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Inside Five: George Smeddles on his long-awaited ‘Festival Track’, his South Records imprint & more

After launching his South Records imprint at the start of 2022, UK talent George Smeddles returns with an avid follow-up to his ’90s EP.

Inside Five: George Smeddles on his long-awaited 'Festival Track', his South Records imprint & more

After launching his South Records imprint at the start of 2022, UK talent George Smeddles is back with an avid follow-up to his ’90s EP for the third release on the newly-formed label. 

Festival Track‘ is undoubtedly George’s most anticipated record of 2022, if not his entire career. Following months of demands for a release date and an endless sea of ID requests online, he recently released it on South Records. 

To celebrate his latest record now being available worldwide in digital and vinyl formats, we caught up with George Smeddles as he becomes the latest artist to join our Inside Five series. 

Hey George, thanks so much for joining us. Let’s start by talking about your newly-launched South Records Imprint. What was the impetus for your label, and what are you trying to achieve with it?

Hey guys! So, I wanted to start my own label for many reasons, to put across my vision & style of house music whilst having the freedom to release what & when I want. Help up-and-coming artists, and go to places that other labels won’t.

Coming up as a producer, I found it really hard to get music signed unless it already had support or was a collaboration with another artist. There are lots of labels that don’t take risks or put out new & fresh sounds.

I want to combine up-and-coming talent with some of the best in the game and put out good quality music – with the aim of bringing the soul & feeling back. It’s no gimmicks, no trends, just about the music.

Your latest release, ‘Festival Track’, has been causing massive hype online and in the clubs. Tell us about the track’s inspiration and why you think it has become such an in-demand record. Describe this track in three words.

It’s crazy! I’ve honestly never had or made a track that gets the reactions this one does. It’s insane every time it gets played!

Believe it or not, it’s the quickest I’ve ever produced a track!

I had a flight to catch late one afternoon before I went to play in Ecuador. I came into the studio to download some tracks, and, as usual, I couldn’t help myself.

I started trying to make something with really high energy to play during my sets at Lost Beach Club. I had been meaning to use this old vocal sample I had for years, but I couldn’t make anything to do it the justice it deserved. 

Enter the M1 Organ. The first ever track I made that I put up for free download had the M1 organ in, and I’ve used it a couple of times in tracks since – but nowhere near this much. I played in the riff & the bass notes separately and didn’t polish none of it in any way.

I thought the track was unfinished, so I didn’t even play it that week. Fast forward a few months, I still hadn’t touched it, but I sent it along with a load of other tracks to Michael Bibi in a playlist when I was on tour in America. The next day I saw a video of him playing it & the crowd were going nuts!

At my next gig, I played it, and the rest is history!

The track is still pretty rough, unpolished & dirty, but it tears through sound systems. The roughness gives it so much character, so I decided to keep it the way it was & let everyone experience what I had been hearing for the last year.

You’ve had so many successful releases over the years. How does this release stack up for you in importance and progression as an artist?

To be honest, the fact that people are enjoying my music, supporting it & dancing to it is the most important thing for me right now. 

Making people dance & smile is by far the best feeling in the world.

In many ways, this release had already been helping me progress as an artist – way before it even had a release date.

What is your best single piece of advice for artists trying to break into the industry?

There are so many DJs out there right now and so many people who are great on social media. If you’re anything like me & don’t like social media too much, then knuckle down & produce a shit-load of tracks & really learn your software.

Also produce what YOU love. Trends come and go yearly or sometimes on a monthly basis, but they are called trends for a reason.

The amount of music I hear that sounds similar these days is crazy. 

Getting inspiration from tracks is fine, but use different sounds, try new things. Don’t stick to one template because you think it will be right for a certain crowd; they will like something else soon.

If you want to stand out, then do you – because nobody else can do that.

Other than that? Network. Be nice. Don’t ass-lick, and most importantly, don’t be a dick. Believe it or not it’s a small industry, treat others how you would like to be treated – school stuff.

I’m opening the demos soon for South, and I’m going to be doing something really different that involves me giving live feedback to all artists. I’m still planning it at the moment, so bear with me and keep an eye on myself & South Records on Instagram!

Lastly, what can we expect to see from you over the rest of 2022? 

So, I hardly released any music during lockdown as the clubs were shut. 

People told me it would affect my gigs, but it defeats part of the reason why I make House music.

I had a release every month coming out of lockdown as promised, but now South is up and running I’m really going to focus on label projects. I don’t think they need to be thrown out so fast.

I have lots of music ready to go & a really exciting alias I can’t wait to share with everyone!

It’s so nice to see the reactions from the crowd when the label releases are getting played! We’re just getting started and have some seriously good stuff coming up.

I believe real house music is coming back with a bang, so I’m more excited than ever to see what happens the rest of this year & beyond!

George Smeddles’ ‘Festival Track‘ is OUT NOW on South Records.

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