Georgia Ku Talks Songwriting, Breakthrough Hit 'So Close' & Finding Her Sound for Debut Solo Single 'What Do I Do'
“I just hope that people get it and the authenticity shines through," Ku tells Pop Shop Podcast of her first solo music after writing for Dua Lipa, Fifth Harmony & more.
If you don't know Georgia Ku’s name, you’ve likely heard her voice on the radio, or even heard a track or two she’s written for other artists.
Ku is the voice behind NOTD and Felix Jaehn’s hit single “So Close,” featuring Ku and Captain Cuts, and has written songs for the likes of Fifth Harmony, Rita Ora and, likely most notably, “Scared to Be Lonely” by Martin Garrix and Dua Lipa.
Now, Ku is striking out on her own with her first official solo single, “What Do I Do.”
“I'm excited for people to get to know me,” Ku tells the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast (listen below) of her own new music. “I just hope that people get it and the authenticity shines through so people can relate. That's really important to me.”
Before “What Do I Do” premiered alongside its music video on June 21, Ku saw “So Close” make a splash at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Dance Club Songs and Dance/Mix Show Airplay tallies in March and then later hit the top 30 of the Pop Songs airplay chart. So far, the track has racked up more than 50 million on-demand streams (audio and video combined) in the U.S., through June 27, according to Nielsen Music. (As it turns out, Ku hadn’t even met the production duo of NOTD before the single was released last November -- as the song was “remotely done” with her, Jaehn and Captain Cuts sending it back and forth to NOTD. They “just took it to the next level,” Ku says, of the finished product.)
Of course, before “So Close,” there was “Scared to Be Lonely,” which was a top 25-charting single for Garrix and Lipa on the Pop Songs airplay tally in 2017. Ku co-wrote the track, and, in the Pop Shop Podcast, she discusses how the song reached Garrix, and how Lipa took the track to the finish line as the vocalist.
Now that Ku is focusing on her own career as an artist, she recalls, “I think I struggled for a while when I first signed my record deal [with Atlantic Records] with who I was. I was so used to writing so many different genres for other people that I was like, 'Oh my gosh, who am I? What is my sound?' And I almost went in a completely different direction at the start. And when I just let go of all of the overthinking … that's just where it all came together.”
While Ku’s first single is just out the door, she’s already planning her second and third singles, and aiming toward an EP down the road. She also hopes to pop in for some guest performances alongside NOTD this summer during their tour with Zedd.
In addition to the interview with Ku, the Pop Shop team discusses Taylor Swift’s statement regarding the sale of Big Machine Records -- along with her catalog of albums for the label -- to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. Plus, Keith and Katie chat about chart news from The Raconteurs, Lil Nas X and how Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Senorita” debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and becomes the seventh single to halt in the runner-up slot behind Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus).
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard's senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and deputy editor, digital Katie Atkinson every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)