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Man Who Lives in the Rhythm of the Music: George Makridis

Who is George Makridis?

I am a music lover, a seeker of truth and new experiences… I am someone who wants to positively impact others! I could’ve created a stage name, but I decided from the start that I would make it as myself, or I simply would not make it. Anymore it seems everyone is doing their best to, in a way, “out-ridiculous” everyone else. I’d rather just be me. So who am I? An authentic Greek-American trying to make it as a musician.

The work we do takes up most of our lives. What impressed you in this selection process?

I was most impressed by the reach. I’m still a very small artist, and the fact that someone like me can be discovered really shows the effort that goes into finding new artists.

Do you consider yourself part of the music? Or do you see music as a part of yourself?

For me, it is a little bit of both. All of the music that is released under my name I actually make hand-in-hand with one of my best friends, Harrison Mbemba. He and I are always bouncing ideas off of each other, so I guess there’s a part of each of us in the music. His background is far more instrumental and electronic, mine is far more on the lyrical aspect and the story of each song. So we’re a pretty good balance to bring to life what you may or may not hear.

With which emotions did you start the music, with which emotions does it continue?

When I started learning how to produce music I was 24. I didn’t know much about music theory, songwriting… simply, I didn’t know just how much effort goes into making even one song! Since then, I’ve absolutely used love and sadness (heartbreak) the most. My most recent single, “I Got It”, will probably be my only single for a while that is just about having a good time, otherwise, most songs will probably be centered around love.

What would you be like if you didn't have music in your life?

Before I was a musician I played American Football, and I was very close to playing in the NFL. However, once the NFL was not going to happen I began working in construction, while also learning how to produce music at the same time. If I didn’t have music, I would probably still either be doing construction work or I would probably go to law school to be an attorney.

What do you pay attention to most when writing/covering songs? Which emotion takes over you the most?

When it comes to writing I most certainly am focusing most on the theme of the song.

Sometimes the instrumental comes first, sometimes the words, but one always leads the other. Most of the time either I, or Harrison, will come up with a simple beat idea. From there I’ll start writing, or humming, simple melodies and keep building and building until I have either a verse or a chorus. Lastly, I’ll go through and really make sure the words I’m actually singing make sense and tell a decent story. Nowadays, it seems that many pop songs are just saying words without telling much of a story, and that’s the one thing I want to make sure I’m always doing… Whether it’s happy, sad, important, or meaningless, I’ll always tell a story.

Your voice has a different timbre. At the same time, nice energy is felt in the songs. How did you discover yourself or did someone encourage you to sing?

I am very happy to hear my voice is unique but I actually have never loved the tone of my own voice (a feeling many people I’m sure can relate to). However, it was always my mother who pushed for me to do something with music. My dad was in a band when he was my age, and he would always play for our family in our living room throughout my childhood, which is what instilled my love for music. But I must admit, a lot of my sound has come from working with Harrison! He’s taught me more than I could ever put into words.

Who are the musicians and artists you inspire?

My absolute biggest inspiration as an artist right now is William Singe. I remember coming across his covers and thinking “wow, maybe I can do that too!”

A few months after coming across his music, among others, I put out my first cover, Other artists that are pretty big inspirations are Russ, Don Toliver, Rotimi, The Band Camino, Blxst and many others.

Your album covers and animated images are also interesting. Is this situation shaped by your ideas as an artist?

For the most part, Harrison comes up with most (if not all) of the album covers. He is

constantly fishing around what other artists are putting out, picking pieces that he thinks are the most interesting, and running with things from there. I’ve done a few of the visualizations for things like the Spotify canvas, and from that, I generally try and reiterate the vibe and/or theme of the song.

Songs and poems usually have a story. Do any of the songs you write have a story? Do you believe it has a soul?

It’s tough to say that a single can have a soul. I’m currently working on an EP and perhaps that will have one, but for the most part, yes, all of the songs I’ve written certainly have a story. So far I’ve tried harder and harder to become a better songwriter and in the R&B lane it’s tough to go outside the lines of love and heartbreak, but after this EP I hope to have some more complex stories to come.

Do you perform anywhere, are there channels in your country that support such things?

I recently had my first show this past August of 2021, and I have one more coming up this October as well. There are absolutely channels that support performing, but it definitely helps to have a bigger audience to help leverage yourself for better shows. For now, I’ll take what I can get, but hopefully, soon that can change and we’re getting better and better opportunities.

With which instrument did you start music?

My mother made my brother, sister, and I all learn the piano when we were children.

Nowadays I use a midi keyboard for almost everything, so those lessons have certainly paid off decades later!

Which instrument do you want to learn in the future? Are you interested in understanding the music of other cultures other than your own?

Being first-generation Greek, I’ve had a very strong influence from Greek music throughout my life. I try and return to Greece every year, which helps me stay connected to the culture, but I’ve always tried to dabble in the music of all cultures. I cannot say that I love them all, obviously, but I would be a fool to say that I cannot appreciate all shapes of music even if I’m not a big fan of it. The instrument I would love to learn the most is the Bouzouki, the guitar of Greece. My dad still plays it to this day, and I know the likelihood of learning it is not great, but I can still hope.

If music were an object, what would it be?

Wow, an impossible question to answer. I think if you ask this question to 100 people you would get 100 different answers. To me, I’d have to say music could be a guitar, it could be a microphone, it could be a crowd, it could be the ocean, it could be any and every sound. It’s not anyone thing... it’s an interpretation.

If you had to describe your feelings for music, what would those words be?

Music has changed my life!

If Music was a painting in your world, what colors would we see in this painting?

Some combination of red and orange, and I’d be in the center wearing a set of headphones.

What do you want to say as of last words?

Since I’ve started music, the only thing I’ve ever regretted is not starting sooner. I grew up thinking that having a career and caring about my place in society was most important, only to find out that it was not what made me happy. For many it does, but for me, music is the one thing I’ve done that I’ve truly thought “I can do this forever and never get sick of it”. I’m so happy that I’ve found it and I genuinely just hope that I can make a living doing it and that others can find a similar passion in their own lives.


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