George Birge Talks TikTok, Timing &Taking Chances While Celebrating His Self-Titled Debut EP

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Videos by American Songwriter

You may know him from the viral TikTok track “Beer, Beer, Truck, Truck,” but George Birge’s self-titled debut EP proves he is a country force to be reckoned with. 

Released February 18 via RECORDS Nashville, George Birge is the checkered flag signaling the start of an impactful career of stardom for a songwriter who discovered value in championing his own work as an artist.

“Beer, Beer, Truck Truck” began as a response to a viral song from influencer and music educator Erynn Chambers, who joked that men in country music only sing about “Beer beer, truck, truck, girls in tight jeans.” Half-joking, but whole-heartedly defensive of the genre, his internet-breaking track “Beer, Beer, Truck, Truck” set the record straight that country music is to be taken seriously, and so is George Birge. 

The unforeseen exposure opened industry doors for Birge, who at the time had nearly settled into his position as a songwriter for other artists. His impressive credits include Colt Ford’s “My Town” and Clay Walker’s current single, “Catching Up With An Ol’ Memory.” But this fortuitous incident changed the trajectory of his career in Nashville. 

Finally, after 10 months of sitting on these songs, the former lead singer and guitarist of Waterloo Revival has formally introduced himself with the new EP and squints ahead at a bright future as a country artist.

Having penned four of the five tracks on the EP, Birge describes the collection as “personal.” But as a songwriter, he knows talent when he sees/hears it. The first time Birge heard the album opener,  “Reason To Go,” he was enamored by the storytelling, and knew he could bring the song to life. 

Written by Thomas Archer, Michael Tyler, Lalo Guzman, the classically-styled country tune, with hints of pop production, sets the tone for a set of songs steeped in the integrity of the genre’s sacred songwriting tradition.

“I fell in love with country music for songs that make you feel something; that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, or hit you in the chest,” he says. “And I think country music—and its storytelling—is one of the genres that really excels at doing that,” 

This sole outside cut, penned by his friends and frequent collaborators, fits this foundational creed upon which he built his first, fated EP as an artist. Birge adds, “​​I admire them as songwriters; I’m a fan of theirs. And so the opportunity to cut their song was pretty cool.”

“Mind On You” serves as a centerpiece of this introductory EP. Co-written with Jaron Boyer, Michael Tyler, and Colt Ford, the track was born in one of those co-writes every songwriter hopes to have. 

“There are days in the writers’ room where you write something and you’re like, ‘Well, that was probably just practice,’” Birge says. “And then there are days where you write something and you walk out and you’re like, ‘Man, we might have just did something today.’ And that was one of those days — it just felt special as soon as we finished it. But I didn’t have an avenue to release it at the time.”

Birge was between deals as an artist and was settling into the idea of “collecting mailbox money” as a songwriter for other artists. The writers shot the demo over to Jason Aldean’s producer, Michael Knox. Less than 24 hours later, he responded with a request to hold the song for Aldean’s next record. This was the most traction in Birge’s career thus far.

Fast forward six months, Birge became—quite literally—an overnight TikTok sensation; landing him a spot on the roster of the Sony imprint, RECORDS. Barry Weiss, the label head, listened carefully through Birge’s catalogs and deemed “Mind On You” as the hit that would break his artist career.

The other two—“Whiskey Side” and “Didn’t Think I’d Miss”—were songs he wrote and had set aside for years. 

When I was writing for other folks, these were the songs that I was kind of tucking away in my back pocket, and not really pitching,” he explains. “Maybe subconsciously I knew that they were for me; I just wasn’t ready to give them to anyone else.”

Of course, when his time to shine arose unexpectedly on TikTok, Birge knew exactly where to reach for the songs that would define his undeniably country sound as a distinguished artist. 

His methodology in creating this EP is that of a songwriter. When writing a song, Birge asks himself two questions: ‘How is this going to make people feel?’ and ‘What is this going to feel like when I play it live?’ 

Keeping these thoughts in mind, the breakthrough artist carefully crafted a collection that showcases his keen ability as a storyteller and his promise as a performer. 

“This EP is me planting my flag in the ground and saying, ‘Hey, this is who I am as an artist and as a person; it’s what I want to sound like and what I want to say,’” Birge says. “I do hope to grow as an artist and a writer for the entirety of my career, but I feel like this is an awesome jumping-off point to introduce people to who I am, so I’m continuing to write in that vein.”

Check out upcoming tour dates on the website and read more from our conversation with George Birge below. 

American Songwriter: We discussed that at one point, you felt like being a songwriter was your calling. What has this process of releasing music been like?

George Birge: It has been unbelievably gratifying — even when I didn’t really know what was next. To have all this culminate in an opportunity to put songs out myself, with a team behind me, has been unbelievable. 

Obviously, anytime an artist is putting out new music, it’s pretty anxiety-ridden, just because you’re showcasing a little piece of yourself for other people to judge. And you really never know how that’s going to be received. But the reaction to this EP has been, by far, the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced. From the write-ups to the people calling me, to the posts to people posting videos about hearing the songs and what they think, it has been the most exciting release that I’ve ever done. And so feeling all that love from people, and just kind of validating all the work that I put into this has been a feeling that is pretty hard to describe.

AS: “Reason To Go” is the only song you didn’t write on this EP. How did you come across this one and how do you feel it fit into this project?

GB: I was in the car with a good friend of mine, Lalo — who’s a writer, producer in town — and we were talking about the project. And he had written a song with two of my other very close friends, Michael Tyler and Thomas Archer. And he was just like, ‘Hey man, do you mind if I play you something really quick?’ 

When he played me the song, the hair was standing up in my arms, I just had visible goosebumps. And I was like, ‘Man, I absolutely love this song, what’s going on with it? And he just said, ‘It’s yours if you want it.’

So I immediately held it and sent it to my label. Everybody freaked out about it and felt the same way that I did. So I was very honored that they trusted me to bring that song to life. And you know, I am a songwriter, and I really pride myself on writing my own songs. But I also pride myself on creating projects that I’m proud of. And that was something that was a no-brainer. To me, it was just such a well-written song that I fell in love with it. And it made it easy for me to make it my own.

AS: When Jason Aldean put a hold on “Mind On You,” it became one of your biggest career moments as a songwriter. And then you asked for it back…What made you feel like this one should be recorded by you? 

GB: The stars had aligned in such a way for me; I’ve had so many ridiculously lucky breaks, and things worked out for me that shouldn’t have. I have gotten to this point by just having irrational confidence and betting on things when the odds were far and away against me. And so after a couple of sleepless nights, I talked myself into it. If you can’t bet on yourself, who can? We’ve gotten this far, what’s one more roll of the dice? 

And so far, it has been the biggest thing that I’ve released, and the reaction to it has been huge. And we’re getting big playlists and placements and radio play. It feels like this song is going to do what I hoped it would. Ask me in six months; but right now, I’m very glad I decided to bet on myself.

Listen to George Birge, HERE

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