This week we bring an interview with George IV, an Edinburgh student who has bought a touch of UK garage to the scene, already attracting the attention of big names such as Conducta, FooR, and DJ EZ, all whilst producing high-energy, dance-worthy tracks. His new release ’You Don’t Need To Fall’ is out on November 15.
Raphaela: Where did the inspiration to start making UKG come from? If I am not mistaken you were born in the United States, so it is interesting to see how you have managed to capture such an inherently British style of music.
George IV: I wasn't listening to much garage before I came here, to be honest. I had heard of it but didn't really give it much thought, and then when I came here, my music taste changed dramatically because most of my life was Funk and Jazz and Metal and all those sorts of things. But when I came here was when I first heard Drum and Bass and UK garage. I’d been producing for a couple of years, but when I heard UK garage it was like I had finally found this genre that just fit perfectly. There's obviously a lot of the old stuff and there's a lot of new stuff being put out but even though I'm American, hopefully, it's allowed that an American mixes UK garage…
Raphaela: No, of course, it’s pretty cool I’ve never really heard of that before. I was kind of in disbelief just because you do it so well and it sounds very organic. UKG is something that has been cultivated in the UK and hasn’t really transpired the border that much so I haven’t seen it done anywhere else. So it's just cool to see people like you coming here, being introduced to it being able to make it your own.
George IV: There is obviously a lot of very like new school UK garage and I really like that stuff. But, for me personally, it's just been making music that I like and I just fell in love with the old school stuff like Artful Dodger and Todd Edwards. I think he's probably my biggest inspiration, you know, because he's an American who just kind of did his thing, made his own style and now he's one of the biggest garage artists in the world.
Raphaela: Yeah, because I was going to ask, garage has some amazing names, like the genre is insane, so would you say they were your biggest influences. Were they the artists that you listened to and realised that this is kind of what you wanted to do?
George IV: Yeah, I didn't listen to them and say to myself “I want to make a track that sounds like Todd Edwards” but that was what made me love UK garage and a lot of my songs it's like not trying to sound like one thing in particular. It's cliche, obviously, but it’s like a conglomerate, like a mix, of just everything that I really enjoy listening to and just I feel like there is nothing like the classic stuff. Everything is so danceable but then everyone's just smiling as well and that's what made me fall in love with that and, you know, listening to all of the old school stuff.
Raphaela: That’s a really romantic way of putting it! What I wanted to ask, as well, was about your name. So it's obviously got quite a Renaissance feel to it and I also was looking at your artwork for one of your singles and it also has that kind of vibe to it. And so I was just wondering, like, is there any meaning to that?
George IV: I am legally George the Fourth and being called the fourth has been a part of me for a decent amount of my life. When I was in fourth grade, in Spanish class, all the kids chose their names and they had to choose a Spanish name, but my teacher, just let me be Cuatro because literally everyone just called me that…It's not like the king thing. The king thing is mostly due to there being a lot of King George IV stuff in Edinburgh like the bridge and the memorial and that's been kind of the vibe I’ve been going with. But the original reason was mostly just because it’s me, to be honest, and I try to tie that into my music.
Raphaela: That's pretty cool! And it's something original as well; and it actually flows well into my next questions because I was gonna ask about the Edinburgh music scene. What has your reception of the music been like?
George IV: Well, obviously, the Edinburgh music scene isn't as big on its own as like Glasgow or London or things like that. But I feel like especially because there's a lot of English people here, a lot of the music and club nights have Drum and Bass and there's a handful of UKG nights scattered about but they're not all that common. Even though it wasn't something that was played all the time, whenever UK garage came on, people went crazy. Like they loved it!
Raphaela: So in the future what can we expect from you? Do you want to continue with garage or is there Drum and Bass that you want to get more into?
George IV: To be honest, I really enjoy being part of the garage community and the sound and stuff, but I think I want to start making music that if I told someone it was UK garage they would believe me, but if it is was someone who didn’t know what garage was they wouldn’t be like “What is this?”, it would still sound familiar to them. So I like finding that middle ground and keeping things organic and I usually don't decide when I'm making a song if it's going to be a genre. I almost never do that to be honest, but if I have an idea and it sounds more like garage then I guess it's a garage track and if it ends up not, then it's not, but just kind of let the music do the talking.
Raphaela: So to wrap up, just for people listening who haven't heard your stuff before or just don't really know what to expect, how would you describe your music or, more so, how would you want your music to make people feel?
George IV: I mean, going back to the thing I said before, like that feeling where you’re on the dance floor and like stuff is going really hard, but it's not like aggressive or cold. It's like the opposite where it's really a vibe. You really are just upbeat and happy. You know, like the world could be ending tomorrow, but we're having a good time anyway and just like not taking yourself so seriously. That’s the kind of vibe that I want people to feel. It's like they hear it and they don't think that I'm trying to be some big shot or I'm trying to make super festival-like sell outs. Just honestly sounds that sound like me because that's how I feel when I make it.
Raphaela: Well, thank you so much George! Your new single “You Don't Need To Fall” is out now so definitely everyone go give it a listen. Thank you so much for joining me today.