Nelson duo signed by US label
Three years ago a brother-sister duo won a talent quest in the Richmond Mall.
Today, Georgia and Caleb Nott confirmed their international potential, signing with two major overseas record labels - a step their mother Pauline Nott describes as fantastic, exciting, and "a bit scary".
The signing comes just over a year since their last gig as part of ground-breaking Nelson group The Peasants, with the Nelson-born siblings stepping on to a similar path to that taken by Lorde, whose album Pure Heroine and single Royals have received critical acclaim and huge international success.
The Notts have been working with Lorde's producer Joel Little as Broods, releasing their first single Bridges online a month ago.
Manager Ashley Page said the song had already attracted international attention from music websites and radio stations and clocked up nearly 300,000 listens.
Broods have signed with Capitol Records in the United States and Polydor in Britain. The two labels will jointly release Broods' debut EP in February next year and a full-length album in August.
Page said he introduced the pair to Little nearly three years ago, while they were still at Garin College. He said the high-profile producer had helped them to "experiment with their sound", resulting in the sonic approach characterising Bridges.
— Lorde (@lordemusic) October 11, 2013
The duo were unavailable for an interview but in Richmond, their mother Pauline said it was "pretty exciting [and] a bit scary" to see Broods' success on the international scene.
She said her children had spent years working "really, really hard" on their music, missing out on activities like after-school jobs.
"From our perspective, it's really fantastic to see them living the dream."
Nelson music writer Grant Smithies said Broods' association with Little would have helped get record companies' attention overseas, but stressed that the opportunity would have come to nothing if the pair had not been genuinely talented. "You can assume it kind of just opens up people's ears to check you out," he said. "It cuts you to the front of the queue."
The siblings first came to prominence in Nelson after winning Has Nelson Got Talent? in the Richmond Mall in 2010. Then aged 15 and 17, Miss Nott and Mr Nott beat 12 other finalists from around the region with their acoustic rendition of the KT Tunstall song Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.
They won $500 cash and a $1000 voucher from the mall, and scored the right to play at the gala re-opening of Nelson's Theatre Royal. Caleb was quoted as saying the win was "a shock", saying that playing at the opening would be "insane".
They became well-known in the region for their roles in the seven-piece indie rock band The Peasants, who became the first Nelson band in nearly 20 years to win the Smokefreerockquest, in 2011. The Peasants played their last gig at the Nelson A&P show last year, with drummer and spokesman Chris Phillips saying "key players" had developed different ideas about where it should go.
The split was announced two months after The Peasants were given a $10,000 grant from NZ on Air.
Georgia's song Golden Girl made it to the finals in an American contest called the International Songwriting Competition in March this year. She is in her first year of a Bachelor of Music majoring in pop at Auckland University. Her brother is also studying in Auckland, but the fast-rising duo are now in Los Angeles.
Garin College head of music Kyle Proffit said he had taught music to the pair from when they began high school at year 9, and kept working with them in The Peasants following their graduation.
He said Georgia in particular had always been very talented with words and melody, saying the brilliance of Broods was that she and her brother worked together so naturally.
"They've spent so much time perfecting and writing [songs] together, they just complement each other really strongly in a musical way."
It's always good to see the kids go through with something that they're so passionate about, and [that] they've invested so much time and energy into."
- The Nelson Mail