G23, AKA George Leighton, is the official DJ for singer Conor Maynard. Beyond that, George has made a name for himself as one of the busiest Djs in Brighton. Djing at least three nights a week, George can often found in Coalition, or the Haunt, or on tour with Conor – he is a busy guy. And having been all over the world through his music, George has some interesting stories to tell.
And despite the late nights and busy schedule, we managed to catch up with to find out more about what it’s like DJing in Brighton, touring and more…
Hey George, how have you been? I’m all good, how is everything with you?
I’m not too bad… so just to start, how long have you been DJing for? 6 years
And how did you being Conor Maynard’s DJ come about? We used to make really dodgy remixes about 8 years ago, and then he signed his first major deal around the same time I started DJ’ing. It was on his first tour he asked if I would want to dj before him at his show, and then a few months later his management got in touch with me and asked me to join his second UK tour and dj again and the same happened for the third tour. Then, completely out of the blue I got a call saying Conor has a show in Dubai next week and we want to have a DJ instead of the band -since then we’ve been performing on stage together, and it’s been such a laugh to do something like this with one of your best friends.
And what did you do before you were a DJ? I worked in Moss Bros selling suits for 4 years, and then moved on to working in H Samuel just as my DJing was taking off which is what forced me to leave.
Was it difficult to quit it all and put everything into becoming a DJ? I was always very scared to quit my part time job and focus on DJing as I never actually thought it could be a full time job, but I was determined to prove myself wrong.
How do you cope with the busy schedule of a Brighton DJ? I never get that feeling of being busy or working too much because I love what I do. Brighton comes alive at night and it’s such an exciting place to be, so to be able to DJ in most of the clubs that I used to spend all my time in is amazing.
What’s Brighton nightlife like compared to others that you’ve played in? I’ll be honest, DJ’ing in Brighton is very up and down. Sometimes the crowd can be so up for it but then some times no matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t work. I always get so frustrated with myself when that happens and always feels like I’m doing something wrong.
So, what’s it actually like to go on tour? Going on tour is easily the most enjoyable part of my job, I do miss being away from friends and family but whilst your on tour you always create a new family!
Do you still get starstruck? YES! I am easily the biggest fan boy so whenever we travel to festivals or other shows, I’m always the one walking round getting excited.
Whose the biggest star you’ve became starstruck at seeing then? Tough one. The first time I met Jason Derulo was on tour supporting him with Conor. We got to one of the venues, and I like to walk to the stage and have a look…so I decided to do that and I got to the front of the stage then turned around and saw him practising with all his dancers just staring at me. I think I then made some sort of noise and walked off with my head down…
Do you think you’ll ever do something else? No, I’ll probably be the 60 year old wedding DJ!
What do you do in your spare time? I’ve recently started a marketing company with a few close friends and most of my spare time is put into that at the moment.
What is your favourite night in Brighton? Bastard Pop at the Haunt on a Tuesday. That is easily the most fun I’ve ever had DJing, I get to play the most ridiculous stuff and everyone just has such a great time.
And finally, what is the one song you know you can play to get the club going? At the moment it has to be this classic anthem…. Gala – Freed From Desire…Only because of the football chants that have been going viral at the moment!
See George at Coalition every Monday, The Haunt on a Tuesday or Pryzm on a Friday and follow him on Twitter.