Maq brings her brooding style to the song, and the label liked it so much the two have made a playful video, directed by Liam Pethick, to go with it. The concept? A socially distanced game of one-on-one basketball, complete with masks, between Gordi – aka Sophie Payten – and Maq in Melbourne during their allotted one hour of physical activity while in lockdown.
‘Extraordinary Life’ – which recently hit one million streams on Spotify – was written about Payten’s girlfriend, Alex Lahey, and lifted from Gordi’s second album ‘Our Two Skins’. The ‘Extraordinary Life’ EP, out this Thursday, also features an Alex Somers remix, a 2018 demo and a live version from Sydney Opera House.
Watch the video below and read NME‘s exclusive interview with Payten and Georgia Maq via Zoom about truly sucking at basketball and treating coronavirus patients.
Georgia, how did you fall in love with ‘Extraordinary Life’ and what made you decide to become a synth pop remixing boss?
Georgia Maq: Well I saw all the Gordi posters everywhere and I was like “I know Gordiiii”. The song stuck with me. My version is more of a basic structured pop song: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. I leave some words out and I’ve added a “baby” in there. I got hit up to do a little remix, I found some chords and made this little thing. It’s actually the first song I fully produced on my own. I think I did a really good job, I believed in myself.
Gordi: Fucking smashed it.
When did you know your version was complete, Georgia? How do you know when something is done if you’ve never done it before?
Maq: It’s probably like you, Soph, you don’t know when something’s done, you just kind of give up on it [laughs].
Gordi: I totally agree. You get tired of it.
Maq: I knew it was done once then I came up with the outro.
Gordi: The outro is bangin’.
Tell us about meeting up for your one hour exercise to shoot a feisty, masked streetball clip.
Gordi: Yeah, I rocked up, Georgia was already there, just slaying the hoop. She’d already warmed up and she was there to play.
Maq: Well, the first place we were meant to shoot the clip they had taken the rings down [due to lockdown restrictions]. We had to find somewhere else in Port Melbourne.
Gordi: Liam the director just said “Do this, do that” and we started warming up and doing star-jumps, then Georgia threw a ball at me and I threw a ball back at her.
Maq: She was scary.
Gordi: I’m gonna be honest, I think I got two shots in the hoop the whole time. It was heavily edited.
Is that why there’s one reverse shot of the basketball going in and out of the net?
Gordi: The director said, “Guys we just need to get a few shots in. Who’s better?” I said “Georgia!” And she got it in one.
Maq: You can see when I turn around and it goes in how surprised I am.
Do either of you have basketball backgrounds? Are you watching the NBA Finals? Play-offs are day-offs…
Gordi: I think I played a few games in my hometown of Canowindra, NSW, but it was never one of my sports. But to be honest I’ve been getting through lockdown by watching the NBA playoffs, “Come on Lebron! Come on the Lakers!”. When the basketball clip idea was floated I was into it because I’d also just watched the Michael Jordan doco The Last Dance.
I noticed you’re rocking a Jordan t-shirt in the clip, Gordi.
Maq: I don’t like sport. I like shooting hoops just for fun, but I don’t like watching the football or the fucking cricket, I don’t find it interesting. Mostly because there’s so many men… and I hate men [laughs].
Gordi: You whooped my ass.
Maq: Instead of sport, I’ve been hosting Dumb-Bitches Work-Out Class via Zoom. I just put the call out on Instagram.
Gordi: That’s all you need in life, just a few dumb bitches.
Maq: It’s just me in there yelling at people “Come on! Your body can do this!” [laughs] And what else is there to do at the moment except touch your toes?
Did the basketball duel get strangely competitive?
Gordi: I was so bad. We did warm-up sprints and I had a metallic taste in my mouth.
How does the mask you wear in the clip compare to the PPE gear you must wear as a doctor, Gordi?
Gordi: I feel like the PPE you can wear when you’re out and about like a barcode mask is a bit more fun, you can have your own personality, whereas in the hospital, no personality, just straight up P95. It’d be much more difficult to play basketball in that. In hospital you’ve also got to wear a face-shield and gloves and gown [makes wheezing sound]. It’s super exhausting.
You’ve been working emergency shifts as a doctor since the pandemic began. Have you had to put patients on ventilators? How full-on has it been?
Gordi: Yeah, it’s been pretty gnarly. I did some shifts at another hospital where we had a few patients properly fighting for their lives. I’m a relatively junior doctor, sticking in cannulas and writing up medication. But some of the hospitals were really poorly staffed because staff had all been furloughed from being exposed to COVID.
So, you’re there in the ward with this deteriorating patient. And, you know, there’s not a whole lot of people around. I would come home at the end of the day to where I’m living with Alex [Lahey] and her mum in Albert Park and just like pick up our male cat, Reggie, and just like stroke him endlessly. That was therapeutic. I’ve had nightmares about the same patient.
Gordi: It’s not like that all the time but when I see people protesting about wearing masks and being in lockdown and not knowing what it’s really like in hospital… if you just set foot in there for two seconds you’d rethink your point of view.