George Virden Watsky (born September 15, 1986) 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. 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.
1 Personal life and poetry,
2 Music career
2.1 2009 - 2010: Watsky and Guilty Pleasures,
2.2 2011: A New Kind Of Sexy and Watsky & Mody,
2.3 2012: Nothing Like The First Time and tour,
2.4 2013 - present: Steel Wool Media, Cardboard Castles and tour,
4 Acting career,
6 External links,
Personal life and poetry:
Watsky was born in San Francisco, California, to Clare (née Miller) and Paul Watsky. George has a twin brother, Simon, who is a helicopter pilot. He has described himself as "half Jewish" (on his father's side). Watsky attended San Francisco University High School.
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.
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.
Watsky attended Emerson College in Boston.
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."
2009 - 2010: Watsky and Guilty Pleasures:
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:
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 long time collaborator Kush Mody released a free digital album entitled Watsky & Mody.
2012: Nothing Like The First Time and tour:
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 - present: Steel Wool Media, Cardboard Castles and tour:
Steel Wool Media is a label founded by Watsky and Brad Simpson. 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. 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 an astounding Twitter campaign.
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."
George Watsky was featured in Epic Rap Battles of History, playing the roles of William Shakespeare and the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who.
Watsky graduated from Emerson College in 2010 and has achieved newfound fame with his viral YouTube video "Pale kid raps fast" (now called "Watsky raps fast"). He was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on January 24, 2011, performing a slightly modified version of that rap.
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 sophomore 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.
In 2012 Watsky started a production company with Brad Simpson called Steel Wool Media.
In November 2013 the Vans Warped Tour was briefly shut down after Watsky made a stage jump from the 35ft high rigging during the bands performance in London. During the stage jump the audience parted. Watsky and also two members of the audience were injured. Watsky apologized after the event via Facebook. 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.'