Let GAL and her eclectic blend of rap and songwriting shake your world — or help you ROXX OFF.
GAL, a.k.a GIVE ART LIFE is ready to make her mark on the world. Her seamless blend of rap, songwriting and singing brings a unique and multifaceted twist on her genre. Her latest single ‘Roxx Off’ embodies this tenfold as she explores the feeling of the downward spiral of love, marred by deception and the overwhelming emotions that it brings.
1883 Magazine catches up with GAL about the new single, what she’s learned about herself while making it, and more.
How would you describe the way you’ve grown since releasing your first single?
Everything has elevated. My confidence when creating, and the stories I want to tell, my performance, and the visuals. I’ve learned that consistency is really the root of evolving in anything, and you don’t always realize it until you do something long enough to see results. The booth had to be pitch black when I recorded my first single, and I questioned everything. My confidence was low because being an artist ‘out loud’ was so new to me and I thought, ‘Why would I think I could do this?’. Now I think, ‘Why not?’.
Your new single was inspired by the downward cycle of love. What was the writing process like for this song?
The way ROXX OFF came to life was so organic and natural. Sometimes it takes me weeks to finish a song. I’ll record a reference track, get the original idea down, and revisit it later to finish. Other times, like with ROXX OFF, the synchronicity is on point and it just comes together right away. I remember I was back home, Nashville, talking on the phone to my sis CiCi and she was livid that she caught her guy dealing with his ex still. She was going OFF about how she was done, going to cut ties, and glow up. I immediately was inspired. We can all relate to being done, but not really. I got in the car, drove around and played this beat, produced by Trippy Leeb, that caught my attention. The first few bars were inspired by my conversation with my sis, but then I started to think of my own experiences and stories my friends have told me. ROXX OFF became a mukbang of love and love lost. I made a point to make sure it ended on an empowering note though. We always leave a situation better than we came.
Was there anything you did differently while recording ‘ROXX OFF’ that you hadn’t done prior?
I remember being excited to get in the studio and record it. The lyrics and concept came to me in Nashville, I recorded it in New York (where I lived at the time) and released it when I moved back to LA. That had a unique effect on the process. I remember not caring about any of the elements. It was cold, and snowing, when I got back to NY but I was excited to trek to Jersey to lay it down. When I got to my session, there were other people in the studio just hanging out and I wasn’t fazed, because typically I like to record alone with just me and the engineer. And the ENERGY! It’s like everyone around me was like ‘ This is FIRE!’. I appreciated it, but more importantly for me I liked it so much regardless. I was really in my bag at that (studio) session. It was a time.
This is quite a personal and vulnerable song: does it ever feel daunting for you to release something that’s about something so specific to you and your own experience.
Honestly, not really. It’s interesting how music is therapeutic. It has always been an outlet for me. I’m more comfortable writing a song than talking to my closest friends about it. ROXX OFF is rooted in heartbreak and deceit but it takes on a life of its own, becoming unapologetic and bold. Vulnerability mixed with imagination is a superpower, I believe. I think it’s bad a$$. I’m always drawn to it in others and excited when I tap into it creatively. Plus, by the time I write, record, and put out a song I’m typically over it.
You worked with Christopher Scholar for the video for the track. What was the collaboration process like for the two of you?
We really had the dream team! Chris and Bevin, founders of Booc, the production company me and my creative director, LaDonna Whittingham, collaborated with for the video are creative geniuses. You get Chris on board with a concept and he’s going to take it to the next level, EASY. Bevin is quick to listen and slow to say ‘no’, which I LOVE, because I have a reputation for having off the wall ideas and unrealistic expectations lol, but my team always finds a way to not only pivot and elevate an idea, but bring it to fruition bigger and better. LaDonna keeps me grounded, my voice of reason, who can read my mind and articulate all my ideas into an efficient thesis statement for a director to digest. I’m sure Chris was super grateful for her lol. I can be a lot when I’m in the zone.
Was there something in particular that surprised you about writing and/or recording the song?
How effortless it was. I can be an overthinker, but even things that typically don’t come naturally to me when recording, did. Like adlibs, when I hear ‘ Why you wanna, why you wanna, why you wanna’ I’m like ‘that’s cute!’ It’s almost like ‘Who is she?’ when I hear it and it, and whole time it’s me.
Your sound is unrestrictive; it dances between genres. Has it always been important not to be confined to a specific genre or type of music?
I’m just a collective of what I’ve been inspired by. And since that was a mix of genres, naturally my music reflects that. I grew up in a musical family so as a kid my mom and uncles would have jam sessions all night. They played rhythm and blues so I fell in love with artists like Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone and James Brown early. They were so talented and insync I thought I could never do something like that, you had to be special. Then I discovered Ms. Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Andre 3000, Eve, to Kanye and it was like I found my space. Their words were their instrument. After I saw how Missy Elliot, Ludacris, and Gaga brought their vision to life it was a wrap. So yea, I guess I’m subconsciously genre bending.
What 3 songs would you choose to soundtrack your perfect day?
Off top I’d say ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers, ‘Ritual Union’ by Little Dragon, ‘Champion’ by Ye. Those remind me of a sunny summer Sunday around 11am, noonish. That would be a pretty good soundscape to start the day.
What next can fans expect from you?
More music. I’m in an experimental season creatively right now and I really want to not only explore that but share it in real time. I believe that’s important for me to do right now for my own personal growth and to be of service for whoever may be inspired by it. It’s an exciting time.
Lastly, if you could manifest something for yourself this year, what would it be?
For me, consistency. Living in my purpose. My first thought though is always my team and my family. When I envision my future desires it consists of collaborative opportunities that allow us to broaden the vision, our reach, and expand our land financially. So basically, anything that caters to those sentiments. I know it’s a marathon. I’m grateful to be a part of the journey.