In conversation with G-EAZY
On of our Spring & Summer is musician G-EAZY. We had a pleasure speaking with him in the bellow interview.
You released ‘Provide’ earlier this year which oozes with the nostalgia of house-parties. How did you find inspiration for this song during such socially bleak times?
I wanted to release something that felt optimistic and light… These have been challenging and heavy times for so many of us. I just felt like doing something on a more positive note. Even if just for a moment, if a song can transport you to another place and provide you with an escape, or a break from reality then that’s magic.
Expressing vulnerability through your music, while also maintaining a bad-boy image is a unique juxtaposition. How do these two elements of yourself coincide?
I don’t think it's all that uncommon to be honest, most of my musical heroes have always found ways to express multiple sides of their personalities – even if at times these different elements seem polarizing. Johnny Cash and Tupac are the first two that come to mind when it comes to balancing emotional vulnerability with superhero-like strength and confidence. I think most people have many dimensions and layers, we’re not just one thing and one thing only. And at the end of the day, the job of an artist is to express themselves and share what those layers are to them and what they feel like – in the hopes that somebody out there could relate and feel less alone as a result.
How do you strike the balance between the autobiographical and the universal through your music?
There's definitely a grey area, it can certainly be a challenge at times at least in my personal life. I’ll write a song that sounds like a very descriptive personal story, and somebody in my life will assume it's about a certain time or place or person. Oftentimes the stories all kind of get mashed together and the songs become an amalgam of past experiences, rather than one specific true story.
How do you find inner peace while being in the public eye?
You have to know yourself and have a strong backbone. It can be challenging, when people are saying all kinds of things about you publicly – you get to feeling misunderstood a lot. But at the end of the day, you have to know that you can’t make everyone happy, and you’ll never be completely understood by everyone. It’s what comes with the territory. So I try to block out as much of it as I can and stay true to myself.
A lot of your music covers themes of love and relationships, namely ‘A Little More’ which you released just last month, do you have any advice for people going through heartbreak right now?
I wish I did, haha. Every relationship, every break up, every individual’s pain and suffering is different. Love certainly has its highs and lows, but like any relationship or friendship you value, it takes a lot of work to preserve and maintain. The pandemic obviously has made some things harder than ever. But I guess if you can make it out of this, you can make it out of almost anything.
What/who are your biggest inspirations both artistically and in life in general?
I’m inspired by all different types of art. Visual art, film, fashion, design, everything. But obviously music has been my truest love. I listen to music from all different kinds of genres and time periods, everything from Nina Simone to Amy Winehouse, Tupac to Kendrick, Tom Waits to Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash to Hank Williams, Mac Dre to E-40, Bill Evans to Miles Davis. Music is such a beautiful art form, and feelings can be expressed in so many different ways through it. From confidence, to fear, from heartbreak to healing, from love to hate, and then sonically there’s so many ways to capture those emotions musically, in terms of sound selection or which instruments you choose to work with, whether the tempo is fast or slow, what kind of drums you choose, etc.
What does fashion and visual expression mean to you?
I think they all work together in a cohesive synchronicity. Ideally it should help tie it all together and allow you to fully express yourself through all these mediums at once. The look and feel of an artist, from the art work to the clothes they wear can enhance the listening experience, or give more context to the mood and perspective of where the music is coming from.
Many artists have found the strangeness of pandemic-life a good source of self-reflection, how has the current situation, if at all, affected the messages you want to put out to the world through your music?
It’s definitely given a lot of us a break to stop and reflect – whether we thought we needed it or not. I know there was a lot of confusion at first, questions about what to do with the time or how long it was going to last. Once I settled into the idea that it wasn’t going away any time soon, I got a little more comfortable with getting more experimental with the music I was making, and taking more time to educate myself on new things and read a bunch of the books I’d always wanted to read.
What does masculinity mean to you?
I don’t think you have to necessarily put it into a box. To some it’s to be a “Marlboro man”… To some it’s to be vulnerable and to have feelings. To some it’s to be able to provide for one’s family and be the “man of the house”. In my opinion, I think it’s important in today's world to be mindful and supportive of others, to be tolerant and loving towards all walks of life. To continue to seek information and remain in a constant state of curiosity and learning.
What are you most excited about for this year, career wise and other?
Getting to release my album and then hopefully get back on stage. I’m an artist who toured so heavily for so long, I felt like I lived on the road… It’s something that became so deeply connected to my identity and sense of self. So naturally it’s been hard not being able to do that. I’m just looking forward to being able to connect with people again in a concert setting.
As the theme of our Spring & Summer season is ELEMENTS and it is about sustainability, nature. Tell us about your perspective on sustainability and environment.
It scares the hell out of me knowing that the point of no return is essentially right around the corner. Point blank. It’s so much more serious than most people understand. The sustainability of our planet and environment as we know it is an issue we don’t discuss nearly enough. I think we all need to do a dramatically better job of empathizing with future generations who will be inheriting this planet from us – and also a better job of empathizing with the environment and all other life forms we share this planet with.
With work you have traveled a lot. What are some of the favourite places you have seen and been to so far and why?
I love traveling through Europe. There's so much history there and so much beautiful architecture, things we’re not used to seeing here in the States. But I also miss traveling through the U.S. and passing through small towns, finding mom & pop restaurants to eat at on our way to a show. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to travel all over the world doing what I love, and this year has been a constant reminder of how much I deeply miss it.
Talent: G-EAZY @g_eazy
wearing @ysl by @anthonyvaccarello
Photographer – Kat Irlin @kat_in_nyc
Stylist – Jordan Boothe @jordanboothestudio
Photo Assistant – Ros Hayes
Art Director – Amir Zia @azxo
Grooming – Kata Baron @katamakeup
Casting – Tasha Tongpreecha @tashatongpreecha
Special thanks to: Elio Abass @i_am_elio
Editors: Lisa Jarvis & Timotej Letonja @lisajarvis_stylist @timiletonja
Anushka Shah & Timotej Letonja