New Zealand’s Georgia Nott is more famous as part of the brother-sister duo Broods, who became the darlings of the alt-pop scene in 2014 when they released their debut album Evergreen and found themselves at number 1 in their home country and in the top 5 of the Australian album charts. Nott has now (temporarily) struck out on her own with The Venus Project, a passion project that pushes feminism to the forefront in an industry that has infamously turned its back on women for far too long. Created entirely by women, the album – The Venus Project Volume 1 – is released today, on International Women’s Day. Women In Pop recently spoke to Nott to learn more about the project.
What inspired you to create The Venus Project?
I really wanted to release some of the music I’ve been making outside of Broods because I had a catalogue of stuff that I felt was not very Broods-y. I’ve just been surrounded by this [gender equality] movement and I’ve been thinking for a really long time, “What’s my part in this movement? What am I supposed to do?” So, I decided that my way of being a feminist and supporting this movement was to make an album that celebrated women. It took two years from thinking of the idea to now, though – it’s been a pretty long process. It’s been quite strange – you think about something every day for ages and then all of a sudden, it’s real.
You made the album entirely with women, from the musicians through to the graphic designer. How did you meet the women you have collaborated with?
We just got as many people as we could involved. One of the girls who co-produced most of the record [Camila Mora] plays keyboards for Broods so it was quite nice to do this together. A lot of them are people that I’ve known for a while or met through friends; basically it’s just a bunch of friends who are super creative and really talented, and on the same page as me with what they want to achieve with their art. It’s been really special working with all these ladies.
How did working entirely with women impact on your creativity and recording process?
I took it as an opportunity to be as honest as possible when I was writing and go with my instincts, not second-guess whether it was going to be played on radio or whether it was going to be available on a universal level. I just wanted to speak from a place that I hadn’t really spoken from before.
The lyrics on the album are quite emotional and at times confronting. What was your state of mind when you were writing?
I don’t want to be afraid to shake people. I’m naturally a very emotional person and there are dark moments on the album, but the expression and strength I’ve been able to derive from that has kind of made all these weird, dark feelings become something that I can look at and say, “Yeah, I’m proud of this”.
There are two spoken-word tracks (‘Hey Love Part 1 & 2’) that talk about dealing with “down” days. What is the story behind those?
When I was away from home touring, one of my best friends sent me a bunch of voice messages just to tell me what was on her mind. I thought they were so perfect and so beautiful. I put them in the song and showed her afterwards and when she heard it she was like, “Oh wow – that’s very exposing”. She’s down with it now though! When people hear these tracks there’s going to be a lot of them who think, “Oh shit, me too”. That’s the whole point of it. My mission is to bring my fears into the light rather than pretend they don’t exist.
You’ve called this release The Venus Project Volume 1. Are there plans for a Volume 2 in the future?
Ideally I would love to keep this going and keep inviting more and more women in the creative industry to be a part of it. I’d love to pass the baton onto somebody in a different genre to me, who does a different form of music to me. I’d love it to just go further. I guess I’ll just have to take each day as it comes.
Can we still expect new music from Broods?
Yes, we are coming back into writing Broods album number three now and it has been the best experience of writing an album together so far. I’m so excited about what Caleb [Nott] and I are writing together and I hope that this is going to be the best year yet.