Several songs on George Ezra's debut album relate to a trip he made to Europe where he went backpacking for a couple of months. However, despite titling this tune after the Hungarian capital, he never made it to the city.
Ezra explained to The Sun: "What happened with Budapest is that I stopped off in Sweden, when the Eurovision Song Contest final was on, by chance. I'd been put in touch with these girls who lived in Malmo, so I was like, 'Yeah, all right.' And then the Eurovision final was on in the park and we got drunk and I missed my train to Budapest."
When George Ezra played a gig at Budapest as part of his Ezra Express tour, he should have been celebrating the Hungarian city's inspiration for his breakout single. Instead it made him realize that he'd missed a trick. "I was a bit underwhelmed," he told Q magazine. "I thought, 'If only I based this song in a Caribbean town, we could have traveled there instead.'"
Ezra explained the song's meaning to American Songwriter magazine. "On that trip, the city of Budapest was the only place I planned to visit that I didn't make it to," he said. "When you look at the song lyrically, it's just a list of things I have that I'd give up for somebody."
Wanted On Voyage rose to #1 on the UK album chart fourteen weeks after its release.
The song topped the singles chart in several countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic and New Zealand.
George Ezra told the Daily Telegraph: "It was my first attempt to write a love song, and it uses the first three guitar chords I ever learned. There's a lot to be said for that simplicity."
The Wanted on Voyage album title is a reference to the stamp often put on luggage back in the days of steamboat travel to indicate that the passenger wanted to keep the luggage close by. Ezra was introduced to the phrase via Michael Bond's Paddington Bear stories; the phrase was stamped on Paddington's suitcase.
When Ezra performed this song and "Blame It on Me
" on Saturday Night Live
in March 2015, he wasn't exactly familiar with the show. The English singer admitted to Billboard
magazine: "When the cast was rehearsing, I told our chaperone, 'These sketches are great! They should do them every week!' She was like, 'That's the premise of the show.'"