Picture this: You wake up, you grab that nice cup of tea and you sit in front of your laptop. You check your emails, socials and that cover video of Pharrell Williams that you uploaded on YouTube late last night. Sounds pretty standard, right? To your surprise, your inbox is flooded with e-mails, your socials blew up with notifications and half a million people watched your video.
Spoiler alert: This isn’t another urban myth.
Sitting in his studio in London, he kindly shares this story and others. It is refreshing to see that even though the industry is leaning towards developing yet another ‘one-hit-wonder’, there’s still an equal opposing stream of artists that rather protect their artistic ingenuity and integrity.
Ah, he’s Also Known As George.
I know that you’re living in London nowadays. But you come from Leominster. That is quite a remote little town in Northern England! How did you meet your band mates?
I basically started by playing all the instruments by myself. One day was recording drums at home and I must have been playing quite loud. The noise carried over the fields and all the sudden there’s a dude banging at the door. He just turned around and said: “I’m a drummer! We should drum together!”. I thought: ‘No, let’s not drum together. I’ve got songs I want to sing on, you can be my drummer.’ That was the start of things.
Your new single ‘Stone Cold Classic’: Can you name three artists that have inspired to you to make this song?
I was playing ‘Let’s Dance’ by David Bowie on the guitar and I had loads of delay going on. As soon as I managed to get the delay off, the riff was already there. That immediately reminded me of White Stripes, but I wanted it to explode in the chorus a like ‘Song 2’ by Blur.
All-time British Rock classics. Is that what you listen when you’re on your own?
If I’m just listening, I listen to a lot of rap. ‘Yeezus’ by Kanye West was really big to me. I also listen to a lot of Death Grips, and I think ‘Wow, I wish I could do that’. But then I think that I’m just too lanky and English to pull it off.
There are some white dudes out there that have been flying the flag in rap. Post Malone is a great example of that.
Yeah, ‘Rockstar’ is really cool. I always thought that his haircut is a bit dodgy though. (giggles)
…..Right, I wont tell him that. I need to tap into this Pharrell Thing. Do you want to explain what happened in your own words?
If something comes out and I think it’s good, I usually do a version of it. When ‘Get Lucky’ came out I did my spin on it and uploaded it on YouTube as usual. When I went to check on it the morning it had 50.000 views already. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that’s cool’. From that it went on to 200.000, a million and it just kept on going. I think it got 10 million views in the end. It got so big that Pharrell ended up tweeting me! And he still follows me on Twitter.
Were there any proposals made to you based on that cover?
Yeah, a lot of label meetings and publishing deals. I met so many different people after that. I went to Berlin for a month and I did a lot sessions looking to get signed. But, the same thought kept on coming to my mind: ‘This is based on that cover’.
How did that make you feel?
I thought, if I get signed now… It’s going to be a year down the line and I’m not going to be happy. They’re going to want me to do more covers. It just wasn’t for me. I said to my manager that we needed to slow down and start again. And here we are!
Just to wrap it up: Is there any new music coming out soon?
Yeah, I’m working on a EP at the moment. There’s a new single called ‘Manic Machine’ coming out next month. Look out for it!
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