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George Barnett: “My first ever gig was when I was seven or eight”

With two albums already under his belt, George Barnett is well on the way to a very successful career, with his latest single and EP coming out soon.

Despite having been on tour supporting Frank Hamilton, across the country for over two weeks, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter is still bright-eyed, bushy tailed and full of excitement. I managed to sit down with George, before he performed at the Komedia club in Brighton, and ask him a few questions.

What’s it been like supporting Frank Hamilton on the tour?

Yeah, it’s been great.I’ve got to know Frank and his band. It’s the 18th day now so we’ve been playing with them a lot.

You’ve been making music for a long time now, 16 years in fact, is it something you’ve always known you wanted as a career?

Yeah definitely, only because it’s the only thing I’m good at. It’s not that impressive, considering I can’t do anything else. I’m really rubbish at everything else, so this is the only logical thing to do.

Where and when was your first ever gig?

My first ever gig I was seven or eight, probably. Where I grew up, in Rubgy, they had this thing called ‘Gigzone’ where they put a group of kids together. I was drumming and we played ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.

Speaking of drumming, you were voted Drummer of the Year, right?

Yeah, I wasn’t really voted, more like picked by some industry professionals. That was when I was 14-years-old, when all I wanted to do was be a drummer and then I changed tactics.

So, you write, play, record and produce all your music yourself. That must be quite a challenge?

Yeah it is, but it’s good. The reason it started was when I made my first EP I wanted to find a band local to me, but I’d moved from Rugby to Hereford which was much more remote, so there was nobody around to play with. I ended up recording it myself, and it got some play on local radio and then my band mates came. By this point I’d realised I like recording by myself, because I could do it a bit quicker, and I know exactly what I want.

Who are your biggest inspirations when it comes to music?

Probably people like Prince, David Bowie and even Kanye West, but more for their artistic identities rather than their music. What I admire about them is they tend to do exactly what they want, and tend to be able to blank out everything else and focus on what they want to do, which is what I’d like to do.

You did a cover of ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk, which went viral online. You received tweets from Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, what did they have to say?

Pharrells was really short, it just said “love the cover, keep it up x” and Nile Rodgers actually retweeted it and said something along the lines of “this is amazing.” It was really cool because I’m a big fan of both of them.

Did you ever imagine you would get such a big reaction?

No. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have put it up, only because it’s got to the point where it’s like a monster, I don’t want it to overshadow my original stuff. At the same time it is good because it’s linked to all my other stuff.

Your single ‘Animal Keeper’ is coming out soon, you must be excited about that?

Yeah it’s really good, I’m trying to mix the other two tracks that will be going on the EP at the moment actually, but it’s quite hard to do in hotel rooms. The release has been pushed back from the 27th October to early November because of the tour.

Finally; if you were stranded on a desert island and could choose only one album to be able to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?

It would be ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ by Kanye West, because it just sums up life for me.||||

Written by Connor Mackay

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