Music Q&A:
AKA George

Propelled to fame by his cover of Daft Punk's Get Lucky, the Herefordshire musician, whose single Stone Cold Classic is out now, talks about his stadium ambitions

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What informs your music and songwriting?
When I was a kid I listened to a lot of Green Day and The Killers. Then I got heavily into hip-hop . When I saw Watch The Throne at 16 it changed everything. I had never felt like that at a gig before. It felt like going to a rock gig. That influenced my songwriting, production and how I wanted to perform on stage: to get that excitement up and to give that level of energy and commitment.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
It’s changed a lot. I went as far as I could go down the organic route using drums, bass, guitar and keys and it left me feeling like it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t hitting hard enough. Then I went down the road of purely electronic production and that left me feeling there was something lacking. Now I take the best from both worlds and bring it together. I can write all the huge melodies I love and take the production to another level. The band reflects that as well. Now I have a DJ as well as a guitarist and the drummer uses a normal kit and pads. It feels really exciting.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I am in the studio at the moment working on some new songs – there’s one that I am really excited about. It’s an epic! I want each song I write to be huge, to sound like it belongs in a stadium. When I play live, whether it’s a small venue with 200-300 people or a massive festival, I want to give the crowd a stadium performance. They deserve it for turning up. So the music has to reflect that. We’re also looking at putting on more shows early next year. It’s an exciting time.

What’s on your rider?
I’d like to say Jack Daniels, orange Smarties and some puppies. But, in reality, my rider is lame. I haven’t thought about it that much because we get what we’re given and what we are given at the moment is bottled water and Hula Hoops. But what we request is: a kettle and tea bags, still water, Pringles (for my DJ Marcello as he lives on Pringles and Cornettos), fruit.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
My most embarrassing was quite recently. I was playing to a packed out crowd at a headline gig a couple of weeks ago. I was in full showman mode and there’s a bit in the show where I hit a cymbal. I hit it too hard. I knocked over the whole stand, tried to rescue it (not looking cool at this point), kicked my water over, slipped in it, fell forward into the audience and braced myself against the largest bosoms Camden Assembly had ever seen in the front row.

What song do you wish you’d written?
When You Were Young by The Killers. I just think it’s so good. It builds, it’s got drama, feeling, emotions – everything.

What’s your worst lyric?
It was in a song called Moonlight which I wrote when I was 17. “I always feel like William in A Knight’s Tale. I always take the hardest path.” That one’s one’s a bit shit, isn’t it.

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