No Longer Almost Famous: Young Gerald Has Already Taken Over The Bay, Now He’s Looking At The Universe

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Amy Chi
Contributing Writer

“Listen, as I understand it, it is a Saturday night… and this is about that time that these things usually happen.”

Lights flash, bass pours from the speakers, and the audience absolutely erupts. Standing at 6’4’’, hair slicked back and dressed in his signature black on black, Gerald Earl Gillum, better known by stage name G-Eazy, rose from selling CD’s out of his backpack on Oakland street corners to headlining sold out shows worldwide. And at only age 25, he’s already a seasoned pro at putting on shows that drive crowds wild.

“I go into every show with the same kind of energy and the same kind of attitude whether there’s a small crowd or a big crowd,” he said. “Whether I’m opening for somebody or I’m headlining, I just try to have fun. I feel like energy is contagious and as a performer, if you go on with good energy the crowd’s going to react.”

Gerald Earl Gillum went from “selling CDs out of his backpack on Oakland Street Corners to headlining sold out shows worldwide"
Gerald Earl Gillum went from “selling CDs out of his backpack on Oakland Street Corners to headlining sold out shows worldwide”

Fresh off the high of his “From the Bay to the Universe” tour, G-Eazy is finally reaping the fruits of the thousands of hours of hard work that went into creating his latest album “These Things Happen,” which debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. Selling all his possessions, stripping his life down to two suitcases, and traveling cross-country, G-Eazy finally received his moment of validation with the album’s release—letting go of the project he had been pouring his heart and soul into for the past year.

“The thing is about any type of creative work, is that as an artist it’s tough to know when to let go, and when to say something’s finished,” he said. “Technically, you can keep applying paint to a canvas forever, but it’s important to know when to walk away. But at the same time, when you walk away it lives in that form forever. So knowing when to say the album was done was tricky because I knew that I had this opportunity, and it had to be done right.”

G-Eazy’s songs are composed of stories; while some feature flagrant lyrics, and others have melodies and words that pull on the heartstrings, all draw from a myriad of experiences, inspired by people he’s met and observations he’s made.

“I’m very observant and I have this little notepad in my head where, when I see things, I jot down certain moments and certain stories, and it all finds its way back into the music,” he said. “‘Downtown Love’ is not about a specific girl, per se, it’s a general story for a character. It may be based on several people I’ve met or observed, or movies I’ve seen, stories I’ve heard, but it’s not just one girl.” He adds humorously, “She’d be pretty mad if it was.”

With “These Things Happen” released not even a year ago, and still a few more stops of his tour left in New Zealand and Australia, G-Eazy is already looking ahead to his next album. No word yet on when it will drop, but he already has songs recorded; after the tour wraps, he plans to spend several months tackling the project in the studio. With his unrelenting dedication, it’s clear that making music is G-Eazy’s greatest passion.

“It’s the only thing I ever loved,” he said. “I don’t have a ‘plan B’ in my head. If I were ever to retire, I don’t know what I would do.”

The self-made artist regularly updates his Soundcloud channel with new tracks, reflecting his attitude on music distribution—like all truly passionate artists, he believes that music should be universally accessible.

“Give it away! We live in a different age now, and music is not a product that is bought in the same way it used to be. No, with streaming, access is so much easier. That’s just the day and age we live in and we have to adapt.”

Photo Credit: Kristian George/Foghorn

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