Sound decision Music man Gianluca puts positive spin on his craft
When it comes to popular music, few songs with a positive message seem to infiltrate the secular airwaves — but that could all change, if local musician and producer Gianluca Gibbons has his way.
The talented 21-year-old is currently the producer behind US rapper Turbo T Double’s latest release ‘Insomniac’. The song has managed to get airtime on three local radio stations, including Mix 106, Power 95 and Hott 107.5, as well as television station FreshTV.
Mr Gibbons said he was put in contact with the artist while visiting a live music venue in Los Angeles, California and networking with a director affiliated with popular rapper Kanye West.
“Through him I met Turbo T Double,” Mr Gibbons said. “He is a rap artist, but his style is different. He does a mix up of story telling and video game rap.
“I wanted to work with him because we both share a very similar outlook towards music. We like to put out positive messages and speak about real things rather than the mainstream, commercial music you usually hear on the radio and our interest in using actual instruments in the studio rather than electronic instruments is also something we share.”
Mr Gibbons, whose parents were missionaries in parts of the world like Cameroon in Africa and Jamaica, said his ultimate goal was to start his own music label.
The Royal Gazette: “I love music ministry so I have an earnest desire to have talented artists that have a positive message, because there is a lot of music out there and there are so many people that have positive and encouraging things to offer, but they get shunned by the commercial music that seems so much more popular.”
His goal is to create fun music that people can enjoy, without “subconsciously feeding them negativity”.
Mr Gibbons grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and said he has always wanted to put out Christian music. In his view gospel music can sometimes feel “monotonous”, yet he believes there are many other powerful ways that people can share their faith message.
“We have conversations, testimonies and experiences from artists that people can listen to and hear a story and identify with it,” he said.
“So at the end of 2011 I told God ‘Whatever music I put out I want to make sure it can be screened by Him’ and after that I started getting a lot of opportunities.
“My band grew and got new members, we got to play a lot more than we did the first year and even by myself meeting with Turbo T Double was a great opportunity. He is not a Christian rapper, but he doesn’t use any foul language in his songs.”
The song he produced with the artist ‘Insomniac’ is about having a passion for music that compels you to stay awake all the time and perfect your hustle.
Mr Gibbons said he can identify with the message, particularly as a music technology and marketing student at La Sierra University. He is constantly trying to balance his full-time course load and also work on music projects on the side “which really adds to the lack of sleep”.
In addition to producing, Mr Gibbons has been playing the saxophone since the age of eight.
Several years ago, he had the opportunity to play in a Christian contemporary group called ‘En Tus Manos’ while at boarding school in Valencia, Spain; he also helped them to record a CD called ‘Enthusiasmo’, which is now available on iTunes.
“I checked on it and it has been doing well on sales and the group has made a second CD since I left,” he said. “And they seem to be doing very good for themselves because they went on another tour last time I checked.”
One of his upcoming appearances will be this weekend at a concert gig in Anaheim, California with his new fusion band Heritage (HTG).
Mr Gibbons said his love for playing saxophone blossomed while taking part in the National Youth Jazz Ensemble with Wendell (Shine) Hayward.
He wants to make a career out of music, but isn’t quite sure whether it will be in producing, performing, managing or marketing considering how challenging it can be to crack into the industry.
“The more skills you collect, the more avenues you give yourself in the industry, instead of coming in as just one thing because then you short change yourself,” he said.
“If you are a great artist then it works for you, but there is so much competition so self promotion and being well rounded allows you to cut expenses and be more hands on with your own art.”
He said he was looking forward to sharing more of his music with the public and said what he loved most about the industry was the constant opportunities to grow, change and expand. Mr Gibbons described himself as a “people person” and said he hopes to also pass on some of the knowledge he has learned about the industry to other young Bermudians.
“It’s a lot of information I received over the years and a lot of stuff you can start working on before you go to school, you can prepare yourself.
“I have people who come to school and want to do music technology but have no idea about what it is. It’s more than making a beat, it’s more than just making a hit song, it’s definitely got to be a passion.”
Mr Gibbons is currently planning a trip to Old Havana, Cuba to take an intense study course in Latin Jazz next August. He is currently looking to raise $3,000 for the trip and welcomes local sponsorship to help with the excursion.
For more information you can contact him by e-mail at Gianluca.email@example.com or follow him on Facebook.