Nastya Palchikova has already built a solid reputation fronting Russian Indie-pop band Sukhie. Now she is going solo with a new name – GG – new EP and undertaking several gigs in the UK. We managed a quick interview before her first solo UK date.
D: You’re in a well-established band in Russia so why GG?
GG: The Sukhie band in Russia is almost solo. I write songs in Russian and now I write in English so I decided to change the name… it’s more responsibility, I think, because when you call yourself Sukhie it’s like "we are not alone"… I have guys with me and I’m shy! When I call myself GG it’s only me, I go on the stage on my own, no guys, no musicians. And GG is because I’m ginger!
D: Is writing in English weird?
GG: Yes!. I’ve studied in an English school and I’ve read in English but I never wanted to write in English. But then it just happened and I started to write songs in English. The strange thing is when I started to write in English, maybe because it’s not my language, I feel more freedom. I feel I can say anything I want. Because in Russian it’s my language and I feel I can’t say this and I cant say that… I try to be softer. And when I write in English I just write what I want for me. It’s really weird! When you say bad Russian words you can feel it with all your heart but when you say bad English words you don't understand it… it sounds like ‘Oh! Fuck off! It’s ok!’.
D: What are you working on right now?
GG: I’m preparing for my shows. I have several acoustic shows in London and several Gay Pride events over the summer and in September. I’m also writing an album in London and screenplays.
D: What places or people inspire you?
GG: Airports. Airports inspire me. I like this feeling of unstable life. When you are at the airport you feel like you can go somewhere when you are nowhere. You need to look through the window at the aeroplanes.
D: Favourite artists?
GG: Each song I listen to influences me; musicians listen to songs differently. When I listen to a song, even if I don't like it, I might pick up on the bass. So I think really every song influences me. I have favourite artists like The Beatles, Morchiba, Portishead, Radiohead and Massive Attack. And Halsey, she is very good singer and songwriter.
D: You learnt music through playing the cello.
GG: Yes I studied cello in conservatory [a Russian music school], but I wasn't the greatest cello player. I also play guitar and keyboard. When I entered the musical college… I lived in a small provincial town in the south and it was very hot in the summer. And I rehearsed and rehearsed each day and because it was so hot I played naked!
D: Why is music so important to you?
GG: Well, it’s my life… I think that’s a question for God. I think that music and dance are the most emotional and direct ways to express yourself. But I don't really think I am very good with this answer… God knows better.
D: What has been the biggest lesson along the way?
GG: Well the biggest in life is you must listen to yourself. Always. Yes, you may listen to people, their opinions "Ok, ok, ok, thank you, bye’ but all answers are in your heart. And its a very simple lesson and a very simple answer but I have a really great way to understand it.
D: Who was your first crush?
GG: My first crush was a musician! Maybe that's why music means so much to me… maybe that is not just a question for God but also my first crush! He was a musician and he studied in the same university… in the University of Cinematography in Moscow and so I fell in love. I went to Moscow, to the University because of him… it didn’t last for long but… I’m still a screenwriter!
D: Was the video for 4 Days your idea?
GG: No, it was the idea of the director and I worked on it with him. We had this wonderfull costume made by Oliver Cronk… it was really hard to dance in, it was really heavy but it was a brilliant costume.
D: How does it work with the song?
GG: The idea was that first you are like hidden, like a wild animal. And at the end, like in the song you get through it and you become just yourself in white T-shirt with clean face. I am now GG, I accept it.
D: What do you most appreciate in your friends, your coworkers?
GG: Honesty. I know that I am naive but honesty is the main thing for me. Really. I am a very good liar, I can lie very well but I hate it. And I like it when people speak honestly. Not polite, not tolerant, not ‘we need to say this or that’ not to avoid saying something bad. Just that they are very, very honest. That’s what I appreciate.
D: And your idea of happiness?
GG: I am happy. I don't think there i such a thing as ‘idea of happiness’. Just feeling yourself in the here (taps her chest) and now.
D: What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?
GG: Phhhh... I think I would study music! I can’t imagine myself if I’m not a musician or a screenwriter and that’s all. And if I weren’t then I would need to start!
GG Tour Dates
4th – 8th June: Brockley Max Festival
30th June: Bristol Pride
19th Aug: Warwickshire Pride
26th Aug: TVW Stock Festival
2nd Sep: Hertfordshire Pride