My daughter Elsi is a massive fan of Georgia Ruth and we regularly dance around the kitchen on a Tuesday evening as we listen to Georgia’s music show Hwyrnos Georgia Ruth on BBC Radio Cymru! As we danced to a French folk song one Tuesday, I thought it would be a good idea to set up an interview with Georgia to learn more about her life as a relatively new Mum…
First of all Georgia, when did you become a mum and what are the highlights and challenges to date?!
I gave birth in September 2017! And since then, life has been quite an adventure. Endless highlights and challenges!
Has becoming a mum changed you as a person?
In a strange way, I feel closer to how I was as a child since having a baby. Younger than ever before – which is quite a paradox isn’t it?! I think maybe my instinct has become stronger – I feel much more sensitive than I used to (and I wasn’t exactly thick-skinned before!) and more willing to voice my passion about things. And I love having the chance to play and marvel at things again and see the world anew through my son’s eyes!
Has the experience influenced you in terms of your own music and the music you listen to?
When my son was a little baby, I found that I was full of ideas and images. And melodies as well. When I walked around the parks in Cardiff, and he was sleeping in the pram, I was full of song. All the feelings and ideas I needed to process! But finding the time to put pen to paper was difficult.
I am very, very fortunate therefore that my partner is also a musician – and that we’ve been able to support and help one another to have the peace and creative freedom which is so important in the early days. In terms of the music I listen to – no, it hasn’t changed at all to be honest. I still try to listen to as many styles as I can – and it’s a pleasure now to see my son hearing different things for the first time! You see the enjoyment and the marvel. And you think to yourself – wow, music is incredible.
Your home is a very musical home, does your son enjoy music and what is his favourite song?
At the moment, he’s completely obsessed with the Ben Dant song .. Ahoi. (If you don’t know Ben-Dant he’s a very popular pirate on S4C’s kids shows!) But I like singing all sorts of things to him. And he’s a very generous audience, to be fair! He’s started singing with me, which is really cute.
You travel regularly gigging – how difficult is juggling this with your role as a mum?
It can be challenging, and I’m still learning how to strike a balance between the different roles. I haven’t been gigging as much since becoming a mum, but it’s something I hope to do more of when the next album comes out. I am inspired by other mums who juggle creative work and being mums – Gwenno, Lleuwen, Lisa Jên, so many heroines – and I’ll be discussing this further shortly with Angharad Jenkins on her new blog – Mumsician. I was also very fortunate to have had assistance from the Help Musicians charity earlier this year, and with one of their grants I had the opportunity to record the album here in Aberystwyth – where I had support from my family to look after my son while I was recording. I find that I need to be creative with the logistics these days – but anything is possible with the right support network.
You also present your own programme on BBC Radio Cymru – is it difficult finding the time to prepare or is it nice to have somewhere to escape to every now and then?
I love being able to prepare for Hwyrnos – it is an opportunity to listen to as many types of music, from all corners of the world, and I enjoy the weekly relationship I have with the listeners. The programme gives me some peace and quiet in the week, where I can speak (fairly) confidently about a subject which is a big part of my identity. And this gives me strength and confidence. I am very grateful for the opportunity.
What would be your ideal day?
Going to Ynys Las on a sunny day and playing in the dunes! Swimming in the sea with the boys. Feeling free.
Finally, what advice would you have for new mums?
Be kind to yourself, dear sister. You, your body and your mind have been through something which is beyond words. Love yourself in amidst the quick learning and the fear and the lack of confidence which can strike you so unexpectedly in a moment of pure happiness. It’s fine to feel like a little child in all of this. But listen to your heart. She knows best! You’re a goddess.
A massive thanks to Georgia for the interview and for her brilliant advice for us mums – yes we are all goddesses! I will no doubt continue to dance to your radio show with Elsi every Tuesday and before I forget, watch out for those adders in the dunes in Ynys Las!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru