George Pelham has just put out his new single, the uplifting “What A Time To Be Alive” so in these challenging times, we spoke to George about his musical experiences, embarrassing childhood stories and what bothers him more than Love Island finishing on TV.
1. Hi George, thanks for your time. For those of our readers who aren’t familiar with you, can you give us a life story in a few sentences ?
“Hey guys, it’s my pleasure! Sure, I was born and raised in London (where my Dad is from), but spent some time in LA (where my Mum is from) and China growing up. I’ve been into music since I was really young, and have been writing songs and playing gigs non-stop for the past five years or so.””
2. You’ve just put out a new single, what can you tell us about it ?
“I’m so happy that it’s out as it’s the first song I’ve ever released. It’s all about falling in love and the excitement of it all. I wrote it last year with Dan Smith from The Noisettes. We recorded so many different versions of it before we felt like we’d figured it out, which makes it even more satisfying that it’s finally out!””
3. What A Time To Be Alive, a very uplifting song in some quite challenging times. Not worried about Brexit, the economy, Love Island finishing on TV ?
“We’re definitely living in a period of uncertainty as a lot seems up in the air right now, so I just try to look on the bright side of things. I think I use music as a form of escapism from that kind of thing. I was more upset about getting to the end of Stranger Things than the end of Love Island though!”
4. The song has been described as 60s inspired pop, who would you say your influences are musically ?
“I’m definitely influenced by the music that I listened to in the car with my parents when I was young. They were both into music from that era – Sam Cooke, Elvis and The Beach Boys are a few artists that come to mind. There just seems to be a lot of joy and energy in that music, which I love. I listen to loads of modern music too as I don’t want to live in the past and ignore the present – there’s so much great stuff out there now. It’s a balancing act!”
5. Do you remember your first musical experience? Which artist, group or song changed your life ?
“I remember driving down to Hampshire (where my Grandparents live) with my mum and playing the Pet Sounds album by The Beach Boys over and over. It‘s such an incredible album and I was (and am) so obsessed with it – it has this kind of uplifting, euphoric feeling that I’m always trying to create when I write songs now. Also I remember singing in the musical ‘Oliver’ when I was about 10 – when I look back that was definitely the moment when I knew I wanted to be a performer in some way.”
6. Now the single is out, what are your plans to follow it up ?
“There will be an acoustic version of the song (and a video) released in a few weeks. I’ve also got my next single ready which will come out in a couple of months and the ones after that I’m sorting out as we speak!””
7. You gave us a life story earlier, now tell us an embarrassing fact/childhood story about yourself ?
“I remember when I was 12 or something and I met this girl called Tabitha on a family holiday. I think we made a sand castle or something but then I didn’t see her again as I think she had to go back home, so then I went to my room, wrote a song on a little napkin about how much I loved her and cried my eyes out while I sung it to myself. Far too old to be doing that kind of thing…”
8. If you could work with one artist living or dead who would you choose and why ?
“I would have to say Sam Cooke! He’s probably my favourite artist – I just love his style, his songs and his voice which is just undeniably good.”
9. Curveball question now, how do you explain the colour yellow to someone who can’t see ?
“Wow that’s really tough…I’d say it was a warm colour but it‘s not hot enough to scold you or anything – tepid is probably a better word…and it’s a happy colour – the opposite of blue.”
10. Thanks for your time, just to finish what are your ambitions for 2020 ?
“My plans are to finish recording my album and keep releasing songs as I have so many I need to get out there. Most of all though I would love to go on tour and perform as that’s the thing I do it all for! And my pleasure, thanks for the interview!”
Check out the video for George’s single for “What A Time To Be Alive” out now.