Born in an Essex home, to a family that was always surrounded by dance music, it’s not surprising that George W Harrison soon became part of a different type of family. One whose values stand on supplying some of the best parties in the game, with some of the tastiest house to go with it. Yep, it soon came that George would find himself in an Abode residency, shelling out bangers and beats to punters at Studio 338 Sunday parties. And the rest, they say, is history.
Now becoming a very established figure in the scene, we sat down with George to get the low-down on Abode’s recent rise to the top, and to catch up about his recent release that left Mixmag calling it the “naughtiest bassline of the year”. Check out the chinwag below.
WWD: Firstly George, let me say thanks for sitting down with us for a chat! I caught you about two months ago at WeAre festival in Terminal 1, and your set was banging mate. What did you think of that stage? The levels of production were pretty mad right…
GW: Thank you! That stage was incredible! I’d previously been sent the designs via email and knew it was going to be big, but I didn’t think it was going to be as tall and as long as that. I arrived at the We Are FSTVL site early, and I remember walking to the stage before it had been opened thinking there is no way this place will ever look full, as the sheer size was so big. It still had two giant cranes just sat in there, and compared to their surroundings they looked small. I came back a few hours later just before my set, and the place was packed from wall to wall (a real leg wobbler moment ). I was a few tracks in then the Pyro started to come to life, and CO2 cannons were going off all over with my name so big on the giant LED screens all around me. I won’t be forgetting that experience anytime soon!
WWD: Ah mate it was mental! Right, now going back a bit, we’ve been a big fan of yours since the early Abode days, and it’s wicked to see how far you’ve come since the Gatecrasher days in Sheffield! How have you been, and what have you been up to recently?
GW: Nottingham was a fun time, they were my uni days [laughs]. And whilst trying to blag gigs around the city, I managed to land a residency with Retox every Friday at Gatecrasher, in exchange for Red stripe lagers [laughs].
WWD: Sounds like you were living the life mate!
GW: [Laughs] It’s been a crazy journey, and one I still can’t get my head around. I’ve been getting booked for shows I honestly thought were way out of my reach. This past year has been the real turning point for me though. Whilst having a full calendar of shows, I finished my first EP. I’ve been making music for a long time, but I was never confident enough in my own abilities to ever consider a track finished. I knew it was time to man-up and actually get my tracks heard, and with the title “Now or Never’ for my first EP release, which did really well, it gave me a massive boost. And I’ve just finished my second which is due out this August.
WWD: Nice one man we’ll be sure to keep an ear out! Now as you just said you’re “Now or Never” EP came out a couple months back, with the debut track ‘When House Takes a Journey’ premiering over on Mixmag. We’re still loving that naughty, rolling bassline. It’s one of those tracks that always delivers mate! What was it that made you want to start producing? And – for any up and comers reading this – would you say production is necessary in today’s industry to become a “successful” DJ?
GW: This is a question that’s probably closest to my heart, as I’m still asking myself the same thing. For me, I’ve always been a DJ before a producer. I love making music, and I’m still learning so much each time, but I favor playing to a crowd, simply because I play to make people dance and vibe off happy people! I do believe production helps boost a DJ’s recognition among the industry, so I think both can compliment each other, but don’t force it.
WWD: Good advice man, Rowan (Secondcity) said pretty much the same thing.
GW: Exactly bro.
WWD: Onto what’s coming up in the future, come September time you’ve got something that everyone’s been looking forward to for a while now: Abode in the Park. We bet you’r excited for that one…
GW: Ah mate it’s crazy to think we’re actually about to host our own festival! I think it’s the one big step that can really test us. For me I think it’s a show that’s going to mean the most to me, as I’ve been a part of the team since day one, before all the sell-out shows.
WWD: If the other parties are anything to go by mate it’s going to be wicked.
GW: You know it mate.
WWD: Now then let’s talk Abode if you don’t mind. From humble beginnings at Studio 338, to now selling out shows at London’s biggest venues, there’s no denying that the imprint has gone from strength to strength in recent times, and it’s now becoming a worldwide respected brand in the dance music scene. What’s it been like to be part of such a major progression? And, from an insider’s perspective, what is it that’s made the Abode imprint/parties so successful?
GW: I honestly believe it’s the dedication and belief that nothing is unreachable. To think that we have sold out Printworks and Tobacco docks, venues that you can’t just decide to host if you fancy it. It’s a real hard industry, with a million reasons why we shouldn’t be hosting these venues, or even booking the acts we do. So now we really are aiming for more, and you’ll see us stretch way further than just London and Ibiza! HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS!
WWD: Big words bro you’re getting us buzzing! Here comes a toughie: Fuck, marry, kill – the warehouse, the festival or the nightclub? What would you go for and why?
GW: FUCK – Warehouse – Because it’s dirty!
Marry – Festival – Because I’m in love with the big stage.
Kill – The club – Because it would be amazing if it went back to secret venues like the old days, where you had to be in the know to be invited.
WWD: Final question today bro: If you could choose any DJ to do a dream B2B set with, who would it be?
GW: Ah this is hard. I fall in and out of love with DJ’s all the time, but one that I’ve always wanted to have a B2B spin with would be Eats Everything. I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of shows on the same lineup and grabbed chats with him, and we seem to just get on really well. He deejays for the same reasons I do and that’s just to make people dance! I feel there are way too many DJ’s who forget that that’s why we do this.
WWD: Solid stuff George, thanks for chatting to us today!
GW: Take care man!
Catch George playing at Sankeys Ibiza on the 27th of August for Abode. Tickets here.