George Ezra calls Shotgun on ARIAs
BRITISH chart-topper George Ezra was a surprise late call-up to the 2018 ARIA Awards last week off the back of his smash hit Shotgun.
It has been one of the biggest songs in the world this year, holding No. 1 in Australia for five weeks and clocking more than 300 million streams since its release in May.
The Budapest singer and songwriter feared when he first wrote it that someone else must have already composed a similar melody.
"On the day we first wrote Shotgun, and for days afterwards, I kept asking 'Are we sure this hasn't been done already?'" Ezra said in Sydney on Monday.
"People have been writing pop songs for forever so how have we landed on a nugget that hasn't been done before?"
Ezra and his team did get the song cleared by a musicologist to make sure and avoid any future copyright battles.
He will perform the song at the ARIAs on Wednesday and despite it inevitably prompting a crowd singalong, he knows he will spot the one person in the audience who hates it.
The 25-year-old performer, like most artists who score a big polarising hit, relishes the challenge to convert the haters.
"There are people dragged along to gigs, there's boyfriends who don't want to be there," he said.
"We played a gig in Ireland and Shotgun was No. 1 there for 10 weeks or something which I had forgotten about until a couple of hours before the show," he said.
"I felt this might be a big gig and it was the most euphoric shows I had ever played. Except for one dad in the audience resting his head on his hand and looking bored.
"By the end of Shotgun he was tapping his fingers against his face and that was fine."
The amiable artist, who has also talked with fellow pop stars from Elton John to Ed Sheeran for his George Ezra and Friends podcast, describes his music as "pop and roll" in an attempt to capture the sound of pop music played by a rock'n'roll band.
"How is pop and roll not a thing? Doing the podcast, you talk to people from all kinds of music and everyone, people from punk bands, talk about wanting to write the next Wonderwall, about wanting to write hits," he said.
In between tours and writing hits, Ezra is a Lego freak, recently spending five days while battling the flu to build a 4295 piece model of London's Tower Bridge.
"Between the two albums, I became a bit of an addict. My girlfriend bought that one for me two Christmases ago and when I got sick, I finally had time to do it," he said.
While this is a whirlwind three-day visit for the ARIAs and to spruik his emotional new single Hold My Girl.
Ezra returns to Australia for a national tour in January.