Growing up in small town Hamilton jamming guitar with his two brothers and raised by a mother in a band, for as long as he’s known, George Villa has been chasing the rush of live music.
After an early childhood spent penning songs and playing guitar in the footsteps of his mum, George’s DIY beginnings evolved into the digital territories of Soundcloud during high school, where he and a producer mate took his guitar-driven songwriting to home recording bedroom studio setups and Logic production software. After his first few Soundcloud releases started getting attention, it was the sign that George needed to take a chance and start pursuing music as more than a passion project, relocating to Auckland city two years ago to start working on his forthcoming debut EP with acclaimed Australian producer Dave Hammer (Lime Cordiale, Baker Boy) and Wellington collaborator Neil Macleod.
Shaped by artists including King Krule, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, George Villa’s sound reflects his upbringing influenced by both the greats of his parents’ generation and the new- wave contemporary styles of the internet era. With a fusion of elements between indie rock, soul, reggae, pop, and psychedelic, the music mirrors George’s personality – chill, mellow atmospheres with a dreamy underlying groove, raw delivery, and infectiously cheeky tone.
Set to be followed by his debut EP dropping later this year, George Villa’s introductory track, ‘Running Free’, is a tongue-in-cheek rejection anthem born out of jealousy after he found himself being replaced by his girlfriend’s new book stealing her attention. With its grooving bass lines, reggae-infused percussion, and lush melodies, George turns his frustration into a playful narrative reclaiming dismissal with his free-spirited charm and quick-witted writing talents. The hook’s earworm refrain, “she thinks that I’m a loser, but at least I’m running free,” captures the laidback essence of George Villa’s sun-soaked, soothing, and whimsical songwriting.
Following ‘Running Free’ is first official single ‘Addicted’, a dreamy and intimate collaboration with Wellington-based alt R&B artist Rhys Rich. Driving with striking percussion kicks and piano chords, the collab brings together two of Aotearoa’s most distinct voices, fusing potent soulful harmonies and spirited ad-libs to create an irresistible, all-consuming love song sure to be your next obsession.