There are several individual parts operating behind the scenes to create the music you love.
The most familiar pieces of the music recording process are the producer(s), an emcee, and the emcee’s posse. But, the secret component to the process is the ghostwriter.
An artist’s greatest fear is to be washed up and played out. Vibing with other artists is necessary to keep them afloat. One vibe session can create a snowballing effect that results in truly great art.
Think about it for a second. If you already found your sound, had hit records you wrote yourself, wouldn’t you want to hire someone that has bars to help your sound stay fresh? The ghostwriter serves as an inspiration to develop your sound in ways you would never have thought.
Did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel by himself? No, he didn’t. He had several assistants help make one of the greatest masterpieces in human history. So, just look at a ghostwriter in that fashion.
The best is when a ghostwriter has a particular sound that’s hot. Out of that heat a musical flower might sprout looking to break through the sod and join the other stars above the topsoil. An artist can help someone discover a new sound or a new perspective.
That artist is LA songwriter/rapper Gizzle. She’s ridiculously talented and helped write songs with the likes of Kanye West, Ty Dolla $ign, Travis Scott, G-Eazy, and Nicki Minaj.
She now wants to break out into her own lane. Kulture Hub linked up with Gizzle in a phone interview to tap into her musical wisdom and the transition she’s making into her own artistry.
Peep this playlist featuring songs Gizzle help write:
You might not know it, but Gizzle has been in the game for some time now – over 10 years. She aspired to become the “best rapper ever” since the age of 12. Now at 28, she’s finally getting the platform she deserves.
The possibility of becoming a star didn’t cross her mind until labels caught wind of her while she was still in high school at the age of 16. Little did she know she would step into the lane of a songwriter.
It was her manager, Cudda Love that gave Gizzle the opportunity to possibly obtain the limelight from behind the curtain. This was meant to be her path and avidly reading up on the “game” kept Gizzle on her toes from becoming a record deal horror story.
Under her grandfather’s tutelage, she discovered a newfound understanding of what she wanted to accomplish. Her grandfather realized how great she was going to be and made her study the game. Gizzle learned to look at the game from the perspective of a student, she spoke of her grandfather’s prudence,
“It’s kept me from signing a record deal thus far (laughs). I think, my grandfather pushing my uncle and me to really study the industry before we dived in was really important. I think that’s how you should approach anything that you want to learn, be good at, or successful in. You should always approach it as a student first…”
“I kind of apply that to every area of my life when I want to try something new. There are a lot of people that are experts in each industry for a reason. They laid a lot of the blueprint down for you. If you don’t take advantage of the knowledge that’s available you are really doing a disservice to yourself.”
Her studious attitude kept industry wolves at bay. Yeah, Gizzle knows what’s good. She knows what to look for, she understands the logic of the music deal, and no one will ever pull the wool over her eyes.
She’s definitely a seasoned artist for someone still so young. Gizzle mentioned a book which she is currently reading for the second time, All You Need to Know About the Music Business. She stressed that having a basic knowledge of the industry “makes a world of a difference.”
“All the horror stories of people signing bad deals. You would think those things don’t happen anymore, but they still do and the books are still around.”
Gizzle has always been infatuated with words and idioms. Growing up, she wrote poetry to express herself.
At around eight years old, while her father was in and out of jail, Gizzle would respond to her father’s seven-page letters.
Back then she didn’t realize it, but now she grasps how writing poetry and penning letters aided her in finding her voice and expressing herself creatively.
The support of her family and teachers confirmed her talent and as a kid she knew what she would be doing for the rest of her life.
“I’ve always had the support of whatever English teacher and all of my creative writing teachers. I’ve had some really, really, really good teachers who wouldn’t mind if I turned in a homework with raps on it or if I wasn’t paying attention because I was writing raps in class. I think that was confirmation along the way. It was with that and the support of my family I never second-guessed what I would do with my life once I decided.”
Time has allowed Gizzle to evolve into a very special artist. Although she’s from LA, her flow sounds so NY. Her music presents itself as raw, raspy, urban, and real.
Watch her lyrically flex in “Melanin”
All kinds of rapper’s flows have influenced her style. Jay-Z is her all-time favorite rapper. The LOX, Lil Wayne, and the east coast battle rapping era laid the framework of her genius. Gizzle “wanted to rap and learn the phonetics of rap and the different styles of lyricism.”
Missy Elliot’s attitude towards creativity, production, and songwriting helped her understand what it means to think outside of the box. Along with Elliot, Timbaland and Teddy Riley inspired Gizzle’s push for individuality.
Her godfather Teddy Riley helped Gizzle put her first demo together and is responsible for getting her in the industry.
The industry has done her a great favor. Opportunity presented its way through other artists. The knowledge Gizzle has gained from songwriting and collaborations is incredible.
Working with P. Diddy definitely had an impact on her music. She spoke on being in the same room with Puff, who she considers a big brother and mentor,
“Anytime you have a chance to just be in the room with Puff it’s a blessing. You are going to take away something, you’re going to leave more motivated with more belief in yourself…”
“He doesn’t stop at good enough, always encouraging you to set the bar a little bit higher, to be a little bit better than before. He’s a little bit of a perfectionist. He has a lot of pride in what he does. Whatever he believes in he’s going to go hard for. It could be a project he’s working on, a company he’s working with, an artist he signed, his friends, his family. That’s what I’ll always take away from Puff – dedication, determination, and belief.”
Along with big brother Puff, is Ty Dolla $ign is another of Gizzle’s favorite collaborators. Gizzle loves working with the Taylor Gang artist. Every time they get in the studio issa vibe. Together they were able to knock out Dolla $ign’s part on Kanye West’s “Real Friends” in 20 minutes.
Vic Mensa is another rapper, Gizzle respects and loves to work with as well. She admires “the dedication to his craft.”
Gizzle has taken what she has learned from working with other artists and applied it to her own career. She’s stepping out of the shadows and into the limelight with an ingenious set of concept records. Her first solo music projects will be EPs made over the course of a week in different cities.
Each city she records in, Gizzle has a special connection to. Projects to come will be recorded in Atlanta, Philly, LA, and Denver. Atlanta to her is an epic hub for up and coming artists and it’s like a second crib to Gizzle.
She has had a deep love for Philly from when she was a child. LA is her hometown and Denver has a cultural art scene that took her breath away.
7 Days in Atlanta is the first of the four.
Although the series of EPs are for the fans, Gizzle looks at them in as “a way to stay creative and expansive.” She wants to immerse herself in the culture traveling, meeting people, and building a relationship with each city she visits.
Next year she plans on taking the 7-day projects worldwide. Mind you this is all while she readies her debut album.
Gizzle’s work ethic and dedication to her craft are truly unique. Her wisdom is one of a kind as she learns from others and studies her career has nowhere to go but up.
Before we ended our conversation she left a message for the all the youth dem,
“Save your money, work on your craft, do it every day, and be fearless. Be as fearless as you can be. The older you get in life you’ll start to perceive these obstacles that don’t exist and that might take some of your momentum. But stay focused on your goal. Once you decide what you want to do, just be steadfast in that. Anything you work on every day, you cannot get worse at, you will always get better. Opportunity comes when you work hard, are talented, and prepared. Just be prepared for whatever opportunity that will come.”
Stay fearless and focused and you can accomplish whatever it is you set out to achieve, word to Gizzle.