Musician and songwriter Georgia Potter recently returned from a 17-month long journey that began in London and took her almost all over the world.
Potter, whose eclectic musical style touches on a wide range of genres including hip hop, electronic, folk, roots, soul and more, used the trip to write an impressive collection of songs.
The hardworking songstress has already had some noteworthy musical successes since graduating with a Bachelor of Popular Music from Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium in 2008.
They include her 2009 EP titled Living the Grey and a live album called Live at the Troubadour, both of which received strong support from Triple J, the ABC and community radio stations around Australia, as well as her selection as a Triple J “Next Crop” artist for the November 2009 Australian Music Month.
But despite her success locally, Potter says she decided to take the trip to stimulate her writing creativity.
“I needed new inspiration,” she says.
So, in March last year, Potter packed her bags and set off on a trip that took her to Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin and various parts of Turkey, Egypt and Spain.
And there she found inspiration in spades.
“When I go for something I want, I am very determined to get there.”
Of the 37 songs she wrote, one – “XO” – has already been released as a successful single, getting airplay on the ABC institution, rage, as well as on a number of Australian radio stations.
And she has plans to release another EP shortly.
“I want to release a five-song EP over New Year’s,” Potter says.
“I have all these different songs, from different stages of my journey that I am trying to fit together.
“Each stage has had a different mood, therefore a different sound.
“I need to find the best songs that fit together,” she explains.
Potter says it was the variety of places she visited, together with the interesting people she met, that inspired her to write so many new songs.
Although she visited the US, she spent the majority of her time in Europe where she was able to travel on a British passport, thanks to her British father. Somewhat unusually, given her own British ancestry and the thousands of young Australians who flock to London to work and travel each year, Potter says the English capital wasn’t really her thing.
“London was great, but it was a shock to me,” Potter says.
“I met a lot of amazing people there, I got to record heaps of music, but London was not really IT for me.
“I liked the vibe in Berlin much better.”
Nonetheless, it was in London that Potter met a producer from Sydney who helped her record many of the songs she wrote while she was away.
And it was in London that she first saw snow.
“I had never seen snow, can you imagine?” she says.
“It was such a strange feeling.”
Despite London’s appeals, Potter says it is Berlin that continues to draw her in.
The songwriter spent about six months of her trip in the German capital, staying in the city on and off for a couple of months at a time.
And although it was the approaching European winter combined with the desire to surprise her dad for his birthday that led Potter to return to Brisbane, she says she’s already looking forward to returning to Berlin, preferably when the weather is warmer again.
Potter also discovered an ongoing love for Egypt while on her travels, which caused her to visit the desert country over and over again between recording sessions.
Potter says it was Egypt’s huge contrasts that she found so intriguing.
“You have the big cities that are so stressful, but not far away there are small villages where there is next to nothing going on,” she says.
Potter has recently enrolled in a short course in Arabic at the University of Queensland.
“I wanted to learn Arabic because I know I will always travel back to Egypt, so the best thing to do was to learn the native tongue,” she says.
Potter says at one stage she travelled to a remote mountain village called Nigueals, in Sierra Nevada, Spain, where she stayed in a 500-year-old lodge that was loaned to her by a man she knew from Brisbane.
She stayed in the small village for almost two months, where she was the only English speaking person around.
“It was very lonely from time to time, but you get the time to be with yourself in focus,” Potter says.
“I learnt so much about myself there.
“And I wrote a lot.”
Now back in Brisbane, Potter says she will keep on writing, recording and saving up money to go back overseas.
She says she had hoped to travel back to Europe by chartering a room on a container ship to London, a journey that would take several months, but changed her mind when she discovered she would not be able to take her dog on the boat.
“It would [have been] really great,” Potter says.
“Crossing oceans, stopping and staying at different ports every couple of nights.
“A true adventure.”
Since her return the busy Potter has already toured as a back-up singer for her brother, Jack Potter, and his band Tin Can Radio on their album release tour, as well as playing her own gigs, such as at the Island Vibe Festival on Stradbroke Island.
And, Potter being Potter, there’ll no doubt be a very busy Australian summer of gigging and writing ahead.