Have you ever experienced having writer’s block? Let me tell you, it sucks! And especially if writing is what puts bread on your table. Folksinger George Ezra from Hertford, England experienced something similar, just after he signed with a record label. They wanted songs, but he could not find the inspiration he needed. He lived in Hertford and took the train to and from the city center. Nothing much to write about. To change this, he packed his bags and went on a solo pilgrimage around Europe with train during the summer of 2013. When asked about the trip, he says:
“I went to Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Malmo, Vienna, Milan and Barcelona. It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything for a long period of time entirely by myself. And I loved it. It turns out that I quite like myself.”
After he went back home to England, he started writing songs that were inspired by his travels. These songs ended up on his debut album Wanted on Voyage which was out in the summer of 2014. The album contains 16 songs, with the most popular ones being Budapest, Barcelona, Blame It on Me and Listen to the Man. Not all of the songs are inspired from the trip – but the majority are songs based on the notes and poems he wrote when he traveled. This is very clear when you listen to the album. He sings about travelling by train, meeting new people and falling in love with new places. In an interview the folksinger said, that he hopes that people will have his songs as soundtrack for the memories they make:
“The only thing you can ever ask for is that… somehow my music can fit into somebody’s memory. If it can be the soundtrack to somebody’s happy days then that would be amazing.”
And with most of the songs being hopeful and almost naively positive i think that his wish has already come true. For a fact i myself have memories which are connected with some of his songs. And only good ones.
George Ezra found that traveling helped him being more creative and in interviews he has said, that especially writing is easy when travelling because you can simply write down what you see and who you meet. It might seem mundane when you do it, but after while, when you are back home, you can use the stories and characters in your songs. Without his journey through Europe, who knows where George Ezra would be today? Since then George Ezra has been singing his songs in many countries all over the worlds, so his travels continue, only now not by train and not alone. But hopefully he will find the inspiration he needs to make a second album that wille be just as good as Wanted on Voyage.