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In Conversation:G-EAZY discusses life and new music

by Laura Stupple

Following a short hiatus, Oakland rapper G-Eazy is back with his seventh studio album which features the recently released track “Tulips & Roses”.

G-Eazy, or Gerald to his mates, has come a long way since putting music out on Myspace in the noughties. From working with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne and touring with Drake, the talent has ascended to worldwide notoriety over the past two decades.

Grounded and honest, G-Eazy opened up about life, loss and grief in our exclusive interview.

“Something in my spirit woke back up”

It hasn’t been the easiest few years for G-Eazy. In 2021, he lost his beloved mom who he has previously described as the “definition of super-human.” To deal with grief and stay true to what he needed, G took a break from the music scene to recalibrate and heal.

He told me; “As human beings, we need balance ultimately. And it’s also important to be able to identify when you need time to reset, time to breathe, time to heal, time to recalibrate. I really had to force myself to step back and just live a little bit and just take a look at my life and my career and decide what it is that I want to achieve, what I want to say, and who I want to be”.

During his hiatus, he spent some time in Paris, where he reignited his creative flow. “Paris is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s impossible to not feel inspired when you’re in that city”, he shared.

And it seemed that once he found that inspiration, there was no stopping him. His latest track Tulips & Roses was written in a state of poetic flow, where he touches on the importance of giving flowers and gratitude to people while they’re still alive because “nothing lasts forever”.

He shared, “Once I got to Paris, I blocked out the studio, and I rented a place to stay. And the first night I went into the studio, that [Tulips & Roses] was the first song I did. I think the best creativity oftentimes comes from a place of filterless honesty, and that track came from a place of vulnerability.”

An attitude of gratitude

One thing that comes across during our conversation is his gratitude for life.

“I’m very grateful for a lot of things I’ve been able to achieve. Getting to travel the world, getting to make friends and see new places and reach people with the music that I’ve made, it’s truly a blessing,” he shares.

G-Eazy grew up in his grandparents home, sharing a bedroom with his mother and younger brother. In a career that has spanned two decades and taken him from anonymity and struggle to fame and riches there’s a lot to be grateful for.

“I never take it for granted. I think about it [music] all the time. I’m very grateful that I found something that I love so deeply in life because I consider myself lucky to have ever fallen in love with a thing in the first place”.

Throughout his time in the industry, G-Eazy has worked with some iconic names like Tyga, Post Malone, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B and E-40 to name a few. “I’ve been blessed to have worked with idols of mine, people I admire and respect. I remember doing a song with Miguel and he just jumps in the booth and starts singing. And when you hear his voice come back through in the control room, it’s like, holy shit, that’s really Miguel. He really sounds like that in real life”.

A sensitive soul

Behind his cool, calm exterior, G reveals to me that he’s actually a pretty sensitive soul. “I’m a pretty emotional guy. A lot of creators are deep down.” When asked about his biggest career highlight he instantly replies: “Simply being able to buy my mom a house. That was my biggest dream. That was what I had hoped to pray for, to be able to do one day”.

His success as an artist has built a life he couldn’t have dreamed of as a kid. Talking about the financial turnaround he’s experienced, he shared that there are still times where it all feels surreal.

“I have this weird security and insecurity at the same time because I can get almost nonchalant sometimes when it comes to money or how I’m doing. But then in the back of my mind… I’m also deep down afraid that it can all disappear and be taken from me”.

The importance of pure, honest expression

G shares that his latest album is some of his most pure and honest work. “I’m really looking forward to sharing this album with the world, getting to put this music out there. I think it’s the best music I’ve made in my life and my whole heart is in it”, he says.

Of the tracks on the latest album, one of the most poignant is a letter to his mom. He shares, “that was a song that I knew I’d have to write…When you go through something that heavy and that impactful and that monumental and paramount in your life, I think as an artist, it’s important to express in your language what that experience was like and what you went through, because you’re not the only one”.

G uses his art to connect to others, sharing vital moments of honesty and clarity through his music. For him, bringing pure honesty to his work is a kind of responsibility to his listeners and society as a whole.

“Art can be such a powerful language of connection to other people. And it’s almost like you have a responsibility to the rest of the world to share. And that’s the power of art when it’s genuine, honest and emotional and truthful”.

Expressing every aspect of the emotional spectrum is important to G-Eazy, and his latest body of work is an ode to every season of life. “There’s sunlight and then there’s dark. There’s four seasons. There’s many different layers to the human experience”.

Photographer
Jana Schuessler
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