Shy, but bold. Eclectic, but tailored. Gifted, but still obstinate when it comes to his craft. These are a few of the characteristics that define DMV rapper and ‘future bounce’ artist GoldLink, leading him to the fork in the road between independent artist and soon-to-be household name. In just two years, GoldLink has embarked on a journey that took him from the shark tank of hip-hop upstarts to a coveted position on the 2015 XXL Freshman list, and finally to the attention of Rick Rubin, who executively produced his debut album, And After That, We Didn’t Talk.
It’s like Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ on crack… It’s the sound I’m bringing out of the DMV, one heavily influenced by go-go.
Despite his quick rise to fame, when it comes to his music, GoldLink remains true to the path he wants to walk. “I started making music a little over two years ago because I was bored with the music that was coming out,” he explains. “Soulection connected with me on that – we collectively sought out other options this industry has to offer. ‘Future bounce’ was a term created by [Soulection’s] Lakim. It’s like Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ on crack… It’s the sound I’m bringing out of the DMV, one heavily influenced by go-go.”
This sense of nostalgia mixed with modern-day elements of hip-hop music has created a distinct and potent sound in GoldLink’s music, most notably heard on recent singles “Dance On Me” or “Spectrum”.
With the support of the Soulection collective, GoldLink also worked actively in 2015 with hip-hop veteran and seasoned producer Rick Rubin, who shaped the careers of Frank Ocean, Johnny Cash and Kanye West, to name a few. “Rick’s taught me that what has gotten me here, will keep me here. He offers light suggestions here and there, but he’s like a spirit guide,” GoldLink says.
In an era of ‘microwave journalism’ – as click-bait headlines and gossip have come to be known – GoldLink strives to focus on personal connections: “I think, overall, if you speak with conviction and truly believe in it, that’s how you directly connect with anyone.” Holding on to artistic purity, GoldLink has found himself at the helm of critical praise, but reminds us that “you can either be told what to believe or listen and believe it for yourself.” So do accolades like ‘Album of the Year’ or even acclaimed awards such as the Grammys mean anything to him? “Maybe one day. But my biggest accolade is seeing my mom proud and supportive of me.”
GoldLink will be heading on an American tour later this spring.
In the ten years since Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg started First Aid Kit, they have been going non-stop. The indie-folk duo got their start when their cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” went viral, and have since released four albums, won five Swedish Grammis awards, and brought two of their idols to tears on live television. Following a brief hiatus, and four years after their last record, Stay Gold, First Aid Kit is back with Ruins, a raw account of losing love and finding yourself. In the middle of a North American tour, Georgie talked to Klara and Johanna about the new album and what brought them to Ruins. G—You’ve said in past interviews that Stay Gold was a more put-together, polished kind of album, and Ruins is a lot rawer. What caused that shift? JS—The production of Stay Gold is very lush and elegant, and I think that’s what we wanted at the time. But we started longing for this rawness, this almost lo-fi aspect that we had on our first records. [For Ruins]…our attitude was that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. If we sing a bum note or there’s a little crack
Charlotte Cardin is on track to having her biggest year yet. The electro jazz-pop singer has been nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year at next month’s Juno Awards. Along the way, she has performed at Osheaga—an experience she calls “surreal”, having attended for years growing up in Montréal—and Festival d’été de Québec where she opened for Sting and Peter Gabriel. More recently, she has been touring behind her EPs Big Boy (Cult Nation Records, 2016) and Main Girl (Sony Music, 2017). Through this past September and October, she supported Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker), and she’s been on tour with BØRNS since January. This spring, Cardin will headline her own dates. Prior to her full-time career in music, Cardin modelled in fashion which afforded her pocket money and freedom to work on her art. She also competed on the first season of La Voix, a francophone Canadian version of The Voice. But being on television, like modelling, was never her passion. “I never really felt that much pressure when I was on TV. For me, there’s something a lot more real about what I’m doing right now.” She feels more pressure performing her own
Garland Jeffreys’ album, 14 Steps to Harlem, grew out of a soulful period of retrospection late in the artist’s life and career. As a veteran songwriter, Jeffreys started writing provocative, ahead-of-its- time, genre-bending songs in the early 1970s, with lyrics focused on everything from relationships to racial diversity to political turmoil. Now in his seventies, the New York musician is looking back on his life with an album that takes on bold topics and includes a title track inspired by his turbulent relationship with his father. Jefferys spoke with Georgie about his latest release, his relationship with Lou Reed and his somewhat unconventional approach to songwriting. Georgie—14 Steps to Harlem is a great album. Garland Jeffreys—Thank you. I’m very proud of the record. I took some chances in recording it but had confidence that it could be something special. You don’t know a record is good or bad until it’s done – then you know. I worked on the album with my co-producer, James Maddock, who’s a great artist in his own right. G—The title track, “14 Steps to Harlem”, stood out to me. I read that it was written with your father in mind. Did the experience of writing about your dad