A Discussion With G.L.A.M. On Her Artistic Inspiration And The Making Of Her Mixtape “The Feel”

By | June 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm | No comments | Featured Post, Interviews, MUSIC | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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Poised to set the rap scene ablaze, Oakland, San Francisco native G.L.A.M. recently released her third fully independent mixtape, entitled “The Feel”. Well received for her authentic emcee appeal, G.L.A.M. sat down with Illsociety to discuss what experiences helped shaped her as an artist, and what drives her to stay true to her craft.

ISM: G.L.A.M., how would you best describe your style to those still new to your music?

G.L.A.M: Well, the acronym G.L.A.M. stands for good lyrics and music; that’s pretty much the epitome of me. I’ve always been musically-inclined/cultured (my dad was an emcee/ writer for Too $hort; my mom was also an emcee). It kind of happened by accident with me. Even though when I was little, I didn’t want to do anything with music. As I got older, however, I developed such a love for it; I was inspired to start making my own beats, and making my own sound.

I was working with someone at the time, but then he got signed. It made me feel like ‘oh no’; It made me feel like I didn’t have anything. So I just had to do everything myself. On ‘The Feel’, for example, (making) the beats is definitely a hustle. When I’m working, I’m in my bedroom, on my keyboard- that’s my office.

ISM: You’re originally from San Francisco. How would you describe growing up in the Bay Area, and what types of musical influences were you exposed to?

G.L.A.M: I became this mesh of culture. I moved to Los Angeles at age four, but I always went back and forth to the Bay area. At home, I remember my mom playing a lot of Mase, Earth Wind and Fire, 90′s R&B, DJ Quick, etc. I pretty much knew everything, thanks to my mom, and I always got a lot of free cds because my mom worked at a record label, and I got to listen and be influenced by all types of music.

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ISM: Growing up, which artists inspired you the most?

G.L.A.M: Definitely Erykah Badu. She has a longevity about her, she’s very aware of who she is, and as an artist that’s an important thing. On my mixtape, “The Feel,” for example, everything is written and produced by me.

ISM: A lot of your tracks on “The Feel” have an organic quality to it, seeing as you write and produce everything. One of your best tracks on “The Feel” includes the single “Big Sexy’s Dedication.” Although the shortest track on the mixtape (1:27), it goes the hardest. Describe the creative process for that track.

G.L.A.M: “Big Sexy’s Dedication”- well, that song is the epitome of my album. I’m such a 90′s kid. The song samples the original The Jones Girls’ “Who Can I Run To,” and represents the overall vibe of the mixtape (G.L.A.M. goes off on the track, spitting rapid lines like: Let’s get re-acquainted/ now this ain’t hip hop, it’s tainted/ but to me, it depends on the love/and the stroke from the brush, and the way that you paint it.)

ISM: Hip hop aficionados often love when a songs beat, lyrics, and delivery flow seamlessly with the artists’ message or purpose. How would you best describe your creative process for achieving this?

G.L.A.M: Of course you want the listeners to get it, you want it to make sense. The recording process for “The Feel” for example, took a couple months. First we had the tracks, and it just depends on your zone and your vibe. “M0bb1n” I wrote real fast. I often address how I’m feeling first. Sometimes it starts with the track, sometimes it doesn’t. I always try to make it relatable to who I’m talking to. The process is sporadic; I never know what’s going to come first.

ISM: Rap is often a male-dominated genre. How does being a female emcee factor into that, if at all?

G.L.A.M: It’s like being the elephant in the room, but I just tune that out. I want people to take the gender role out when they listen to the music. I just want to be known as a good artist.

ISM: Definitely on “The Feel”, you made your presence known as an emcee to be reckoned with. As an artist, struggle is often necessary to create the forms of art that speak to people.

What obstacles did you have to overcome, in regards to getting your music out and developing into the artist you are now?

G.L.A.M: Well, 2013 was pretty tough, in regards to projects and record labels. Honestly, if I let it affect me, I would have stopped doing music. The fact that I’m here right now, lets me know that I still love it. You never want to dwell on negativity. What I can say about the industry is, don’t let what people say knock you off your game. What I’ve learned to do is, flip it, by turning it into music.

Download/Listen to “The Feel” now on livemixtapes.com and be on the lookout for more of G.L.A.M. here on Illsociety!

-Leslie Dizon (Aka Big L)

Photos shot by TATSU

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