George Watsky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George Watsky
George Watsky by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Watsky in June 2012.
Background information
Birth name George Virden Watsky[1]
Born September 15, 1986 (1986-09-15) (age 28)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Genres Alternative hip hop, slam poetry, spoken word, comedy hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, poet, producer, harmonicist
Years active 2009 – present
Labels Steel Wool Media
Associated acts Dumbfoundead, Wax, Mody, Zach Sherwin, Intuition, Kate Nash, Dylan Saunders, Rafael Casal, Danny McClain, Dahlak Brathwaite, Damon Elliot, Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist
Website georgewatsky.com

George Virden Watsky (born September 15, 1986)[2][3] is an American rapper and poet from San Francisco, California. Watsky performs slam poetry, and was featured on Season 6 of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO.[4] Watsky's talents began to receive national and international acclaim in 2006 when he was the Youth Speaks Grand Slam Poetry Champion, and was also named Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Champion.[5]

Early life[edit]

Watsky was born in San Francisco, California, to Clare (née Miller) and Paul Watsky.[6] George has a twin brother, Simon, who is a helicopter pilot. He has described himself as "half Jewish" (on his father's side).[6][7] Watsky attended San Francisco University High School and then attended Emerson College in Boston.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Poetry[edit]

In 2006, Watsky was described as the Bay Area's reigning teen champion as the winner of nearly a dozen slams, and was on the team that took fourth place in the national contest in 2005.[8]

Watsky's poetry incorporates political and social themes. In 2006, in the midst of a lively performance to a sold-out crowd, Watsky likened politicians' behavior to a common bar pick-up line, and won the night's top score.[9]

Reviewing a 2008 performance at Brandeis University, Sarah Bayer wrote, "Skinny, quirky George Watsky was next, with the night's most innovative piece. Watsky, a sophomore at Emerson College and a member of the grand prize-winning team from San Francisco at the National Youth Poetry Slam in 2006, adjusted the microphone to different parts of his body, imitated the sound of rewinding tape and recited binary code (a trope that caught the eye of headliner Saul Williams) in an altogether amusing performance."[10]

Music[edit]

2009 – 2010: Watsky and Guilty Pleasures[edit]

In 2009, Watsky produced a 15 track hip hop album titled Watsky. In 2010 he released the album Guilty Pleasures, which he made available as a free download on his website. Produced by Procrastination (San Francisco musician Tobias Butler), Guilty Pleasures contains mashups between popular songs and those from his first album.

2011: A New Kind Of Sexy and Watsky & Mody[edit]

In Summer, 2011 Watsky announced he would be releasing a new mixtape entitled A New Kind of Sexy on Monday, August 1, 2011, at 4:00 AM Pacific Time. In the weeks leading up to the release, a track would be released each Monday. One of the tracks on the album was called "4AM Monday". On August 3, 2011 Watsky released the music video for the title track "A New Kind of Sexy" ft. Intuition & Dumbfoundead.

On February 1, 2012 Watsky and longtime collaborator Kush Mody released a free digital album entitled Watsky & Mody.

2012: Nothing Like The First Time and tour[edit]

In April 2012, Watsky announced he would be releasing a new mixtape entitled Nothing Like The First Time. It was released for free on June 10, 2012. The mixtape coincided with his first official tour of the same name beginning in July, featuring Dumbfoundead. It included dates in Chicago, New York City, Boston, Northampton, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and London.

In August 2012, Watsky announced through his Facebook page that he was to release a fully mixed concert CD of his Los Angeles show. He announced the name of the album as 'Live! At The Troubadour' on a video through his YouTube channel.

In September 2012, he also announced a new tour titled Sloppy Seconds.

On October 1, Watsky went to the studio to record his second full-length studio album entitled Cardboard Castles, to be released on March 12, 2013.

2013: Steel Wool Media, Cardboard Castles and tour[edit]

In 2012 Watsky started a production company with Brad Simpson called Steel Wool Media.[11] Watsky released his first single from Cardboard Castles (Strong As An Oak) through Steel Wool Media.

In January 2013, Watsky announced he would be releasing a new album entitled Cardboard Castles on March 12, 2013. On the same date, he announced tour dates for the Cardboard Castles tour, which included dates in many major cities in the U.S. and Canada such as Austin, New Orleans, Gainesville, Orlando, D.C., Philadelphia, Northampton, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver and New York City. Tour dates for Europe (including the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands) were released shortly after.[12] The first single from the album, Strong As An Oak was released on January 22, 2013. The second single from the album, Moral of the Story was released on February 5, 2013. The third single, Hey, Asshole was released on February 19, 2013 and features English singer Kate Nash.

The album was released on March 12, 2013 through Welk Music Group, topping the iTunes Hip Hop Charts in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom due in part to a Twitter campaign.[13][14]

Watsky was profiled in The Boston Globe in 2009. The Arts section reviewed his one-man show "Where the Magic Happens" favorably, and called him a "poetry-slam star."[15]

Watsky has featured in Epic Rap Battles of History, playing the roles of William Shakespeare, the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Watsky graduated from Emerson College in 2010[16] and has achieved newfound fame with his viral YouTube video "Pale kid raps fast"; the video has since been renamed "Watsky raps fast" and been made unlisted.[17] He was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on January 24, 2011, performing a slightly modified version of that rap.[18]

Watsky made a web-series with YouTube channel LOUD titled Watsky's Making an Album. It consisted of 9 main episodes, and many behind the scenes and live videos from the Nothing Like The First Time tour. The web series was restarted on March 12, 2013, with the first episode of Season 2 (entitled Watsky's Releasing An Album), coinciding with the release of his second album, Cardboard Castles.

Watsky's music can be heard in the background of Philip DeFranco's news series, as well as DeFranco's SourceFed channel.[citation needed]

In November 2013 the Vans Warped Tour was briefly shut down after Watsky made a stage jump from the 35 ft high rigging during the band's performance in London.[19] During the stage jump the audience parted. Watsky and also two members of the audience were injured. Watsky apologized after the event via Facebook.[20] He wrote: 'I have no excuse for my actions, and the only way I can explain my mindset is that it was a huge overreach in the heat of the moment. No, I was not drunk or on drugs.'[21]

2014 - present: All You Can Do[edit]

On January 2, 2014, Watsky tweeted that he was beginning work on his third studio album, then tweeted a link to a picture of a microphone with the caption "The Booth #guardianangel" less than a minute later.[22][23] This is the first sign of new music from Watsky since March 2013, when he released his second album, Cardboard Castles.

On May 21, 2014, during one of his Watsky Wednesday vlogs, he announced that the title of his new album would be All You Can Do, as well as explaining that he wanted to keep his family ties in the album (announcing that his father would be on the cover and that he would like his mother to be on an alternate cover) and that the album would be released in August.[24] He had tweeted earlier in the month that the first single from All You Can Do would be released on June 10, 2014.[25]

The album was made available for preorder on June 10, 2014, on iTunes (with a download of the first single," Whoa Whoa Whoa"); a physical copy and limited edition double-vinyl were made available for preorder on his website.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
Mixtapes/EP's
  • 2010: Guilty Pleasures (with Procrastination)
  • 2011: A New Kind Of Sexy
  • 2012: Watsky & Mody EP (with Kush Mody)
  • 2012: Nothing Like The First Time
Live albums
  • 2012: Live! From The Troubadour
Singles
  • 2013: "Hey, Asshole"
  • 2013: "Give A Hater A Hug"
  • 2014: "Whoa Whoa Whoa"
  • 2014: "Ink Don't Bleed" (with Anderson Paak)

Acting career[edit]

In May 2013, Watsky appeared in season 4 of Arrested Development, the "semi-original series" released on Netflix.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Press. George Watsky. Retrieved on August 25, 2012.
  2. ^ Ian Atkinson (March 21, 2006) Watsky perfection at teen poetry slam. Oakland Tribune, The (CA)
  3. ^ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
  4. ^ Sher, Allyson (January 28, 2011). "WU-SLam gears up for 3rd annual Grand Slam". Student Life (St. Louis: Washington University Student Media, Inc.). Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ Smart, Gordon (January 20, 2011). "Is this the world's fastest rapper?". The Sun (London). Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b George Watsky: Jewish Side of the Family on YouTube (November 12, 2011). Retrieved on August 25, 2012.
  7. ^ He's not Michael Cera | SF Bay Guardian. Sfbg.com (December 31, 2008). Retrieved on August 25, 2012.
  8. ^ Johnson, Chip (April 21, 2006). "Local poets lift voices at nationals". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco). Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  9. ^ Atkinson, Ian (March 31, 2006). "Watsky perfection at teen poetry slam". Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California). Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  10. ^ Bayer, Sarah (January 22, 2008). "Spoken word show a grand slam: VOCAL 2008, a benefit concert featuring nationally renowned slam poets, raised money for a local community center. The sold-out show electrified the audience, despite its over four-hour run time.". The Justice. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Steel Wool Media". 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ Cardboard Castle Tour Dates | George Watsky's Official Website. Sfbg.com (December 31, 2008). Retrieved on August 25, 2012.
  13. ^ Twitter / gwatsky: #CardboardCastles is #1 in. Twitter.com. Retrieved on November 19, 2013.
  14. ^ Twitter / gwatsky: #1 on hip hop #10 overall on. Twitter.com. Retrieved on November 19, 2013.
  15. ^ Brown, Joel (December 4, 2009). "Plugging into poetry as a media platform". Boston Globe (Boston). Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ "George Watsky | Emerson College Student Showcase". Emerson College Student Showcase. April 2, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6XLswqiX0s
  18. ^ "George Watsky: The Ellen DeGeneres Show". The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Warner Brothers. January 24, 2011. 
  19. ^ Baggs, Michael (November 17, 2013). "Vans Warped Tour halted after Watsky + Wax stage accident". Gigwise. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  20. ^ Watsky, George (November 18, 2013). "This is news to some, but many of you may have heard about the incident today at Warped Tour London". Facebook. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  21. ^ "'I made a bonehead decision that got people hurt': Watch the moment a rapper breaks a woman's arm after jumping 35ft from light rigging during concert". Daily Mail (London). 
  22. ^ https://twitter.com/gwatsky/status/418935006979833856
  23. ^ http://instagram.com/p/isLw5NBgji/
  24. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McyXfqYnPlw
  25. ^ https://twitter.com/gwatsky/status/464218855745654784

External links[edit]