Georgie Riot had just dipped her toe into the DJ game before covid-19 barged in and remixed all our lives.
Undeterred, she embraced the time off she had from her intense career and threw herself into the thriving streaming culture and learning production. 18 months, countless streams, two high profile mixes for the likes of Kiss and Rinse FM and her debut single later; Georgie’s graduated from lockdown university with a whole host of major league bookings this summer alongside the likes of Chase & Status, Kings Of The Rollers and Netsky and a very bright future beyond…
Her background has been equally bright: a drummer who was brought up by very cool-sounding raver parents who introduced her to club culture at the source, Georgie has also been a model for over 10 years and runs her own modelling agency.
Now applying her same level of energy and ambition to her music, she’s developed a DJ style that flips dynamically between big dancefloor arm-raisers and gully underground face-melters by way of a constant slew of doubles. Her productions showcase a similarly exciting range, too; So far we’ve enjoyed her big bassline bruiser debut single Dance and there’s also been a cheeky jump-up free download on her Soundcloud.
Loads more is expected to land in due course but, already seasoned in one highly competitive industry, Georgie knows how to play the long game. She’s only just warming up…
Your musical mission started with you drumming, didn’t it?
Yeah that’s right. I did music GCSE and learnt the drums. I really wanted to be a rockstar and was in a band but, as I got older, I realised that wasn’t going to be a thing so I did a BTEC in music technology. Music’s always been there, but I didn’t think it would be a reliable source of income so then I went and studied health and social care with a view to becoming a nurse.
Wow, that’s a switch!
Yeah, a bit of a change in direction! But then I had another change and developed my modelling career, which I’d been doing off-and-on since I was 14. I dived into that and did it fulltime, but I always kept coming back to music.
I imagine the modelling industry is very high pressure and probably quite comparable to music. Intense, creative, volatile, competitive.
Totally! I didn’t think they’d be so similar. I thought the music scene would be more relaxed but they’re very similar. A lot of self-doubt, stress and competition. You’ve got to get through it, though, haven’t you?
You do. The self-doubt is universal.
Yeah. But I feel like with modelling it’s less of a talent. You’ve still got to know what you’re doing, but in modelling I didn’t feel I had a chance to showcase what I want to do or be that creative. But with music I can do that.
There is definitely talent in developing your patience. Having been on enough photoshoots and filming lots of things, I know you’re waiting around for hours sometimes but you have to bring all your energy into that one moment when you’re called for. That’s not easy, and it’s great training for the long game.
Definitely! I did modelling for 10 years and even started my own modelling agency four years ago. We’re called Unite and I still run it now, but I felt I was running out of things to do or ambitions to set. Plus I’m 25 and in modelling terms that’s quite old.
That’s a big difference with the music world. If you’re doing sick stuff, then you can be any age in this world!
Yeah, you’re never too late to start and can go on as long as you want.
Awesome you own an agency. You can guide the new generation through and help them out?
Yeah I love looking after the girls and making sure they don’t get taken advantage of with payment, which I experienced when I was younger. You know when you’re meant to be paid a certain rate but you’re getting paid a lot less? That’s what I help my girls avoid.
That’s wicked. So let’s chat DJing… You started playing shows and establishing yourself, then boom… Lockdown.
Yeah, before lockdown I did three shows, they were quite small in my hometown. One was a bigger event, but I was room 2. It was nice to have a taste of it and I was expecting that to build up through 2020 but then lockdown happened. I know a lot of people didn’t have a great time during lockdown, but I loved having all that time. I wasn’t modelling, I wasn’t working, I couldn’t do anything really and got time to spend focusing on music, perfecting DJing and getting into production.
Were there any big moments that happened along the way that made you think ‘Yes! This is the path!’
Yeah there were a couple of things. The Mollie Collins guestmix for Kiss and the Rinse mix for Marcus Nasty and the Mental Health Still Matters live stream. Basically people who didn’t know me, found me online and reached out to invite me on to things. Any time that happened it would make my day.
I was in the studio with the Mental Health Still Matters crew! We were buzzing over your mix. Loads of doubles and your sound covers the board…
Yeah, I try and do a bit of everything. I love it all. And if I play one style I get bored. I love the dancefloor vibes, I love the rollers vibe, the heavier stuff. All of it!
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Had you thought about DJing before?
When I was in school, back with the drumming, I had a few ideas about it. But I have to thank my mum. She always wanted me to be a DJ and, when I was a kid, my dad got me this tiny little toy DJ controller. But as I got older, I just thought it wouldn’t be possible. It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend, who is an artist himself under the name Tsuki. He gave me a kick up the arse and said ‘Why can’t you do it?’ I’d always say ‘No it’ll just be for a bit of fun, even if I do it, no one will want to listen.’ He said ‘Just do it’. I needed that kick!
Big up Tsuki. And big up your mum! Is she an original raver?
Oh yes. She used to take me to trance nights when I was young. My first was when I was 14! But she was super cool and would always stay with me and look after me. So that was where it started. Then as I got older I got into D&B.
So 11 years ago… Was that stuff like Godskitchen and Gatecrasher? And what did you make of that?
I loved it! Mum’s very energetic and I’m more like the parent in any situation when we go out together. We went to a night called Passion in Emporium in Leicester which was its 18 year anniversary… But I was 16 at the time! I did go to Godskitchen and I think I went to a Gatecrasher too. One of her friends was a DJ so we’d go around with him a lot to lots of places.
What a schooling! Are you looking forward to IRL gigs now?
Definitely! I’ve enjoyed streaming, but if it went on any longer then I’d get fed up with it. I’ve stopped doing so many now because people are out and about again, and the numbers have dropped really badly on streams now.
There was something Sabrina said in a recent interview about commenters on streams and how they won’t be there on the dancefloor. It’s a shame people who’ve put themselves out there online get that negativity…
Yeah there’s definitely that element. I mean most people are very supportive, but you do get the odd hateful comment. When I put out my first tune Dance, I posted about it on Instagram and within three minutes of posting I had someone commenting something nasty about it. People say things and I just ignore them. You can’t let it get to you.
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It’s the difference between internet life and real life. You did a really awesome honest post about that recently with a picture of you with no make-up and one with make-up.
Thanks, I want to post more of those. It’s too easy for me to post modelling image or things from sets and being on shoot where I look good and it’s important to make the effort to post real things as well. Everything online is edited, everything is filtered and we have to portray the reality too.
Especially for younger people looking up to you.
Yeah. I’m always very conscious of what I post anyway. Before the DJing, most of my followers were friends and models I know through the industry who have become friends anyway. Now there are a lot more people I don’t know following me and that does leave you feeling exposed. Because of this I’ll overthink everything I post to the point my boyfriend is like ‘You’re overthinking! Just post it!’ Even down to what I wear. Someone commented on my top on the stream. It was a general crop top and a girl posted something nasty about me. Which always confuses me because you’d think fellow women would be supportive. So since then I’ve thought too much about what I wear. Do I have to wear baggy clothes all the time now because people will say something? It never ends. So I try not to think too much or too little.
Overthinking is the curse of our times. So your first single Dance is out, which is a bassline tune. You also put out a free download Change. So tunes are on the agenda next!
Yes they are! I’ve just moved house so there’s a bit of a delay as I set up my new studio. I’m not rushing into it, though, and I want my next release to be D&B. My first official release was bassline. It ended up as bassline because I was catching a vibe but I couldn’t get the tune to where I wanted it to be. I took a break from it and ended up making Dance. Change was more of a bit of fun.
Cool that Dance took on a life of its own. Listening to your mixes, there’s a strong element of dancefloor and jump-up. How do you think your sound will develop as an artist?
I know what I want to do but it depends how I progress because things take different paths don’t they? I would love to make a dancefloor style, like the synths and atmospherics and drive of tunes like Dimension or Sub Focus but with the punchy drop of a Kanine or Turno vibe. Dancefloor bangers, basically. But it’s easier said than done isn’t it?
It’s the hardest science!
Yeah! To be able to perfect it. That’s why I’ve struggled with this one tune. But I’ll get there and in the meantime we’ve finally got bookings! A lot of stuff is being rescheduled but I’m playing at Summer Of Love in Bristol, there’s a show with Kings Of The Rollers, a show with Netsky, a show with Hype and one with Chase & Status.
You’re playing alongside your influences!
Yeah it’s awesome to be on the line-up with them. Even if I am at the bottom.
For now! My final question… What else does the world need to know about Georgie Riot right about now?
I’m working really hard behind the scenes so keep locked in for new music and new dates announcing soon!