After years spent on the road as a touring bassist, Daisy George has finally released some of her own music. Combining influences of jazz, 90s hip-hop and rock, see me now is a worthy debut for a rising young artist. Featuring collaborations with Birmingham rapper SANITY and singer/songwriter Mohan, the EP discusses some of Daisy’s feelings on womanhood, conflict and emotions.
“On the whole EP, every song is emotionally driven and about communicating difficult feelings and thoughts and emotions,” Daisy said. “They’re not conclusions, they’re not answers to anything, it’s just like: “here’s experiences and feelings I’ve had.”
On the track “do u feel?”, Daisy and rapper SANITY speak about their experiences as women, trying to communicate their feelings to men who do not face the same challenges. On the track, SANITY repeats the line “do you feel what I mean?” over and over. “I was having these conversations with men in my life, and they kind of understand to a point, or they’re very open to trying to understand, but they don’t really feel what it is, what it means,” Daisy said about the track.
The EP is bursting with bombastic basslines, gritty vocals and pointed lyrics. The sound perfectly conveys Daisy’s raw emotions, making it easy to sing along in desperation at what life has thrown our way (“do you feel what I mean?”). This is the perfect EP for anyone who doesn’t want to feel alone with their feelings, who needs some company in their isolation.
“If I can be open and honest and emotional about things and put it out through music which people can connect with, hopefully, though music, people can see that they’re not alone in those things and also start to be able to talk about those vulnerable moments you have in life, cause everyone has them,” Daisy said.
For women, especially Daisy’s EP has a lot to relate to – and to get angry about, together. And then, to dance it all away. I sat down with Daisy to speak about her inspirations, how she writes her songs and why she’s looking forward to her UK tour in February.
I really enjoyed your recent single “do u feel?”. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired it and what you wanted to say with the track?
So, that single I started writing back in lockdown, when all of the Sarah Everard stuff was happening on the news. I was writing all this music for this EP and the other songs all kind of centred around the theme of conflict and dealing with different types of conflict. I started writing this song and I wanted it to be about the perspective of existing as a woman in society. At the time, I was having these conversations with men in my life – they kind of understand to a point, or they’re very open to trying to understand, but they don’t really feel what it is or what it means. You’re just getting into these debates with people. You don’t realise until you talk to people how different their perspective on life is. This was a very specific scenario, of course, talking about women’s safety and also talking to other women and realising how much we have in common that we don’t speak about, when it comes to existing in a world that’s set up for men.
So, I was writing this song, and at the time it was my first experience writing music with lyrics. I was introduced to SANITY and I was really interested in having a guest on the EP. I was shown her music and I was like “shit, this makes perfect sense, this is the person”. Sanity understands my perspective. I had a call with her and ran through some ideas for the meaning of the song and then one day later, I got a voice note and she’d put down a demo with verses. I thought it was perfect, she’d gotten exactly what I was trying to put across. I thought about putting some singing on it as well; I tried a few things but realised it didn’t need it. It worked and brought across the message. We moved around the chorus a couple of times to make sure it was really strong, but apart from that it was like “cool, that works, she’s got it”. It kind of proves the point, it took a five minute conversation of explaining what I wanted this song to be about and another woman was immediately like “yeah, cool, I know what you’re talking about”.
Yeah, I felt the same when I was listening to the song, it really speaks to all these experiences. Is that something you’re trying to do with your music in general, communicate your thoughts and feelings?
Yeah, I think it’s really important for me. The whole EP; every song is emotionally driven and about communicating difficult feelings and thoughts and emotions. I think for me, it’s realising that in the last couple of years I’ve met a lot of people where you can talk a lot more openly about really specific thoughts and feelings in a non-judgemental environment about difficult topics. I don’t know if this stems from the pandemic, but people really understand how important connection is with other people, but also how difficult it is. Basically, I think in our society there’s a lack of connection and people are really lonely in modern society, for many different reasons. I think it’s really hard in this generation, in one way, we’re really open but in another way, people don’t really know how to be vulnerable and talk in an honest way.
For me, it’s only been the last few years I’ve been introduced to people and scenarios where I could properly explore emotions and feelings in a completely different way than I could before. I started writing music that’s like: “here are my honest and open thoughts”. They’re not conclusions, they’re not answers to anything, it’s just like: “here’s experiences and feelings I’ve had”. In the hope that if I can be open and honest and emotional about things and put it out through music which people can connect with, people go “oh shit, it’s not just me!” and you can connect with people through experiences. Hopefully, through music, people can see that they’re not alone in those things and also start to be able to talk about those vulnerable moments you have in life, cause everyone has them. I think this super individualist, capitalist society we are being forced into stops people from doing that because it’s seen as a bad thing.
Speaking of connecting to people, are you planning to go on tour and play the EP live for people?
Yeah, we are going to do a mini tour, four dates at the beginning of February.
Nice! Do you enjoy going on tour?
I do, that’s my favourite thing. I enjoy recording music and it’s been really nice. I’ve been playing music for about eight years now for other people. Playing live music and having that transaction of energy between you and the audience is unbeatable. For me, that’s what I want to do, I want to play everywhere. If I had the money, I would be playing all the time. If you go to a live gig, it’s incomparable. You can have so much joy from sharing music with people and sitting down and listening to an album, or my best memories of putting an album on in a car with people and them hearing it for the first time. But the really unbelievable feeling is going to watch live music and feeling that you’re part of this community of people and you’re understanding this thing and enjoying it and having a good time. That is the plan, to get to a point where I’m doing big tours and taking my band around the world.
How do you think lockdown has affected that, do you think people are more hungry now for gigs?
I think they were and people were super up for going to gigs, but now the economy is having the opposite effect. Nobody has any money so it’s very hard to sell tickets. Nobody turns up to stuff because people are still worried about health as well. I think at the moment it’s particularly hard to do live music because the turnout is not good. This is always what happens in any kind of recession; the arts go to shit. Ironically, they are the thing that people need the most in those times. You just have to keep going, that’s the thing. I didn’t stop doing music in Covid and I’m not going to stop no matter how bad the financial situation is. People need to hear music, that’s important.
That’s true. When you write music, what kind of stuff inspires you? Is it events in your life or other media, how do you go about it?
Normally, when I sit down and I’m in a writing session, I have notes on my phone that are things that happened and I go “I’m going to write about this”. I also have lyric points, it’ll be like one or two sentences. I’ll just be in the middle of doing something and it comes into my head or something someone says in the street, I write that down. Sometimes I never use it, but then when I sit down to write music I’m like “what happened, what’s something someone said” and then I can read my notes and be like “oh yeah”. It’s good to have these key points to revert back to and I’ll put a thing together from that. But yeah, mostly it’s life things. I’m a super emotional person, so there’s always stuff that I can write about. There’s all these scenarios, and I feel very strongly about a lot of things so I don’t run out of ideas to write about. It’s just how to convey those ideas that becomes a struggle, that’s the hard bit. The ideas themselves though, I could write like 10 albums worth of songs.
What do you hope listeners will take away from the EP when they listen to it?
I just hope they can connect with it in some way, whether it’s just “oh this makes me dance or this makes me feel this way, this evokes a certain emotion” or whether they really connect with the story behind songs on a personal level. That’s the thing you want with any music, you just want to make people feel something.
Words: Clara Bullock // Photos: Jade Smith
‘see me now’, the debut EP from Daisy George is out now. Stream or purchase the release via Bandcamp.