Georgie Riot, Something Something and Ruth Royall’s debut collaboration hits hard with a vital message
Georgie Riot, Something Something, Ruth Royall… When it comes to UK new-gen collaborations, it really don’t get much more on-point right now. Complete with a song that packs an important message and you’ve got something much more meaningful and powerful than many current bangers put together.
The track in question is Dark Days, a commanding dancefloor missive that reminds us that violence against women, and those who identify as women, is still tragically rife. Urgent and heavyweight, Georgie Riot and Something Something’s beats carry Ruth’s poignant message with clarity.
“The intention of the track was to spark conversations,” says Ruth. “I feel like we’ve done that and I’m proud that three women have been able to put out such a powerful message together.”
Released on Georgie’s Riot Records – first exclusively on Spotify earlier this month, now fully available from today August 18 – it’s their first collaboration together but not likely to be their last. We found out more about it…
Proper powerhouse collabo!! How did Dark Days come about?
Georgie Riot: I started the track over a year ago now, it didn’t have a name and it was very different to what we ended up with! I sent a rough instrumental to Ruth and she hopped on board and began writing and recording vocals. The first draft of Dark Days was born.
Ruth Royall: It was a proper buzz when Georgie got in touch. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while so when she reached out and asked to collab I was super keen. I first sent back my first draft to Georgie, I was actually worried it was a bit much. That in itself is a conversation, women often feel too much, too loud for speaking their mind, but Georgie immediately put my mind at ease. She loved the subject and felt it was an important thing to speak about. She then brought Something Something on board, another lady I’ve been a big fan of. It was then that the trio was born!
How did Dark Days evolve and were there any interesting or unique aspects to its creative process?
Something Something: Georgie and I wanted to collab for ages. A few months ago I reached out to her and just asked when we should finally make that song we’ve been talking about for years… Not even an hour later she sent me Dark Days.
Georgie Riot: The track didn’t feel quite right to me, so I asked my good friend Steffi to join the gang. We were all going through our own “dark days” at the time so it just felt right having the three of us work on this together. Steffi worked on the track at home, sent the stems back to me, then she made the trip up to the Midlands from London and we worked on the track together in my studio.
Something Something: When I listened to it for the first time, I’m not gonna lie, the lyrics hit home. It felt perfect in every way. Fast forward a trip to Coventry and not even a month later – the track was finished and ready for the world to hear. I’m really proud of sending such a strong message.
It’s absolutely gutting you’ve had to address such an awful topic as the message. What was it that led you to deciding this would be the message of the track?
Ruth Royall: The song was a bit of a word vomit. The words just kind of came out, my friend had recently had an awful experience at a club in Bristol so I think it was on my mind. I myself had a pretty horrific experience of sexual assault as a child which has very much shaped my adult experience and sense of fear in certain situations. Myself and most women I know can relate on some level, which sucks and shouldn’t be the case. This song highlights violence against women and also the fact that it’s still there. One very short experience can change your whole life, it did for me.
That’s awful. I worry society is getting worse in many grubby, self-serving ways. The fact you still have to call out any type of predatory or abusive behaviour this day in age backs up this feeling.
Ruth Royall: I disagree. I think it’s getting better in lots of ways, I think it’s easier to call this stuff out and be heard. Yes there are still lots of situations where we feel unsafe but the general sense of having back up is better than it ever used to be.
Georgie Riot: It’s a shame that most women, and those identifying as women, still feel unsafe and often uncomfortable in both the music scene and life in general. I feel there is still a long way to go to make things safer, equal and fairer. It’s not something that one song or one article can change, and it’s not something that will happen overnight, it’s so much bigger than that, and this is why we feel strongly about spreading the message of unity.
Ruth Royall: I think what I wanted to get at in this song is how the fear of violence and the act of violence can stay with you forever. Victims of sexual assault carry trauma with them for the rest of their lives and the highest percent of these people are often women or female identifying. I don’t know a single women who hasn’t walked home with their keys between their fingers because they feel unsafe. It may actually be getting safer but the fear doesn’t go away.
How can we moved forward?
Ruth Royall: Give space. I had an amazing experience when I was out in New Zealand. I was touring with an all-male touring group (fairly common in D&B), they were the loveliest and most gentle men may I add. We were out for a drink with the promoter of one of the shows and his lovely partner.
We had all had a few beers and got on to the subject of violence against women, intense I know for a few beers down the pub! I started getting quite impassioned and my voice started raising as I spoke on the subject. I realised after a few minutes of gesticulating that the whole table was silent and listening, they were respectful of my lived experience, they didn’t interrupt or give their opinion and I realised I didn’t need to shout. I felt like I was being listened to and this made a massive difference. Stuff like this helps, it gives victims who carry trauma and who often feel like they are being ‘too much’ or ‘dramatic’ when they talk about their experience space.
What has the reception been like to the track? I would imagine you’ve had a lot of feedback from women who have experienced this?
Ruth Royall: Amazing. It’s been mainly women who have reached out which we expected and the response on social media has been really positive, lots of love for the track, we couldn’t be happier!
Georgie: Feedback has been great, we’ve had support from many amazing and inspirational women in the scene such as Koven, Charlie Tee, Flava D, DJ Rap, and many more.
There’s been a lot of support on social media from women expressing their gratitude and admiration for what we have created as a girl-gang and that’s heartwarming.
Is the track raising awareness or funds for a particular charity or can we highlight one as part of your message?
Georgie Riot: The track is to raise awareness for women in the scene, and most importantly the important message of promoting unity. Dark Days can be interpreted and related to in many ways, and I think everyone will interpret this song in a different way. As well as the important message of feeling unsafe or unheard, the track also is relatable in that we all have dark days.
We all have days where we feel sad. Whether that’s in regards to our careers as musicians, our relationships with others, or just life in general – everyone has those days where we don’t feel good, and it’s so important to stick together, to just be as kind as possible, especially in this day-and-age where it is so easy to make others feel bad about themselves now that social media exists! I know that Dark Days has a different meaning for each of us – myself, Steffi and Ruth.
Amen to that. What happens next? Are the three of you getting on more tracks in the future?
Georgie Riot: I hope so, it would be great to work on something together again in the future because we worked so well as a team!
Ruth Royall: I hope so! I love the girls work and they are both a dream to collaborate with.
Something Something: This is my favourite collab so far, from workflow to just getting each other and what our visions for this song were. It was absolutely amazing working with the girls and hopefully we will get together again.