Hope Through Music & Friends: George O’Dell

Life and the music industry can take you to some extraordinary places, but more importantly are the extraordinary people you meet along the way. After our first interview, we received an email from George O’Dell, Senior Editor and Content Adviser for IndieCentralMusic, willing to talk to us and share his story. We are blown away by his openness and willingness to talk openly about his journey and path in the music industry and mental health. Please meet George:

Hi George! Thank you so much for letting us ask you some questions. First of all, how are you today?
I’m not bad thanks. Feeling good at the moment. Just been to the gym after a few peaceful weeks off. It was cramped and a bit shit but I definitely needed it.

You reached out to us after we published our first interview with Ella Gregg, manager of the band Blushes, would you mind telling us a little bit about your profession in the music industry and how you started?
So, I’m currently one of four senior editors at IndieCentralMusic. My main job is to control and create any and all content that runs through the site and the socials. This includes article and feature ideas, social media campaigns, managing the press releases, submissions and overall managerial responsibilities.
Humble beginnings to be honest. ICM was simply just a blog and a forum for us to practice our journalism skills whilst at college. Things got a bit out of hand, then Steve joined the Senior team and now we’re a force to be reckoned with. Easily one of the biggest Indie and Alternative music websites around.

Being a senior editor for IndieCentralMusic is there any advice you can give artists and bands who are trying to break into the music industry?
I’d say, be interesting. Look the part. Give a fuck at all times. Network. Use social media. Don’t expect because nobody owes you anything and be prepared to work harder the person/band next to you. Hard work pays off. However much you put in is what you’ll get out of it. My mantra since I was 16.

We assume you get a high number of emails every day. Do you feel any pressure or anxiety with coming along with the amount of emails?
I used to let it stress me out. I remember when I was edging on the verge of relapse back in 2017, I used to have about 8 different windows up on my computer at my full-time job full of social pages, our ICM slack page, two different emails, the website and then the other bits from my actual job. I’d sit there and flicker between the two like a mad professor. Nowadays, I delete a lot of crap. Even if I don’t like the name of something, it just goes straight in the bin. We’ve recently just moved our severs which meant I lost about 2000 built up emails. It was nice to have a clean slate for about 24 hours.

We are big music fans ourselves, but do you have a favourite artist or band?
The hardest question to ask anyone in music. Even a top 5 is hard. I’m currently wearing my Fleetwood Mac top right now so they get an honourable mention. It’s so diverse. It ranges from RHCP to Metallica and then some gangsta rap comes into mind, 60’s rock, 70’s rock, 80’s, soul, disco. Indie is pretty far down the list. Guitar music in general is a win for me. But yeah, super hard question!

As you probably know, our website’s mission is to connecting people by sharing stories to a song that helped someone and therefore encourage others to keep going. We believe that a song that helped someone might be able to help someone else too. Is there a specific song that is connected to something special in your life and would you mind sharing the story?

Soul to Squeeze – RHCP. This song is pretty much about my life. “I’ve got a bad disease, right from my brain is where I bleed”. It’s a song about struggling with mental health. I just personally grew to love the journey of the song. Plus is has one arguably one of the best breakdowns and solos of the 21st century. It sends pure shivers down my spine. The whaling of the guitar and how the bass and drums and guitars are all doing their own thing – like they’re arguing. It’s politely frantic in all of its oxymoronic glory. I never thought you could relate to music like that until I listened to that song properly.

There is an ongoing debate whether music has the ability to save a person’s life. Would you mind sharing your own opinion on that?
Music definitely saved my life. Without music, I wouldn’t have a purpose. I wouldn’t be in this crazy industry, meeting like-minded and passionate, young individuals that love what I love. Music gave me a job when I had nothing but a penny to my name at 18 years old, working for a promoter on £20 a week. Music gave me a greater understanding of existence. Lust for Life came on at the end of trainspotting 2 when I saw it in the cinema and it just rattled me. Music has created memories that I cherish, made me fall in love, it makes me anxious and angry, it gets me pumped, it brings me down, it motivates me. Sometimes it makes me want to dance like an idiot and other times it makes me want to strip down to my bare sack and crack and listen to Bohemian Rhapsody on full blast. It’s a powerful thing. Music has time and time again been the catalyst for change in the modern world. Michael Jackson is my favourite example of this. He practically changed tensions between races with ‘Black and White’.

Do you think other artistic expression have the same power as music and do you make art/music yourself?
I’m not a very artistic person. I play the ukulele. Not like that Jason what’s his face Marz bar. Like, a proper instrument. I’m really jealous of people that can make art, but music is just a different kettle of fish. Who was the last artist that started a fashion movement or sub-culture that eventually made its way into the modern-day zeitgeist?

Before coming to an end, is there anything you’d like to say to people who are struggling at the moment?
Do as your told, stay busy, eat well and often. Leave the house. Do it gradually if you have to. Find an outlet. Continue to learn – occupying the mind with information will make you smarter. Drink water – it’s a miracle liquid that will eventually taste nice. Go to gigs. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations and adapt, it’s the only way you’ll learn. Sleep 7 hours a day no more no less. See your friends – they’re the best people in your lives. Cherish every moment with them. Do housework, it’s so rewarding and a clear space will give you a clear head. Exercise your body and mind – both are as equally as important as the other.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Thank you for having me. This was weirdly theraputic…

Please check out IndieCentralMusic here: http://indiecentralmusic.com.

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