For the past few years, Georgia Ku has been a successful pop songwriter who has co-written songs for several top artists. She co-wrote the worldwide hit “Scared to be Lonely” for Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa, and she’s co-written songs for Fifth Harmony, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Zedd, Echosmith, Skrillex, Kiiara and other artists. In addition, she’s been a featured artist on singles by Illenium, NOTD, Captain Cuts, Dillon Francis and Skrillex.
Currently, Ku is also emerging as a talented solo artist. She has signed with Atlantic Records and released her debut single, “What Do I Do.” She’s also preparing to release new singles in the coming months.
Born and raised in the city of Newcastle in Northern England, Ku started writing songs when she was 15, and she eventually moved to London, where she formed an acoustic band that played gigs at different venues. Then when she was 20, she decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue her music career.
After learning about songwriting and collaborating in Los Angeles, she got her first cut in 2015 when she co-wrote the song “Illusion” with top DJ/producer Zedd, that was included on his album True Colors, and featured pop band, Echosmith.
Then in 2017, Ku landed her biggest cut to date, co-writing the hit “Scared to be Lonely” for Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa. A year later, she co-wrote and was the featured vocalist on the dance/pop hit “So Close” by Swedish production duo NOTD, that also featured Felix Jaehn and Captain Cuts (a top writing/producing team).
It was also in the last two years that Ku decided to pursue an artist career, and she subsequently signed a label deal with Atlantic Records. In May (2019), she released her debut single, “What Do I Do,” that was co-written with Captain Cuts and produced by The Monsters & The Strangerz (a top writing/producing team). Ku’s next single is called “Ever Really Know” and will be released in January (2020).
Ku has signed a music publishing deal with Primary Wave Music & BMG (a joint venture), and she’s managed by Grace Archuleta.
We are pleased to do this new Q&A interview with Georgia Ku. She tells how she co-wrote the hit “Scared to be Lonely,” and she discusses her label deal with Atlantic Records and her current single, “What Do I Do.”
Here’s the video of Georgia Ku’s single, “What Do I Do.”
DK: I read that you’re from Newcastle, England. How did you get started with music and writing songs?
Georgia Ku: I grew up in my hometown of Newcastle, and I started writing songs in my bedroom when I was 15. Then when I was 16, I studied music for two years in Newcastle. After that, I moved to London and studied there for another year. Then I stayed in London for another year and a half, and I would gig a lot…I had an acoustic band and I would play around London at different venues. Then I had an opportunity to come out to Los Angeles, so I decided to move there. I felt that I needed something new, so I basically just packed my bags and flew out to L.A.
When I was in L.A., I got a feel for the writing scene, and that’s when I realized there was more of an opportunity to have a career as a songwriter in America, as opposed to in London. And at the time, I was happy to be focusing on songwriting (rather than being an artist).
DK: When you moved to Los Angeles, what was your first big break as a songwriter?
Georgia Ku: I got a call from a songwriter (Jacob Luttrell) who I didn’t know at the time, but who’s one of my good friends now. He heard that I wrote, so he called me one day and asked if I wanted to come and write to some tracks that (DJ/producer) Zedd had sent him. And I was like, “Yes, for sure.” So I dropped everything and went to the studio and we wrote this song called “Illusion,” which became a song that was on Zedd’s album. That was my first actual cut in the States to come out, and it was very helpful, because at the time I was negotiating a publishing deal.
DK: In 2017 you had a hit, co-writing “Scared to be Lonely” for Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa. Can you talk about how you co-wrote that song?
Georgia Ku: At the time, I’d been in L.A. for about two years. I went to the studio one day with (songwriters) Nate Campany and Kyle Shearer; that’s who I wrote it with. We were talking about concepts and what we wanted to write about. And then I ended up going on the mic and just singing to the chords that were playing. I was singing the melodies that you hear in the song. Then [we worked on the lyrics], and putting the lyrics together with the melody was really important for us. We zoned into a specific situation that one of us has been through, and we took a lot of time to get the lyrics right.
Here’s the video of Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa’s hit “Scared to
be Lonely,” which was co-written by Georgia Ku.
After that, things happened quickly. I think Martin (Garrix) was working on a single at the time that he was going to release, but once he heard “Scared to be Lonely,” he focused on that instead. The whole process was very fast-moving; Martin was excited, and he got Dua Lipa to sing on it, and then he put it out.
DK: You are now signed as an artist with Atlantic Records. How did you decide that you wanted to be an artist, and sign with Atlantic?
Georgia Ku: I think I got to a point, where I would [sing on the] demos of a lot of my songs, and when I listened back, I would believe myself more than some of the artists who were cutting my songs. So I got to the point where I wanted it to be authentic, and it almost felt like, “Okay, do I need to tell my own stories here?” And I was ready to do that. I love writing songs for other artists, but I felt like…I’m ready to give more, and I’m ready to tell my own stories.
It turned out to be pretty crazy, because as soon as I felt that [I wanted to be an artist], that’s when the deals started coming and people jumped on the fact of me being an artist. And that’s when Atlantic Records reached out to me. It all just fell into place, which was really great.
DK: You’ve released your debut single, “What Do I Do.” Can you talk about this song and how you collaborated with (hit writer/producers) the Monsters & the Strangerz?
Georgia Ku: I wrote “What Do I Do” with (writers/producers) Captain Cuts, who I wrote (the dance hit) “So Close” with. At the time I wrote it, I was in a really tough place. I felt like I had gotten to a point…where ironically, I didn’t know what to do anymore. And I remember going to the studio that day with the guys, and telling them how I felt, and kind of putting my heart on the table. That’s when we came up with “What Do I Do.”
When we wrote it…it was stripped back, just on piano. We just wrote a great song and got the bare bones. And I knew as soon as we wrote it, that this is my single. It just felt like me, and I sent it to my A&R Carrie West, and she was like, “Yep, this is it.” [But I also] knew that I wanted some energy behind it…I didn’t want it to be a ballad. Then she got the Monsters & Strangerz, and they just crushed every aspect of it. Everywhere I envisioned [the song] would go, they did exactly that. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Here’s the video of NOTD’s hit “So Close” featuring Georgia Ku,
Feliz Jaehn & Captain Cuts.
DK: Are you currently working on songs for an EP?
Georgia Ku: We’ll have time for an EP eventually, but we’re focusing on singles right now. My next single is called “Ever Really Know,” and it will be released in January. We’ll be shooting a video soon. And to follow that, we’re finishing up a third single and a fourth single.
DK: In addition to writing songs for you as an artist, are you still writing songs for other artists?
Georgia Ku: Yeah, I love to have both going on—writing for myself and writing for other artists. I really enjoy working with other artists, and other DJs and producers. There are a lot of DJs that I like to collaborate with. I love working with DJs, because I’m able to write a song in its stripped-back form, just like we did with “What Do I Do.” And then I send it out to them, and that gives them space to hear whatever they want to hear on it, without it being produced or taking it in one kind of direction. Then they can take it to wherever they want it. I’m really close with Martin (Garrix), so I’m hoping to collaborate with him in the future. And the same with Zedd; he’s a good friend of mine too.