Thanks to TikTok, Clay Walker and a regifted Jason Aldean song – Singer George Birge is on a roll

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George Birge is a talented singer/songwriter who is getting a lot of attention right now for his self-titled debut EP with the song “Mind Over You” and four others (including “Beer Beer, Truck Truck”).

It’s been a long time, seven years after the Austin, Texas native moved to Nashville in hopes of making it big as part of a duo called Waterloo Revival. But things don’t always go as planned, especially in Music City. And given the incredible breaks he’s had over the past year, Birge knows that better than anyone.

“In the weirdest universe, you couldn’t make this up,” he says.

When COVID hit, Birge already had a record deal as part of a duet with Waterloo Revival, but decided to make a switch.

“In 2020, like a lot of people did, I sat down and started to take stock of my life and where I was during the shutdown,” he says. “I felt a bit stuck directionally, musically and where things were going. And there were a lot of sleepless nights, because you work your whole life to get a record deal, and I had a record deal and I was in a band that was doing well, but I wasn’t not happy to know where things were going. So I decided to withdraw from my recording contract without a backup plan.

He started focusing more on writing songs for other artists. One of them is singer/songwriter Clay Walker.

“He’s a fellow Texan and I idolized him my whole life growing up,” Birge says. “So we started writing songs together. And in December 2020, he invited me to his home in Galveston to write for his next record.

There, Birge expressed concern to Walker that he might have to give up his dream of becoming an artist because he had no idea what direction he should take. He was at a crossroads.

“Clay sits me on the couch and says, ‘Hey man, I’m going to tell you exactly what to do,'” Birge explains. “So here I was expecting some life-changing advice from him. And instead he’s telling me that I have to put my songs on TikTok.

Laughing now, Birge, who had never been on TikTok before, says that wasn’t the advice he was expecting. He kind of ignored it, at first, but later that night, as he was getting ready for dinner in his room, he downloaded the TikTok app, created an account and, out of curiosity, clicked on the country music hashtag.

“And the first video I see is this girl doing this ‘beer beer, truck truck’ video, joking that country music is nothing but beer, beer, truck, a truck and girls in tight jeans.”

Feeling creative, he wrote a short answer song designed to show that even with the most mundane lyrics (beer, beer, truck), country music can be pretty cool. He went down the hall and asked Clay Walker’s social media manager to help post it, and they all went to dinner.

When they returned, he returned to TikTok.

“In those three hours, I went from six subscribers to 20,000. And there were literally thousands of comments telling me I had to finish the song,” he says. He goes on to add, laughing: “All of a sudden, I thought to myself: Clay, you are a genius! This is the best advice I have ever received in my life! »

Still, he thought the TikTok affair was just a moment in time, not expecting anything else. Then, a week later, when he saw he now had 100,000 subscribers, he knew he had to finish the song. But it would have to be something he could be proud of, musically and lyrically.

“I was like, man, you really got yourself in trouble because now you’re gonna have to put out a song called ‘Beer Beer, Truck Truck’ with your name on it,” he recalled.

He wrote the song and, with the help of his good friend, songwriter and producer “Jaren Boyer”, recorded it and posted it on TikTok. Within 24 hours, Birge had nearly 3 million views.

“And suddenly all the record companies in town start calling me. What are you doing? Do you have a deal? What do you want to do?”

He ended up signing with Sony’s RECORDS Nashville imprint, but when he spoke to label head Barry Weiss, Birge’s story took another interesting twist.

“Barry said, I’ve listened to everything, and I just want to tell you that I think your song ‘Mind On You’ is special. And I think it’s the one that’s going to make your career.

But “Mind On You,” which Birge co-wrote with Jaren Boyer, Michael Tyler and Colt Ford, had already been bought from Jason Aldean for his next album. Birge should ask again.

“Which is pretty terrifying,” he says. “If Jason Aldean singles your song, you’re in store for a very handsome paycheck and a lot of success.”

It was a big decision.

“I went back and talked to my wife, prayed about it and thought about it a lot. And I just felt too many stars had aligned to bring me here, so what’s one more roll of the dice? »

He called Aldean producer Michael Knox and asked if he could have the song to record himself.

“I called with my tail between my legs,” Birge says, “and yet I can’t say enough good things about this camp. They couldn’t have been nicer or more excited for me to to have this opportunity, and they wished me super well. And a few weeks ago I was able to release the song with my own name on it. Outside the gate, that’s the greatest thing I’ve ever had. ever done, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

There is another interesting aspect to Birge’s story. When he recorded “Beer Beer, Truck Truck,” he wanted to share success, whatever it was, with the woman on TikTok who inspired him. Thus, he credited her as a writer. It turns out that Erynn Chambers (who goes by rynnstar on TikTok) grew up listening to country and although she finds it nostalgic, she doesn’t really listen to it anymore. But she loved the song he had written.

“She deserved to be a writer on this. It was his video and his idea,” he says. “And she messaged me about a month ago saying she got her first royalty check. So, I was really excited to see some good things happening to her, too.

With TikTok’s push to advance his career, Birge is ready to let his music speak for itself.

“I released this new EP, we’re going to do some radio, with ‘Mind on You’ as the single. And we’re going to be touring this summer, opening for bigger bands like Matt Stell and Jimmie Allen. I’ll keep writing and hopefully release more music and see where it goes from there.

He’s grateful for everything that’s happened and will continue to rely on something he likes to call “irrational confidence” to keep him moving forward.

“If you look at the chances or odds of me getting those breaks, they’re close to zero,” he admits. “But you just have to blindly believe that everything is going to work out. I always believed and bet on myself, even when I really shouldn’t have.

He stops, laughs for a few seconds, then adds, “It’s worked so far – come back in six months.”

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