George Begbie is a Berlin-based Australian songwriter and pop piano wiseguy, blending old world charm harmoniously alongside poetic lyrics that you could swear were written about you. He has performed across Australia at festivals, concerts, and recently won a top award at the Australian Songwriter’s Association. George sees 2017 as a year for consolidation, discovery of self, and the release of a new album, entitled “What Have I Done?”.
This album shines a light on the question one may ask of oneself at any point – what am I doing, and where am I going? And can one say they are satisfied with their life so far, when it is laid out bare?
And more importantly, how will others react to such honesty?
This delicate openness is evident in George’s solo performances – raw, socially advanced and intelligent, yet tragic lyrics are set against accompaniment that takes hold of the listeners only a few metres away, all the way to the back of the hall.
“For me, the medium of performing solo with your instrument is something that has always been important to me”, George says. “It can be a rare gem to have that connection with your audience, and sometimes unpredictable. Like being in someone’s living room and telling them stories”. Once onstage, George feels the acceptance more overwhelmingly than any nerves before him. His style can change faster than you may realise –softer, folk-induced ballads to rowdy, new-pop melodies with nods back to the old world — and you’re still hanging on to see where he goes next.
Inspired by prolific artists of previous generations, and songwriters of his own generation, George is planning on releasing albums every six months, or “at least until I have to stop!”, he jokes. “There’s a part of me that just wants to release a lot of music, but I also don’t want to be prolific just so I can say so. I try to develop a strong concept on each album” he says.
Sad songs, happy songs, relationships and looking in from the outside. Affecting melodies. Commentary on social media, the way we do things versus the way we used to, appreciating nostalgia. Appreciating things that matter most, connections we have lost.
Melodies moving between funk, jazz rhythms, to stretched and moulded lines. Some harder, close-to-home themes such as depression, anxiety, rejection, and withdrawal from feeling. But ultimately, the warmth of his vocals feels like you’re sitting next to him at the piano in your living room. This is George as he would like you to see him.