08 Aug 2022

Footlights Column

Footlights: an occasional Donegal live column highlighting the  amazing talent in Donegal's diverse creative Community

In the footlights this week is emerging young musician, George Houston, from Burt.

George, what are your family connections with Inishowen?

My mother is from Burt as well and my father is from Buncrana. Most of my family is very local to the area, bar a few wanderers.

What does Inishowen mean to you?

I was raised in Burt and schooled in the Convent in Buncrana. The area has always been a strong family based constant in my life.

In what creative industry are you involved?

I’m a singer-songwriter of sorts and I do painting commissions locally, mainly portraiture. I’m focusing more on the musical side of things at the moment however.

How did that come about?

My parents always had me and my siblings playing instruments, singing and listening to all sorts of music. I also have a passion for poetry and I started putting poems to music. I used it as a way to get things off my chest and I just loved the whole process of making up a song whenever I needed to do so.

Describe your latest project

I’ve been working on my debut EP “Class of 2020” which is to be released on Friday, October 30. It features previously released songs ‘Boo F***ing Hoo’, ‘Rockabilly’ and ‘Wasting Time’. It also features the unreleased ‘Class of 2020’. The EP will be out on my Spotify and all other streaming services. Each song with its own music video on Youtube.

The first song ‘Boo F***ing Hoo’ is about the ironies of being told not to cry by the person you have been hurt by and the importance of being unapologetically sad. Released over a month ago it has had over 3k streams on Spotify and over 2k views on Youtube. It’s also had some radio success with Highland radio on the John Breslin show.

The second song ‘Rockabilly’ is a tribute to the King and Queen of Rockabilly; Elvis and Wanda Jackson. Followed by the third song, ‘Wasting Time’ exploring the fast pace of living and bitter sweet facts of life and death.

Each song is accompanied by a montage styled music video,and making them has been a very new and enjoyable experience for me. My new song ‘Class of 2020’ will have one of these videos uploaded on the 31st of October on Youtube for a Halloween premiere.

‘Class of 2020’ was written over the first lockdown, initially upset with the abrupt end of school life I tried to shine a satirical light on the situation with the sarcastic narrative.

What would your creative dream come true be?

Making this EP has been a dream of mine, but looking forward I simply hope to sustain a career where I can write and produce music, meeting people in the industry and taking part in as many projects as possible. Hopefully an album by the end of next year, fingers crossed.

Who is / was your inspiration?

I could never really pinpoint an inspiration or artist with my music. I’m open to most genres and try to take inspiration from as many corners of the music industry as possible. I love listening to Lana Del Rey, Lou Reed, First Aid Kit, Kate Bush,Fleetwood Mac etc. etc… There are so many artists to look up to and take inspiration from.

Who is your encouragement? 

My parents encouraged me to play music from a young age and it has definitely made an impact. I have had great support from both family and friends and recently I have been receiving encouragement from many strangers as well. I do encourage myself as well, because in the end I do have to push myself to finish my projects.

And one last sentence ...

I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve received and I hope that people might be open to listening to someone new. You can find me on Instagram/Facebook (@georgehoustonarts) for information; and Youtube/Spotify for a listen. And please watch out for my EP ‘Class of 2020’ this Friday the 30th of October. I’ve loved sharing the music and it’s amazing to see people enjoying it as much as I do.

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