Gordi’s Savvy Seven

Photo by Jess Gleeson

Australian singer-songwriter-producer Gordi (Sophie Payten) is on a role at the moment. After the release of her intense and soul-driven second album Our Two Skins in 2020, Gordi collaborated with Alex Lahey to create a new single for 2021, Dino’s

As well as Our Two Skins, Gordi produced her first studio album, Reservoir (2017) and a six track EP, Clever Disguise (2016). Gordi has toured with the likes of Bon Iver, Of Monsters and Men and The Tallest Man on Earth and is about to feature at Brunswick Music Festival. You can see her ‘In Conversation’ appearance and buy tickets here. Not only does Gordi make smooth sounding folktronica, she is a doctor and completed her medical studies at The University of New South Wales in 2018. 

Now, over to you Gordi!

What inspired you to pursue music as a career?

Nothing affects me like music does. In 2012 I sat watching a show and felt so overwhelmed by the music being played. I realised I wanted to do that – I wanted to affect people in that way.

Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?

I have surrounded myself with good people – talented, hard-working people who also believe that the music I make should be heard.

How do you approach developing timelines for your career?

With flexibility! I think you should always have an 18-month plan in your head but know that it will morph and change. I like to have clear goals and outcomes outlined for each quarter of the year ahead but sometimes things get rearranged by opportunities that unexpectedly present themselves. 

Understanding album cycles will ensure that your releases have enough momentum to keep you, your fans and you team happy and fulfilled. Check out our related course today!

What’s your advice on staying professionally active during COVID times? 

Engage actively in your creativity – this is something that you define. Watch movies, see exhibitions, listen to something you wouldn’t normally listen to. Try to fill up your well of experience without putting pressure on yourself to explicitly create. 

Never be afraid to speak out, if COVID-19 is still effecting you and your music, go through our COVID-19 Support and Resources page for an extra helping hand. 

What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?

I don’t know that I’ve conquered it yet – but what I find most challenging is knowing when to listen to others and knowing when to back yourself. Working in a creative, subjective industry means that deciphering opinions and distilling them into useful information is a really important skill. Instincts are forged over a career and mine are still developing – but no matter what point you are at, your instincts always count for something. 

How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?

Read, subscribe to industry press, keep an ear to the ground on social media, identify who important policy makers are in government when it comes to matters concerning the arts. Become involved with APRA and PPCA and AIR – all the infrastructure that makes up the Australian music industry.

How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?

I see social media as a (mostly) free marketing tool. Various platforms have evolved and changed over the years – the best advice I’ve consistently been given is to determine what you’re using each platform for; connecting to your audience, selling something, advertising, enjoyment. During the last campaign we started using Google docs and spreadsheets to formulate social media timetables and allocate content for release. Obviously covid saw artists everywhere taking to live streaming – I did a lot of it in 2020 and in the latter part of the year released a virtual-reality live performance film. 

Lets get streaming! Check out our how-to article on Live Streaming Tips for Musicians today!


Gordi’s new single, Dino’s

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