James George Hargreaves (known as George) is currently scoring the Gary Colman movie Playerz. His theme for the movie Quezon’s Game was among songs considered for a 2020 Oscar.
George entered the music business in 1973, aged 16, as part of a group produced by veteran songwriter Johnny Worth.
In 1977 George and his songwriting partner Tony Ajai-Ajagbe signed to Motown’s Jobete Music, becoming Motown’s only UK-based writing team. The team were subsequently signed to Screen-Gems/EMI Music and Peer-Southern Music.
In 1983, George and Tony’s musical Never Too Late, starring Eamonn Walker (Chicago Fire, Oz), had a run at The Theatre Royal (Stratford East). The team also wrote the BBC TV signature tunes for Pebble Mill at One (1982) and The 6:55 Special.
Sadly, Tony, a vibrant member of London’s 1980s LGBT community, was an early victim of AIDS – he is greatly missed. However, before Tony’s passing he introduced George to Hi-NRG music on the dance floor of London’s Heaven nightclub. This led to George’s bestknown work, Sinitta’s So Macho, which reached number two on the UK chart twice in 1986. (If you are from Iceland you will be equally familiar with George’s Christmas hit Heima um jólin.)
During the 1980s George produced, wrote for and nurtured some of the UK’s most outstanding young Black talent including: Sinitta, Five Star, Loose Ends and Yaz. George signed hit songwriters Karen and Shelly Poole to his publishing company and co-wrote the first vocal recording, No Limit, for the Icelandic band Mezzoforte.
George was educated at Woolverstone Hall, London University, Oxford University and St Andrew’s University and holds a bachelor’s degree and a post graduate diploma in Theology and a master’s degree in Anthropology.
George is a seasoned political campaigner and leader and founder of the Black Lives Matter political party.
Our industry has changed and PRS should be leading future change, not just reacting to it.
I will support initiatives that offer members increased revenue and self-sufficiency. I shall do so by fighting for greater efficiency and leading by example with practical innovative action.
For example: because I believe it is time to accurately pay performing royalties to those members whose works are actually being played in public (and not relying on statistical sample frames based on intermittent data canvassing). I have developed, in consultation with PRS and other stakeholders, a cost-effective technology solution for collecting performance data from all PRS/PPL licensed premises – the MusicMeter ™.
The time has come for mandatory full reporting of public performances. The technology exists to do this NOW! Payment based on accurate public performance reporting is copyright protection writ large – it ensures that rights owners get paid. I shall fight for copyright protection wherever I see copyright abuse appear.
I remain passionate about increased member services and have developed, with PRS, a framework for the songwriter and composers credit union idea that I put forward in my 2018 PRS Election campaign. I am committed to seeing the credit union becoming a reality.
PRS must be a strong vocal opponent to ‘cancel culture’ and racism. I can think of no better way of showing a commitment to diversity and anti-racism than the erecting of a statue of the Black superstar composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
Better to erect statues in support of Black Lives Matter than to see statues torn down. To this end, I am in the midst of negotiating match-funding for the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor statue from the Black business community and will campaign within PRS for matching funds allotted from reserves or an appeal made to members.