In January 2017, Melbourne, Australia native Georgia Flipo’s mother and friends thought she was kidding when she said she would become a hermit for the next 12 months, and they shouldn’t expect to see her. It was no joke. She didn’t emerge from her embryonic state until she transformed into the self-producing multi-instrumentalist G Flip, who plays San Francisco this week.
“It was quite a sweaty year,” she says, chuckling. “It was just me in my bedroom, in my chaos, using all my instruments and just writing a lot of songs, while teaching myself how to produce.” For companionship, she built a talking LED drum machine, she conversed with, like Tom Hanks did with the volleyball Wilson in “Castaway.”
The seclusion paid off.
“About You,” the first undulating, percussive track Flip put online in February, was picked up within 24 hours by Australia’s most popular radio station, Triple J, then beamed out around the world.
“I’d grown up my whole life listening to Triple J,” she says. “So for them to play my first single, the first day I let it out was the biggest shock. I was sitting in my room when this was happening, and all these articles started popping up online about this little song that got uploaded to Triple J.”
An accompanying video she shot and edited on her iPhone 6 — filmed in her cluttered home base, with midi keyboards and syndrums abutting wheeled racks of clothes — made her a YouTube star as well.
Flip began playing drums at age 9, then taught herself guitar and keyboards.
She idolized her high school drum teacher, Jenny Morrish, who often toured Down Under with her band, Strangely Attractive.
“She basically showed me my happiness in life,” says Flip, who used the same drum kit and sticks as her mentor.
After Morrish died of cancer at 31 without fulfilling her dream of playing the U.S., Flip honored her by hiring on with a band called Empra, simply to tour America. “I remember sitting on their tour bus, looking out the window at the desert of Arizona and thinking, ‘Wow! I’m actually here!’ And I got that desert view tattooed on my forearm,” she says.
After spending two years with Empra, drumming and chiming in on backing vocals, Flip gained a new confidence. Instinctively, she sensed it was time to fly solo. Simultaneously, Empra’s singer broke up the band.
She says, “I realized, ‘Oh, wow, I’m gonna do this now!’ It was the universe telling me it was time, so what else could I do? I locked myself in my room!”
IF YOU GO
Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 15
Tickets: $18 to $20
Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.ticketfly.com
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