• About A Band: George Fitzgerald

    If there’s anyone who knows how to get the party started, it’s George FitzGerald. Throughout his career as a DJ and producer, the British musician has won a loyal following as the man behind many major electronic hits, including the addictive 2012 jam “Child” and 2013’s “I Can Tell (By The Way You Move).” Currently based in Berlin, FitzGerald has made a name for himself outside of the DJ booth as well—he’s one of the founders of the imprint ManMakeMusic (he scouts out new DJ talent as a side gig, too). After years of touring the world and releasing EPs such as 2012’s Needs You, this month FitzGerald finally drops his debut album upon the world. 

    Fading Love is a genre-bending trip through house, electronic, and techno wrapped around a surprisingly soulful backbone. As FitzGerald explained in the album announcement, it reflects “the disintegration of a romantic relationship” and a “dwindling enthusiasm for music that so blindly ignored the more complicated realities of his own life.” And his sound isn’t restricted to cult house fans, either—this versatile blend should belong on everyone’s weekend soundtrack. Ahead of the album’s April 27th release date, FitzGerald phoned in from Germany to talk about his recording process, the inspiration behind the album, and why Fading Love is only the beginning.
    Words by Liza Darwin
    Photos by Steve Gullick

    Above: Audio for the Geroge Fitzgerald track "Full Circle." Click play while you read.

    You’re from London, but currently live in Berlin. Why did you decide to move?
    Before I was doing music full time, I moved out here to work as a translator about nine or ten years ago. A bit like what LA is for actors, Berlin is for DJs. It’s a bit of a cliché to come out here for music—many times I feel like I’ve ended up here by mistake. 

    What type of music were you into growing up?
    You listen to so many different things when you’re young. I went through a phase of being an indie kid; then I switched soon after that and was into hip-hop and scratch DJing for a long time. The first electronic music I listened to was when I was a very young teenager, and U.K. garage was becoming very big in London. That’s how I started DJing all of my early records.

    Although you’ve been producing and DJing for years now, Fading Love is your debut album. Why was this the right time to release an album of original music?
    I come from a world where it’s not a given that you do an album. It’s more of an EP type of world. When I started making music, writing an album seemed like the pinnacle of what you can do as an artist; so, it’s always been a target in many ways, but I wanted to make sure I was in the right place to write it.

    What was the writing and recording process like?
    Well, as a DJ you can be working most weekends. It’s a different process than a band, where you can take a year or six months off to write a record, and then tour it for a year or two afterward. I wanted to mimic that a little bit with my album, so I took a block of two months off to write and record, and then went back to gigging and tried some of the new stuff out. The whole process took about a year and a half to two years, just from deciding I was going to write it to testing it out to actually finishing it. 

    Which track on the album is most memorable to you?
    If I had to pick, I’d say that “Beginning At The End” is one of the most personal to me. It doesn’t have any lyrics, so people might struggle to know what it’s about, but it was written at the end of a very tumultuous period of my life. A lot of stuff had fallen apart, and so I went to the studio and wrote. When I listen to it, it’s like sitting in the rubble of what your life had been like in the year or two prior. I look back and think this is the one that best captures how I was feeling at the time.

    Were there any artists that helped inspire this album?
    I really tried to stop listening to other people’s music while I was working on this. I listen to so much music and consume music as a DJ, but I went through a period where I became very self-involved—in a good way, I think. I didn’t want to be subconsciously influenced, and I didn’t want to be listening to something, and then just by osmosis have it seep into my music. I didn’t listen to any of my contemporary’s music at the time, but it’s been really nice to listen to all of the great stuff out there now that my album is finally finished. 

    What are some things you always bring with you while you’re traveling for work?
    To be honest, I’m a really light traveler. I just hate walking around with a massive bag! You can be on the road as a DJ for weeks on end, and the thing is, it’s usually just you. I try to keep my packing as minimal as possible. We’re literally talking, like, socks, a toothbrush, pants, and a few shirts. Plus all the minimal things that I need to DJ.

    You also have your own record label, ManMakeMusic. How do you balance working on other people’s music, as well as making your own? 
    I run the label with friends, so we all chip in. I started doing music because I had worked an office job for a few years and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’m one of those people who is only really good at the things they are passionate about, and so it never really feels like work. Some of the traveling and stuff does, but picking out music for a label is just as enjoyable as DJing or producing. It doesn’t feel like work, even when I’m doing it seven days a week. 

    What first prompted you to start ManMakeMusic?
    About four years ago I started, and it’s just been something that’s a nice counterpoint to what I do. It’s not a platform for me to release my own music; it’s a platform for friends and people we are connected to in this small community of producers and DJs. It hasn’t needed to be a huge commercial endeavor. There have been times where we haven’t released anything, but there have also been times where we’ve been really busy. It kind of comes in and out of my life, which is nice.

    How do you find out about new artists?
    That’s an interesting question. I think that anyone can tell you that it’s really hard and very unlikely that you’ll pick out someone from online demos. I remember when you used to have to go down to the club in person to get your stuff heard by the DJ. That resonates a lot more with me than the internet. I try to read people’s emails and go through the music, but I always remember when someone comes up to me at a gig and puts a demo in my hand. It takes a lot of guts to do that.

    What’s next for you?
    Well, the album! Regardless of what happens with the album, I’ve come a long way as a producer—and without sounding too cliché, as a person and artist in general. I don’t want to stop. I feel like I’ve transitioned into being more of an album artist than an EP or one-off artist. There are a few little things I want to do—maybe a couple of club-focused 12”s—but after that, I want to go right back into writing a second album. 

    What do you hope people get from listening to Fading Love?
    I really want to engage loads of people with the album. That’s my goal. Not in a sell-out kind of way. I want my music to cross over, because that’s the way that I am moving as well. 

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