You’ll have probably already heard of George Birge, but just in case you moved into a little damp space underneath a rock 12 months ago or have just been really really busy, then let Holler introduce you to one of the most exciting country singers around right now.
First coming to our attention when his playful poke at country music’s obsession with driving and drinking, ‘Beer Beer, Truck Truck’, went viral on TikTok in the summer of 2021, George has kept on blowing up ever since. Showcasing his playful way with words and delicate melodic touch, the song always felt too deep to just be a throwaway social media hit, and when he followed it a few months later with ‘Mind On You’, we knew we were dealing with a case of country music’s finest.
Originally written with Jason Aldean in mind to sing it, ‘Mind On You’ never found its way to its intended destination - and a country music star was born. It’s been one of the hottest country songs all year and only keeps getting hotter.
It might have seemed like an overnight success to some, but Birge had already proved his songwriting chops writing songs for Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox, Chris Lane and Holler favourite Matt Stell. He’s has also had his songs cut by Clay Walker, Colt Ford and duetted with the legendary Neil McCoy on a playful rewrite of McCoy’s 1994 chart-topper ‘Wink’ entitled ‘That Drink’.
The Texas-born, Nashville based songwriter credits his Austin upbringing with his gift for writing relatable lyrics and melodies. “I got so much joy and pleasure from trying to craft songs and build stories and create emotion that I was instantly hooked,” says Birge, who started out playing gigs in the city’s sixth street entertainment district. “I always say I play live music so that I can write songs and get in the studio, because that's where my passion is. I love that rush that you get when you find something that is magical.”
His five-track, self-titled EP came out earlier on in the year, and we can’t wait to see what’s coming next! We sat down with George to ask him a few questions and find out what makes him tick.
What did you grow up listening to?
My top three all-time are George Strait, Gary Allan and Jason Aldean
How did ‘That Drink’, the duet with Neil McCoy, come about?
I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around getting to do a duet with Neal McCoy. I sat down to rewrite his song 'Wink' as a 90s tribute to all the artists that raised me. I stripped all the words away, rewrote the song more as an exercise in songwriting for myself, never thought it would see the light of day.
Some folks talked me into posting it on my social media and it ended up going viral. The next day I got a call from an unlisted number, which I never answer but for some reason I did. On the other side I heard, “Hey man, it’s Neal McCoy”, my jaw dropped. Someone had sent him my post and he called me to say he wanted to come to Nashville and feature on the song with me.
So seven days after writing and posting that video I was in the studio recording it with Neal McCoy. Life’s pretty cool sometimes.
Where’s the most unexpected place music has taken you?
I got to play a concert on the back of a yacht in Cabo this summer, I’d say that was pretty wild.
You had a huge viral hit with ‘Beer Beer, Truck Truck’. How did your life change after that song?
It was pretty wild watching that song take off, it gave me the opportunity to get in front of a whole new group of fans, sign a record deal and start on my debut album so I’m very thankful for it.
What was it like working with Nelly?
Nelly has been relevant for so long and is a true pioneer in overlapping genres, so it was a huge blessing to be asked to feature on his new album.
What’s your favorite songs of someone else’s?
‘The Chair’ by George Strait, it breaks all the rules of song writing in the best way
You’ve written a lot of songs for other people - if you could get any singers alive or dead to sing your songs, who would it be and which songs?
Jason Aldean would probably be at the top of that list for me, he’s just the epitome of cool.
If you could time travel back to any time when would you travel back to?
90s country era is hard to beat
Which person from history would you most like to meet?
Teddy Roosevelt seems like one tough dude, would have been cool to meet him
What advice would you give to the younger you?
Hang in there man, all those hits you take early pay off in the long run
What’s next for you?
Hoping to see ‘Mind On You’ at the top of the country charts, Grand Ole Opry debut on the way and finishing up my first album
'That Drink' and the self-titled EP are out now on RECORDS.