Luca George is living proof that people who love plants are just better. His side-hustle, The Indoor Forest, is an adorable collection of intimate plant interactions that offer a window into his funny and warm personality. The same tones carry through in Luca’s music — gentle pop grooves that transport you back to your teenage bedroom. (Insert: you sing/screaming his lyrics into a mirror while pulling emotional facial expressions worthy of an Oscar.)
Luca grew up on music, starting with his dad who is an amazing blues harmonicist, before discovering the pop greats. He admires modern pop music for its ability to take aspects of every genre and blend them together to create immersive audio experiences. Luca believes in genuineness above everything, and his number one piece of life advice is: just be yourself.
Read on to learn about Luca’s influences, how he processes anxiety through music and a very interesting fact about starfish.
Where do you live now and where do you consider home?
I'm currently living in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington! I have just moved into a flat with five of my best friends who are also musicians. I’ve only been here for a month and I'm already obsessed.
Before moving to Wellington, I grew up in a small town called Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand. It’ll forever be a place that I call home, somewhere I can come back to when life is getting overwhelming and I need to rest and reset.
How do you think your upbringing helped to shape your worldview?
I think the most valuable part of my upbringing was the way my parents raised me. Their own respective values were never forced upon me, and it felt like they wanted me to just be me. This was huge for me — I was able to explore my identity wholly and now I feel like I know who I am. It’s a privilege to feel this way.
What music did you grow up listening to? Has that changed?
I grew up listening to my dad. He’s an awesome blues harmonicist and he introduced me to the magic of music. I started paying attention to pop music when I was 7 or 8 and pretty quickly became obsessed with artists like Adele, Selena Gomez and Rihanna. I didn’t notice at first, but they had a really big effect on the way I write music. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of TEEKS, Remi Wolf and Billie Eilish. I’ve been inspired by these artists while creating my new material.
If you could only listen to one genre of music for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Genre within music is so broad these days, so I’d have to say pop. Right now, pop artists are experimenting and incorporating ideas from countless other genres into their own music. There’s so much diversity and variety within this genre now. The majority of the artists I listen to and admire fall into this category, it’s an easy choice.
In your opinion, who is the most important voice of our generation?
Billie Eilish, hands down. Her music has had such a profound impact on me, and I know I’m not alone. I really admire the way that her songs put important issues like mental health and body positivity under the spotlight, it’s so beneficial to have an open dialogue about those topics.
What’s your creative process like?
Honestly, I don’t have any rituals or superstitions in my creative process. I like to take inspiration from real life events and get carried away in dramatising them. I work pretty fast — it’s really fun when ideas are just flying left and right and there’s so much energy in the room.
What subjects or themes do you find yourself returning to in your music, and why do you think this is?
I feel like each song has its own theme because every time I write, I enter a different headspace. Anxiety is something that I sing about a lot, which makes sense, it’s something that shapes my life all the time in many ways.
Do you create music with your audience in mind?
Yes, for certain songs. I want my songs to feel epic in a live setting, so I often find myself picturing how a crowd would react to a track when I’m putting it all together. Also, I sometimes find my audience’s expectations to be a good reality check — I’m able to stop myself and think ‘are people going to love this the that way I do?’
When do you feel most ‘you’?
In the shower. Point blank. Period.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Someone once told me some great advice about meeting new people. No matter how you’re feeling, no matter who you’re talking to, no matter what the circumstances of the meeting, you can only be yourself. I like to take a deep breath and dive in head-first.
What’s the coolest or most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
A group of starfish is called a galaxy. What the f*ck.
What books are you reading at the moment?
I have atrocious dyslexia. I’ve literally never read a book in my life.
Pixar’s Soul. OH MY GOD THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD. I love magical movies and I love music, so this film really takes the cake for me. It also has such an amazing jazz-inspired soundtrack. I’m in love.
Honestly, this changes with the weather. Right now, it’s ‘I Love You, I Hate You’ by Little Simz. She’s one of the most outstanding hip hop artists in the scene, and her latest album was one of my favourites this year. Seriously, if you take one thing from this interview, have a listen to Little Simz’s debut record [E.D.G.E] and Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.
Are there any social or cultural shifts you hope will happen in the next 10 years?
It’s been a hard year in New Zealand because of the Delta variant of COVID-19. I really hope that we can get our vaccination rates as high as possible so that we can fully open up again and try to regain a sense of normality that we haven’t had for over two years.
Features Editor: Lucy Jones Photos: Tom Denize Fashion: Chloe Hill
Shot on location in Wellington, New Zealand