Georgia Thursting: Thursty for more

The budding songstress talks to Virtual Festivals

Photographer: Rochelle MaherHoward Jones on 13 May 2013

Nation of Shopkeepers. Saturday 4th May. 12pm. It is easy in hindsight to reflect on a set a few years down the line and say, ‘yeah I thought she would be big’. Only time will tell if this date will be significant for Georgia Thursting. For the Leeds College of Music student, this is the very beginning of the story after her maiden festival performance at Live at Leeds 2013.

Live at Leeds was a big step for the singer-songwriter in the tentative stages of her career and she knew it, "I was quite hesitant before I played about what my turnout would be like, so I was quite anxious even though I was really excited at the same time." Thursting admits. "Once we actually played and saw the full house, how packed it was, I was so happy."

Thursting also believes that the whole experience of performing two festival sets in a day and the motivation it gave shall now start to pay dividends,  "I was so happy and to look back at it, it was a great opportunity as it urged me to step up my game and get a set together that I could play at events such as Live at Leeds."

Stepping up is what is required as the 19-year-old embarks on writing more songs and growing her profile whilst attempting to break through at a time where female singer songwriters are not in short supply. Competition is fierce and only a quick reflection upon the last twelve months reminds us of Lianne La Havas, Lucy Rose and Laura Mvula who are all currently enjoying critical and commercial success.

La Havas is a big current inspiration for Thursting, excelling in the art of storytelling - "It’s the way she sings and the stories she tells. You can’t stop listening and you’re always really taken in by the way she sings and writes". Although, there is another obvious musical influence which Thursting is bound to carry in her own musical journey. The Amy Winehouse comparisons are inevitable: the soulful pop style, the sweet jazz voice and the heartfelt nature of the song writing. And Thursting openly declares her love for Amy and its lasting effect on her own music, ‘I think I kinda got into her music quite early on and the way she wrote with her guitar and how up front her lyrics were. It really inspires me how up front I am in my writing and I try to not hide anything’

It is perhaps the openness of Winehouse’s music that is the most noticeable effect on Thursting’s songs. Sex, seduction, and heartbreak are talked about in the songs in no uncertain terms and Thursting is never shy, ‘I have been through a lot of different relationships and flings with people so sometimes (the songs) are about me but not always completely about me. I see other people in these situations and still write in the first person as it is more personal and easiest to do even if the situation is not directly about me’.

The maiden festival performance at Live at Leeds has already had a noticeable effect for Thursting with a raft of new twitter followers and attention shone on her music. Live at Leeds coincided with Thursting featuring in the live TV auditions of The Voice UK on the same day. Thursting was sceptical of TV talent shows before she appeared but saw it as an opportunity for exposure, ‘As an artist myself who is constantly gigging, writing and recording my material, when I got scouted for the show. I thought that I had nothing to lose’.

The Judges on the reality show did not turn around which many people may ironically view as an actual seal of approval to be rebuffed by Will.i.am. Now moving on, Thursting knows which direction she is heading in, ‘I want to be seen as an artist myself, and my music is what I want to focus on most. But I still think it was blessing as so many people found me after watching it and liked what I did’.

An artist growing into her own and 2013 looks set to be a springboard for greater things with new songs being written, more gigs and an EP with a full band out this summer. All she has to do is to clear up that surname that is prone to some obvious toilet graffiti. ‘I had a gig late last year where I was put down on the bill as Georgiana Thrustina which was very strange. Even worse was Thursting Georgia. I thought who could think that was my name! But my name is definitely Georgia Thursting!

Georgia Thursting releases her debut EP ‘Outta my Head’ this summer.

Her music can be streamed at soundcloud.

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