is taking his new fame in stride. In fact, the young British singer was totally unfazed when his song "Budapest"
reached number one on Triple A Radio for 11 weeks straight. "I haven't really celebrated... My sister's just bought me a cup of tea." Naturally, fame hasn't changed him much. "When I get home the first thing I do is go to the same pubs and see the same faces, and they're still my closest friends."
Home for the songwriter is Bristol, where he grew up planning to teach, like his parents, until he picked up the bass. After studying music in college, he signed with Columbia Records at just 19 and released the hit song "Budapest." When we spoke to him, he had just capped a tour with Sam Smith
, whom he described as being just as down to earth as he is. "It's impressive. There's a lot going on with him, and he keeps a cool head." He's already looking forward to hitting the road with another breakout star of 2014, Hozier
. George is in good company with his quick rise to recognition, and with his deep, soulful voice, it can be hard to remember that the songwriter is just 21. Though so much touring might overwhelm and isolate a typical young person, the lifestyle suits Ezra, whose restless nature leaves him bored if he isn't constantly on the move.
Restlessness is the glaring theme of his music video for "Blame It On Me,"
which has the singer wandering through the streets of Barcelona and experiencing mishaps like a dog bite, a smashed guitar, and being tackled by a rugby team. Though he looks like he's enjoying himself—as much as one can in those circumstances—the filming process revealed to him the true, sometimes exhausting, nature of filmaking: "What I don't think people realize is the director will make you shoot as long as there's sun. You'll be up from 5, and you don't finish until the sun goes down." On the flip side, it also comes with some star treatment with which Ezra isn't quite diva comfortable yet, "I wasn't allowed to get tan for continuity, so there were 4 lads following me around like a diva with an umbrella. I was so embarrassed."
Not everyone is so quick to fawn over him though. "One of my best friends said, 'George, are you sick of singing Budapest yet? And I said 'No, why? and he said 'Well, I'm just sick of hearing it," Ezra laughed. "I dunno. If I have to sing Budapest more than once a day, there's worse ways to spend my time."
Though he's happy with a career in music, his aspirations don't necessarily involve fame and fortune; more like plans to own a pub and stay involved in songwriting for as long as possible. "It takes up so much time, you can only do it if you love it. God forbid if I ever fell out of love with it. Then maybe I'd stop," he said.
At the time of his interview, he had four Brit Award
nominations, for Best British Male Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, British Single, and British Album Of The Year. Today he walked without any, but, honestly, we can't imagine he was too phased. Like he told us: "I'm having the best time. [Being] nominated, thats kind of award enough for me."
Ezra's debut LP, Wanted On Voyage
, is out now. Get your copy here
, and watch the video for "Listen To The Man," starring Sir Ian McKellen below: