Getting To Know The FPSF Locals: George West
Photo: Marcelo Quinones
You might not know this, but I have friends from all over this world who come visit me, and who all say the same thing, “this city has an amazing electronic scene.” They’re right, as when I’m out of town I always think that I know at least five acts who do it better here in Houston. One of those acts, is Houston’s George West. When Rick and Chris from Houston’s BLSHS told me that I had to see him live, I made a pilgrimage to make it our for one of his sets. What I saw was a guy who dropped chill sounds and precise beats complete with live drums in a way that I’d never seen before. Now, the purveyor of slow jamz and chillwave will be dropping those almost “lovemaking” jams on the crowd at this year’s Free Press Summer Festival. FPH sat down with the producer to find out how he describes his sound and what he’ll be up to at the festival and beyond.
FPH: Your music is kind of like a chillwave sound. Would you say that’s true, or how would you describe George West to someone?
GEORGE WEST: I can say that I am into the chill wave vibes of Washed Out and Toro y Moi, so that could leak out some where, but the way I would describe my music is if Shigeto and Teebs had a long lost cousin, and that long lost cousin was me.
FPH: Your past is that of a drummer who can play multiple instruments, what made you go to the solo producer side of things?
GEORGE WEST: I have always felt like doing a solo beat project, ever since I started playing in bands from the age of 16 years old, but I was always scared to dive into it. Everything seemed so difficult with all these cables and laptops. One thing that pushed me over the edge to do it was a trip to Tulum, Mexico…that place has so much magic and history running through it that made me feel grounded and floating at the same time. I remember being in my hotel room and just thinking, when I get back to Houston I am going to start making music.
FPH: You’ve been dropping tracks at a pretty fast pace for the last year, and then you dropped the “George West” four song album; will we see a full length release anytime soon?
GEORGE WEST: I have been trying to get tracks out and keep people engaged in my journey, as if all this was just to be a huge sound track of my life. We all go through changes in life and these tracks are the sounds that involve that period in my life. You will see a full length LP, that will have lots of textures, ambient field recordings and who knows what else. I might just take a road trip out to Los Angeles and record some post production stuff with a homie out there. A 24 hour road trip might just mend all the vibes together and that will have me ready to explode with ideas when I pull up to the studio in Los Angeles.
FPH: Your live set is a mix of you using an APC controller and then playing live drums, was that always the idea of how you’d perform when you started?
GEORGE WEST: Of course, drums being my forte, I always had the thought of adding live drums to my set, but then I would always think of just pulling up to a show with a small backpack and that being my whole show in that bag. I was really trying to keep it minimal. That all changed when I started practicing my set at home with a few toms, and that just made it sound that much more full and complete, so the small back pack idea was gone..haha
FPH: You’ve gotten press from various outlets and you’re starting to get on bigger shows, yet you seem grounded about everything. Did you ever think you’d be performing on something as big as FPSF?
GEORGE WEST: I think staying grounded is the key to all of this, I don’t consider myself better than anyone else, we are all in this to express our emotions, ideas and art. The minute you are floating in the clouds thinking you are the shit, someone will put you in your place pretty quick. I never thought I would be playing FPSF, when I received the news I couldn’t believe it, all kinds of thoughts and emotions were running through my head like I have to really bring my game to this show. I really can’t wait to get on that stage and just play for my city.
FPH: Do you have any surprises for the FPSF crowd when you perform on the festival this year?
GEORGE WEST: I got a few tricks up my sleeve just hope they all pan out how I imagine them in my mind, but at the same time I want to keep it chill and just be myself. I am planning on throwing in a few remixes and a few new tracks I have been working on. All I can say is come to my stage while I am performing and lots of chill and bassy tracks will be making your body vibrate.
You can catch George West at this year’s Free Press Summer Fest, while he drops those bassy tracks that make everyone’s body vibrate. I’d seriously recommend seeing him sooner than later, because with the pace at which he moves and the intoxicating vibes he gives an audience when he performs; this might be one of your last chances to catch him before he blows up.