“If ppl are gonna just pray for the 90’s sound to come back (which I respect), shit is gonna be the same forever…”
– Gavlyn (via Facebook)
26-year-old LA-based rapper Gavlyn has it factor that’s so prevalent it’s impossible to ignore. She’s been on my radar since she dropped From The Art four year ago, and she has yet to disappoint. Debuting around the same time that Kreayshawn and her White Girl Mob were rising to notoriety, Gav went left, and set herself apart as an artist by building her sound around a 90’s hip-hop aesthetic, which went over well – as you imagine.
Her confident, (sort of) deep, distinctive voice – and actual bars – have earned her a massive following, and millions of YouTube spins. She’s dropped four albums and has rocked six international tours, gracing stages with royalty in the game, like Wu-Tang Clan for example; all this before the age of 26. With her latest album, Make Up For Your Break Up available for purchase worldwide, her upcoming European tour with her homegirl Reverie this April, and her imprint – Peach House – in effect, she shows no signs of slowing down her momentum.
She was kind enough to take some time out to do a quick Q&A for AAHIPHOP – see below. Be sure to cop Make Up For Your Break Up today!
How did you get involved in hip-hop (originally)?
The way I got involved with hip-hop originally was – obviously – being a fan of it, and growing up listening to it. I was also around cyphers as a kid and just hopped in jokingly and feel in love with it
You truly do seem like an “old soul” – can you explain how you initially gravitated toward your sound?
I have a lot of siblings that put me onto old school hip hop, and parents that introduced me to old school music in general. Not to mention, I always used to steal their CDs as a kid.
Who were some of your influences as you were starting out?
My influences starting out were Jean Grae, Typical Cats, Little Brother, 9th Wonder, Guru, Dj Quick, Sugarfree, Snoop Dogg, and Helta Skelta.
There is so much growth from your first two albums to Modest Confidence. It seemed as though you/it had a different vibe (sonically). Was that something that was intentional, or was it more organic?
My growth was a little bit of both. It was intentional to show people the new direction that I was trying to go, but it was also organic trying to show people where my mind was at the time and what I was going through in my life.
Tell me about Make Up For Your Break Up – what was the concept behind the album? Was it the product of a break-up?
The meaning behind the album is whenever women go through things in life, such as a break-up, bad fight, or struggles in general, she tends to wear more makeup to cover up her emotions and how she feels.
What advantages do you see staying independent? Have you had any interest from majors thus far?
One of the biggest advantages of being independent is being able to be your own creative director. I have had interest from majors, but none that have sold me yet.
You’re so young, but you have such an impressive catalogue thus far…what’s next for Gavlyn? What are your career goals?
What’s next for me is to define my lane and to be a voice for the young people in my generation because they haven’t had the pleasures that 90’s kids like myself have had to learn from the OG’s of my time. I want to be able to teach kids what real music is, as opposed to all the watered down stuff that’s out right now that they are unfortunately learning from.
What projects do you have in the works for 2016?
I’m working on a project right now with DJ Hoppa called ‘Why Wait’, which is basically about not waiting to make things happen for yourself. 🙂 Other than that, I have a European tour in April 2016 with Reverie. Lastly, some tours in the States that will be coming up. So stay tuned for that!
Also, she was on GGN – no big deal.