CIRCLE OF DAYZ vol.11 G-EAZY
CIRCLE OF DAYZ takes an in-depth look at some fascinating people who have strong ties to DAYZ and people who fascinate DAYZ. For the 11th installment, we interviewed rapper G-EAZY, who did "When You're Here, You're Home: GERRYLAND HOTEL," his second collaboration project with BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS. We asked him about his background and production with his friend WATANABE Masafumi.
―――First, tell us about your background.
G-EAZY： I grew up in the Bay Area, which, culturally speaking, is a very distinct place. It was the center of history, culture - especially counterculture - and it was the center of the artistic movement. My mother was a photographer and a professor at the San Francisco Art Institute, so I was raised in a very creative environment. I was always drawn to music. I started making music when I was about 13 years old, and I was devoted to it, and I'm lucky that to this day I haven't lost my love for music. It's great to find something you love in life. I consider anyone who is able to find such a destiny to be a very lucky person. And even luckier if you can make a living at it. I am grateful every day. The activities that allow me to express my passion for music take me to Japan and other beautiful places around the world. I have made many friends all over the world and life is great.
―――Tell us about the counterculture at the time you grew up.
G-EAZY：It's really hard to explain because I started making music in the 2000s and it was very unique and full of energy. But even in the 2000s, skateboarding, hip-hop, and streetwear cultures were colliding, you know. I think you can see the connection between A BATHING APE, BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB, hip-hop, fashion, and skate culture. It was a very vibrant time.
Bebe：My idea of counterculture is an atmosphere of open-mindedness and freedom. Not like people or things that walk a predetermined path, at least that's my impression. When I discovered G-EAZY, I was so shocked when I saw his music video; it blew my mind. His music, his style, his fashion, everything. His life is unique, he chooses his own music and enjoys his style instead of worrying about what others think of him.
G-EAZY：I think it must be because I experienced so many things as a child. I was exposed to art, fashion, various genres of music and movies, and I have a unique blend of all these influences. In addition, I am very open-minded and curious, so I am driven by interest and want to learn different things. I appreciate being surrounded by such a large world to absorb culture. It helps me to structure myself. I value individuality. I listen to jazz and read Charles Bukowski, but I also listen to E-40, Lil Wayne, and wear RICK OWENS. I also love high art. All of these are different cultures, but I absorb them and enjoy their unique combinations.
Bebe：That's the G-EAZY style.
G-EAZY：Just like what you like. It's insanely simple. I think it creates a beautiful uniqueness. Combine them in a way that cannot be imitated, in a way that is self-explanatory. I'm really open-minded and interested in many things. I think if you follow what others are doing, you can't rewrite it into your own unique and special thing. If you're open-minded and respectful of culture while making choices, you can be someone who can express yourself in your own way, not just someone who exists. What attracts me is someone who can express a message in a colorful way through their fashion, the music they create, or their artwork, for example. Someone who tries to convey something important in any way possible. It is truly their world. I think they can do that because they have an eye that respects what is going on around them.
Bebe：I like that idea very much. How we approach the culture we like is very important. There are ways to be surprised and have fun depending on how you interact with it. You wear a leather jacket, your hair is set in a pompadour, you look streetwise but high-end. How do you decide what you really are? What do you express and believe in when you are young? You're a big star, but down to earth and approachable. You try things you're passionate about. That's how I see G-EAZY. Celebrity, but G is G.
―――Your last visit to Japan was five years ago, right? Has anything changed from the impression you had before?
G-EAZY： I am really happy to be here again. I missed Japan. This is my favorite place in the world. It's great to be back. The world has changed a lot in the last 5 years, but we are still evolving and changing. We've grown through the pandemic and I'm sure we've learned a lot about ourselves. I've changed my approach to music a little bit, too. And I'm also trying to be an entrepreneur. I'm working on new music that I can share with everyone.
―――Can you tell us more about how this whole collaboration concept came about?
G-EAZY： I collaborated with BEDWIN & THE HEARTBREAKERS for the first time during my last visit to Japan, and I was a fan of his brand before I met Bebe. I thought I had a lot in common with him. So, when I approached him with the idea for GERRYLAND, I told him about my home in Los Angeles and my policy of welcoming loved ones and close friends anytime. If they need a place for a few days or have had too much to drink one night and want to rest in the guest room, they are always welcome. And since they make me feel at home in Tokyo anytime, I thought the same concept would apply.
Bebe：GERRYLAND is about home, right? I value my home in the same way. Everyone has their own home, but it's a special place. I have two children, and my wife came here from Europe. I want her to feel at home.
G-EAZY： I mean, it's safe here and you're welcome. And surrounded by people you love.
Bebe：We should help the community. It's not all about collaborating, it's not about selling and buying, it's about creating a community.
G-EAZY：Community and culture are so important!
Bebe：Both the music and fashion industries these days are mainly about business and money, but it's more organic and should be about supporting each other and the community. I think that's why I'm here, in the way that I should be. So, I'm very excited about what we're going to do.
G-EAZY：Art and creativity have a lot in common. They are very important aspects that help communities and cultures come together and grow while we inspire and support each other. I hope we can continue to grow by building things, personal development, and supporting others.
Born May 24, 1989, in Oakland, California, USA, G-EAZY is a rapper and a producer. Born Gerald Earl Gillum, he started as a rapper at the age of 15. He studied music business at Loyola University in New Orleans. After graduating from college, he worked with Lil Wayne, Drake, Snoop Dogg, and others before making his major label debut in 2014 with the album "Geez Things Happen",reaching #3 in the U.S.. The following year's "When It's Dark Out" also reached #5 in the U.S., catapulting him to be one of the top rappers.