London calling.

Words by

Tara Smith

It’s 7pm on a Thursday night and I’m placing a call to London. It’s not my usual Thursday night, but it’s not every night I call George Maple for a chat. It’s 10am in London. As she answers, I hear the faint clinking of coffee
cups in the background. George’s day is just beginning. Her real name isn’t actually George, it’s Jess. George Maple is the exaggerated persona of Jess Higgs, an Australian songwriter from Sydney’s Northern Beaches. 

So who is George Maple? I ask.

“It was a blank canvas for me... As it’s evolved it’s become an extension of myself, maybe a place where I put things that are a little more exaggerated. It’s an outlet that I can channel everything into. It has a particular vibe. Someone said it’s ‘dangerous pop music’ and that’s kind of what I’m doing at the moment. I like that expression a lot.”

The last few years of George Maple’s career have been a whirlwind. Divine intervention led to her chance meeting with Hugo from Flight Facilities, when she was just 18. “I met Hugo from Flight Facilities after I was playing a gig in King’s Cross. He left his bag at the DJ booth and we happened to cross paths and we had a mutual friend... I sent him a demo that I’d done and the next week we wrote 'Foreign Language' together.”

She’s also collaborated with Flume, Tkay Maidza, What So Not, Hayden James and Snakehips. 

“There are no managers calling each other and saying ‘this person is the next hot thing. You should work with them!’ It’s never been like that. I really don’t vibe that. For me, you have relationships with people, you make music and that’s the best music you can make because it’s based off something that’s real.”

At this point I’m starting to think that George Maple is part of Australia’s coolest gang. “Sometimes there will be an artist that I’ll just approach. Like Tkay [Maidza]...She came to my house in Sydney and stayed with us for like three days. She and I camped out with What So Not and we wrote a whole bunch of songs.” It was Emoh Instead (of What So Not) who worked on Maple’s latest single ‘Sticks and Horses’. It was also his idea to premiere the single in an American strip club.

“If the girls can move to it, it means people will move to it on the dance floor,” Maple laughs. “It’s always been made for that realm.” 

That realm has served as a point of inspiration for Maple’s music as well as style, she tells me. “When I was in Paris, I was going to a lot of Parisian sex shops and they are so incredible. The way they design all of the pieces, it’s just another level. I’ve never seen anything like it.

“I’m into a lot of PVC, a lot of latex, a lot of dark lips...I just like drama. I like drama in everything at the moment.”

In terms of her writing process, I ask Maple what inspires her. Does she draw from real-life events in her songs? “I like the idea that there’s different environments that inspire different kinds of songs. It might be a place I’m in, it might be a conversation I have,” she says.

“I feel like the strongest songs are always something that I’ve personally been through.” With recurring themes of money, power and sex, it’s safe to assume she’s got a lot going on. 

You can catch George Maple on her Australian tour this month.


This interview was originally published in Fashion Journal 159. You can read it here.

Leave a comment


On how she hopes to change the world.
Feat. all the worst Californian rock clichés.
It’s the fun, jaunty-pop we’ve come to know Arcade Fire for.
From the rawness of heartbreak, to a place of renewed strength.
Looks like this New Orleans band has finally hit its stride.
On NYC, Panorama Music Festival and Brazillian poetry.
On music, long-distance relationships and supporting local talent.
A fat bunch of hits does not an album make.
An all-out glam rock album.
There's a certain charm about this album.
Musicians are advised to back up their music.
On band mates, women in music and overcoming stage fright.
A glimmering record full of love and heartbreak.
Talking touring, Netflix and time spent at home.
Easygoing and atmospheric.
Is it wrong to want more?
A debut album four years in the making.
Frankly, not their best work.
A voice for the angry.
The little electro band that could.
Home hangs with Emma and Alice.
We hang at home with the two best friends.
The first single off her forthcoming album.
In an unannounced Australian capital city.
Is it still relevant to rap about gangsta shit?
*By a person who didn't really know her music until now
No fashion week should be without a good hair director.
Talkin nail polish, EPs and the possibility of a Killing Heidi Reunion.
A little West Coast act doing big things.
The self-awareness sets her apart.
Inspired by the not-so-nice stuff about being a woman.
Strangely underwhelming.
Clearly a very personal album for frontman, Kele.
I didn't want this to be a hate letter....
That Rihanna reign just don't let up.
There's still nobody out there with a voice like this.
Meet the label prioritising social responsibility.
A lush and detailed listen.
Confident and charismatic.
And other handy job application tips.
An in-depth look at the woman behind the label.
The best week of Melbourne's music year is on the horizon.
We heard everything...
We get to know one of Melbourne's busiest musicians.
Talking The First Wives Club and GarageBand.
Madonna will bring her Rebel Heart tour to Australia next year.
What it’s really like growing up in a cosmetics empire.
Sweden, you’ve done it again.
Australian musicians are taking centre stage.
An album that is somehow both loud and indescribably quiet at the same time.
Talking M&M’s in ice-cream and Skittles in vodka.
With all in- app purchases going to charity.
"The mid-song break down on the title track is still one of my favourite musical moments from recent memory."
"Oh, this is what feel good music is."
Dreamy pop tunes coming to you live.
Hoooooooooboy. Get ready to start planning your trip to Byron, the lineup for Splendour In The Grass 2015 is finally here.
One of the smoothest voices in Melbourne.
Returns to Australia for Vivid Live.
The hauntingly beautiful sounds of London Grammar hit Festival Hall.
It may not be groundbreaking, but this is definitely emotional enough.
It's like it's 2012 all over again and in a very good way.
Comfortingly few muscle tees.
Get ready for your next fave artist Australia.
Take those early high school years and turn them into a bratty pop record.
The Backstreet Boys are coming back, awright.
Fascinated and a little intrigued, we quizzed the duo behind the Spanish label.
The singer/songwriter gears up to grace our shores.
Mim and Liv NERVO have taken the world by storm.
Melbourne's fun new jewellery label tells us what's up.
Client Liaison are hitting the ground running in 2015.
Because pun-derpants are the best idea.
2014 has been a pretty ripper year for music, seeing the emergence of new (and incredible) artists, the continuing domination of...
Like we needed another reason to <3 her.
Taylor Swift tells ASOS Magazine the life lessons she’s learnt.
Is there anything more 'Melbourne' than a laneway party?
Absence must make the heart grow fonder, as Chet Faker announces an Australian Tour after a year of worldly adventure
Zoe Kravitz to hit Topshop Sydney this Friday
Nostalgia for the ‘80s and an appreciation of Aussie culture— Client Liaison evoke a corporate narrative, to the point where I...
If you’ve spent time on any fashion website during the last five years – which is pretty likely – then you have encountered Julia...
Gorman is in a constant state of flux - but in a good way.
Actual great vintage tees without the hassle.
We hit up Joey and Rob from ELEVEN Australia for some insider tips, nifty tricks and picked their brains on how they made it in...
When you hear the words ‘Swedish folk music’ the first image that jumps to mind is probably men in tiny green overalls yodelling...
We chatted to Kelis about her line of sauces, the Kelis food truck at SXSW, what she loves most about fashion and of course her...
Everyone the world over just amped up their squat regime.
We love the internet, especially the endless hours of shopping fun it provides us.
How can one person have so many talents? I mean, really.
LA born BANKS has been capturing global attention. We caught up with her to chat songwriting, messages from the universe, and why...
We chat to Lily Allen ahead of her Australia tour Splendour in the Grass headline appearance
Stevie Dance’s story is pretty much a fashion industry fairytale.
Desert Designs might just be the most inter­est­ing design col­lab­o­ra­tion going around.