Meet George Brown: ‘If you want to do it, just do it’
- Credit: Archant
George Brown started out busking in Camden. Now she’s launching her debut EP, following in the footsteps of her SoCal heroes, finds ZOE PASKETT
If you walked down by Regent’s Canal a few years ago, you might have spotted the busker under the bridge. Hampstead local George Brown took her guitar out into the streets of Camden to share her love for the sounds of sixties and seventies Southern California, and to hone her craft.
“This has been in the pipeline for about 20 years,” says Brown of indie-folk offering, Meet George Brown. “After my first child was born I thought this is something I’ve always wanted to do, this is the time to do it. It just felt like the right time.”
Far removed from her previous life as an insurance broker in the City, busking gave Brown a chance to pursue something that had been nagging away at her ever since she listened to her first cassettes of Joni Mitchell and The Beach Boys.
“It’s a very different way of performing and it was a way to be able to practice without any meaning attached to it,” she says. “I busked at the weekends when my husband could be at home with Cassidy.”
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The Malaysian-born singer, who now has two sons, says that her cultural background has something to do with the fact that she has only recently began her music career,
“I come from a culture where you practice your instruments and you do your grades but you don’t do it for a living. A lot of what I do is to show my children that whatever it is that you want to do, as long as you’re passionate about it and as long as you believe in whatever it is that you’re doing, no matter the result, you give it a go,” she says, as her younger son munches on blueberries in the buggy nearby.
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Sitting in the Caledonian Road studio where she recorded her upcoming debut EP, Brown is grateful for her team’s input in getting the record made. With her husband Craig playing drums on her songs, their sons are growing up surrounded by music.
“We’ve been really lucky because a lot of the team we’ve had around us have been really open to that, so they’ve hung out here.” Her eighteen month old boy was “about six months when he first came here and he would just nap”, while the rest of the band were around.
Bassist Jake Honeywill, who was formerly signed to the Beggars’ Banquet record label with Craig, Jordan Humber on guitar and vocalist Judy Abraham make up the rest of the musicians – but Brown says none of it would have been possible without producer Felix Macintosh, in whose studio the record was made.
“It was always me and Felix. That’s how it began. The band would never have happened without her – she’s part of the band.”
After meeting her, Brown came to the decision to crowdfund her EP on Indiegogo, eventually becoming one of the most “In Demand” projects in Europe during its 30-day campaign.
“I did it aligned with my belief of: if you want to do it, just do it and it’ll happen or it won’t happen. But if you don’t do it, it definitely won’t happen.”
The campaign may have gone by quickly, but the EP is the product of a lifetime of musical curation, culminating in a trip to LA seven years ago that changed her outlook on the music.
“I read this book on the plane going to LA and that’s when I realised that everyone I’d listened to since the age of nine is connected socially, geographically, musically, relationship-ly and they were all there and that’s when it clicked.”
Meet George Brown is to be released on April 7 with the official launch taking place at The Bedford in Balham on April 6.