Brit singer-songwriter George Ezra has opened for Sam Smith and Hozier on their respective U.S. tours, and in March played Saturday Night Live. What was it like to appear on that hallowed show? "If I'm honest," says Ezra, "I wasn't overly aware of what it was. When the cast was rehearsing, I told our chaperone, 'These sketches are great! They should do them every week!' She was like, 'That's the premise of the show.' "
George Ezra photographed for Billboard on April 14, 2015 at Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, Calif.
He was raised by two teachers an hour...
He was raised by two teachers an hour outside of London, in the small town of Hertford -- "It's beautiful: rivers, nice pubs, safe as anything," he says -- but his worldview shifted when he heard Bob Dylan. At 14, he took a job in a cafe to feed his new vinyl habit, worked his way through the Bard's catalog and then dug deeper.
James Corden, host of The Late Late Show, which Ezra played on April 13, recalls hearing his voice on the radio for the first time. "You think you're listening to a much older person," he says, "but he's so young and handsome. I don't think anyone hears it and says, 'I don't care for this.' The difference is whether you like it or love it."