G4’s excitement is practically tangible. Despite an action packed six months the group’s enthusiasm about their future as much as their past is written all over their faces. After a spectacular rise to fame, G4, are currently in the studio working on their self-titled debut album.
Classically trained, the four-piece vocal group, wowed a captivated audience week after week on The X Factor with their highly original takes on seemingly untouchable pop classics. Performances of, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Everybody Hurts’, ‘Creep’ and ‘Nessun Dorma’, established them as true one offs and despite coming out of the competition in second place, the act were undoubtedly one of the artistic success stories of the series.
The group’s self-titled debut album, produced by the legendary Trevor Horn and Brian Rawling is being rush released for February 28th and looks set to be one of the most talked about releases of the year.
G4 are Jon Ansell, Matt Stiff, Michael Christie and Ben Thapa. The guys met at the Guildhall School of Music where they studied and G4 began life as a busking act - a sideline to make money and gain experience as a group. Although successful, G4 would have drifted apart, had it not been for Jon spotting an advert for the X Factor.
Says Jon, “We genuinely didn’t expect to make it right through to the end and although, X factor might not have seemed an obvious direction for us, it has given us an unbelievable platform and I hope opened people’s eyes about the possibilities of classical singing and opera. If it has, that would be incredible.”
Endearingly self- deprecating as well as insightful the group are very much aware of the stretches of unchartered waters ahead of them.
“The thing about this whole process is that we are all still learning about how we work”, confides Michael. “We were ourselves throughout the competition and are very comfortable with our sound, but translating that in the studio, finding songs and ways of working, is a genuinely exciting new challenge”.
Legendary producer, Trevor Horn, the man behind Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Seal has been vital in helping the boys translate their unmistakable sound into the studio and produces a number of tracks on the album. The hugely successful Brian Rawling, whose credits include Cher and Enrique Englesias produces the majority of the tracks on the album. Each bring, according to the group, something different and exciting to the record.
The sound of the album will build on what the group achieved on The X Factor and will include a number of favourites from the show. The group’s ability to reinterpret classic songs and effortlessly blend genres is truly what defines their appeal and uniqueness as a group.
The original decision to add modern songs to their classical repertoire came out of the group’s personal musical passions as well as their desire to continually challenge themselves. For them all songs are there to be sung and although their sound crosses musical boundaries, what characterises all their music is the extreme originality and artistry of the arrangements. As trained musicians, the group can read and write music and do all the arrangements on the record as well as their live performances.
G4 are perfectionists. Their training has established in them a useful level of artistic and personal self- discipline:
“We pick each other up when we are down. We know each other pretty well and can pre-empt our moods and that is really useful for keeping things at a high level”. Says Michael
“This whole thing has been non-stop and we have been working flat out on the album,” adds Ben and Matt. “We want to make it as good as we possibly can. We want to be proud of this album years from now and that means pulling out all the stops now”.
The finished album will be the realisation of a dream for G4 and will undoubtedly be the perfect showcase for their utterly distinctive sound.
Jon: “Before we went into The X Factor we were thinking about recording our stuff in a low key way, just for us really. To be here now in the studio with such incredible people is out of this world. Really wonderful.”