WASHINGTON – George Ezra, who has recently been nominated for 3 BRIT Awards (British Single, British Album, and British Male Solo Artist of the Year), is every bit as humble as when he first started out.
I had the opportunity to sit in on a Q&A with the 25-year-old musician on Wednesday at Washington’s MIX107.3 and was thoroughly impressed with his easygoing and fun-loving demeanor.
He looked casual and cool in his dark skinny jeans and red button-down shirt – fairly low-key for a bona fide folk rock star – and as the audience walked in, he greeted everyone with a friendly smile as he lounged on a stool hugging his acoustic guitar, saying “I figured this would be less awkward than a big reveal.”
It soon became clear that Ezra didn’t need a big reveal to captivate a room – his authentic and witty personality kept everyone entranced.
Ezra was born in the quaint town of Hertford, England. At the beginning of the Q&A, George and the host, Jimmy Alexander, joked about the town’s famous family, the Weasleys, setting the tone for the rest of the interview.
Throughout, there were Old Bay peanut taste tests (Ezra gave them a solid “They’re nice!”), Twitter marriage proposals, acoustic performances and much more. Although the topics were very lighthearted, Ezra gave a little peek into the introspective and kindhearted soul behind all of the playful banter.
When asked about social media, Ezra confessed that he does not go on social media anymore ever since he got rid of the applications from his phone.
“I just love that (social media) too much. Now, I send what I want to post to somebody,” he explained. “It’s really unnecessary the way we go about doing it.”
This social media strategy was is foreshadowed in a 2018 interview he had with Coup de Main magazine. Ezra discussed his love for social media because it gave him the ability to instantly reach and interact with fans.
However, he also admitted that it could be entirely too addictive. I can relate to that one, George.
He has also never been one to shy away from candor in interviews. He has talked before about his struggles with anxiety and feelings of self-doubt.
His most recent album is a testament to his journey of rediscovery, following the massive success of his 2014 album “Bon Voyage.” Following the album, Ezra released his 2017 single “Don’t Matter Now.”
Compared to his global hit single “Budapest,” the song was a charts failure. This forced him to push back his new album and really buckle down to find his voice again. He achieved that with, “Staying at Tamara’s” in the beautiful city of Barcelona.
When asked why he didn’t rent a swanky hotel room in the heart of Barcelona, Ezra explained: “The winning thought, the one I went with, was to instead find a stranger on the internet and go and live with them… in Barcelona, a city I barely know.”
He rented a spare room from a woman named Tamara, and he lived in the same apartment with her for a month.
“I figured it would be nice to have someone in the city that kind of knew the city and could point me in the right direction,” he said. Ezra spent his days in Barcelona exploring the city, and in the evenings, he hung out with Tamara and her friends after they got home from work.
Tamara did not realize who Ezra was until one evening when they “were having a glass of red wine and were sharing music, and she said, ‘Oh you brought a guitar along with you, do you play at all?’”
He showed her his Spotify, and you can imagine her shock when she saw that one of his songs, “Budapest,” had 400 million plays. Tamara looked at him as any stunned, rational human being would. “Why are you here?” she asked.
Tamara was living out a Disney Channel Original movie and had no idea. What a lucky gal.
That stay with Tamara in Barcelona seemed to have helped George, seeing as his following hits, “Paradise” and “Shotgun,” respectively reached No 2 and 1 on the Official UK Charts.
So, where and when can you see him next? Well, he will be performing at The BRITS on Feb. 20 at London’s The O2, but if you can’t afford to fly to the UK for the glamorous event, you can watch all of the action from home on ITV.
Is there a possible U.S. tour in the near future?
“I hope so!” George Ezra said.
Me too, George, me too.