G Flip’s journey from alliance drummer to international success began like many others – recording demos in their bedroom and cold calling producers in the hopes that someone would give them a chance.
But when the calls went unanswered, G decided to go it alone.
“I made the decision, ‘Well, that’s not going to stop me, I’m going to learn how to produce myself,'” they told Take 5 with Zan Rowe.
“I gave myself a year to write as many songs as possible, then I made a shortlist of about 10, and on that list were almost every song from my first album.”
The next step – attracting the attention of a music label – involved thinking outside the box.
“I was cheeky and started an Instagram account called That Blonde Drummer, and I knew if I played drums every day I could get a lot of followers,” they said.
“I got like 20,000 followers every day playing drums that year, and then… I changed my handle to G Flip (and) I started posting singing content.
“I knew people in the music industry would say, ‘Oh, 20,000 subscribers, you better listen to the music.’
“I wanted to go for it so hard that if it didn’t work out I could die knowing that I tried so hard, I did everything I could to try to make this my life.”
Their tenacity paid off.
In 2018, G landed a recording contract that launched a career that has seen them tour the world and release two albums, the second of which debuted at number one on the ARIA charts this year.
They were also nominated for six ARIA Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Solo Artist.
Career success isn’t the only thing bringing happiness to G’s life right now, either.
Since mid-2022, they have been in a relationship with American reality TV star Chrishell Stause. The couple married earlier this year.
“I feel very happy. We have a very good relationship and I really feel like I found someone who is my person and we live very well together,” G said.
“I feel like everyone sees their version of a reality TV star who sells mansions and does that, but if there was a show that was more about what she really is, (you’d see) She’s so down to earth.”
Coming out from behind the kit
To say there was a lack of role models that G could relate to growing up is an understatement.
G said the first time they realized drums could be front and center was when Spiderbait’s cover of Black Betty topped the Australian charts.
But even then, there was still a lack of queer and non-binary artists doing what G aspired to do.
“I think for me the battery was that protection,” they said.
“I wasn’t out front sharing my story, sharing my songs, I was hiding behind this kit and I could just stay behind and continue doing what I love, but I didn’t need to share too much myself.
“I think it wasn’t until I came out that I was like, ‘OK, I’m ready to share my music now’ because a lot of the music I was writing was very queer and was about girls I wrote. fell in love.”
Helping the next generation
For G, coming out as gay to his parents wasn’t a big deal, but coming out as non-binary in 2021 was “a little harder for them to understand.”
G attributed these challenges to a lack of representation – something they hope they have already started to change.
“They didn’t really understand, we hadn’t talked about it much, so my parents really struggled with it, but over the last six months they’ve managed to figure out my pronouns,” G said.
“My dad called me the other day and he said, ‘So my friend asked me if G is your daughter or your son?’
“And I was like, ‘What did you say dad?’ He said, “Well, I made up my own word for you – you are my dauson, a daughter and a son.”
“I almost wanted to cry. I thought it was the cutest thing and I was like, ‘Thanks dad, yeah, I’m your dauson’.”
G said they hope they can be a role model that didn’t exist when they were growing up and inspire people, both musically and otherwise.
“I want more kids to want batteries for Christmas, and I want parents to say to me, ‘Damn G flip, why the hell did you have to do that? Little Jimmy has a battery now, that’s so strong’,” G said.
“Then I think what really warms my heart is the kids today who send me beautiful messages, like, ‘You really helped me.
“Knowing that I’m helping the younger generation discover their gender identity or start conversations within households is really important to me.”
Watch G Flip on Take 5 tonight at 8pm on ABC TV or on ABC iviewAnd listen to the extended conversation on the Take 5 podcast on the ABC listening app.