It’s not always easy being stuck over here on the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean, looking at all the fun everyone is having over in the States. So, it’s always very exciting when it feels like the fun is happening over on our side for once.
This week Kelsea Ballerini’s HEARTFIRST tour finally hits our windswept shores and she’s bringing with her extra treats!
Our New Artist of the Week Georgia Webster joins Kelsea throughout her UK stops, travelling from Manchester to London by way of Glasgow and Birmingham, and we’re jumping up and down like cute little excitable puppies.
Georgia Webster first had our ears pricked up back in 2020 when her song ‘Tell Your Mom’ became an instant viral hit on TikTok, picking up more than 2.7 million views in just a few days and grabbing the attention of record labels out of New York and Los Angeles. But, her instincts told her working out of Nashville would allow her to stay true to herself as a singer and a songwriter with small-town roots.
She teamed up with songwriter and producer Paul DiGiovanni (Sam Hunt, Lauren Alaina, Jordan Davis, Dan + Shay) to create the studio version of ‘Tell Your Mom’, which featured on her debut EP, First Goodbye, along with five other Webster originals in 2021.
She released her Chapter 1: Things We’re Not Saying EP at the end of last year, bringing together the singles ‘X’s’ and ‘I Hate Phone Calls (Long Distance Sucks)’, along with four other instant pop country classics that blend the insouciant sass of country era Taylor Swift with the pop eccentricities of Olivia Rodrigo or Maisie Peters.
It’s no wonder Kelsea Ballerini sat up and took notice. There’s something very special about Georgia Webster. She’s able to pick up a tiny, seemingly throwaway moment - like trying to get into a club and having an “X” marker penned onto the back of your hand - and weave solid pop country gold out of it.
A native of Hampden, MA, Webster grew up listening to a variety of music, from John Mayer and Miley Cyrus to Carrie Underwood, Keane and the Grateful Dead. It all mixes together in the old soul sensibilities she brings to her songwriting.
She started performing around her hometown while she was in high school, playing original songs that reflected her pop influence and love for country music. Webster then honed her craft by attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music’s songwriter camps, and her natural talent blossomed.
We caught up with her just before she began her UK tour to find out a little bit more about the woman behind some of our favourite pop country songs from the last couple of years.
Where are you from and how did that influence you?
I’m from a really small town in western Massachusetts called Hampden.. it has about 5,000 people and no stop lights, and my house was surrounded by Audubon protected woods and land. Growing up I spent most of my time playing in the woods, and I think having the ability to let my imagination run wild and be in nature is one the main reasons I was so gravitated towards country music.
What did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to a lot of different types of music! My family loves music and my dad in particular was a huge dead head, so I heard him playing Grateful Dead songs on guitar around the house quite often.
My grandma is a huge music lover as well and would take my sister and I to Broadway every winter to see a musical, so I listened to a lot of that type of music as well. I also grew up in the prime of One Direction; they were my first real concert I was obsessed with Niall, and then Taylor Swift of course.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say my sound is like country pop meets singer-songwriter. I feel like if there were two people I want to make my music like it’s Julia Michaels and Taylor Swift.
Tell us a little bit about making Chapter 1: Things We’re Not Saying?
This is my second EP I’ve put out and included my first ever co-written songs. I wrote with some really great writers who I look up to a lot for this project, one being Josh Kerr, who was the main co-producer and writer on the EP. I’m also listed as a co-producer on this project which was Josh’s idea, and that’s something I’m really excited about since I feel like I spend a lot of time tweaking the production in my music and giving input and such.
What inspires you?
Other writers and seeing shows of artists that I look up to inspire me. I just recently saw Ashley Kutcher, she’s also on TikTok and we’ve been friends for a while online and meeting her IRL and seeing her play was really inspiring.
Where’s the most unexpected place music has taken you?
The most unexpected place music has taken me… probably on this tour in the UK with Kelsea. If I had told younger Georgia she’d be going to the UK, where Harry Potter was written, on tour opening for Kelsea Ballerini, she would probably pass out.
What’s your favorite song of your own?
Favorite song of mine changes every day but right now it’s 'X’s'.
What’s your favorite song of someone else’s?
Favourite song of someone else’s also changes every day but it’s currently 'The List' by Maisie Peters.
If you could travel back to any time, when would you travel back to?
I would travel back to my parents wedding because apparently it was the best wedding our family has ever experienced, and my mom always talks about how amazing it was.
Which person from history would you most like to meet ?
Hmmmm that’s hard, I would probably want to meet Louisa May Alcott. She’s my favorite author and lived only like 40 minutes from my house growing up in Massachusetts.
What would be your Spice Girl style nickname?
What advice would you give to younger you?
I would tell my younger me to chill out and not worry so much about the future. I’ve always been somewhat of a worry wart and the older I get the more I realize how dumb it is and what a waste of time it is to stress about the future. All you can do is your best.
What’s next for you?
I’m about to go on tour with Kelsea Ballerini (my first time in the Uk!!) and then do some more dates with her here in the US. After that I’m hoping to start releasing some more singles and hopefully the next chapter of Things We’re Not Saying. I also want to start doing some smaller headline shows soon!!
Georgia Webster's Chapter 1: Things We’re Not Saying EP is out now through Sony Music Entertainment. Georgia is also one of Holler's 23 Artists for 2023 - check out the full list here.