Girl WITH PURPLE Gucci's
by TOBI GBILE
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
FIGHT FOR BREONNA.
Summer 2020 was brazy. We started out strong with a movement that will forever change the injustice that has taken place for TIME in the black community, an explosion took place in Beruit that affected the lives of many, and borders began to open up allowing us the freedom to travel to certain places in the world after months of not being able to leave the countries where we reside.
If your teeth weren't gritted while reading that, then kudos to you.
On the flip side, some of us were fortunate enough to have a glass half full, and I def I had some highlights of my own. My friends threw a surprise party for my 24th birthday and it was the MOST POPPIN' birthday party I've ever had <3.
I got to travel to Malta with two of my friends-turned-big-sisters and had what was probably one of the most spontaneous trips of my life hahahaha. A month later I went to Amsterdam with other friends for the first time, and realized that while it was a dope city, I'm yet to find a city in my new European home that steals my heart completely. On top of all of that, I got to celebrate 5793 friends' birthdays in all different shapes and sizes.
Now that the strangest, and probably one of the most monumental summers of our lives has ended, it's time to ring in another season. IDK what to even write because I honestly have no idea what to expect, but I know one thing is for sure: God doesn't let us bite more than we can chew. If it's on your plate rn, you GOT this!!!
So with that, take a look below at what I will be listening to, wearing, and doing all autumn long. This season, I'm also featuring my favorite rapper (and sibling) in my PHONE A FRIEND section as he prepares to drop his first EP. You read it here first folks.
PHONE A FRIEND
Every time my brother and I would go full on BRAWL mode growing up, our parents loved to remind me how I begged them for a little sibling before he was born.
Now (97% of the time) I can proudly say that my little bruv is my best friend, my ride or dieeeeee!
On top of being related to me, Tolu Gbile (otherwise known as TGBEAM) is a 19 year old Duke student, tech wizard, rapper, producer, songwriter, and suburban superstar.
For the first time since the inception of GWPG, I am interviewing him, as it's the right time with his first ever EP dropping this season.
So without further adieu, click through to jump into the inner workings of the iconic, multi-talented TGBEAM.
HOW DID YOU STAY INSPIRED TO MAKE MUSIC DURING COVID?
For me, my inspiration really came in BURSTS. I did a lot of introspection over my time in quarantine, because I deadass didn’t see anybody but my family for March - August, and I think that really allowed for my creativity to really shine.
My inspiration honestly came from MYSELF.
The biggest thing for me in my music is to always make something BETTER than the last thing I put out, and this ideology has really helped push me to greater heights.
What IS THE OVERALL SOUND OF THIS EP? WHAT SONG ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
The overall sound of this EP... honestly that’s kind of a tough question, but if I were to describe it in a phrase it would probably be SLIGHT RAGERS.
My energy on this EP isn’t very in your face. It’s more subdued, and kind of carries a 2015/2016 SoundCloud vibe, but a bit more refined.
I do think that this is going to be my MOST DEFINING TGBEAM work though. I know what I want to do, and Suburban Superstar is going to show that.
I’m most proud of ROLLS ROYCE TALES, just because it’s fun. Probably the first track I listened to after my first take and thought: “nice”.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
My writing process has changed tremendously since my earlier singles. It used to be really STRUCTURED, like I’d have mad shit written in my Notes app divided up into these little subsections and all that but it got kinda STIFLING.
I didn’t really venture outside of what I wrote and it felt too planned for me, so I’ve been growing out of that and it definitely made making music a lot more FLUID.
Now I just vibe, honestly. I’ll have an idea for a chorus, slap it down, and then I’ll just say shit on the track until it ends. Most of the time I’m not even saying words, just because I want to find that rhythm that sticks. If I can’t remember a melody a couple hours after I record it, I dead it. If I can’t remember it and I made it, then who will?
Whose opinion do you VALUE the most when it comes to your music?
As I said earlier, quarantine made me INTROSPECT way more than I would’ve liked to, and it really allowed me to come to some really important realizations about myself.
I MAKE MUSIC FOR ME, because I enjoy doing it and enjoy things that sound sonically pleasing, and as a side effect, I like to MAKE OTHERS HAVE A GOOD TIME.
So like, I’d say I primarily value my own opinion, then MY SISTER, and then my friends, regardless of how good I think their music taste is.
I’d say I put myself first because if I think something is trash, I’m most definitely not going to put it out, because if it’s not quality then I’d prefer not to release it. I’m not a perfectionist or anything, but I’m a big advocate for CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT.
How has your college experience influenced your music?
College is probably the BEST THING to happen to me musically.
I’ve expanded my repertoire of influences thanks to people putting me on to new music, met all kinds of dope people, performed more shows than I did in high school, and I’ve gotten to develop my sound more.
Place plays a huge role in my development, so moving to an environment that was more STIMULATING than Olathe, Kansas really helped me broaden my musical horizons.
Most memorable live performance?
I think my most memorable performance was OPENING FOR RICO NASTY last year. Shit was vibes.
I think that was the first performance where I really felt like an artist. Seeing people mosh to my music was actually CATHARTIC, and definitely brought more energy to me on stage.
Only regret is that I didn’t get to actually meet Rico, but that’ll happen some other time.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FANS TO KNOW ABOUT TGBEAM FROM THIS EP?
I’m here. This is the foreword.
I truly can't help myself.
While in Amsterdam with some of my girlies at the end of August, the most magical movie moment happened.
We were shopping at the Waterlooplein flea market, and had been bouncing from tent to tent, shop to shop, looking for the perfect vintage army bomber that I had recently decided I couldn't live without.
We kept coming across jackets that were close, but not quite there. I was starting to lose hope. Or even worse -- I was getting ready to settle (GASP)!
The rain was pouring and my wide leg, bright green track pants were dragging in the puddles. Y'all know I was pissed. We hop into another tent as the rain pelts the tiled pavement, and I giggle at the tall blonde model looking guy standing in the corner with his friend (IYKYK).
I tell my friend Yaz that "I'm not buying anything more unless it jumps out at me". And from my mouth, to God's ears -- it happened. Like a scene out of Confessions of a Shopaholic, I experience love at first sight, for the first time in my life (is this what y'all sing about?!).
Hidden in between a surplus of black and brown leather jackets, was a GWPG shade purple leather jacket, in perfect form. Literally glowing. "YAZ!" I shriek, in true Tobi form. Yaz rushes over, her eyes wide. "This is the one", she says, while grinning slowly.
"Really?!", I shriek, in pure Tobi fashion. I dash to the dingy mirror in the back of the tent. Everyone's eyes were on me, (including the blonde, best believe). Again, in pure Tobi fashion, I start to criticize anything about my appearance that I could, but it was all bullshit. The jacket was perfect. It looked like it was made for me. I had never in my life felt like I had found my match in the same way that I felt in that moment.
"I think I might cry", I choke, dramatically. I run to the shop owner and ask: "How much is it? I don't even care because I am buying it regardless". He tells me it's 25 euros and I immediately pay in cash, without taking the jacket off. His wife jokes that they should have charged me more if they knew how much I loved it.
Yaz and I run out of the tent quickly and continue walking down the street, high off of my purchase. I turn and tell her "I don't know why, but this feels like the beginning of my movie. This jacket is the start of something new, and I have no idea how or why, but I'm excited."
And that brings me here and now. Since that moment, I've had a slew of newness occur in my life, and more made for TV moments that I couldn't make up if I wanted to. So stay tuned . . .
But for now, enjoy pics of the three purchases I made in Amsterdam that are going to accompany me in this new feature film I'm starring in, LMFAOOOOO!
TOBI - IN JACKet FORM
SIDe TO SIDE
You heard it here first folks. This is a glimpse into what I'll be listening to all autumn long. Standouts include TGBEAM, Tkay Maidza, A$AP Ferg, and Nasty Cherry.
Ft. items that you can find on me this season!
Tee - vintage O'NEAL Racing LS; Skirt - Weekday
Tee - Nickelodeon Rugrats; Pants - adidas x Lotta Volkova
Not Your Average Goth
Tee - Bishop Briggs; Shoes - adidas x OAMC
Blazer - & other stories; Tee - Shanghai Disneyland; Skirt - Monki
Shots I've taken of myself, my friends and family, and other things I like to look at around the world <3
TAKE MY COIN!
CHARLI XCX - CHARLI EUROPE TOUR
November 9th, 2019
Set list: Miss XCX blessed us with a set list comprised of every song from her latest album, self-titled Charli, fan favorites (that made for great live performances) from her 2017 mixtape Pop 2,, like "Unlock It", popular singles like "Boys", and most importantly, cult classics like the incredible, one of a kind "Vroom Vroom". However, it wouldn't be a Charli XCX concert if she didn't remind us all of how she got here, so she made sure to throw in her iconic track that skyrocketed Icona Pop to fame: "I Love It".
Performance Quality: From the moment Charli stepped on stage, two things were clear: she was born to perform, and it's easy for her to put on a great show. Her vocals, crowd involvement, and stage presence were clearly so easy breezy for her that she not only appeared effortless, but like she was performing in her sleep.
Crowd Reception: 5/5
Venue/Stage Design: 4/5
Over-all rating: 4.5/5
SHECK WES: Die Lit Tour
August 3rd, 2018
Set list: Now THIS is how you open a show. Nearly every show that I went to last fall, I skipped the opener, but I'm so happy that my brother, his friends and I decided to pull up in time to see Sheck Wes completely MURDER his set. To be honest, homeboy played maybe 4 songs, but they all delivered two things: pure hype, and energy.
Performance Quality: Through the roof. Sheck Wes proved that he not only understands the musical quality of his tracks, but how to perform them on stage. He delivered at all the right moments, and left it all on the stage. If you didn't feel like either moshing or jumping on stage during "Mo Bamba", IDK you. That performance might have changed my concert life. Honestly, mad respect to Carti, but performance wise, Wes might have outshone his main act.
Crowd Reception: 4.5/5
Venue/Stage Design: 2/5
Over-all rating: 4/5
PLAYBOI CARTI: Die Lit Tour
Set list: Pretty much a compilation of songs from his latest fire release, Die Lit, and some of his greatest hits from his debut album. No complaints here.
Performance Quality: All hype. I was gonna insert another "no complaints here", but I'm going to refrain myself, because I do believe that it is possible to deliver a balls to the wall concert and also rap your ass off, Exhibit A & B: Travis Scott and A$AP Ferg. While I commend Carti for hyping up the crowd to the point where the energy of the audience was unlike anything I have ever seen before, I would be quicker to rate the show higher had he done more than rap a few bars over his tracks and let us rap the rest.
Venue/Stage Design: 3/5
Over-all rating: 3.5/5
2 Chainz: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music Tour
August 19th, 2017
Set list: Banger after banger. While Chainz did make sure to play songs off his latest release, he made sure to pay much needed homage to all of the fan-favorites.
Performance Quality: Have to give it to Chainz for still putting on a hell of a hype show while sitting in a wheelchair, when he very well could have cancelled the remainder of his tour.
Crowd Reception: 4/5
Venue/Stage Design: 5/5
Zedd: Echo Tour
October 13th, 2017
Set list: Zedd made sure to keep the crowd dancing with smooth transitions and most of his most popular hits like "Beautiful Now" and "Clarity".
Performance Quality: In order to keep the crowd engaged, Zedd made sure to engage with the Chicago audience through short spurts of hype dialogue, turning the Aragon Ballroom into a rave.
Crowd Reception: 3/5
Over-all rating: 3/5
November 3rd, 2017
Set list: Hate to say that I was extremely disappointed with the lack of original content in Snakehips' set list. Instead of playing their original songs, the majority of the set consisted of remixes. We get it, you can remix rap tracks on your laptop, so can my 17 year old brother.
Performance Quality: I'm going to start this off by saying that only one member of the DUO that is Snakehips was present. Even though there isn't much DJ's can really do in terms of solo "performances", I don't think we should give them a free pass. This was the worst DJ performance I have seen in awhile. Sorry.
Over-all rating: 2/5
Bleachers: Gone Now Era, Pt. 2 Tour
November 11th, 2017
Set list: Easily the best set-list of the season. Not only did Bleachers seamlessly connect the storyline of their latest release Gone Now, but they also made sure to include plenty of favorites from their OG album. Couldn't have been better.
Performance Quality: I repeat: couldn't have been better. If anyone knows how to put on a show, it is Jack Antonoff. The group's energy and charisma was through the roof, and Antonoff's live vocals partnered with the plethora of instruments was literal music to the ears. It shouldn't come as a shock that I couldn't give the group anything less than perfect scores across the board.
Over-all rating: 5/5
Bishop Briggs: Gone Now Era, Pt. 2 Tour
Set list: As the opening act for Bleachers, Briggs stunned with a half hour set featuring her hit "River" and her new single "Dream".
Performance Quality: Bishop Brigg's energy is absolutely contagious, and she brought unexpected life to her dark pop songs.
Venue/Stage Design: 2.5/5
Mura Masa (Red Bull Sound Select)
November 16th, 2017
Set list: Composed entirely of tracks from Mura Masa's stand out debut album.
Performance Quality: While Mura Masa might not be the most outgoing MC on the planet, teaming up with a background singer to sing (AND rap) all of the tracks on the album raised the entertainment factor.
Venue/Stage Design: 2.5/5
Dua Lipa: The Self Titled Tour
November 26th, 201 7
Set list: Composed nearly entirely of tracks from her US debut album, and her closing number "New Rules" turned everyone in the crowd into a pop star.
Performance Quality: Although Lipa announced early in the show that she was sick, she still gave the performance her all, and her voice was of recording quality throughout.
AJR: The Night the Buzz Stole XMAS
December 16th, 2017
Set list: Even though AJR was technically an opening act, they made it near impossible to sleep on their set-list. They played fan favorites from their debut album coupled with Kansas City specific remixes that the crowd ate up .
Performance Quality: I was ready to roast the hell out of this group for their quirky demeanor, but their energy was through the roof and they performed the hell out of every song in their set.
BØRNS: The Night the Buzz Stole XMAS
Set list: I wouldn't be so sour about this if I hadn't already seen BØRNS twice before. They opened with one of the songs that people actually come to see, "Past Lives", (mistake #1) and did an acoustic version of "Seeing Stars" (mega mistake #2). But if you choose to ignore these disappointing events, the set-list was strong nonetheless.
Performance Quality: While Garrett Borns might not be the most energetic performer around, his suave demeanor and charming stage presence never fail to have the crowd under his spell.
What am I sayin?
Did I mention that I am a published author? Click the links below to purchase my first teenage fiction novel: "The Stunnerz"!
Amazon (kindle/ereader versions available)
Barnes & Noble (kindle/ereader versions available)
© 2020 Tobi Gbile