When I first listened to Montreal-based singer Geoffroy, I was struck by his voice. Then I started paying attention to the lyrics on his album 1952, and I figured out it was about loss even before I read the liner notes. His mother passed away in 2017 from cancer, and I could feel the pain, because mine did too – that same year. I was lucky to get on a phone interview with Geoffroy recently to talk about his process and the new music.
Cover photo by Alex Dozois
So, tell me about your musical career.
I had been working in the music industry for a while and I was definitely heading in the direction of recording. In 2015, I got a record deal – it just seemed like it was something that people wanted to hear. I put out an EP (Soaked In Gold) and then right after, released my first full length, Coastline. I did nearly 100 shows promoting that album. Then I immediately started working on my next album which is what became 1952. I didn’t really plan it out because the subject matter just appeared as my mother passed away from breast cancer in 2017. I realized I was writing about her in the middle of it all. But I also wanted something vague enough so people could bring their own interpretations and layers to it. I told mom it was dedicated to her before she passed. Of all the songs, there are really five that are specifically about her, so there is still a good balance on the album, too.
My mom passed in 2017, so the last few years have been rough for me and I have found grief shows up in weird places. Is that what happened for you while writing these songs?
Well, first, I am sorry to hear that. But yes, the process was very cathartic and helped me grieve. I dug into old VHS videos and spent time with her through that. It wasn’t easy but then I put a lot of importance on every word so I could say what I needed to say. I use some of the videos and old photos in the “Fear of Falling Apart” video.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Bon Iver. Jungle. Afrobeat bands. I love Celeste – a soul singer out of London.
What is your writing process?
I come up with a naked piano and guitar and then later go back with lyrics because that is more personal.
How do you like touring?
Touring, yes, I love it. I mean I’m not fond of the transportation part because you have all this time in between, but the playing live is great. Of course, then you get in the cycles – you miss the studio when you’re out playing live, and vice versa.
What’s next for you?
I plan to tour more in 2020 and focus on promoting the album and producing more videos from that.
Geoffroy is playing in Canada for the next few months, but let’s hope 2020 brings him to visit us in Denver.
Check out my other interviews!