One of House music’s rising artists, and getting number 2 in the Charts for a number of weeks with his soulful single “Wish You Were Mine”, I caught up with Notts’ own Philip George about his life changing ventures.
Hey I’m Gabby from The Mic, how you doing, you alright?
Philip George: Yeah I’m really good thank you are you?
Yeah I’m fab. So yeah, let’s get to the beginning, what kinda got you involved in producing music, what interested you about House music, what’s your backstory?
Philip: Honestly it was that it was such an easy accessible way to make music. I think for me ‘cause I’ve always wanted to make music since I was a kid, whether it be in a band, just making music just interested me, so yeah. And then I was at college, and just started messing around with music and stuff like that when I was about 16 years old I think? So yeah just messing about with music on the computer, downloading programmes – I was always on my computer anyway, just came across music programmes, started out from there really! Just kinda progressed from there, just stuck at it since I was 16 and still am I suppose (laughs).
I’ll be honest I don’t have a clue abouts how to use all that stuff, how do you create a track, what makes you pick the samples you want to use to make a track?
Philip: Difficult question! I don’t know really, I think it’s just when you come across a good, like coming across a specific sample that sounds good, then going from there really. That’s how it works out for me. It comes to that point where I find something that actually sounds pretty good, or it’s catchy, or say if I listen to something. I may not think straight away “Oo I’m gonna use that track” but when you listen to something, go away from it, do what I’m doing in the day and then wait a minute, I’ve got something stuck in my head. That track I was listening to earlier. I think it’s just luck half the time, coming across something that sounds good, so yeah.
For me like any music, I think House music is quite diverse, you can’t really categorise artists into, I mean it all crosses over like Electronica, Techno, Deep house, Tropical, Motown, R&B etc which you dabble in as well. How would you say you diversify your music?
Philip: For me I’m into all sorts of music which is a bit crazy, for instance some DJ’s stick to a particular type of music, so like only liking Techno, which sometimes is just it, and seem to hate every other genre outside Tech (laughs). For me, I’m quite different to that; I literally like every type of common music, but sometimes I do feel like music is just trying to sell money, and I don’t really appreciate that. I listen to bands and stuff like that, and that’s where my musical knowledge comes from. Listening to bands, and just listening to singers – good music in general; there’s no real background on music, what I think about different types of music, it all falls into one. One place for me to make music, whether it be influenced by Jazz music, or Death-Metal. I mean it sounds really strange, but when I was younger I used to listen to Death-Metal when I was at school, years ago when I was like 14 years old, it was a bad time of my life (laughs).
You just learn from it, if you think of it as a mistake. I think you can’t really see it like that, so when someone says “I hate this particular type of music”, just give it a go and appreciate the fact they’re putting the effort and time to produce music y’know?
Philip: There’s too many people out there who are like “That genre’s rubbish” but what annoys me is that, that genre isn’t rubbish, you just don’t like it. I’m not saying anything’s bad, you just have your own taste.
But yeah, you started off this year with a bang with “Wish You Were Mine”, how’d that opportunity come about?
Philip: Well it was just me messing about in the studio about 2 ½ years ago, and yeah, I put it on Soundcloud, I didn’t have any followers or anything large, I was completely anonymous, no one really knew who I was, it just started like that. After the first year, it got literally 100 plays, then the second year it had been uploaded, it just started creating views y’know what I mean? Just started getting loads and loads of views, went from 1000, to 4000, to 8000, just kept doubling and doubling, it all started getting mental. I mean there was no opportunity there, it just happened organically over the internet, it’s really strange.
It had a sample of a song by Stevie Wonder’s in it right? To get the approval of one of the world’s greatest artists, is just something in itself.
Philip: That’s still pretty crazy now looking back at it all, I actually met Stevie Wonder, about 6 months ago in LA. I mean prior to that, I was the guy with two part-time jobs, folding clothes in Next, 4 months later I’m meeting Stevie Wonder, it was weird. It was the weirdest moment, but yeah it’s like all these opportunities, all the things that have happened just from me messing around in a studio, it really doesn’t make sense.
You’ve gotta take these opportunities as they come, take it all at once, enjoy your life in the moment, it’s so cheesy, but life’s too short for you to go around like wishing you’d done stuff. Like make a decision, and you know you’ll be happy in the end.
Philip: Yeah 100%, I agree definitely. I think you need to utilise this time of your life and make the most of it really. That’s what I think at the moment because you don’t know how long this career can last, it can just drop straight away, and you’ve gotta make the most of it in the moment.
The music video’s pretty sick, I love your little cameos. What was the concept behind it? I’ll be honest, you’re pretty subtle with your videos, and not a lot of House artists actually use themselves in the video.
Philip: It was a bit of a strange one really; what happened was, because everything happened so fast, we just wanted to get it out, we actually went to New York to film it which was insane. It was shot in… Queens… yeah filmed just on the outskirts of New York, but it was literally like we got a few scripts from directors and producers, and we chose that one just because it’s quite a fun song, a light-hearted song, and we wanted it to relate to everyone. I think it worked, I think it worked quite well, but it was definitely like, I came up with the idea, we needed something quick and that’s what we came out with, and it worked, quite funny isn’t it?
Yeah I like that, also the fact you only have small roles, not a lot of artists actually show face in their videos, like Duke Dumont, or even DJ Fresh. But it’s like you’re teasing your fanbase in a way?
Philip: Yeah I think it’s because I don’t think anyone knows who I am, which for me I like it because it keeps me grounded, so that’s pretty cool. That’s one thing that’s really important to me, to stay grounded and levelheaded.
It’s all about the music for you and definitely refreshing to hear that. If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Philip: Ooo I get asked this a lot actually, but I never answer it fully, which is really bad because I just name people. For me as an artist, I love finding new singers, finding fresh talent is really cool for me because there’s some amazing singers out there, better singers out there from say people in the charts. But yeah someone who I’d probably work with, I don’t know this is a really hard question! Do you know what, I’d love to work with, just because he had a sick voice, the old Michael Jackson, young Michael Jackson? I reckon that’d be really good because his voice, even to sample his voice is great, but to work on a fresh song, that young voice he had, like just after the Jackson 5 kind voice. Forget this newer stuff like Thriller etc, which was still really cool, just before that, that would have been awesome. The soulful one.
You like thinking outside the box with your music, what do you reckon makes you unique compared to other House producers out there?
Philip: Wow another tough question, you love them. You know what, it’s really difficult for me to say, but I think a lot of producers forget about the groove. They forget about the good feeling of dance music, and a lot of people just copy everybody else, even my music, people probably see bits as similar ‘copied’ of myself or from so and so. But I think a lot of people miss the point of it a bit and a good DJ set, and I think I can, I can bring that to the table, I can bring good hooks, and proper producing as well, instead of a lot of great stuff out there. There’s a lot of stuff under the radar, and I can bring something that’s legit, something that’s real and can relate to people emotionally and be deep. And at the end of the day, I want to make music that relates to people in everyday life as well as the dancefloor, and just think I can bring something positive to the table, rather than what standard producers do. I think people just get lazy these days, but obviously I’ve got this style going on at the moment, which I quite like, quite mainstream, but I produce different types of music as well, and I can’t wait to showcase that. There’s a lot of stuff which I’m excited to show people, there’s just a broad range of music really, but yeah tough question to answer (laughs).
So what’s next for you, what have you been up to? Are we seeing a debut album soon?
Philip: Yeah I’d like to be able to put together an album after a few singles, but my main priority is to get a few singles out there, and just basically make a stamp that I’m here for the next few years, and really just make an imprint on a few people and hopefully be successful in the rest. We’ll just see what happens really, then yeah put together a portfolio and create an album. But there’s so much going on at the moment, and it’s really exciting times to see what’s gonna happen next, so yeah, looking forward to it.
We’ve still got a bit of summer left, any festivals or party places abroad you’re hitting up? We had you in Notts’ own main stage at No Tomorrow earlier.
Philip: Yeah that was sick, really excited, as long as the weather’s nice. Not a fan of rain at all, but festivals are the best thing in the world, you can’t beat them. You can’t beat the atmosphere, you can’t beat the production of the music, there’s just so much to look at, so much to listen to and when the weather’s good, you can’t get music better than that really! That’s life, and to be playing at these big festivals, V Festival, and Creamfields etc, it’s just amazing. Looking forward to it.
Last question to end with; do you have any hidden talents up your sleeve or any party tricks?
Philip: I’ll be honest I don’t have a party trick, tough question as well! I don’t think I have one, I’m pretty good at doing impressions but I’m not gonna do any, because I’m probably going to be terrible (laughs).
Well, thanks for talking with us today! Really great having a chat, best of luck with everything!
Philip: It’s alright, thanks so much!
By Gabriella Ahmed