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Ahead of his headline performance at The Fleece, Bristol I caught up with singer-songwriter George Ezra to chat about all things music and find out how life had changed for the 19 year-old since coming fifth in the BBC’s Sound of 2014 poll. Find out what he had to say after the jump. 

Hi George, how does it feel to be back in Bristol?

It’s kind of bitter sweet because I know tomorrow I’ve got to up and leave again, but it is always good to be back. Exeter is the last gig and that’s on Saturday then I’ve got 3 days off so that’s what I’m looking forward to.

You came from almost nowhere to finish fifth in the BBC Sound of 2014 poll how has that affected your career? Did you expect to get the amount of support you have from Radio 1 and the BBC? 

No, I didn’t expect to get that amount of support, but I just didn’t know people could get that sort of support. This whole tour is sold-out now and that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t had so much publicity at the beginning of the year. It just feels like a lot of people are on my side at the moment, which is nice. That’s the thing about it growing organically; because I was gigging for about 2 years before there’s nothing artificial about this, it just is what I’m doing and I think that’s a healthy way for it to progress. 

Now I’m sure you get asked a lot who your biggest inspiration is, but who’s been the most influential person you’ve actually met since that BBC announcement?

 I’m really good friends with Joel, who's the singer in Athlete, and we write together so he’s been a massive help and Cam Blackwood who produced the album with me. Those 2 guys have been massive inspirations and almost like mentors – they’ve both got a few years on me!

What’s that creative process with Cam like? 

We’ve got this link in the middle of nowhere in Wales, this little barn. We go up there for about 7 days, get there Sunday night, set up a bit of recording equipment and then have a few beers, go to bed, wake up, start working on whatever we were writing that night, then have a few beers, go to bed and start again. When you get stuck you go over to the beach, you know what I mean? Some people think they need to sit in a chair and have dedicated writing time, but it’s never going to be a nice experience that way I don’t think. 

Your currently playing your first countrywide headline tour and it’s completely sold-out? What’s it been like to witness that and how’s the tour gone so far?

The best thing about it is I think a lot of people have bought tickets on the strength of 3 songs they might have heard on the radio and it’s a 40-minute set, so obviously I’m playing more than 3 songs. So far everyone’s just been so patient, even though they’re still testing the water, seeing if they want to be a fan, it seems by the end of the gig they kind of are, which is nice. Also, because it’s just me and a guitar things are going to go wrong and I like that. 

Your next single Cassy O drops on 16th March, what are your hopes for it?

Releasing music is weird one, because you spend however long in a studio recording it and working it and putting a lot of time and love into what you're doing and then suddenly it's no longer yours. It’s people’s, to rip to pieces or to enjoy and you’ve just got to sit back and let it happen, maybe no one will hear it or maybe they will.

Now I know your currently still recording your debut album, but are you able to give us any hint of when we might expect to hear it first? 

I’ve actually finished recording it, but me and Cam are in a weird position now, because we’ve got 19 songs and now we’ve got to knock some out. The hard thing isn’t what’s going to make the album, but what’s not going to make the album. I think June or July though, once the sun is up, I think it’s going to be fitting for festivals is how it’s sort of starting to sound.

 Is there much new material feature in the set-list for this tour?

Because I’ve only released one EP I’m playing all of that and then the second EP, which comes out March 16th, I’ll play that too, because they’re a lot of old songs on those that I still love. I’d say like 3 or 4 tracks in the set are really new though and people won’t have heard before.

Where will you be celebrating tonight when you finish playing? Do you have a favourite hang-out in Bristol?

The Galli, I do love the Gallimaufry and that’s where I would host an after-party if I was ever going to. It depends whether I have my dancing shoes on though. I like Start The Bus that’s where my sister, who moved to Bristol before me, first took me and then there’s a pub called The Three Tongues and they have a proper folk night on a Wednesday with these real old folkies and I often like to go there too and just sit back and watch it all unfold.

Those who follow you will have seen this word a lot recently, but what the hell is petan? 

[Laughs] So, petan is a word that my friends and I coined when I first moved to Bristol and we just started using it for everything. It was all in the eyes, it could be good, bad, past, present and then I started hash tagging it and now it’s become this little symbol of what I’m all about and I love it.

The album’s not called petan is it?

That was a thought, but then I thought I’d have to come up with a better explanation!

 Finally then, what are the biggest tracks on your iPod right now?

I love the new Bombay single with Rae Morris, and I supported Rae, so that’s up there. In the van we like to start the day with a bit of Timber by Pitbull [laughs] and do you know what, although it came out 7 or 8 months ago the Vampire Weekend album is just a great album. To be honest though I’ve been playing loads of Jonny Cash recently so that’s what’s been in my ears. I’ve never been that great with new music, I’m always a bit late, a bit late to the party. 

Tickets to see George Ezra live as part of his second-ever tour are available to purchase HERE now and the Cassy O’ EP will be available to purchase via iTunes from March 16th.

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