Since the release of his debut EP ‘Did You Hear the Rain’, twenty year old, Bristol born, George Ezra has been making waves with his husky, warm vocals and infectious guitar led tunes. He has been selected for the MTV and VEVO Ones to Watch features and was recently awarded the number five placement on the prestigious BBC Sound of 2014 list.
We caught up with George last week to chat about Christmas, albums, touring and time spent in Dublin.
The BBC Sound Of list has heralded some of the biggest names in the music industry including last years winners HAIM and previous winner Ellie Goulding. Ezra explained: “BBC Radio 1 played a massive role [in promoting his music]. Britain is tiny compared to say America where every state has a different station.”
He agrees that it’s an honour to be included on the list and spoke a little about the other acts that were featured. “I’ve done gigs with Royal Blood and I’ve been on the same bill as Sam Smith [who topped the Sound of 2014 list] before, he must be very happy. I’ve been out with Chloe Howl quite a bit. She has a habit of spilling beer on my shoes but I haven’t gigged with her yet.”
George Ezra took a well deserved break from recording and touring over the Christmas period. Festive screenings of Harry Potter were a staple and those who follow him on Twitter may have noticed the live tweeting to the UTV and BBC showings.
“Yeah [chuckles], I think for people who follow my Twitter it can be a bit hard work at times. Christmas was brilliant though. Everyone is sort of telling me that this year is going to be mental so I did very little, which was great.”
With escalating attention on the twenty year old and after some quality R&R over the Christmas break, he is back in the studio putting the final touches on his debut album.
“Yeah, recording started again this week. I think it’ll be released around summer time. I wish I did know but nothing’s set in stone at the moment. I can’t wait for it to come out.”
One of the changes George is currently coming to terms with in studio and on stage is playing with a band. This is an element that is also influencing the music he admires.
“When I was younger I listened to a lot of solo male acoustic artists and blues artists like Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Robert Johnson. There’s loads there but also bands such as Vampire Weekend and records like Graceland have been a big part of my life. Since going into the studio I’ve been listening to records with bands on them which is good for what I’m doing at the moment.”
Aside from recording, George has spent the last year playing a wealth of gigs in the UK and Ireland, building up his repertoire. He claimed sought after support slots for Tom Odell and Lianne La Havas, as well as playing Other Voices Derry in 2013.
“Yeah, I played in Dublin a few times. I played the Ruby Sessions and the Tom Odell gig in the Olympia and I also spent a week there once. A lot of time was spent around Temple Bar and I got a chance to explore a lot of different bars [laughs]. It feels like a lot has happened since that last year. I can’t wait to go back to Other Voices. It was a great time. Derry is beautiful too. It’s a really nice location for it and I liked the way it was dotted around.”
It has recently been announced that the artist will return to the festival in Derry this February. However, before that George will commence his first headline tour in Europe.
"I’ve never had my name on a poster for a gig in Europe so that’s really exciting for me and I’m really looking forward to that. I can’t wait to be on the road for this. Sam Sender and a girl called Everstone will be supporting. She’s got a voice that you just have to stop and listen to."
George Ezra will play Other Voices Derry 7th-9th Feb and perform in the Sugar Club on 19th February.