INTERVIEW WITH STILL G
He's a new kind of rap / hip-hop artist - thoughtful, multi-talented and confident. With his debut radio single ‘Ain't Nuthin' But A Westcoast Party’ running up the charts, StiLL G is in a unique position to re-define the genre.
Generally speaking, rap / hip-hop artists are highly dependent on clever lyrics and fine-tuned production to succeed in the market, and StiLL G is well-positioned to excel in this regard. Perhaps that's why critics had this to say about the rap / hip-hop artist's award-winning work: ‘A classic west coast soundtrack is a perfect foil for the relentlessly precise execution of StiLL G's deft duo of vocalists.’ Now that his new radio single ‘Ain't Nuthin' But A Westcoast Party’ is catching fire on radio, it's clear that we'll be hearing a lot more of him. Reporter Lauren Scott recently caught up with StiLL G to learn more about this intriguing new rap / hip-hop artist and what inspires him to create his music.
LAUREN: When did you first get that feeling that your music career was gaining momentum?
STILL G: I had that feeling when my music was first being played and gaining more fans and supporters outside of my country. I come from Milan, Italy where emerging artists are not taken seriously. It’s hard find a way into the music business if you don't have a deal with a major label that spreads your music to the local radio stations, internet, blogspot and local press. A self emerging artist in Italy has a short life and if peoole don't know you they don't support your music…it’s really sad.. When I saw the first royalties from my music came from US, UK, France, Japan and my Facebook artist’s page grew with a lot of Japanese, American, French, Russian, Brazilian, and Mexican fan, I finally understood my music career was gaining and I was very excited for what was happening to me and my music. Finally my music is starting to follow in the right direction.
LAUREN: Your song ’Ain't Nuthin' But A Westcoast Party’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
STILL G: When I heard for the first time “Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Westcoast Party” playing on radio, I told myself: “Damn,my track is playing on an international radio station, what the hell….” ah ah ah yes I still can’t believe it. I was very excited to reach a big career goal. Having my music spin on an international radio station with a lot of listeners is a big jump closer to mainstream music artists.
LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
STILL G: “Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Westcoast Party” was inspired by my favorite hip hop artists from the mid 90’s, the golden age of rap, especially from Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Tha Dogg Pound. I grew up with their music and when I was 15, everyday was a good day to write some lyrics in my personal scratch book, with music in background like “What’s my name”; “Nuthin’ But A G-Thang”; “California Love” that inspired my creativity. When I planned “Ain’t Nuthin’ But A Westcoast Party” I asked my producer and friend Peter (a.k.a. dj k.i.p.) if he had an instrumental more close to a g-funk,gangsta rap mood, because my lyrics speak about a classic west coast party, with girls, rap music and alcohol, the same way a Snoop Dogg speaks on “Gin & Juice” or “Nuthin’ But A G-Thang". My producer took my idea and composed with his team the bass line and melodies. The results: a classic west coast, g-funk track inspired by hip hop mid-90’s sonority. Such a good work.
LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
STILL G: When I was 23 I lost my grandmother, my second mother for when my mother and my father were at work. My grandmother raised me and my sister. When she was gone I lost an important part of my life. I tried to face my fears by escaping from reality with too much drink and too much smoking, and everything making no sense. One day I decided to stop myself and wake up, make something bigger,something great to remember. So I decided to make a song for my grandmother inspired only by my experiences with her from when I was a little kid until the day she was gone. I took my midi keyboard and opened my DAW program and started to compose….something great happen, something special that I made for her. My parents started crying and I knew at that point music will be always part of my life.
LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
STILL G: I’m a serious artist. I love my music and when I plan a track or produce a beat for someone I put 100% into it. If you start a collaboration with me and decide to begin something you will find a great partner in music.
LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
STILL G: My experience was great. Fortunately I’m always working with serious artists. When there’s a special feeling between people everything will be alright. For example last summer I was in Sardinia (Italy) and worked with other great producers and rappers from the underground Sardinia scene and we passed a special summer in music. I had the opportunity to see how hard working artists took music more seriously than me. I was surprised and proud to work with great artists. We planned a lot of projects for this year and as soon as possible I will let you know how we do.
LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
STILL G: In my family we have a lot of music lovers. My grandfather when he was alive loved listened to classical music from his personal old record player. He had a big vinyl collection at home, from classical ,to blues, Italian oldies, movie sound tracksand so on. My cousin is a Trance/Chillout Music producer more notable in the UK and Europe. A lot of his production will be played by great and famous dj's in gigs across Europe. Another cousin is a big vinyls collector of italian soundtrack, funk, jazz, bossanova...he has over 500 vinyls. My mother loves to listen to music, great italian artists from the past. I think this ismore than a musical background, isn’t it eh eh eh.
LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
STILL G: I find it interesting how different people from different faraway countries support your music and share your track on the social network. They don’t understand what you say but love and support your music . If you go out with some new tracks they surely listen and support you. I'm an Italian rapper and producer and I’d like to know some people outside of Italy love my music and support my tracks by I-Tunes,Spotify or other social network. This means there are no existing musical frontiers, and music arrives everywhere whether you are Italian, Japanese, French, Mexican, Australian.. Making good music that touches people’s hearts is the most challenging. Sometimes you have a block and you don't always have the right inspiration. It's normal for an artist have a black period, but then your music will rise and sound fantastic. For every dark night there’s a brighter day like my music mentor 2pac Shakur said in one of his most famous tracks.
LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
STILL G: My role model? Surely 2pac Shakur. I fell in love with rap music listening to his tracks. I learned so much about life from his lyrics. Something changed in my mind when I first listened to “Brenda’s Got a Baby”. 2pac spoke about a baby mama's drama in the ghetto community. He taught me there was another side of rap music. I learned to speak the truth in all my lyrics, to scream about power abuse and to never give up. My music is a message and until my last breath I promise to do my part of make this world a better place.
LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
STILL G: I was in Prague when my friend Peter (aka DJ K.I.P) organized a g-funk night with two special performers from Long Beach -Neb Luv (member of the 5 Footaz a Warren G female’s rapper group) and Pure Freedom (Female R&B singer from Long Beach). The night of Neb Luv's performance she asked if there is someone who wanted to make some freestyle music with her on stage. I accepted and when I jumped on stage we started free styling. She was unstopable, with real flow and when she passed me the mic I started to perform. People screamed and supported all my rhymes and when I finished big applause came…at this point I realized it was my first time on stage in front of so many people. It was memorable. When I finished Neb Luv she told me “real dope bro,you was great”.
LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
STILL G: Believe in yourself always. If someone tries to knock out your dreams don’t believe it, believe only in yourself and in what you do. Don’t give up your young dreams and don’t stop for anything. Stay focused on your music. There’s no guidance that can help you in this music business, you need to have experiences and when you have enough experience you can decide what is better for you and your career. If music is your life, make lives better with your music. Focus on your goals. You know who you are and where you want to go.
LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
STILL G: I hope my music arrives in every house, on every radio station and finally in every major label interested in investing in my music career because I am a great artist and when I make my music I put 100% into it. My music is my life and I hope to live for a long time with my music. I started as an emerging artist, and it was me against the world. I spend all my money for my music and now I’m here with a lot of tracks published everywhere in the worldwide digital music business with a lot of fans and supporters that love my music. I hope in my future I will have a great deal with a great record company that loves my music too and wants to believe in me as an artist. New single? Yes, I am working on a new track but this time as a producer only, with 2 R&B singers, a female singer and a male singer from Italy. The track will be in classic mid 90’s R&B mood. I want to back to classic R&B, emotional music fike Jodeci, Blackstreet, or Boyz II Men,it’s time to go back and listen ours souls.
LAUREN: Very exciting, I can't wait! Thank you for taking the time to let us into your world as an artist. I wish you continued success in your career.
© 2016 Marquix Global Network
Still G, our Italian G-Funk homie from Milan, released his new album «Nuthin’ But A G-Funksta» on7th October 2012. I admit I was sleeping on Still G before, but this album has somehow caught my attention and now after having listened to it, I realized that it’s some quite solid piece of work with decent flows, some dope features and tight G-Funk production. This album was produced (except for 3 tracks) & mixed by Still G himself , also the mastering was done by him with some of the trackes mastered by XL Middleton. The album features FOESUM (LONG BEACH), K.O.G. DA BRIDGE (JAPAN), TORMENTO, AZ CASTIGO, ROM LOCO, BABY BOO, EL BORO and VINNIE G. All in all, as Still G himself stated that on this album he’s talkin’ about experience in his whole life, bad experience, good experience, friends, family, love, with all of this explained in 12 tracks in typical g-funk mood, dope bass, cool strings, chords, rhodes & real g-funk vibes. This album is highly recommended by G-Funk.WS blog and you can buy digitally at http://stillgzup.bandcamp.com/ and for physical copies (CD) ya’ll can contact Still G himself at LastyGi@gmail.com or thru Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ILMauri Ya’ll better hurry up as this CD was pressed in 50 copies so no need to explain you how limited this press is…