George Birge's bio on Spotify reads like a mantra for living life exactly how you want to. "Golfin, Grillin, Songwritin and Singin", a simple sentence that sums up the man behind some of the hottest viral tracks this side of the 2020s.
With 'Beer Beer, Truck Truck' and 'Mind On You', Birge has quickly made a name for himself as a songwriter with a quick whit, a finger on the pulse and a courage to say what he's thinking.
Joining us at The Betsey Trotwood for his first Holler Live Session, Birge is as affable as you'd expect him to be - a natural performer with an easy-going charm that feeds into his music.
"I always struggled writing love songs. I always felt like I couldn't make them my own or they were a little bit too cheesy; I struggled to make them tough enough. When I sat down to write it, I wanted to write a love song but I also wanted to write a song that I felt like was me, and I felt like I finally landed on something".
What he landed on was the album opener to his debut album Mind On You, 'Forever and A Day'. As a studio recording, it's a slow-burning pop-country take that plenty of established stars would be begging to cut, but in the intimacy of a Holler Live Session, the heavy restlessness that Birge hints at comes much more to the fore, making the track uniquely his own.
"Being we're in the pub with Holler, I figured we'd play a song called 'Whiskey Side'", Birge explains as he introduces his second song.
"I sat down to write this song and I was thinking about how we all have two sides. We have who we are when we're thinking about what we're saying, trying to be contributing members of society and make our momma's proud, and we have who we are when we take a couple shots of whiskey and say what's really on our mind".
While we're not suggesting you down a bottle of Beam and really tell Janet in the office what you think of her, we appreciate Birge's candidness and desire to let off a little steam once in a while. While he may be trying to shake off what people expect of him, it feels like we get to see Birge's true colours as a songwriter - a calm self-reflection peppered throughout his work.
"I wrote this song in 2020, when I didn't have a record deal and I was writing songs for other artists" Birge admits when heading into his final song of the session. "I orginally pitched it to Jason Aldean; I got an E-Mail back from his team saying 'don't play this song for anyone else', they wanted to put it on his new record".
"At the time, that was the biggest thing to ever happen to me". Birge continues "Fast forward about six months, I put some of my own songs on social media and they blew up. I got a record deal and I ended up getting this song back and getting to put it out with my own name on it".
The song is his aforementioned biggest hit to date and the title track of his debut album, 'Mind On You'. A late night drive full of burning desire, Birge channels all of the passion and intensity of the recorded version into this simmering performance, while still delivering it with the cool nonchalant of an artist in his element.
Director: Tom Francome
Cameras: Tom Francome, Nick Richards and Joe Monk
Audio Engineer: Nathaniel Kastoryano
Editor: Dan Monro (Lookout Productions)
Producers: Ross Jones & Gemma Donahoe