Interview by Ellie Stamelos
Meet Adelaide university student George Spyrou, the powerhouse creative behind collaborative musical project Koriko Treehouse. The project not only allows George to explore his musical genius and blend elements of funk, soul, hip-hop, rock and jazz, but also provides him with an outlet to create visual art, dabble in video directing and give a voice to other local vocalists. I had the opportunity to pick his brain about the project’s origins, meaning and upcoming single releases.
What’s the meaning of the name of the project, Koriko Treehouse?
I’m a big N64 lover — I’ve had the same one since I was 7 or 8 years old. My favourite game is Ocarina of Time and I thrashed it when I was young. Koriko is a blend of some of the village names in that game, and the main character lived in a Treehouse. Good times.
When and how did the idea for Koriko Treehouse form?
In my brain hole. In high school I was making heaps of tunes and when I finished there I met a bunch of dudes in the local scene and we started messing around with ideas together. Then eventually I realised what I was doing was turning into my own little project and that I should head my own thing and out popped baby Koriko Treehouse!
What do you believe is the importance of collaboration, especially in a music scene like Adelaide’s?
Collaboration is everything, I could honestly go on about this forever. I’ve always treated Koriko Treehouse as a family where we have feature vocalists and artists who are nearly always local musos because I want it to be an outlet to get their name out there too. But in terms of collaboration, I think one of the most important abilities as a musician is being able to work with others…bouncing those ideas off each other in studio and the energy and vibes we create is better than anything (shout out to Gabrielle Hyde). It’s pretty fun recording saxophones, trumpets, keys and everything in between all in your bedroom with your mates.
Is there a core message you want listeners to take away from the music?
Soul Throw had a strong message of equality. Definitely wanted people thinking about how race or gender doesn’t matter, we’re all the same…Psychedelic Sun was more light hearted — I go on dates with a ‘companion doll’ in the music video (not a sex doll, it didn’t have holes)
How have your experiences of growing up in a Greek heritage shaped the project?
I’m a proud Greek…come to think of it I should probably start writing more music about feta and Gaganis’ tarama.
If you could collaborate with any artist / musician, who would it be and why?
George Clinton and Thundercat because I think we’d end up just hanging out. The vibes would be outrageous, scares me to think of the things we’d write about.
Koriko Treehouse is not just about music; you also create all of the artwork and have co-directed a music video. As a creator, how have you grown or changed as a result of this project?
It’s definitely become an outlet for the creative side of my brain. My studies at uni don’t really let me think creatively, but in Koriko whatever ideas pop into my mind I execute. From stickers to music videos, I’ve got to make it happen…and I love working and learning with others. I made the Psychedelic Sun music video with Charlie Phillpot, I learnt heaps from the guy in the process and it’s orgasmic to see our ideas come to life.
Are there any upcoming gigs in store for Koriko Treehouse?
Putting together a live set at the moment, keep an eye out on Facebook and Insta for updates!