Ahead of the release of her debut single ‘ONE X 3,’ the Australian DJ/producer talks fishnets, feminism and, um, wanting to be a butcher.
“It looks like I’m naked,” yells GG Magree from the bathtub she’s just lowered herself into. She’s not naked, of course. She’s actually just ruined a pretty-expensive-looking dress, but that’s not the priority here. Seconds later the Australian DJ breaks into a rendition of Britney Spears’ “Everytime”. “I may have made it rain/please forgive me,” she sings, pouting for the photographer. Chuck in the messy, matted-blonde hair, the charcoal-rimmed eyes and we’re all thinking the same thing: the likeness to Britney is uncanny. “I guess,” she laughs, “Apart from the fact I’m not trying to kill myself.”
The unfiltered in-yer-face remark? The surprisingly dark throwaway left to hang in the air? Yeah, that’s GG Magree. She’s funny, confident and smart, but also doesn’t really care what you think. The DJ recently flew in from the Amsterdam Dance Event where she “definitely did not take space cakes and/or acid”. Her first email address was email@example.com, because, well, she’s a “badass bitch”. And the classy establishment she and Rita Ora favoured whilst on tour together? In-N-Out Burger, naturally.
Today she’s sat in the middle of a king-size bed, legs folded, in an oversized T-shirt and fishnet tights. “Do I look like a prostitute?” She asks, but doesn’t wait for an answer: “My manager says I do. It’s the fishnets. But fishnets are fucking cool. I love fishnets.” If you’re not yet familiar with the whirlwind head-spin that is GG Magree (real name Georgia), it won’t be for long. Fusing together hip-hop, trap and house, she’s been making waves in her native Australia for the last couple of years and is on the brink of global domination. Spotify put her on their “Ones To Watch” list for 2016 and it’s not surprising – this girl has supported everyone from Pharrell Williams to Azealia Banks and Wu-Tang Clan. Last September the track she guest-vocalled with Zeds Dead and NGHTMRE, “Frontlines”, went to number one in the American electronic charts.
There’s also her Yeah Pussy brand. It started off as a streetwear label worn by the likes of Katy Perry and Justin Bieber’s boo Sahara Ray, but has grown to incorporate music and more. At its core is the desire to re-appropriate the word “pussy” and is part of GG’s mission to make women feel proud. “My whole thing is females should empower…” she starts, before correcting herself: “Actually, no, not females, everyone should empower everyone, but I’m really interested in women that are doing creative stuff. I think a lot of people are scared to show off talent or do something different and I want to help them. Women should be doing whatever the fuck they want.”
It’s a mindset she applies to her own career. In a world where DJ Mag featured just two females in their top 100 DJs list (two up from last year’s zero, hurrah!), you need to be ballsy. Yet if you’re the only woman playing heavy bass and trap on the line-up, like Magree often is, it can be intimidating. Not that she lets this affect her, of course. “I like the fact that I’m a girl,” Magree says. “I get sweaty as fuck when I DJ. For me, it’s not about looking good. I just do what I what I do and I don’t care if I leave the stage and I’ve got cuts on my knees and I look like a wet dog.”
Dance music can also often be a bit of a boys’ club. Has she ever been treated differently because she’s female? “Oh hell yeah,” the DJ nods. “But if anything it drives me so much harder. I get off on that stuff. When guys belittle me, or they’re like ‘ugh, a girl’, and then I show them up, it’s amazing. It’s happened to me with quite a big DJ – I’m not going to say who it is because I don’t diss people – then I played after him and he was just like ‘holy shit.’”
And now she’s on a roll: “I was like ‘don’t be a dick dude’ and he apologised. I hate that [women] have to prove themselves, but at the end of the day we make memorable marks because of that reason, you know? People remember the shit that girls do. A lot of guys do a lot of great stuff, but when a female does something fucking dope everyone remembers it.”
It wasn’t dreams of DJing that got Magree into music but, somewhat surprisingly, rap battles. Inspired by Eminem, she rolled into her neighbourhood and challenged friends to competitions. “You’d see people in the streets and they’d be like: ‘Oh here we go, GG’s about to jump in.’ But I always did and I got more and more confident, and still, to this day, my friends will rap battle me. It came out of my obsession with Eminem: he’s a poet and I became fascinated with putting words to words and making things rhyme.”
For a girl whose obsession saw her work for free at Universal Music, aged 12, just to get her hands on Eminem merchandise, you can imagine the joy she felt when meeting her hero face-to-face. “My friend took me to his concert two years ago and was like: ‘I’ve got a little present for you.’ You know whenever you meet someone you try and be real fucking cool? I was like ‘sup, nice to meet you’ and we chatted for a bit and I don’t even know what we spoke about because I was like: ‘Oh my god, what the fuck.’”
Magree certainly knows what she likes (and dislikes – I was told on arrival not to ask “boring questions”), yet for all the sass there is something very likeable about her. Growing up, she wanted to be a butcher (“I just really liked the feeling of mince in my hands. Still do.”) She also recently had a bad experience with what sounds alarmingly like a stalker. “This person found out where I lived. I thought they were a good person but it got a bit intense – you’re going to the supermarket and they’re at the supermarket.” Is it still a concern? “It was getting bad but I got someone to handle it and it went away because it has to go away….”
And therein lies the key to Magree’s success. Got a problem? She’ll fix it, because it needs to be fixed. Mainly because, well, she’s a badass bitch – like she says. But also because she’s set her sights on something much bigger than the woes this lowly earth throws at her. “What’s next? Oh, you know, world domination,” she grins. “It’s tough being a superhero.”
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Photography: Dani Riot
Fashion: Rebekah Roy
Make-up: Agata Porskze using Benefit Cosmetics
Hair: Rianna Henry using OUAI
Fashion assistants: Yui Seow and Adanna Chikwe
Special thanks to Andaz London Liverpool Street