Exclusive Talk with G-Eazy
Back in June G-Eazy dropped his newest album These Things Happen, which not only debuted him to the music industry as a serious artist, but also took the top of the charts settling in at Billboard’s Top 200 in third spot, and also clutched the top spot of Billboards R&B/Hip Hop Albums, bringing his name some serious attention. Although G has been rapping since he was 14, his career is now starting to take a turn for the best. In the middle of his These Things Happen tour, which is taking him all over North America and overseas to London, New Zealand and Australia, G took a moment to speak with me about his new tour, how important his team is, and how he’s been enjoying the success of being Almost Famous. His hard work ethic paired with his amazing talent and the ability to lead a team to success is inspiring and is a true story of rags to riches. Listen up kids and take notes…
MCG: So last time we spoke was in March, a few months before you dropped These Things Happen, and I know you’ve spoken before in interviews about how you felt this album represented your story and kinda debuted you into this industry as a serious artist. The album has been very successful on the charts and with your fan base, so how are you enjoying the success and dealing with the change in lifestyle?
G: Um, yeah, well actually today and yesterday were really the first two days that I’ve gotten to enjoy some of it. I’ve pretty much been going non-stop for the last year, from tour to tour to tour, and then to Europe and back again and going to a bunch of festivals, shows, and events, so I haven’t really gotten to just sit down and reflect and chill and take everything in. I’m home now for the rest of December, in my apartment, and I’m actually just getting to chill and it feels great to like slow down and relax for once.
MCG: People can get caught up in the idea of Hollywood and fame and whatnot. For Canada, Justin Bieber was kind of the crash and burn, so how do you stay grounded in the rise of your recent success?
G: Well for me it’s about the people I keep around me. My best friend who I started rapping with when I was like 14 years old, he runs all my merch and he’s kinda like my assistant. You know, I keep my management team around me who I’ve been with for like 7 years. It’s a tight circle of friends who have known each other for years, so being surrounded by them has helped me for sure.
MCG: You have a pretty serious fan base who are all very passionate and I don’t think I’ve heard of one person who didn’t enjoy a G-Eazy concert. What do you feel makes your concerts so unique?
G: Well I put a lot of thought into it, it’s a lot of work. You know, from the production to the set list, to the visual, touring is the closest connection you have with the fans, because they’re right there in front of you and they can feed your energy level, and if you really believe it and you really perform your heart out, I think the fans feel that. But if it’s just another day in the office and you’re just going through the motions then they can feel that as well. For me being on stage is one of the most fun things to do in my entire life. And for me I’m just trying to go out there and have a good time and leave everything on the stage and be honest so the fans can connect with that energy.
MCG: Your music seems to have matured in many ways over the years, and you’ve worked with many artists over time and done collaborations, but at the end of the day you’ve always had a team with you. How important is your team to the success of G-Eazy today?
G: Man the team is extremely important. I don’t think you can get anywhere in this game without having a great team around you. From the management side it’s kinda like a consultant, and you know they kinda help guide you to the music side of things. Like Christoph Andersson, who I produce all the music with, you know, it’s like having a second set of ears, and another set of hands in production is like night and day. He brings a lot to the table, and then my friend who is like our in house designer who helps with the website and helps design flyers and everything so that anything visual is on point. So it’s just so important to have many players around you and I think when you all come together you push each other to be better so that as a team you can all function better than on your own.
MCG: You seem to have your hands in several aspects of the industry. For example you write lyrics, produce, perform, so everything you do seems to have a calculated reasoning behind it whether it’s your album artwork, lyrics to a song, or posting on social media it comes down to building the G-Eazy brand. Do you feel that being involved in everything you put your name on has given you the opportunity to stay true to who you are?
G: Well, that’s the thing about working with great people, you know, you don’t have to micromanage every little detail because you trust them – you know they’re good at what they do individually. But as a leader you kinda just quality control every little aspect and just give direction where it needs to be.
MCG: When I spoke to you back in March I really got the sense that you’re a very genuine and authentic person. You spoke a lot about being true to who you are and everything, but you also seem to have a bit of an alter ego when you’re on stage.
G: (laughs) That’s the difference between Gerald and G-Eazy. But I’m a Gemini so I think some of this is real. But I do have sorta split personalities. Gerald’s the really good guy, he’s down to earth, really helpful, he’s got a good heart. Um, G-Eazy is the villain. He’s very sinister, and he’s got super powers and he doesn’t give any fucks. He’s a bad dude.
MCG: You travelled overseas for the These Things Happen tour. Was that your first time travelling that far as a headliner, and how was the experience?
G: Yeah it was my first time travelling that far and it’s the craziest thing, you know, that the music could bring us over seas. And growing up I always thought of New York was a million miles away and if the music ever brought me there that would be a dream come true. I dunno, it’s crazy to think how far it can all travel. We’re going to Australia and New Zealand in February, and you know that’s just mind blowing.
MCG: Does it feel surreal for you?
G: Oh it feels totally surreal. And I’m so grateful that the word has spread that far and that people that far away from where the music was made actually care about it. It means a lot.
MCG: When you travel on tour what is one thing you always bring with you?
G: umm, I don’t bring much. I bring a suitcase of a couple black t shirts, a couple pair of my favorite black jeans and my leather jacket. And a way to make coffee. And my studio – my microphone and my computer.
MCG: So you’re always doing that on the road as well?
G: Yeah, I set up my studio in the back of my tour bus and during the day while there setting up the stage like before soundcheck I’ll be in the back of the bus working on music.
MCG: You recently dropped two songs, one of which was called “Achievement” and referenced the famous Tom Waits interview (from 1979) at the end of the song.
Does he inspire you at all?
G: Yeah, yeah, my dad played a lot of Tom Wait when I was growing up.
MCG: Who else inspires you? Last time we spoke, you mentioned Kanye and Jay Z, so do you have any other people who inspire you and your music.
G: Yeah absolutely. Anything from Johnny Cash to John Lenon to Quincy Jones, Tupac.
MCG: Yeah, I saw you recently met Quincy Jones…
G: Yeah, that was definitely a surreal experience. I was nervous as fuck.
MCG: So you still get nervous about meeting people like that?
G: Hell yeah. I mean I’m still a fan. And who am I in front of Quincy Jones? (laughs)
MCG: Lets talk a bit about your style. You’ve been known to wear black on black, very sleek and timeless. But recently you showed up to a concert in all white…is your style changing at all or are you just trying to mix it up?
G: Nahh, the photos can be misleading. I start every show in black, and then there’s an intermission in the middle where I leave the stage and the DJ plays for like five minutes and I change clothes so I’m white on white for the second half of the show. But for whatever reason people take more iPhone pictures in the white on white.
MCG: Do you have any favorite designers?
G: Yeah, I’ve been wearing a lot of Saint Laurent lately.
MCG: Where’s the best place to get a leather jacket?
G: Well I haven’t taken the Saint Laurent Jacket off. It’s kinda like the Holy Grail of leather jackets from what I’m concerned.
MCG: What can we expect from you next?
G: Well, I’ll be starting the second leg of the tour, so you know, just getting to finish that out and performing all my new stuff. I’m bringing Kehlani who’s a really dope singer from California. And then just working on the next album, you know, I’m just so excited to have the platform now, so you know, I wanna make sure the next album is a big step forward from the last one. So I’m just gonna put myself in exhile and just try to create my masterpiece, muahaha.
Check out the dates of the second half of the These Things Happentour here and see when G-Eazy is in your town!
Have you heard the new album? If not check it out here!
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Here at MCG we’re huge fans of G and are looking forward to seeing him in Toronto in January. Huge thanks to G and his management team for the interview, we’re very excited to see what comes next for him!