Georgia on the Hyundai Mercury Prize and new music: “You don’t have to suffer to make great art”

Watch as Georgia talks to us about crafting 'Seeking Thrills', the importance of the dancefloor, and how she'd spend the £25,000 Mercury cash prize.

Ahead of the Hyundai Mercury Prize tomorrow night, Georgia has told NME about how she crafted this year’s most vital collection of dance floor bangers – and how victory could see her splashing out on a Tesla. Watch our video interview with Georgia above.

The London singer/producer is nominated for her second album ‘Seeking Thrills‘, but faces tough competition from a shortlist that also includes the likes of Stormzy, Charli XCX, Anna Meredith, Sports Team and Michael Kiwanuka.

“Making this record was a real journey, but an enjoyable journey,” she told NME. “I learned a lot about myself, a lot about how to make music, how to create in a way that’s true to me. I’ve set out the stones for future music and I really feel proud that this record is up for it.”


When asked about why her fans have connected with the album, she said: “I built up high expectations for my first record, but when it came out, it just slipped under the surface. I think I was determined to go back into the record and write a record that was me, and people could access and relate to some of the lyrics.

“The sound of the record is quite relatable because it’s past sounds – house, techno and very ’80s synth music that was so big in the UK. It was all very deliberate to write an accessible pop record that sounded like me.”

She added: “It captures a time when the dancefloor has, once again, become such an important place for people from all different backgrounds. I’m just chuffed that they have.”

Keeping up with her current momentum, Georgia also revealed that she was progressing well with new material and that fans may be able to hear it in 2021.

“I’m working on a new record, I’m working on the demos right now,” she told NME. “I feel quite excited actually about where I’m going to take the sound next. I’m in a really great place right now where ‘Seeking Thrills’ was just such a joy to make. I really didn’t have to suffer. People say that you have to suffer to make great art. I didn’t really feel like I was suffering throughout – I was just on a mission to create something that I really wanted to create.


“Now I really feel like ‘Seeking Thrills’ has just given me that platform to keep evolving. I think that there could already be new songs coming out next year. I’m really excited.”

Credit: Press / Joseph Connor

If victory does come Georgia’s way on Thursday evening, it seems like a new set of Elon Musk’s wheels could be coming her way.

“I can’t buy too many synths! I’ve got too many synths!,” she said when asked about how she plans to spend the £25,000 prize. I think I’d spend it on my mum, because she’s been so supportive. Or be sensible and put it away for savings. Or blow it on a Tesla! Although that would just be a tire wouldn’t it?”

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the winner of the coveted prize will be announced on The One Show on BBC One on September 24, after a week of programming that will also include a special of Later… With Jools Holland featuring performances from all nominees.

Watch our full interview at the top of the page, where Georgia also discusses her fellow nominees and plans for new music. You can see our interviews with fellow nominees Porridge Radio and Sports Team here. 

Check back at NME for more interviews with the nominated artists.