Quite Blue's new single, Hollow, is out now! We chat to the musician about his music and more.
Melbourne artist Quiet Blue last week shared his latest single, Hollow. Sonically darker than your previous releases, the release marks a new exploration of the musicians unique and diverse sound.
The reflective track navigates feelings of futility that that can arise when addressing the world around us and trying to create happiness with conceived perceptions of what should make us happy. On Hollow, the musician creates an all consuming, atmospheric soundscape, ushering in new sonic sounds compared to his previous releases.
The musical project of Nic Georgiou, Quiet Blue is an exploration of electronic music, delving deeper into the world of production, creating raw and intimate soundscapes which soundtrack Georgiou's unique style of lyricism. Last year, the musician dropped his debut single The Likeness of You followed up by two more singles, including Thinking It Over. The latter saw Georgiou undertake a tour to promote the track, which culminated in a sold-out show in Melbourne.
Currently, Georgiou is working hard away on his debut EP, Before Dawn. The six track release will continue the singers experimentation and avenue of sound present on Hollow.
Hollow is out now! Read our full interview with Quiet Blue below!
Tell us a bit how you started your musical journey...
Funnily enough I was looking through my old laptop to find some photos and bumped into my earliest Logic files from about 5 years ago and much to my dismay, there was a Justin Timberlake remix, a Justin Bieber Remix and a file called ‘car beats’. Sheesh. After moving down to Melbourne from Sydney though, and starting a music related degree down here, I really started from scratch and learnt who I wanted to be as an artist. To begin with I really loved acoustic sort of textures because that’s really who I have listened to for the majority of my life, artists like Sufjan Stevens and Gregory Alan Isakov were so important in my formative years. I think the past year though I’ve really been enthralled in the world of electronic music. I really love the way artists like James Blake, Honne, RY X and a bunch of others blend traditional acoustic textures with really electronic instrumentations and arrangements which is something I want to start doing more of with my own music.
Congratulations on the release of Hollow! The song is about the feeling of futility that that can arise when addressing the world around us and trying to create happiness with conceived perceptions of what should make us happy. Could you tell us a bit about what inspired you to delve into these ideas and the importance of exploring these themes? Yeah, I think that’s sort of one of the most melancholy feelings we have as people when we notice the transience of things and have those stark moments when we see through what we thought was meaningful. For me it used to come a lot in the form of searching for meaning in possessions and stupid stuff like clothes and what not. I would always like pay the extra money to upgrade my phone convinced that I needed it and then an hour later be holding a newer faster thing in my hand with the same problems and anxieties flowing around my head. I also had a habit for a while of throwing myself into relationships because I felt that it was what I had to do to be happy and then there were a few really ugly situations where I just had to back away because it became blindly obvious to me that I was just searching for something for myself rather than joining into a partnership. When I contrast those situations with how things are with my now partner of one year, they all just became so clear to me.
On the track, you create this almost all consuming, atmospheric landscape. It’s fairly different sonically compared to your previous releases. What prompted you to explore this avenue of sound for Hollow? It has a lot to do with the sort of music I’ve been listening to lately. All my current favourite artists like Patrick Watson, RY X or David O’dowda have this way of building powerful arrangements which I tend to marvel at. This song was almost an outlet for me in that I really only started it because I wanted a break from some other music I was working on and this seemed like a nice way to practice building sonic worlds. The more I worked on it though, the more it took its own shape and really built its own nook in a much darker place than I first thought.
The track is sonically darker than your previous releases, how has this evolution of sound influenced your musical practice? I think in general, the more I’ve experimented with electronic music, the darker my sound has become. This isn’t a bad thing because I do feel a lot more comfortable in a darker space and certainly some of my planned future releases hold this sonic character.
Are these new unique and diverse sounds an indication of where you’ll be taking this musical project? Yeah, this song is a great indication of what I’m trying to do with the Quiet Blue project. I have always liked the idea of writing songs that can have huge arrangements but also work with just me and a piano. I definitely feel like I want to strike a medium with my music where I can write darker music that isn’t necessarily ‘sad’, which is a trap I’ve fallen into in the past.
The song was written and recorded during isolation; do you think that having that time where the world was on hold allowed you to be more self-reflective on the track? I definitely feel as though isolation has given me much more time alone with my thoughts, but I have actually found it a lot harder to ask myself reflective questions with everything going on. It’s almost like this year has really put a pause on my deeper thoughts. This song really came about because with a vastly simplified life, the more difficult things to perceive in the way I have thought in the past, have become much clearer.
Did you find the experience of writing and recording during the COVID-19 pandemic to be more challenging or did it allow you to carve out time and space to immerse yourself completely within creating?
I have loved writing and recording during COVID, it’s been crazy having so much time to write and create that I never ever would have had. I tried to spend this time more learning and improving my technical ability, because that was always the hardest thing for me to find the time for. Luckily for me as well, I can pretty much do everything I need from my apartment so it has been a really easy process. Assigning time to learn about how to actually do things has really freed my creative process up!
How did you land on the pseudonym ‘Quiet Blue’ for this musical project? The name Quiet Blue came from a couple of things. I am an absolute sucker for sunsets so I used to go and listen to music while watching the sun set and my favourite time of day was right after violet hour where everything is really blue and soft. It also describes the way my music tries to capture the more quiet thoughts and intricacies of my life and emotions, almost like the aside thoughts I have in between the defining moments of my days.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs? To be honest it changes literally every song. Some songs take months, some take days and some I just can never finish. Sometimes I start with lyrics, sometimes I start with instrumentation, and sometimes I start with a small loop that I build into a full idea. I don’t remember who said it but I heard someone refer to the song writing experience as being somewhat mysterious, and as cliché as it sounds I think I completely agree with this. I generally set out to do something and then just keep riding an idea until I love it or hate it, and sometimes I write a full song without really realising how it happened. In saying this though there are times where I can get really methodical with things. It tends to be the difference between me working in the morning vs working in the night. Morning tends to be a lot more structured whereas nights end up as a bit of a mess haha.
How do you feel your music speaks to listeners, and what messages do you hope listeners take away from Hollow? This is a great question, one of the things I think I’ve struggled with in the past is that I write songs that I really like at the time and don’t put much thought into how I plan for the music to be understood or received by others. Hollow is sort of the opposite of that, I really wanted to just make this song sound pretty so that someone listening could enjoy it as a piece of work in itself. I think the song holds deep meaning for me but it can be interpreted in heaps of ways as a first time listener, so I wouldn’t want to specify what I would hope someone takes away from it.
Can fans expect a full-length release in the near future?
Yes! My debut EP titled ‘Before Dawn’ is in the works, currently all 6 of the tracks are off being mixed/mastered so fans can expect a whole bunch of new music in the coming months, which is really exciting!
What can fans expect in terms of the sonic sound of your future releases? Will you continue your experimentation and bring in more new sounds? I think the next slate of music is definitely going to play around with a lot more electronic music. The way I would describe the EP would be very similar to Hollow, however there Is a lot of variation throughout with more upbeat songs and also a real tear jerker or two.
The current pandemic has obviously put a half to touring and performing live. Do you have any post-pandemic touring plans? And what can audiences expect from a Quiet Blue live show? I haven’t actually made any touring plans yet, I really have no clue of when things will get back to a point where live music will be a thing down here. I am from Sydney though and have some connections up in Brisbane so an East Coast tour could definitely be on in the near future! My live show is going to be so much more well-rounded than ever before now. I have a bunch of songs that I can blend together and really tell a story in the context of the show! I really can’t wait to get back out there, as half of my set now would be completely different to what I’ve ever played before!
Biggest influences? Tom Misch, Honne, RY X, Bon Iver, Dermot Kennedy, Clairo, Rostam, Novo Amor, Sigur Rós, Leif Vollebekk.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Warm on a Cold Night - Honne.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Eclectic, atmospheric, dulcet.
Best song of 2020? What Kinda Music – Tom Misch (this is a bloody banga).
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be? That’s a tough one, one of my favourite movies growing up was a film called Like Crazy, with Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. It has a mood and pace that I think would be absolutely beautiful to write for (the current soundtrack of that film is wildly good though so it would be hard to top).
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
Grace Darling w/ Ijale, Elaura and Phondupe.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Views - Drake.
Best concert you have been to?
Last concert you went to?
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
La La Land Soundtrack.
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry?
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now? Keeeeeep working on it.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician? Watching Sufjan Stevens in 2015 at the Sydney Opera House.