The Venus Project
Georgia Nott grew up playing music with her older brother, Caleb, since they were kids, and the New Zealand siblings have spent the last five years touring the world as indie-pop act Broods. The frontwoman of a mostly male outfit, Georgia could be seen as a badass in some fans' eyes – but from her perspective, she couldn’t help feeling the lack of female representation on stage and in the studio.
“Once I started noticing it, I noticed it all the time, and then it started to bother me that I didn’t have a valid reason to explain it,” Nott, 23, says. “I wanted to celebrate women that are making it happen for themselves in hopes that it would show that there is a place here in the industry for any woman or girl aspiring to be a part of it.”
Additionally, Nott had been writing her own material, which she didn’t see fitting into the Broods catalog because it was too lo-fi, and more prominently, too personal to her own experiences. Then an idea sparked: What if she combined those songs with a group of other talented females?
And suddenly, The Venus Project had begun.
Nott began hunting for women to recruit, starting with Broods’ keyboardist Camila Mora and manager Sherry Elbe, which began to snowball into finding musical ladies like mastering engineer Emily Lazar and producer Ceci Gomez. The search wasn’t necessarily easy, but that almost made it more rewarding for Georgia.
“Every time we hit a road block, and every time I thought, ‘Why can’t I find a woman to mix the album?’ I was like, ‘This is why I’m doing it, this is why I have to get this done,’” she says. “’Because it just shouldn’t be this hard to find women to collaborate with in the industry.’”
Eventually finding mixing engineer Adrianne Gonzalez through some researching (“thank goodness we did, she was a dream to work with,” Nott says) and visual artist/illustrator Ashley Lukashevsky through her best friend, Nott started to bring her side-project songs to life. Two years after Nott first wrote one of the tracks, lead single “Won’t Hurt,” she unveils a full LP with her all-female crew, The Venus Project: Vol 1, today (March 8) – just in time for International Women’s Day.
The 10-track album features Nott’s sultry voice in its rawest setting yet. The vocal-driven songs offer a sound as poignant as the lyrics, which cover a combination of feminist issues (“Need a Man”), vulnerability ("Go Easy/Hey Love"), and struggling with self-worth (“Numb”). With topics that intense, Nott isn’t sure she could’ve done this all on her own.
“I just don’t think I would’ve have the lady balls to put it out,” Nott says with a laugh. “I have a slight addiction to proving myself, my anxiety, and my fear wrong and beating it, [but] I think if this was a few years ago I never would’ve even had the confidence to do this project – or start this project.”
Broods has played a role in Nott gaining at least a little bit of that confidence, especially because her brother is her No. 1 fan – “I don’t really think anybody will think that I’m as cool as Caleb thinks I am,” she quips – but The Venus Project has practically given Nott a whole new outlook on her life as a female musician.
“It’s meant so much to my own growth, to see how much I can take responsibility for and how much I can put on myself,” she says. “When I first came into the industry, I was this young girl that was so anxious about everything and felt out of place. The biggest thing that I noticed during this project was just how much of a boss I got to [be], instead of always feeling like I was [just] this girl that could sing. I’ve never been asked what I think so many times!”
That newfound conviction is something that Nott will take with her as she celebrates International Women’s Day in her native country, simultaneously reveling in the release of The Venus Project: Vol 1 with her family (including her superfan older bro). She hopes that her music -- whether it’s The Venus Project, Broods or both -- will inspire others, in the way she was impacted by her own girl-powered initiative.
“I feel like I found a new depth to myself that I’ll most definitely express for the rest of my career,” Nott says. “I just want young women to look at themselves and see more than just what’s on the outside, and feel like their substance runs so deep. That they have a right to express their genius and their creativity -- and just own it.”