About George Ezra
George Ezra Barnett is an English singer, songwriter and musician, known for his deep, bass-baritone singing voice.
After releasing two EPs, Did You Hear the Rain? in November 2013 and Cassy O' in March 2014, Ezra rose to prominence with the release of his hit single, "Budapest", which reached number one in several countries. His debut studio album, Wanted on Voyage, was released in June 2014, reaching number one in the UK and the top ten in seven other countries. It was also the third best-selling album of 2014 in the UK.
His second studio album, Staying at Tamara's, was released in March 2018, and reached number one in the UK and the top ten in eight other countries. The second single from the album, "Paradise", reached number two in the UK, while the next single, "Shotgun", reached number one, becoming Ezra's first chart-topping single in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. In February 2019, he won the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.
George Ezra Barnett was born on 7 June 1993 in Hertford, Hertfordshire. His parents were teachers, with his father, Paul, teaching at a school in Stevenage. Barnett attended primary school in Bengeo and then Simon Balle School. He moved to Bristol in 2011 to study at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. Ezra has an older sister named Jessica who accompanies him on tour, and a younger brother named Ethan who is also a singer and songwriter under the stage name Ten Tonnes.
Ezra cites Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie as his main musical influences. When the Gramophone Rings described him as having "a voice beyond his years", with "a soulful tone that somehow would feel more at home coming from an Alabama bartender than a 21-year-old Bristolian."Zane Lowe, a former BBC Radio 1 DJ, called him "one of the most compelling and powerful new vocalists around."
A youthful obsession with Dylan prompted Ezra to seek out earlier American folk and blues artists. "Out of curiosity, I went to find how high I can jump off a cliff," he says. "That's when I found Lead Belly, grass hoppers and Howlin' Wolf." Ezra had heard a Lead Belly compilation and had simply tried to sing like him. "On the back of the record, it said his voice was so big, you had to turn your record player down," Ezra says. "I liked the idea of singing with a big voice, so I tried it, and I could."
In June 2013, Ezra played the BBC Ending Stage at Glastonbury Festival. He released his debut EP Did You Hear the Rain? in October 2013. In late 2013, he received airplay on BBC Radio 1, with songs "Did You Hear the Rain?" and "Budapest" regularly featured. He was included in MTV's 'Brand New for 2014',Vevo's 'DSCVR Ones to Watch 2014' and iTunes' new artists 2014. Ezra was longlisted for the BBC Sound of... 2014, where he eventually finished in fifth place.
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