, Leeds Festival and Weekender Festival. I’ll also be doing my first 360 showcase show with Viper Recordings in Werkhaus. As well as that Kool FM carnival event at Fabric over the bank holiday I mentioned earlier. I’ve got ‘Out of my Mind’ out, as well as ‘Dark Days’ release-wise this summer. I’ve also got a release with dnb allstars in September coming up. Then a few other bits to end the year which you’ll find out about soon. 

Follow Georgie Riot: Soundcloud/Intsagram/Youtube