An Intimate Conversation With Singer George Maple, Who is Redefining 'Lover'
“As you grow it’s daunting to reveal your deepest darkest secrets to the world," electronica singer George Maple tells me while sipping a glass of red wine. "So I invented a name and it became a character I could hide behind.” Maple, born Jess Higgs, explains that she developed a stage name and persona to freely express herself. “George Maple has evolved into an extension of my personality, fears and desires and is now a space that I can use to create,” she says.
Originally from a sunny beach town in Sydney, Australia, Maple began writing music at nine and recently released her debut album, titled Lover. “It’s been a whole lot of small steps to get to this point. It was writing for other people which I’ve done for a while. I went on to work with Flight Facilities and I was able to go on tour with them and meet a bunch of amazing people which led to me finding a manager and deciding to move to the UK.”
Maple has also worked with artists like Flume, Hayden James and has performed at Coachella and headlined her own show in Los Angeles. “It’s just been a huge growth. So many special moments that leave me feeling so grateful to be here. Everyday is a new kind of WOOHOO,” Maple says energetically.
Listening to Maple, it’s clear that her music is a direct reflection of her inner most self. Her words are as poetic as her lyrics and her presence is as vibrant as her videos. She describes her genre of music, specifically the album Lover, as “'80s strip club cinematic. I was sitting down with producer Noah Breakfast and we just decided that’s how we would describe the sonic undertone of the record. I take influence from so many places like dance music, R&B, Hip-Hop and even classical music.”
She decided to name the album Lover because it describes and details a series of intimate affairs. The album explores intimacy and what it does to us as people. “It makes us crazy, it makes us sad and it makes us happy. It brings out all the dimensions of being human and that’s so fascinating to me.” Maple explains passionately.
“When I looked in the dictionary I discovered that lover technically refers to a mistress which is not how I think of lover. I think of lover as being passionate and intimate with someone. It’s not gender specific. So I thought that if I can take that word and create layers and depths and facets of meaning within my work maybe it will bring a new meaning to the word.”
She hopes that Lover will encourage her fans to just simply feel. “I’m a strong believer in 'the death of the author' in that once I put my music out there whatever meaning people take from it is awesome," Maple says. "Generally, I want it to have no limitations. I want this to be free of expectations."
When it comes to the track list, Maple is ardent about each song ,but "Hero" in particular gets more affection. “I wrote it during a vulnerable time and it means quite a lot to me. It was very hard for me to write and even sing out loud," Seorge reveals. "During this time my team and I learned of Pina Bausch, who is a performing artist that dances for therapy. She believes that when you revisit a traumatic experience and move, it can be therapeutic. We essentially did that on set and it was so emotional yet so freeing.”
Although we’ve only been chatting for a short time, I can’t help but feel empowered and ignited by her story which pushes me to ask what inspires her. “I’m really energized by any artist that has a sense of vision whether it's Kendrick Lamar or FKA Twigs," Maple says. "Madonna has a vision. Beyonce has a vision. I’ve really connected with them and artists who are really trying to communicate a message like Lauryn Hill in the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill or even Destiny’s Child. They all represented something.”
Following the release of Lover, Maple is looking forward to getting back in the studio and exploring projects outside of music. “I want to do more than just create music," she says. "I want to work with technology and art. I’ve got the vision I just want to take my work into different and new mediums whatever that may be.”
Get ready to not only open your ears, but your heart as Lover is now available for streaming on all major platforms.
Written by Robyn Merrett