Heartbreak and reunion
Rising star G Flip’s first album had an unexpectedly happy outcome, writes Kathy McCabe
The last thing G Flip expected when she poured her heartbreak into songs was a reconciliation with the partner who had inspired them. For a year Georgia Flipo wrote, recorded and produced the songs for her debut album About Us in her bedroom in Melbourne.
And then, 18 months after they had split, her now-again girlfriend Jemma Williams, who lived overseas, turned up on her doorstep.
When the pair called time out on their relationship, they agreed to a clean break so Williams wasn’t aware Flipo had decided to quit playing in bands and forge ahead as a solo artist.
“I showed her a song … I didn’t want to show her the songs because they are all about us. I thought it was awkward, me confessing my love for her still and all that shit,” she says.
“I ended up playing her the tracks and we kinda sat there, and then got closer to each other … and closer to each other, had a bit of a cry and a hug and then a little kiss.
“These songs brought us back together and we have stuck together ever since that day.”
Like all pop breakthroughs — that aren’t orchestrated by a television show — Flipo’s arrival as an indie artist who now sells out national tours and is a mustsee on festival stages has been a long time coming.
The obsessive drummer, who can pretty much play anything else she puts her hands to, fell in love with music from a young age.
“My older cousin would sometimes put on performances on his drum kit at family
Sunday lunch,” she recalls.
“So my uncle bought me a drum kit for my ninth birthday and I became obsessed.”
The 25-year-old musician played in bands, took DJ gigs and gave drum lessons to kids to finance her musical aspirations, before holing up in her bedroom through 2017 with her drum kit, guitar, keyboard and laptop to write her songs.
She uploaded the first track About You in early 2018 to Triple J’s Unearthed portal — not long after reconciling with Williams — and it blew up.
The same day the song was migrated to Triple J’s national network playlist provoking international interest and Flipo was booked to showcase her skills at the annual buzz-stirring festival South By Southwest in Texas.
The next single Killing My Time kept the momentum rolling and she finished the year with a scene-stealing performance of Proud Mary for the ABC New Year’s Eve concert.
She became one of those artists who inspire spontaneous crowd karaoke at festivals, drawing big crowds for her sets at Laneway, then Groovin The Moo and Splendour In The Grass this year in the lead-up to the release of About Us in August.
It landed at No.6 on the album charts in Australia and scored rave reviews from around the world, with songs including Drink Too Much, Stupid and Lover ticking over more than 50 million streams. At one stage, the album which was released on August 30, was titled Lover. Had Flipo kept that title, she would have been releasing a record called Lover the week after Taylor Swift dropped her album with the same name.
“At one stage Lover was in the mix as an album title because it is very much a love album,” she says. “I am very, very thankful I decided to call it About Us.”
As she heads out on her album tour, Flipo also finds herself inducted into the ARIA awards class of 2019, scoring three nominations including Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
But there’s one thing she misses as she performs her songs in Australia, the US and Europe and that is her drum students.
“I am so sad I had to drop teaching but I feel like I will go back to drum teaching when I am old and grey,” she says.
G FLIP PLAYS THE METRO THEATRE ON NOVEMBER 21 AND 22
Singer G Flip (left) and (above) with girlfriend Jemma Williams.