George Ezra has had a fantastic 2018, and the accolades keep on rolling in, as the singer has now been crowned Music Week's Artist Of The Year.
The 25-year-old's second LP Staying At Tamara's (Columbia) is currently No.2 in the charts and is the UK's best-selling artist album this year, moving 595,033 copies since its release in March, according to the Official Charts Company. He has also had two hit singles, the chart-topping Shotgun and No.2 smash, Paradise, both of which have exceeded one million sales.
Ezra, who graces the cover of our special end-of-year double issue, headlined Boardmasters and Standon Calling festivals in the summer before embarking on a sold-out UK tour, and sets out on his first arena headline run in March.
"It has been perfect," Ezra told Music Week. "What’s been really enjoyable is that I’m just more aware of what everything means now. We experienced success on the first album but everything was so new to me. This time around, I felt far more equipped to handle and understand what everything meant – and also know when to celebrate!”
This time around I felt more equipped to handle and understand what everything meant – and also know when to celebrate!
"It's been really fun," said his manager Ryan Lofthouse, of Closer Artists. "With what happened the first time around on the first album I think it would be fair to say we were both rabbits in the headlights because we never expected that. We put Budapest out and it went bang.
"Don't get me wrong, it's been really intense and a lot of hours and love have gone into it but, by the same token, it's not felt as manic as last time."
Columbia Records president Ferdy Unger-Hamilton said: “All I ever say to George and Ryan is to have a big drink at Christmas. You never appreciate it when you’re in the middle of it because it’s non stop, but it really has been the perfect year, the perfect campaign and the perfect second record.”
Jason Iley, chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland, said: “George has worked incredibly hard on this album so I’m delighted to see him achieve the success he deserves."
Ezra's agent Angus Baskerville, of 13 Artists, added: “He’s an exceptionally talented musician and very hard-working, committed and driven, and I look forward to seeing his career grow in other international markets, as it has done in the UK and Europe already.”
See today's issue for the full interview with Team Ezra. For full details of Music Week’s epic Review Of the Year edition, click here. To subscribe and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.