Back in March, a slew of impressive Aotearoa artists travelled to Austin, Texas, to showcase their talent at SXSW. Among them was Georgia Lines (check out her tour diary charting the experience), the rising singer-songwriter who brought her R&B-inflected pop to the prestigious industry event.
SXSW is notorious for being full-on – a relentless week of meetings and showcases and hobnobbing – but the unbreakable Georgia still had enough left in the tank to head to Los Angeles for an intensive writing trip.
That’s where her first single of 2023, “Monopoly”, was born. Written and recorded with Finnish-American producer Jussi Ilmari Karvinen, the track is an unashamed throwback, pleasingly recalling the high and hopeful pop of the late ’90s and early ’00s.
The producer – better known as Jussifer – brings all of his pop expertise to the table, providing the same polished sheen to Georgia’s track that he’s previously given to tracks by the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, and Ellie Goulding.
Georgia had three big names in mind when creating “Monopoly”. “Sonically, the track fits into a world where Prince meets Haim, layered with MJ-stacked vocals,” she insists. I don’t think the world would have ever been prepared for a collaboration between Prince, the Haim sisters, and Michael Jackson.
As is easily presumed from the title, Georgia was inspired by a vivid childhood memory of playing the titular board game.
“I was winning the game, buying all my property, collecting my money, feeling really stoked with myself… All of a sudden things changed and I lost everything,” she reveals. “I went on to have a full meltdown, not coping with the fact that I had lost. Safe to say, this was the last time I played Monopoly.”
For a single inspired by the world’s most infuriating board game, “Monopoly” certainly does well to maintain its incessant grooves and upbeat rhythm. You can watch the finely produced music video above, a part of Georgia’s career that she relishes.
“I love the entire day of shooting the video and have the most incredible team of people working with me,” she says. “For “Monopoly”, we knew we wanted to create less of a conceptual video and more of an engaging piece of content that can partner with the song on social media platforms to draw people in.
“I wanted to create something that was simple and placed a focus on a strong performance. From the initial conversations about what we wanted to achieve with the video, we came up with this idea of moving in and out of a room filled with smoke. Seeing that the smoke created a really engaging visual, we felt that if we paired the smoke concept with a strong performance, we would end up with exactly what we set out to achieve.”
“Monopoly” builds on Georgia’s impressive 2022, which saw her named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2022 Aotearoa Music Awards. Fans can also see Georgia host INTROS, a introductory series to some of her favourite female and non-binary artists (including a recent episode with Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s own Editor-in-Chief Poppy Reid).
Georgia Lines’ “Monopoly” is out now.