Artist Feature: Gabriel Gassi
Gabriel kick-started his passion for urban/R&B and pop productions with a lego-like building music program at the age of 10, alongside playing drums to quench his other thirst as a youngster in rock and punk bands. A ‘chameleon’ is an apt description for this multi-skilled music maker, citing influences as diverse as Lil Durk, Justin Bieber and Tory Lanez. Gabriel spent years studying, shape shifting and translating the sounds from his vivid imagination, across a myriad of genres, to live instruments and remixes for outside successful Swedish performers, bringing out their inner artist and winning respected acclaim for his work.
Gabriel’s new single Rosebud explores a seductive mix of minimalism, feel-good frequencies, hooky, monotone vocals and wistful lyrics. Here’s Gabriel’s thoughts on Rosebud:
“I wrote this song during a time when I didn’t have a lot of money. I escaped into the world of video games, finding cheat codes to at least make my virtual life more extra.”
With his armour of strong songs, production and live stage skill set, Gabriel Gassi is set to make waves on a whole new level in the future. We got a chance to talk to Gabriel before he’s out making those waves, about his use of Reason and approach to music-making.
Congratulations on your new single release! Lots of Reason users have had the chance to dissect it already since it’s included as a demo song in Reason Lite. Any big differences comparing the Reason demo song to the released single version?
Nothing major, the essential parts from the song are still there! A few adjustments in terms of, like, changing some drum sounds in the new version.
How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?
To get started I click File > New in Reason and everything that happens after that is beyond my control! Just kidding – but seriously, getting started with a new song and what sparks my creativity vary a lot, for better or worse. It often depends on what state I’m in; if I’m happy or sad, if I have homework or if my cat wants to cuddle or not. When I’m happy, the source for inspiration can be literally anything from a movie soundtrack to a dog on the street happening to bark in a specific note that perfectly fits the chords I’m playing on my keyboard. When I’m low I tend to focus on, and thus get my inspiration from, self-lived events such as breakups or being broke. I wrote ’Rosebud’ during a time when I had literally no money.
What’s the best music-making tip you ever got?
Work minimalistic, clean up unnessesary sounds and give extra love to the elements that really play important parts in your song!
How did you start out making music? How did it all begin?
It all began with an easter egg hunt. As every year in my and my little brother’s childhood, we searched high and low for candy-stuffed easter eggs, hid by our parents.
This year when I was ten, instead of candy in my easter egg I got this music program called Hip Hop eJay, where you built your own songs out of loops. It was a little bit like building with LEGO bricks. Few years later I got Reason, in which I could advance my beat making to a more unique level. To this day I still make my music in Reason. And I still use loops a lot.
What are your tips for new producers wanting to start out making music?
If you have never produced before and you want to start out making music, don’t be afraid to dive right into your music-making program on your own terms, rather than learning from tutorials made by others. I’m not saying tutorials aren’t the way to learn how to produce – they can be great for learning tricks that otherwise maybe wouldn’t have come to our attention – I’m just saying that if you are open to in your own way, in your own tempo and with your own preferences explore this music program you’re about to work with, I think the chances for you to really develop a unique producer ID will increase.
Favorite thing about Reason?
That it always moves forward without changing its past. When I started out with Reason it had no proper audio handling and was based on midi and sampling. Today Reason has both audio editing and VST plugin support– and my old favorite samplers NN–XT and Dr. Rex are still there! As an artist striving to create modern pop music with a feel of nostalgia to it – juggling between today’s and yesterday’s tools and sounds is just what I need in my music-making.
What’s happening next for you?
I’m finishing up some more demos – and maybe it’s time for an EP or a debut album? Don’t really wanna give away too much right now but will have some real bangers for you soon! Or maybe just a bunch of selfies.
Favorite music right now?
Everything from PC Music.
Listen to the new single Rosebud: