An early conversation with G-Eazy

Originally published on June 5, 2012 – 2:17 PM MST for Examiner.com

G-Eazy isn’t your typical Hip Hop artist, from the smooth throwback Motown backdrops in his loops, to his honest relevant lyricism; he is cutting classy original beats in the independent market. And by doing so, he has caught the eyes and ears of industry elite like Lil Wayne, Drake and A$AP Rocky, opening for each of them respectively. I caught up with G last week and he candidly revealed it all begins with the music, “I don’t know if most people know it or not but I produce like 95% of my own stuff. So it starts with music, sitting down in the studio at my keyboard and hammering out a chord progression.”

 G-Eazy has built his career from the ground up explaining that the whole DIY process was an intriguing challenge he couldn’t resist. “I was around 13 when it all kind of came together.” he relayed, “The music didn’t sound very good back then but I had the idea in my head that I wanted to do it and I wanted to take it seriously,” finishing, “Something about the idea that I could afford to go get a studio set up and put it in my room and record these songs, burn them to a cd and share them with friends at school…something about that whole idea really intrigued me at the time.”

When I asked him if he remembered what the first song he recorded and produced was he laughed and recalled, “I’ll be honest, I kind of started slow. When I first decided I wanted to make beats and write songs and stuff like that, it wasn’t like I sat down and the first thing I wrote was even halfway legit. It took a while to find my way through it.”

Those years of hard work have culminated now as G works on completing a debut album he is proud to call, “All original material, meaning I’m not  using any samples and I’m not remixing anything.” Further elaborating he said, “In the past my process would start with a sample of another song and I’d chop it up and use that as the basis of the song that I was making. So with this album, it’s literally starting from scratch on every song. It’s taking everything I’ve learned from sampling all these old 50’s and 60’s Pop records and taking from that influence but doing my own thing, originally but like, crafting all my own material this time.” Combining that with lyrics he says come from a more mature place he concludes that the combination excites him, “From a musical standpoint I’m excited because it’s me kind of graduating to the next level as a producer and being able to write my own material from scratch. But as a rapper and as a lyricist I think this project is definitely more mature. I mean, it’s a reflection of who I am at this age and at this  point in my life.”

Additionally the Bay Area MC has been booked as one of the headliners for Vans Warped Tour this summer which kicks off this month in Salt Lake City, Utah. For fans who are in attendance G says he will be treating them to a set that highlights, “I’ll be doing a lot of music off of my last two mixtapes, ‘The Endless Summer’ and ‘The Outsider’ as well as some material off of the new album because I’m pretty excited to start performing that.”

But what it all comes back to for G-Eazy is his fans and the DIY efforts that started his career to begin with, “The rewards are that, at the end of the day you can take a look at what you’ve done and where you’ve been and it feels like quite an achievement to say that we accomplished this all on our own without the help of some massive establishment like a major record label.” Concluding, “In my opinion creative control means a lot, I feel like I’m really  in touch with who my fans are and what they like about my music and I’m able to communicate directly with them. That connection, especially in today’s world is really important between the artist and the fans and it has to be authentic. It can’t feel contrived or manufactured. It has to feel real.”

Photo used with permission from Rogers & Cowen 2012

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