Bay Area-based hip hop artist G-Eazy – a.k.a. Gerald Earl Gillum – is riding a wave of success following the late 2015 release of his second album, When It’s Dark Out. The record spawned a hit – “Me, Myself & I” (featuring Bebe Rexha) – and an extensive world tour schedule to promote it. His rare off days have landed him in the studio, working on features for other artists, as was the case with a recent visit to Vancouver’s Warehouse Studios. “When you get a song that catches on, your phone starts blowing up.”
G—Have you enjoyed making time to get into the studio during this tour?
G-Eazy—It’s nice to get out of the routine of tour. The studio’s where I can get lost and find peace. It’s just hard to find the time.
G—How have you dealt with the new level of success you have reached recently?
GE—Nothing can prepare you for how busy it gets. It’s life-changing; but it’s not all bad. I’m about to help my mom buy a house. She’s never had that in her life. That’s one of my biggest motivators – to help take care of her.
G—I read about her being at one of your shows on the road recently. Has she been with you on this tour?
GE—She tells me what cities she wants to go to and I get her flights.
G—You’ve talked before about shutting out the outside world when you’re in the studio. How do you accomplish that?
GE—It’s just airplane mode; it puts up a block to the whole outside world. That’s the way I focus in the studio and wrap my head around the music. I don’t let anything distract or pull me away from that.
G—Your new album’s a pretty personal one. How did you build the confidence to take that approach?
GE—I had to work up the courage to not only talk about some of this stuff, but to share it with the world. I couldn’t have done that on the last album. It’s about having the right people around you to push and encourage you.
G—Who’ve those people been?
GE—My A&R, Jean Nelson, who’s also part of my management team. He did A&R on some of the most classic albums in hip-hop. He’s got a million Biggie stories; T.I., Lil Wayne, Drake, Minaj, too. He’s worked in these same situations with artists that I look up to. He pushes me in the right way.
G—I want to ask you about the G-Eazy brand. How do you balance creating a story against the media, who are gonna write their own story?
GE—I keep my personal life out of the media as much as possible. I’m not talking about who I’m dating or what I’m doing in my free time. I just go in the studio and make my music. I let that speak for me.
G—You have a BA in Music Industry Studies from Loyola University. Was the music business education that you received influential?
GE—I picked up a few things at school but it was more or less the people that I met that helped me more. I met my manager there, and I built some of my team there too. They were a bunch of kids my age who had similar goals of making it in the music business.
G—Do you think the way that you embrace life facilitated finding like-minded people?
GE—I’m big on collaboration. I’m not an extremely social person. I’m pretty quiet most of the time. But I am big on working with other people who inspire me. I think that’s what’s dope about music – it brings together people with different skill sets, backgrounds and influences to create something together.
A few years ago, Danielle McTaggart was ready to throw in the towel on her music career. Now she and her husband, Drew, make up the powerhouse duo known as Dear Rouge and have two full-length albums and a Juno to their name. Known for their hook-driven tracks—and being “the nicest couple in Canadian music”—Dear Rouge just dropped their sophomore LP, Phases. The record recounts a season of emotional extremes for the couple, including winning the 2016 Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, and losing a loved one. We caught up with Danielle over the phone to talk about finding joy in music again, and the personal and public significance of Phases. G—On your website, you describe your style as “sinewy, hook-driven indie rock”. Where did that particular style evolve from? DM—I was always very into hook-y music with beautiful melodies. I grew up listening to The Carpenters and they have beautiful melodic parts, but I also always loved harder music and really rock-driven music. Bands like Metric or Yeah Yeah Yeahs or St. Vincent were hugely motivating for me, and I loved that these frontwomen were powerhouses. They’re very confident and trying to push the boundaries while
What do you get when you combine the start of a worldwide tour and the release of a highly-anticipated album on the same day? Ask Lord Huron’s founder and frontman, Ben Schneider, and he’ll say a pretty damn exciting journey ahead. The band’s third album, Vide Noir, released April 20, is already receiving accolades for its raw, lyrical storytelling from songs like “Wait by the River” and “When the Night is Over”. To engage fans at a deeper level, the band plans on creating immersive experiences that elevate the album’s narratives. Lord Huron’s tour includes a stop at Toronto’s Sony Centre on July 25, and at Osheaga in Montreal on August 4. Schneider spoke to us about his love of storytelling, Raymond Chandler influences, and what it was like working with Flaming Lips’ producer David Fridmann. G—You grew up in Michigan. Is that where your interest in music began? BS—There was always music on at our house, and I remember imagining the people the songs were about. The storytelling of songs is what’s always captured me most. As time went on, I was able to convince my parents to let me play bass in the orchestra, which led to me
Morgan Saint was born into a creative life. Upon growing up in Mattituck, NY with a family of musicians on her mother’s side and parents who worked in interior design, Saint graduated from Parsons School of Design in Manhattan, where she has lived for the past six years. With a major in illustration and a focus on photography and graphic design, Saint has executed a clear vision of her musical artistry. In 2017, at the age of 23, Saint released her debut EP, 17 Hero, on Epic Records. She is a storyteller at heart, combining all of her talents to reveal her narrative as truthfully as possible, one vignette at a time, as seen in all three of the EP’s videos, “Glass House”, “You”, and “Just Friends”. She co-produced each glossy, beautifully choreographed, and high-definition clip with Nathan Crooker, but the lyrics are all hers. They come from personal places yet are vague enough to be relatable. Her electronic pop is lo-fi, but you’ll most likely find yourself snapping your fingers to it. As Saint prepared for a sold-out show supporting Missio in Austin, Texas, Georgie connected with her to discuss coming into her own as a songwriter and