George Michael on Freedom


(tape rewinding) (funky music) – [George Michael] I’ve always had a very strange sense of my own future. And as a child, even though I had no idea that I could write or
sing, I was convinced that I was going to be a pop star. I had no real inclination
to shout about it, because I just felt it
was going to happen. I don’t think it was until
we made the album Make It Big that I actually accepted
that I was a singer, I was gonna be a singer that could actually get
some respect from people. (cheering) (“Everything She Wants” by Wham) ♫ Oh ♫ Oh yeah – [Joe Smith] When the decision
was made that you wanted to go on your own, what do want to be? – [George] We could’ve just
kind of kept on being Wham and me gradually making
George Michael records, but that would’ve been
a real sham, you know. Everyone is right now expecting me to move into the kind of artist that they’ve been comparing me to for the last couple
years, i.e. another Elton. But I do have the advantage of youth. I’m gonna make two types of music. One is the type that people
are expecting me to make, because it’s really what I’m best at. And well, I would imagine
whatever happens from now on, I’ll probably be remember the most for is my songs in terms of structured balance and stuff like that, with strong melodies. (“Careless Whisper” by George Michael) ♫ The way I danced with you ♫ Oh You know, I’ve done that. I’ve done Careless Whisper. But also, there’s a kind of sexuality that I haven’t really made the most of with the first part of my career. I suppose, obviously, as a
22 year old, 23 year old, obviously I’m more experienced sexually than I was as an 18 year
old, so maybe it’s time for that to start reflecting in the music. (funky dance music) – [Joe Smith] What was the
China experience like? – [George] It was pretty
horrendous, actually. The idea of playing to those people, being the first people to
play real Western pop music to those people, was a great privilege. It was just that the
place is so oppressive, you know, the actual atmosphere. We played two concerts, that’s all we did. One in Beijing, which is in, or Peking. And what happened, basically, was that we opened with a black dj. And this guy did just about
everything that a dj could do. He did break dancing, he spun the records, and scratching, and everything. People were jumping, and
then they’re out their seats. He ran around the auditorium
dancing and stuff to our music. The people were kissing him
and tryin’ to dance like him. It was absolutely brilliant. And there was about a 15
minute break before we came on. There was an announcement,
obviously in Chinese, so we didn’t understand it at
the time, made to the audience that there was to be no dancing
for the rest of the evening, they want people to remain in their seats. So we went out and played
to nothing, you know. We went out and played to
13,000 people sitting down. (“Everything She Wants” by Wham) ♫ Tell me why all I need is you, you, you There was one funny thing,
(cheering) actually, is that when you actually tried to get the audience to clap, they have no perception
of clapping in rhythm. So you’d clap,
(clapping) and they would just applaud you. (laughing) Everyone was smiling,
but basically we just, first, the first feeling was of failure, that there was no way
we could communicate. Then, there was, when
we actually found out what had gone on, I was just furious. I mean obviously I felt
responsibility at the time to represent my generation
from the West in a good light, and pop music in a good light. I felt that was what we were there to do. And after that, realizing that
they had no real intention of allowing people to
absorb what we were doing, I just felt really betrayed. (funky dance music) I suppose what I really want is to be able to do what I want creatively,
succeed publicly, and be able to progress without screwing
the rest of my life up. That’s the way I see it, really. In 10 years time, I think I could be a very, very big star, as
opposed to just a star. And although there is that
half of me that wants it, there is another half of
me that’s very frightened of it as well, because I don’t think it has a good effect on people’s lives. I don’t want to be dragged
into the kinda down sides of this business that
are so easy to fall into. I mean, I’m very excited about the future, but at the same time it worries me. (fun dance music) I’ve had songs swimming around in my head for about two years. I just keep the songs and
the arrangements in my head. And it’s very, very silly in
one sense, ’cause, I mean, I might go and bang my
head tomorrow or something. And I, where’s wood? There’s no wood to touch. (murmuring) (knocking) Touch wood! (laughing) I don’t, but, I mean, I might go and have a nasty fall
or somethin’ and lose, you know, an album’s worth of material. But I have this thing
that if it’s in my head and it’s still there,
it’s because it’s meant to be there, you know. I have kind, it’s like a superstition. (tape rewinding) Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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