'I don't force myself to write songs'

'I don't force myself to write songs'

Welsh harpist, singer and songwriter Georgia Ruth has it easier than most contemporaries — not only does she live in the inspiring little town of Aberystwyth (West Wales), writing music also comes rather naturally to her. Known for her melodic yet haunting vocals in her award-winning debut album ‘Week of Pines’, she talks to Metrolife about her tryst with music, songwriting process and future plans. 

Here on her third visit to the country to perform at Windmills Craftworks for British Council’s Folk Nations programme, she is already a fan of India. “My first experience of India was intense because we travelled a lot between Mumbai and Chennai for a collaborative two-week project. The second time was for ten days in Calcutta for the British Council residency, where they threw ten musicians into a room and asked us to make music. But it was brilliant and I made some great friends, especially sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan, whom I will ask to play in my next album,” shares Georgia. She adds, “I didn’t know I liked collaborating until I actually had the opportunity to. But every musician should do it because it pushes you out of your comfort zone and teaches you that your way of doing things is only one way of doing them.” While the music scene in Wales excites her, she can easily draw parallels with India. 

“As a nation, music is the thing the Welsh are most proud of. But I could hear a little bit of Wales in the different styles of music here. And I discovered that Welsh came from Sanskrit, so we do share something,” she smiles. 

On her love story with the harp, she recalls, “Where I come from, the harp is a really common instrument and taught in school. When I started music lessons, I didn’t know much about the harp except that it looked fun and princesses played it. But it was like an omnipresent instrument that many of my friends played. I also play the piano and organ but the harp is what I’m most comfortable with.”

Interestingly, she never saw herself becoming a full-time musician. “I wanted to work with animals during school and did an English literature course in university. But I took my harp with me to university and would write and play alongside studies. Soon after, I knew I had to do it more seriously. It’s very important for me to have a sense of place. That’s why I’m glad that I haven’t reached that point where I feel that everything is too hectic,” confesses Georgia. 

Her songwriting process is unique with Georgia writing a song and taking it to her band ‘Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog’, which gives it a proper shape and sound. “The band and I always have that folk sensibility in the background and also enjoy experimenting with other genres. If I had a formula, it would be great because then I’d write more songs. But the best ones just appear out of nowhere. I don’t force myself to write songs,” wraps up Georgia, a self-proclaimed admirer of Bob Dylan’s style of writing lyrics.  

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