This was one first songs written for Staying At Tamara's. George Ezra told The Sun he penned the tune after spending time up Montjuïc hill in Barcelona. He explained:
"Halfway up, there is a hotel with a nice garden. A lot of days I'd walk halfway up and just sit in the beautiful garden. I looked around and everyone was just doing their own thing, trying to figure out their lives."
The Spanish city had previously been the source of inspiration for "Barcelona," one of Wanted on Voyage's tracks, and Ezra chose to take a break in the seaside location after struggling to unwind following touring his debut album.
"I kind of felt like, 'Well, what I need to do is take myself away and see if I can make any more sense of (what I'm feeling),'" Ezra said. "And I ended up going to Barcelona for a month, and I just stayed in one place instead of traveling around. It was lovely, and I think that's when I realized that it was like, an anxious feeling that I had."
Ezra stayed in a Barcelona apartment owned by a woman named Tamara, from which the album derives its name.
Speaking to Phil Taggart on BBC Radio 1 just before the March 23, 2018 release of Staying at Tamara's, Ezra said of this song's balmy sound:
"I've never had this before, but we've had conversations of 'Do we need to consider what the weather's doing when we release these songs?'
Some of the songs on this record lend themselves more to a nice open fire in a pub in England, and 'Shotgun' is definitely not that song. I'm just so happy that we're releasing into leading into summer. Summer means festivals and festivals mean singing along. I'm very excited."
The song climbed to #1 in its 14th week on the UK singles chart. Ezra previously hit the Top 3 on two occasions; his breakthrough 2013 single "Budapest
" peaked at #3, while "Paradise
" reached #2.
About a minute into the song, just as Ezra is about to sing, he makes a noise which many people decided was a burp. He insisted to The Daily Star it's not, explaining: "I got this email saying: 'Look there's this meme going around saying that you burped.' But it's just me saying the word 'well.'"
The song returned to #1 on the UK singles chart, six weeks after dropping from the summit. Ezra said that he attributes the song topping the tally for the second time "as everyone was checking out to see if I burp."
George Ezra was forced to pay royalties from the tune after Irish singer Derek Ryan accused him of copying his 2014 country song "Flowers In Your Hair
." Though Ezra insisted he had never heard Ryan's track before penning "Shotgun," his lawyers agreed to pay the Irish singer seven-and-a-half percent of the income from the track in a secret deal.