G-Eazy Talks Warped Tour, New Album, Hoodie Allen Collabo & More
Just last week, G-Eazy wrapped up what’s likely been his busiest couple of months in music, going nation-wide in the summer-stretching Vans Warped Tour. In late July, we got to catch up with the dude in Columbia, MD for a quick talk on live shows, origins, the new album, and more. G’s gotta be one of the smartest and coolest artists we’ve had the chance to chop it up with, and you get the sense that with a head like his on a pair of shoulders, he’s going nowhere but up.
Check out the conversation below, and see some relevant links & news after the Q&A.
Warped Tour – seems wild, how much fun have you been having this summer?
This tour’s been amazing – I mean this is what i’ve always dreamed of – to be able to go out on a big tour and be able to play in front of guaranteed at least 3-500 kids every day. It’s just an opportunity for exposure, an opportunity to make some money in music. I just graduated school so it’s good to have a gig like this – my bills are paid, we’re building everything up, so it’s great for sure.
In the past you’ve played to plenty of big crowds, opening for guys like Drake, ASAP Rocky – what’s been so beneficial about this touring experience?
I definitely learned a ton for watching Drake perform every night, or ASAP, or even Lil Wayne for that matter, they’re all great – but you come out here and realize that there’s a whole other million genres and subcultures to music. Everyone on this tour is dope at whatever they do, and everyone’s really good at putting on a show, so you get to not just study rap shows, but everybody’s thing. It’s just been a big learning experience really.
Do you think your set has gotten better through these dates?
Oh yeah definitely. Day in and day out, watching how everyone else may work a crowd, taking notes, learning from it, and then adding little tricks here and there to your set, it helps a lot.
G-Eazy – Plastic Dreams
Aside from the experiences here off stage, have you found anytime to get in any work towards new material while on the road?
I brought my studio with me to hopefully finish up this album I’ve been working on, and it’s tough man, these days are draining. If you’ve ever been to a music festival, imagine going to Coachella or Voodoo Fest, or Lollapalooza every day, all summer long. There’s a lot of shit to do, and at the end of the day you ust wanna crack a few beers and burn a little tree and hang out.
So you hail from Oakland, school in NOLA, do you consider yourself rooted more so in any one particular scene?
It’s weird, man, I’ve always felt like a social butterfly and somewhat of an outsider wherever I am. But really I owe it to The Bay, that’s where I really feel home, and it always will be. I also do owe a lot to New Orleans just the same – that’s really where I found my voice, found my style, and found myself in terms of me as an individual and me as an artist. It’s tough right now ‘cuz I really just live out of a suitcase, and my home is wherever I crash that night.
You mention style – how important do you think fashion is in music today – and what would you say defines your look?
I think fashion, style, and image has a lot to do with the success of any artist really. You’ve got to understand that consumers buy into an artist 90% of the time based on how that artist looks. If they look “cool”, you may be more likely to get into their music if they’re rocking a style you’d be into. For myself I just try to keep it cool, minimal, classic, nothing crazy or whatever, but just keeping it clean.
You’re one of the young dudes today who really came up through the blog scene – how’s that journey been, from the early e-mail blasts to where you’re at today?
I feel like i’m just getting started all the time. It’s interesting ‘cuz we’re seeing a generation that’s embracing a new business model – and part of that is blogs being the new radio. You don’t have to go to mass media, be it through MTV or national radio stations – you don’t have to go that route anymore. You can build up this grass roots following through tasteful blogs, and then it’s on you to take it from there. The blogs helped me to grab people’s attention and to have people listen, and now I feel I have a platform to release something from to get me to the next level.
On collaborations – I’d imagine you’d wanna work with a lot of people and vice versa – any hook-ups on the lyrical or production end you could tell us about?
I’ll be honest, I’m a bit of a weirdo – when I’m in the studio I’m a bit of hermit. I’ll get in the studio and turn the phone off, get off the internet – just working and really dialed in. And really throughout the course of the album that’s how it’ll be. The only features will be vocalists who’ll come in and sing hooks, I’ve got a lot of friends who are music majors studying vocal performance or other specialities, so it’ll be them who come in and sing hooks I’ve written.
In terms of rappers, my good friend Hoodie Allen is someone I’ve been talking to for a long time, we’ll definitely be doing some joints together. Skizzy Mars, always, he’s really dope. And my friend DJ Carnage, his beats are crazy, so definitely expect some more collabs there.
G-Eazy ft. Devon Baldwin – Mad
Tell us about your album in the works, what can we expect from it, and how are you feeling about it?
I’m really excited about this new album, mainly because it’s definitely the most clean, complete, and well-rounded album I’ve ever put together. It gives a snapshot of both where I’m at as a person at this point in my life, as well as the skills that I’ve been building ever since i started making music. I feel like I’m better at production now than I was a year ago, or five years ago, I’m better at rapping now than where I’ve been at in the past – so, it’s definitely the sharpest piece I’ve ever done.
What’s also special about it is that all the production is entirely original, I did it all from scratch, and in the past I relied on a lot of samples, specifically 60s pop songs and things like that. So this album is taking what I’ve learned from deconstructing those tracks, and just writing it all from scratch. It’s still doo-wop harmonies in there, but I’m having singers come over to record them all originally – so, it’s exciting for me because I’m flexing my muscles as a producer, a songwriter, and a musician – and it’s all a big step forward.
The grind doesn’t stop for G anytime soon, not too long after our convo, he released dates for an extensive September tour alongside none other than Hoodie Allen. Find dates and cities here, and get up at the links below.