“I’m good, I’m good”, Tanya George expresses to Eat This Music at the top of our interview about her newest single ‘Normality‘. “I am trying to adjust as much as I can. I am in Melbourne, so full lockdown here and it is a beautiful day outside, so I can report that”. Tanya is trying to keep positive. One of the reasons why Tanya is releasing music is to try and keep pushing thru and to show people and other artists that they are still able to release music even if they feel there is a little bit of a stop for them right now due to COVID-19.
While spending her time in isolation, Tanya has been preparing for gigs, practicing a lot on an electric guitar, getting things together and really taking this time to get very organised for what is to come post-covid – all the little things she has been meaning to do forever.
Speaking on the inspiration of her new single, Tanya explains that ‘Normality’ came to her when she just kind of kept questioning what is a normal life. “Like, what is normal?” she continues. “Something normal to you, might be abnormal to me, and how we sort of live our different lives and [i] wanted to challenge the preconceived notion of what even makes normal music – like normal pop music.”
“Why is there certain elements that will only make mainstream radio? Why can’t you just make a pop song, even if it is a little bit experimental by using vocal loops. — Tanya George on the creation of her new single, ‘Normality’.
“It’s kind of like, there is a line in it [that goes] ‘No one hugged me after someone mugged me’, that I got asked about in an interview the other day”, Tanya continues about the inspiration of her newest single, “and it’s an expression of when I busk a lot, there’s just an understanding, it’s the normal for some of your busking money to get nicked or as someone would call it robbed.” That feeling was normal for Tanya, it is a part of being vulnerable in the street and coming across all different personalities. Tanya George’s ‘Normality’ is essentially about 2020, as we are not really living our normal lives.
Going into detail on the creative process of the single, Tanya tells Eat This Music that it was cool! “I worked with the wonderful Jimmy Alexander [vocalist from Brisbane band Awaken I Am,” Tanya explains, “when I came to him with this concept at first, it was like, ‘Hey dude, I wanna record this EP and I am going to do it all from my voice!'”, Tanya laughs. From there, Jimmy and Tanya had a chat about the project and what she wanted to accomplish. Jimmy’s idea was that if the two of them are going to do vocal looping or elemental aspects to her tunes, he wanted it to be really tight and really solid, essentially turn her idea into proper songs and push the boundary of what she could create with her music.
“I wrote everything myself,” Tanya continues on the process of her upcoming ‘Normality’ EP. However, Jimmy came in as the engineer and producer, and helped Tanya dive into the aspect of what she wanted to do. “I was trying to emulate what a guitar would play or a piano would play”, Tanya continues on her creative process, “It’s like, filling in all the instruments to a normal song – then adding backing vocals and lead vocals, and any extra bits I kinda come up with or have fun doing.”
“All the songs off the ‘Normality’ full EP, including the single ‘Normality’; they all just came out and they are actually the first ideas that initially came.” — Tanya George on the creation of her EP.
In fact, Tanya George didn’t re-write anything, she didn’t explore any other options or go deeper into the song. She literally did it per se. “I just laid it out and kind of went with the instinct that the first ideas are the best ideas,” Tanya tells Eat This Music, “rather than getting myself in that whirlwind spiral of spending three-four years about something; you know, stressing about a bass line or if this is good enough.” Essentially Tanya just pushed herself to go with it and trust herself because that is very much the process with actual vocal looping. “I think the chorus of ‘Normality’ just kind of flowed out in terms of ‘Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da’, kind of an anthem feel, you know?”
Although, Tanya wanted to create a song that would allow her to push the boundary of genres with pop versus experimental. “This song could be on commercial radio because it is classified as pop”, Tanya says to Eat This Music about her new single ‘Normality’, “but sometimes people will not put it in commercial radio because it is too experimental, ’cause it is made out of vocals, it doesn’t have the normal pop characteristics.
Within this new song, Tanya has tried her best to bring out a track that is pop, while also using it to be creative and lead a creative life within herself, and in music, while also thinking of new innovative ways to create music. This single essentially got Tanya out of her comfort zone a little bit too with the rap style vocals at the start and the second verse. “[I] just kind of wanted to make a banger!”, Tanya expresses to Eat This Music.
“I decided that I wanted to create this film clip and put a little bit of a risk factor in the film clip”, Tanya reveals to Eat This Music on the creation of her music video for ‘Normality’. “Everyone you see in the film clip are followers from my Instagram and social media platforms,” she continues, “so I put it out there into the world and said: ‘Anyone that wants to be in a film clip – a music video – and they want to dress up as their normal or as their other self, or as weird as they can; that makes them still feel comfortable of who they are, please come to this video shoot at this time at this cafe’, and that was a great idea.”
However, Tanya admits to Eat This Music that she was actually stressing on the day of the shoot, as she thought no one was going to turn up to the shoot. “It was a bit of a hectic day”, Tanya recalls. “But as the day went on, all these beautiful people rocked up and they were all dressed up in what they considered fun and weird, and normal to them.”
“The film clip starts in the cafe – in a normal kind of standard 9 to 5 job that we kind of are, in society, conditioned to believe that that’s the norm; and then I jump over the counter into the world I imagine the customers find normal as well.” — Tanya George on the creation on the music video for ‘Normality’.
“We had a kid rock up with tattoos all over him and his red hair! It was just really fun – so we kind of all just had a good laugh, did silly things, and just made the most out of it”, Tanya reminiscing about ‘Normality’. Eventually the film clip ends with Tanya back in her normal day job! “Also, the best part of the film clip is pouring milk all over myself”, Tanya laughs.
Pouring milk on herself was initially Tanya’s first idea: “I just said, ‘I want to pour milk all over myself’. The reason for that is a kind of a play on words in the song ‘Off milk you drunk it twice’ and then it repeats,” Tanya continues on why she poured milk on herself. “It’s kind of that thing where someone gives you advice, or you give someone advice and they don’t take it, and you tell them again, and maybe they’ll listen.”
Essentially the whole thing about milk is a purifying notion, “milk is also considered the food of gods or the first food that we eat as humans or drink as human beings”, Tanya continues, “so it kind of has a bit of an analogy to it, you know, it’s the norm for us to actually drink milk over water first”. Essentially the aforementioned was all because Tanya literally wanted to pour milk over herself, as she thought it would be fun.