TAKING that first step into music can be a big challenge…
but George Glew is prepared for the task at hand. He has been recording music for a while so his single, Bury Me, comes equipped with natural confidence and experience. His aim is to release a song each month (for a year).
I ask how he is feeling about this feat and whether it will lead to an album – a place to put all those songs together. He talks about the music scene in South Wales and the music he is inspired by.
I was interested to know about the songwriting process and the reason for such ambitious productivity; albums that have struck his hardest and what his tour schedule is looking like – and whether the artists that struck his ears as a child.
Hi, George. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! I’m very good.
It’s been a mental few days, what with Bury Me being released on Friday, but feeling very positive.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is George Glew and I’m a twenty-four-year-old singer-songwriter/producer from South Wales - now living in Bristol.
I have been listening to your single, Bury Me, and am interested in its origins and story. What compelled the song?
I wrote the song quite a few years back so when trying to remember the origins or the feeling I had when writing the song is difficult. I think something had happened and I just wanted to have a fresh start; become a new person.
With that, take all my wrong doings and peoples hurt with me and start fresh. This song has really stuck with me for some time and it really means a lot to me.
I hope people find their own meaning within it.
It is your debut track. Is it quite nervous or are you excited by this moment? Why was now the perfect moment to come into music?
I had been (anyway), for about a-year-and-a-half, just writing and producing songs - and I felt the need to really get music out there and start gigging again - rather than just having all these tracks that no one would ever hear.
Then, the idea of doing a track a month came up, and it seemed perfect!
But, yes, I was still a little bit nervous - but it’s out there and I can’t really do anything about it now, right?!
Can you tell me how you got into music? When was the fuse lit?
I started playing instruments from an early age: piano first, then guitar and then drums. I think the idea of creating my own music and producing etc. started when I was about sixteen. I would say that I heavily got into it when I was eighteen.
I made a small, super-basic studio in the garage at my mum’s house - and just started recording my songs and other mates’ songs as well.
I really found my flow in writing and my style when I was about twenty and I started writing songs and thinking: “These aren’t bad”.
I believe you are releasing a new track every month for the next year? What was the reason behind that decision? Can you give us a window into next month’s song?
You are correct!
The reason is, probably, the fact that I have loads of finished songs in demo-form and it just seems the best way to do things now. I also have a few different sounds in my repertoire - not just this big, Soul-y, Blues-y side (so I can show each one in its own light).
With Bury Me being one of the oldest and best songs it just had to go first. I won’t be releasing a track a month for forever - or just singles, for that matter - as I really love albums and full bodies of work. I’m very excited about this next year!
I’m not sure whether I can tell you about next month’s release but it’s a good one and it’s got a very interesting instrument in it…
After the twelve songs are out; will they go into an album? Any plans for an E.P. at all?
Maybe; maybe not.
It’s hard to tell just after the first release but I would love to do a special release of them all of some kind… will keep you posted on this one.
Can you tell us about your songwriting process? Do you sit down and dedicate a certain amount of time to songwriting or do you write when the moment strikes?
I try to keep to doing a track from start-to-finish, once a week: it’s hard to keep up at times but it keeps me thinking about the creative process - so that I never forget the point of being a recording artist.
I feel like it’s important to set time aside, you have to sometimes force creativity to stop your creative brain from dying.
Then again, if I feel inspired to write something, I will - there’s no set rule.
You were born and raised in South Wales. Was there an array of great music there or was it quite quiet in terms of the local scene?
At the time when I was making music and living in South Wales, there was a lot of Hardcore and Metal bands about, and not too many singer-songwriters, so, I naturally fell into playing in Alternative bands.
During my teens, it was the height of the Pop-Punk scene with bands like Kids in Glass Houses and The Blackout - but I don’t think it massively influences me now.
I met a lot of great musicians, though, and some of my favourite bands are from there: The People The Poet and Straight Lines.
What kind of artists did you grow up listening to?
When I was little, my mum always listened to Queen, Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder - stuff like that. So, I guess it formed my later tastes and is probably engrained in my brain. I still love that music now.
Big influences for me when I started writing were singer-songwriters like Paolo Nutini and Bon Iver, and later on, I found artists like John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. - who really pushed my guitar playing.
Can you reveal any gigs you have coming up? Where can we see you play?
I have a monthly residency at The Gallimaufry in Bristol which I’m really looking forward to. It’s on July 25th, August 29th and September 26th.
How do you spend your downtime from music? Do you have any hobbies at all?
There’s very little downtime between my day-to-day job and focusing on the music - but I do find time to just relax and spend time with friends really. It’s important to recharge sometimes and remember to live and gain life experience.
I also love watching films; but with no distraction…
IN THIS PHOTO: Sleeptalking
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
John Mayer - Continuum
This album taught me about great musicianship and how, sometimes, less is more – also, the songwriting is just incredible!
This album alone enhanced my guitar playing so much.
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Probably the most beautiful album of all time - and I’ve constantly gone back to it for so many years now. It can take me to another place.
John Legend - Darkness and Light
Some of the most creative production and mixing of any recent Pop record - probably one of the only recent Pop albums I’ve loved from start-to-finish.
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
Just keep writing songs: the more you write the better your judgement becomes...
Also, stick with your gut and create what you love: whether people like it or not, you’re making the music you love and you’re going to be associated with it and performing it each night.
Work with as many people as possible to start with and learn from them - there’s always something to learn from collaboration.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
To Build a Home - The Cinematic Orchestra (ft. Patrick Watson)
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